Gabapentin for Anxiety in Dogs

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Canine anxiety has many causes – fireworks or other loud noises, separation anxiety, PTSD from a previous abusive owner, or illness can all cause dogs to have bad cases of nervous excitedness. If you’ve taken your pet to the vet for these problems, your vet may have prescribed a drug called gabapentin or Neurontin. 

This article covers some critical information on gabapentin use in canine anxiety. Read on to learn what you need to know to take care of your dog!

GABAPENTIN FOR DOG ANXIETY

Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) has been used for decades in humans for seizure control, pain control, and mood stability, including treatment for anxiety. Gabapentin has also been studied for use in dogs and cats. 1

The research so far shows that gabapentin is safe and effective for canine anxiety when used at the right doses.

Remember that gabapentin is a prescription only drug and should only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian.

GABAPENTIN FOR CANINE ANXIETY SIDE EFFECTS

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, side effects of gabapentin in dogs tend to be mild and limited. 1   They are as follows:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain with long-term use


GABAPENTIN DOSE FOR ANXIETY IN DOGS

An effective dose for gabapentin for anxious dogs as given in one study is 25-30 milligrams per kilogram, or around 11-13 milligrams per pound. It’s used directly before a trigger that causes anxiety (going to the vet, fireworks, etc). Make sure that you are aware of and OK with the side effects of gabapentin before giving it to your dog.

 See our chart below to see where your dog would fall in this dosing!

GABAPENTIN FOR DOGS DOSAGE CHART

This table shows weight-based dosing for canine anxiety in dogs. The 100mg and 300mg capsule columns show you how many of each strength you'd need to make up the right dose. 

100mg and 300mg capsules are the most common and lowest cost dose forms at most pharmacies. 3

Weight (kg) Weight (lbs) Dose in mg # 100mg capsules # 300mg capsules
2.2 5 55 N/A N/A
4.5 10 112 1 N/A
6.8 15 112 1 N/A
9.1 20 227 2 N/A
11.3 25 339 N/A 1
13.6 30 340 N/A 1
15.8 35 474 1 1
18.1 40 500 2 1
20.4 45 600 N/A 2
23.7 50 600 N/A 2
24.9 55 700 1 2
27.2 60 700 1 2
29.5 65 800 2 2
31.8 70 800 2 2
34.0 75 900 N/A 3
36.3 80 1000 1 3

COST

Gabapentin is inexpensive, costing around $0.10-$0.13 per capsule. 3

References
  • https://www.merckvetmanual.com/
  • https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/vetr.453
  • https://www.goodrx.com/gabapentin
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