Trazodone for Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, and Alternatives
Nali Macklin - March 22nd 2020
Accuracy Review & Edit: Nicole Wanner, DVM - June 7th 2021
You’ve desperately tried everything from Googling do-it-yourself training to spending hundreds of dollars on professional dog trainers, but nothing seems to help ease your dog’s fear & anxiety.
Whether it’s vet visits, loud noises (like thunderstorms & fireworks), or just leaving him alone for 10 minutes, your pooch becomes nothing less than a nervous wreck.
Finally, your vet suggests prescribing him Trazodone or other doggie downers (prescription anti anxiety medications).
“Wait, as in Trazodone for humans? Is that safe to give my dog?”
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Medications like Trazodone rebalance serotonin levels in the brain, which can help improve behavior issues like fear, aggression, and anxiety.
When trazodone for dogs is used in combination with other drugs such as antidepressants, they will generally advise a dose between 1mg per pound per day and 3 mg per pound per day.
While side effects of Trazodone are uncommon, the following symptoms can occur:
- Increased aggression
- Increased anxiety
- Priapism (prolonged erections in males)
Signs of serotonin syndrome may include vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and seizures. If your dog takes Trazodone and is showing these symptoms, you should contact your vet immediately.
Trazodone is available as generic and brand names (Desyrel and Leptro).
According to drug.com, the average cost for 50mg of Trazodone is $10 for seven tablets.
Prices will also vary depending on the pharmacy you visit.
Trazodone may interact with the medications listed below. Starred medications could increase risk for serotonin syndrome when combined with Trazodone. Your vet will help you design the safest medication regimen for your dog.
Certain drugs such as Phenothiazines, Phenobarbital, and Rifampin may decrease the effectiveness of Trazodone.
As we have discussed, this drug can potentially have serious side effects and many possible drug interactions. So, you might want to explore natural alternatives to trazodone for dogs. Importantly, do not discontinue or change your dog’s medications without consulting your veterinarian.
CBD works with your dog's endocannabinoid system, which is related to many bodily systems, including those which regulate anxiety.
CBD's calming effects on both humans and animals have been the focus of several scientific studies. One found that CBD reduced stress in rats, with no visible side effects, and another found encouraging results for people with a general anxiety disorder. While more research is needed, these early results are promising.
We make all-natural CBD oil for dogs and CBD chews for dogs from organically grown Colorado hemp. This hemp carefully refined at room temperature to create a safe and effective product, especially for dogs.
Our oils come in multiple strengths with a plastic pet-safe dropper to ensure that dogs of all sizes can get an effective dose. They are always lab tested and made right here in the USA from human-grade ingredients.
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