Trazodone is a medication that is prescribed to dogs for various forms of anxiety.
If you’re wondering how much Trazodone can you give your dog, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I will discuss some key information about Trazodone, including how much Trazodone you can give your dog.
Let’s get into it.
What Is Trazodone?
Trazodone is a serotonin modulator and is therefore used as a prescription drug to treat depression. However, it has a long history of being prescribed to dogs with anxiety.
Dogs can experience stress and anxiety for a variety of different reasons, from separation anxiety to noise phobias.
So, what does trazodone do to dogs?
Trazodone provides mild sedation and has been known to help decrease anxiety in dogs. Whether your dog’s anxiety is circumstantial, or is something that they experience every day, your vet might see it as a viable medication for their condition.
What Can Trazodone Help With?
Trazodone is often prescribed to dogs to help manage general anxiety as well as situational anxiety.
As a result, Trazodone can help with:
- Separation anxiety
- Travel anxiety
- Noise anxiety (and phobias)
- Stress caused by vet visits
- Post-surgical recovery
How Much Trazodone Can You Give Your Dog?
Generally speaking, the amount of trazodone that you can give your dog is between 2.5 mg and 3.5 mg per pound of body weight (or 2-5 mg per kg).
That being said, you will need to speak with your vet to find out the exact prescription for your dog and to ensure that you’re being as safe as possible.
How often you give your dog Trazodone will depend on their condition. While some owners give their dog this drug 2-3 times a day on an ongoing basis, many owners only give it to their dogs before highly stressful events such as before the vets.
You will need to speak to your vet about your dog’s condition, and together you will be able to come up with a plan on how to manage your dog’s anxiety.
Trazodone can be given to your dog on a full or empty stomach. However, if you know that your dog has a sensitive stomach and is prone to vomiting, then putting the dose in a treat or when they have a full stomach is your safest bet.
Notes On Giving Your Dog Trazodone
You should never try to self-diagnose your dog with an anxiety disorder.
If you have concerns that your dog might be struggling with anxiety, then it’s important to visit your vet.
Together, you will be able to discuss their symptoms and what they’re struggling with and come up with a clear plan on how to manage your dog’s anxiety.
They may prescribe Trazodone, but they may not. You shouldn’t be giving your dog Trazodone without speaking to your vet first, as it’s essential that you get them checked out.
In addition to this, your vet will tell you exactly how much Trazodone they would recommend for your dog. Depending on the severity of your dog’s anxiety will also let you know how often they should take it.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Trazodone For Dogs?
Trazodone is an effective anti-anxiety medication for dogs. It works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. This helps relieve depression-like behaviors like anxiety, aggression, and restlessness.
Some of the benefits of giving your dogs Trazodone include:
Helps Separation Anxiety
Many dogs can develop separation anxiety when they are separated from their owner. Trazodone has been shown to help reduce separation anxiety in dogs. A study found that dogs given trazodone were less anxious when separated from their owners than those who weren’t given the medication.
In addition to this, the sedating effect of Trazodone helps to reduce the destructive behaviors dogs exhibit when they are anxious.
Helps To Manage Stress
Dogs can experience stress for a variety of different reasons. For instance, some dogs may experience stress every time they pay a trip to the veterinarians.
Trazodone has been known to help manage the effects of stress, reducing aggression in dogs. As a result, the drug can make these trips less stressful as a whole.
Helps Noise Phobias
Dogs can be fearful and even develop phobias of loud noises, such as fireworks. Trazodone has been known to help manage a variety of different noise phobias.
Helps To Manage Insomnia
Trazodone is known to have mild sedative effects, which can be used to manage insomnia and ensure your dog gets a good night’s sleep.
Helps Facilitate Confinement
Trazodone has also been known to help facilitate confinement. For instance, if your dog needs encouragement to rest after an operation as they require a significant amount of recovery.
Cage rest post-surgery can be hard to achieve without aid, especially when it comes to dogs that tend to be hyperactive or naturally have a lot of energy that they need to exert. Trazodone can help this.
The Potential Side Effects Of Trazodone For Dogs
Despite the benefits, there are also potential side effects of Trazodone that your dog could also experience. The side effects of Trazodone include but are not limited to:
- Increased appetite
- Shaking and agitation
- Increased anxiety and aggression
- Panting or rapid breathing
- Ataxia (loss of muscle control)
- Lethargy and sedation
As these side effects tend to be temporary and subside quite quickly, before requesting a dosage modification, the majority of vets will suggest waiting a couple of days.
That being said, the most serious side effect of Trazodone is serotonin syndrome. The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include but are not limited to:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive salivation
It’s important to note that Trazodone can interact with certain medications. As a result, if your dog has a chronic disease or condition, Trazodone should always be used with extra caution.
What Happens If You Give Your Dog Too Much Trazodone?
While Trazodone has a variety of benefits as I’ve discussed, giving your dog too much Trazodone can result in an overdose. The clinical signs of a Trazodone overdose can begin within 30 to 60 minutes of exposure and can last between 10 and 12 hours.
The symptoms of a Trazodone overdose include but are not limited to:
- Tremors and seizures
- Excessive salivation
- Disorientation and loss of balance
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Decrease in heart rate
If you suspect that your dog is experiencing a Trazodone overdose, then it is a medical emergency and you need to call your vet immediately.
The majority of vets will use IV fluids to flush your dog’s system alongside symptomatic therapy to treat the Trazodone toxicosis.
How Long Does It Take To Work & How Long Will The Effects Of Trazodone Last?
Trazodone tends to take effect pretty quickly, in around 1 to 2 hours when your dog is given it on a short-term basis for stress relief. In addition to this, the effects of Trazodone typically last for around 4 hours or more.
However, when it comes to your dog taking the medication on a regular basis due to the severity of their anxiety, it might take as long as a few weeks before you begin to notice any significant change in your dog’s behavior.
Overall, Trazodone is a safe medication that can be used to help manage anxiety in dogs and is often prescribed by vets for both short-term and long-term use.
It’s important to remember though that while Trazodone may be effective at managing some conditions, it shouldn’t be considered a cure for every condition.
Always make sure that you chat with your veterinarian to ensure you know the exact dose of Trazodone to give your dog.
Good luck giving your dog Trazodone!