Using Xanax for Dogs with Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can greatly affect your pet’s quality of life but with Xanax dogs have shown improvement in their behavior. Although it might take some time for your dog to overcome any anxiety or behavior issues, there are ways of controlling these conditions.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
There are a number of causes behind anxiety in dogs. These include:
- Frequent or repeated mishandling
- Separation anxiety if the dog is left alone for long periods of time
- Past mistreatment
- A noisy and/or busy living environment
- A sudden change in the environment (e.g. when you move house)
- The death of a companion pet or an owner
- Fear of a perceived threat
- External stimuli (e.g. thunderstorms)
- Physical or medical problems
Anxiety disorders aren’t necessarily always an indication of dog depression so it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet to rule out any physical factors in your dog’s behavior. Remember that if you have a smaller breed of dog, they are more likely to be intimidated by noise or a busy household than larger dogs are.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders in Dogs?
Although there are recognizable signs of anxiety in dogs, the symptoms below are not limited to anxiety and could be an indication of something else affecting your dog’s health.
- Destructive behavior (chewing furniture, shoes, etc.)
- Certain actions like picking up your keys or putting on a jacket make your dog excited
- Urinating inside even though they are house trained
- Following you everywhere while you are at home
- Lack of appetite
- Biting and other violent behavior
Anxiety in dogs is not incurable and there are different ways it can be treated. Some owners take their dogs to a specialist handler to receive behavior training. However, your vet may also prescribe medication and this has been proven to be an effective method of calming dogs that are stressed or suffering from anxiety disorders.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name of Alprazolam. It is a behavior modifying drug that is given to humans but has also been used effectively in the treatment of dogs with anxiety disorders too. The drug works as a mild tranquilizer and calms the animal. It can also be used on cats.
The drug can be used for any kind of anxiety or stress disorder, whether it has been caused by the death of a fellow pet or a more long-term problem, such as mistreatment.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Xanax?
Like all medications, there are potential side effects associated with using Xanax. The main one is drowsiness – Xanax is a tranquilizer so as well as making your dog calmer, it may also make it sleepier. Due to the sleepiness, your dog might also become clumsier. If this is the case then it is important to keep an eye on them in case they hurt themselves.
Dogs are given a special dosage of Xanax by their vet and human Xanax should never be given to animals. The dosage in a human pill is much too high and could be fatal to your dog.
Anxiety disorders can be disruptive but with the use of medications like Xanax and additional training from an experienced handler, your dog can regain the quality of life it deserves.