Dogs have been men’s best friends for thousands of years. It is the first ever and only carnivorous animal to be domesticated by humans was a dog. The dog started to diverge from the wolf around some thirty to forty thousand years ago. And ever since then the species has changed a lot and has come to be what we see today. Since ancient times dogs have always been cautious and vigilant creatures. They show signs of aggression, fear, and anxiety when in a different environment, around strangers, or while being around other dogs that they are not aware of. For dogs to be more calm and help them with their anxiety or fear many veterinarians prescribe Xanax for dogs.
The commonly seen reason for the fear and anxiety among dogs nowadays is being left alone in the house as it is physically not possible for every owner to be around their dog all day, another is seeing another dog around them which can cause fear and aggression, loud noises of thunder and crackers also induces fear and anxiety disorders in many dogs, and complete change of environment caused by relocating to a new place or frequent travelling can also cause anxiety among the dog.
In this blog, we will be providing the uses of Xanax to ease the anxiety of our little friends.
Xanax: The Basic Information
Xanax, which is a brand name for alprazolam. It is a commonly used psychotropic medication of the benzodiazepine class and is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, phobia, and panic disorder. It helps in reducing fear, restlessness, and uneasiness and is available in the form of a tablet or liquid solution.
Xanax takes effect by affecting the GABA acronym for “gamma-aminobutyric acid”. GABA is a neurotransmitter present in the brain. It helps decrease fear, unease, and anxiety as it produces a calming effect by reducing the activity of nerve cells.
Xanax increases the GABA activity which in turn decreases the anxiety and panic by stabilising the increased heart rate due to fear or unease. It is a very potent drug and has its own potential side effects so Xanax should only be used under the prescription of a veterinarian.
Xanax dosage for dogs:
Xanax is a medicine that can only be used under prescription. Thus should always be given to a dog by the prescription of a veterinarian and should never be taken as the same prescribed to a human. The amount of Xanax given to the dog is very different than that of humans. Along with that, it is entirely possible that the same dose is not prescribed to different species of dogs. So the same dose should not be shared amongst the dogs too.
The amount of Xanax required can vary from dog to dog based on their breed, weight, and severity of their conditions. The general dosage for Xanax commonly used for dogs mainly ranges from 0.1 to 0.01 milligrams per kilogram which is mg/kg of the dog’s body weight.
Under any condition, the dosage can never be more than four milligrams per kilogram(mg/kg) in any dog irrespective of their weight and breed.
Xanax can be consumed orally through tablets or by making a liquid solution. It is important to make sure that no other medication should be mixed in it. It is very potent and starts taking effect quickly in about one to two hours. Xanax can not be given to dogs that have liver or kidney problems.
NOTE: It is important to consult the dosage for your dog to a veterinarian.
Xanax effective duration in dogs:
Xanax after consumption takes effect in around one or two hours in dogs and is recommended to be given thirty to sixty minutes before the panic attack. It can stay effective for different time periods but usually, it stays effective for a duration of about six to ten hours among dogs. If it stays effective for a longer period of time for your dog then it is recommended to consult your veterinarian for the better health of your pet. Xanax is digested within twenty-four hours if the dog has a healthy kidney.
The Xanax side effects in dogs:
Xanax can have many side effects on the dogs if overdosed. It can cause severe respiratory problems and overdosing can also cause some heart issues. Even though Xanax is used for anxiety reduction, its prolonged use can change the behavior of the dog permanently. The behavior of the dog gets more aggressive and agitated after prolonged use of Xanax.
Xanax can cause severe sedation effects, making the dog sleepy and lazy all the time. It makes the dog look very lethargic. It can potentially give rise to the appetite of the dog, the effect can be permanent if not treated timely. Xanax may cause a lack of muscle-mind coordination in dogs. And makes it harder for the dog to maintain its balance and thus affecting its daily life.
Replacement of Xanax:
Xanax can be a permanent solution for some but for some, it may not resolve the problem permanently and due to multiple side effects it is never recommended to use Xanax for a prolonged period of time so there are some other ways to help the dog reduce its anxiety and fear.
Anxiety disorder and Panic disorder among dogs make them behave either aggressively or makes them timid, both of which are never good for a dog’s mental health. To overcome this problem there are multiple solutions apart from Xanax such as:
- Regular exercise for the dog is a very effective way to reduce anxiety and restlessness. Exercise is helpful for keeping the dog’s physical and mental well-being always at its best.
- Tight-fitting clothing for dogs is also recommended for reducing anxiety. It gives them a feeling of comfort in anxiety-inducing situations.
- It is important to socialize the dog from a young age. Make them aware of various environments so that the dog can get used to people and other dogs too.
- For very severe cases like aggressive behavior, it is recommended to show the dog to a behavioral expert.
Dogs have always been a friend to us, so it becomes our duty to look forward to their comfort and well-being and Xanax is a way of doing so. But that does not mean it is the only way. Do not necessarily try to give your dog the medication if they do not need them. Instead, you can also try some natural ways to reduce the anxiety as given above.