What You Need to Know about Treating Dog Anxiety with Medication
Like humans, dogs can experience anxiety. Luckily, also like humans, there are many steps you can take to help your furry friend alleviate that anxiety. Dog medication is one of your most effective options.
If you are considering giving your dog anxiety medication to help alleviate his suffering, there are some important things to know first. Here is some essential information about medicating dogs when they’re anxious.
Why Dogs Get Anxious
Dog anxiety can happen for a variety of reasons. First, dogs may experience separation anxiety when they’re apart from you. Next, your dog may be getting older — and aging can go hand in hand with feeling anxious. Finally, a dog might simply be fearful of something, whether it’s a storm, fireworks, visitors at your home or something entirely different.
What Dog Anxiety Looks Like
If you want to know whether your dog is anxious, it can help to know the symptoms of dog anxiety. Some of the symptoms including panting, pacing, restlessness, going to the bathroom inside, barking incessantly, drooling, being aggressive and repeating a behavior over and over (like licking his nose).
What Types of Dog Anxiety Medication Are There
There are several different types of medicine that you can give your dog to help him feel less anxious. Here are some of the most popular.
Over the Counter Anxiety Medication
There are over the counter anxiety medications you can give to your dog without a prescription, although you should certainly ask your vet’s advice before you buy and administer them. Some vets recommend giving your dog a very small amount of Benadryl or offering your pup a homeopathic substance to soothe him.
Prescription Anxiety Medication
More serious anxiety medications must be prescribed by your vet, similar to other prescription medicines like Apoquel for atopic dermatitis.
Some of the anxiety medications prescribed for dog anxiety are also prescribed for human anxiety. These medicines include Alprazolam, Amitriptyline and Buspirone. There are other prescription medications for dog anxiety including Clomicalm.
Go to your vet to discuss your dog’s anxiety, and ask if the vet recommends an anxiety medication. He will have a good idea about which medicine will work best, which dosage to give and how to administer the medicine.
Other Anxiety Soothers
Your dog doesn’t necessarily have to be on medication if he suffers from severe anxiety. There are other products that can help calm him down. A Thundershirt, for instance, is a tight shirt that velcros around a dog’s body and makes him feel snug and secure. Calming collars are also popular. They calm dogs by placing soothing pheromones around his neck.
There are also herbal tablets and sprays that can help naturally reduce your dog’s feelings of anxiety and fear. Speak to your vet about each of the products before you choose to use them with your dog. You want to make sure the products are safe and appropriate for your dog.
Dogs that suffer from anxiety can have a very low quality of life. However, there are medications that can help your dog feel better. Speak to your vet about your medication options, and give your dog the medicine with care. Hopefully, it will help remedy his suffering and allow him (and you!) to fully experience and love his life.