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Dog Anxiety Medications

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What is anxiety in dogs?

Anxiety is a normal part of life. It can range from a healthy level of awareness and mild fear to a problematic, serious issue that impacts you and your dog on a daily basis. Anxiety is defined as constant, extreme worry. There can be several causes, triggers, and symptoms, and certain breeds may be more prone to anxiety-related issues. Behavior modification can work in tandem with prescription anti-anxiety meds for dogs to improve your dog’s symptoms and the quality of life of everyone in the home.

What are the most common symptoms of anxiety in dogs?

  • Compulsive or repetitive habits
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Destructive habits
  • Pacing
  • Barking
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Defecating or urinating inside the house
  • Aggressive behavior

What causes anxiety in dogs?

  • Aging – Much like Alzheimer’s in humans, aging can cause confusion for dogs. Senior dogs can experience increasing levels of anxiety due to a condition called CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome).
  • Separation – A common problem in dogs, this type of anxiety results from separation from the dog’s family. Dogs feel a sense of comfort when they are near family and may feel alone when they are not, leading to unwanted behavior.
  • Fear – This type of anxiety may be intermittent or constant. Dogs may experience fear-related anxiety when encountering many different challenging situations, such as car rides, veterinarian visits, strangers or visitors, loud noises like storms or fireworks, new environments like a family member’s house or a new home, new and unfamiliar surfaces, or even visual differences like a hat on their owner or a new object in the room.

While any breed can experience any level of anxiety, the following dog breeds may be especially anxious:

  • German Shepherds
  • Bichon Frises
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Italian Greyhounds
  • Vizslas
  • Toy Poodles
  • Border Collies
  • Havaneses
  • Cocker Spaniels

Does my dog need anxiety medication?

Speaking with your veterinarian about your dog’s anxiety symptoms is the first step in devising a treatment plan. Your vet can recommend a behavior modification plan for your specific dog, and they might prescribe dog anxiety medication to help. Some of the top veterinarian-recommended anxiety meds for dogs are:

  • Fluoxetine – Available in a tablet, capsule, or oral solution, this dog separation anxiety medication is effective in treating obsessive-compulsive or aggressive behavior. If you are concerned with how much dog anti-anxiety medication is, this drug can be a surprisingly affordable option.
  • Trazodone – Originally developed as a human drug, this medication treats anxiety and separation anxiety in dogs.
  • Amitriptyline – This anti-anxiety medication for dogs works to treat specific anxiety-related issues. This option is an effective dog anxiety treatment that works for separation anxiety, general anxiety, and noise fear, making it an excellent anxiety medication for dogs who fear fireworks or thunderstorms.
  • Buspirone – This dog anxiety medication can be used to treat short-term anxiety or persistent disorders. For pet parents wondering what to give a dog for fireworks anxiety, fear of thunder, or other phobias, these anxiety pills for dogs can be an effective and useful treatment option.
  • Clomicalm – A popular choice for pet parents who are concerned with how to help a dog with separation anxiety, this dog anxiety medication can help resolve issues like destructive habits, defecation or urination, and barking.
  • Mirtazapine – This dog anxiety medication is useful in treating moderate or severe depression in dogs.
  • Sileo Gel – This oral gel is a useful treatment for dogs with noise aversion problems.
  • Clonidine – Another of the most effective anxiety meds for dogs, this drug is helpful for dogs with separation anxiety, aggression, or phobias.

How else can I help a dog with anxiety?

Along with a behavior modification strategy and prescription treatment, there are a few other ways to help your dog with their anxiety. These include:

  • Over-the-Counter Dog Anxiety Medication and Supplements– Anxiety support supplements come in the form of liquids, tablets, or chews. Allivet offers many over-the-counter treatment options, from Zylkene Tablets to Vetri-Science Composure Max Liquid to Solliquin Chews.
  • Collars – Calming pheromone collars are a useful, non-prescription way to treat your dog’s anxiety. Choose from NurtureCALM or Adaptil collars.
  • Massage – A gentle massage performed by the pet parent can have a calming effect on anxious dogs. Bonus – it can also help aging dogs manage joint or muscle pain!
  • Compression Wraps – Products like the ThunderShirt apply constant but gentle pressure to soothe your dog in stressful situations.
  • Diffusers and Sprays – Adaptil makes sprays and diffusers that can calm an anxious dog, and NaturVet Quiet Moments Herbal Calming Spray is another easy treatment option. These products are proven to be effective dog calming aids.
  • Dog Anxiety Music – Music is an easy and comforting way to provide your dog with a calm and happy environment. Playing a calming tune during separation or during a stressful situation can have a soothing effect.

Allivet offers all the best prescription and over-the-counter treatment options to treat your dog’s anxiety!