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If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety, you know how difficult it can be to get through the day. The same goes for our furry little friends. That’s right, our pets can suffer from anxiety too, and you might have stumbled across this article wondering, “Can I Give My Dogs Xanax?”
Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is the only anti-anxiety drug that is prescribed to dogs and cats by a veterinarian. Xanax is a form of tranquilizer and often given to those who suffer from anxiety and stress. It belongs to the drug class benzodiazepine which can become highly addictive if taken in excess and for an extended period of time. Due to its quick-acting properties, it is often only intended for short-term use. In the case of when addiction occurs, withdrawal must be done slowly and gradually under the supervision of a healthcare professional as this can be true for both humans and animals.
What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety In Dogs?
Anxiety may result from a form of trauma or abuse. Most commonly, anxiety can also result due to separation from their families, home, or even being separated from their mothers from a young age. Anxious dogs may also fear noises, such as thunder, fireworks, construction, vacuum cleaners, or certain noises and may also have social anxiety where they fear other humans or animals.
Some symptoms to look out for that may indicate your dog has anxiety are:
- Attempts at escaping a crate, room, or closed space
- Compulsive or repetitive behaviors
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Excessive licking or chewing
- Seeking comfort or attention
- Hiding in fear or searching for solitude
- Urinating or defecating inside the house even when housebroken
Caution: Xanax for Dogs and Dosage
Since Xanax can be prescribed to dogs by veterinarians, you’re probably thinking, “Is Xanax for dogs?” The answer is no.
The Xanax that you most likely have is meant for human consumption. Generally, prescriptions intended for human consumption have higher dosages simply due to our body’s build, such as by weight, and humans generally weigh twice or even thrice as much as their dogs do. What may be the right dosage for you, even in the form of a single pill, may be extremely high for a dog. Never give your dog Xanax unless prescribed by your vet because they are able to assess an appropriate dosage.
General Prescriptions and OTC
What Can I do for my Dog’s Anxiety?
Just because Xanax can be prescribed to a dog by a veterinarian, doesn’t mean you should be giving him over-the-counter medications without the advice of a vet. Remember, a majority of people love chocolate but it should never be given to a dog because it can result in complications or even death. While you may have good intentions for wanting to give your dog a certain medication, doing so could result in a severe, or even fatal, adverse reaction.
It can be devastating when your pup is dealing with anxiety, but what can you do to provide him relief if it isn’t advised to give him Xanax or other prescription drugs? There are numerous alternative methods you can do, both naturally and at home, to help ease your pet’s anxiety.
1. PCR Hemp Oil
Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) Hemp Oil, or CBD oil for dogs is an all-natural alternative to relieving symptoms of anxiety. Hemp oil doesn’t require a prescription and can conveniently be bought online and delivered right to your doorstep. PCR Hemp oil has seen popularity arise as humans have been implementing it into their daily routines to relieve numerous symptoms such as anxiety, acute and chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy, improve their overall health, and many more.
Have you heard of using Lavender to calm or help improve sleep? The same may be true for our four-legged friends. Essential oils such as lavender can be sprayed onto your pet’s bedding, chew toys, on-the-go, areas where he most often stays or lays down on, or even his paws! Lavender has sedative properties in its scent and is associated with feeling calm and restful. Another great alternative is chamomile. However, you may want to test small patches first in case your dog may have any allergic reactions. If it isn’t as effective for your pet, you can always use it for yourself, too!
TLC, or the old fashioned tender loving care. Pets love the attention we give them, and when they’re in a state of panic or anxiety, sometimes a little ol’ TLC is all they need to relax, stay rest assured, and feel safe again. Anxiety most often arises in times of sudden change, activities, or events, but if you stay with your pet every step of the way during that sudden event and provide him with some extra love, you can show him that the new situation is only temporary, and that he’ll be rewarded afterwards when things are back to normal. You can show him some extra TLC in the form of hugs, belly rubs, playtime, or a tasty treat.
Just like exercise can be a wonderful stress reliever for humans, the same goes for our furry friends! Exercise stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical and feeling we get after a really good workout. It also removes all the pent-up, stored tension, and energy that can be one of the main causes of anxiety. Getting a good workout for your pup each day may show effective relief of tension, and keep him healthy at the same time. If you don’t have time for a long walk or a jogging session, you can opt to play a long game of fetch.
5. Relaxing Massage
Everyone, and even dogs, loves a good massage! Giving your dog a massage with long, slow strokes can actually soothe the nerves and stimulate a feeling of calmness. Science shows that physical contact with your dog, such as petting him, can also soothe your own nerves. It’s a win-win for both dog and human, and it builds a strong bond between both parties!
6. Dog-Calming Music
Music has a special power in humans, and we often find ourselves listening to music of all kinds. Music can be used to calm your dog, too. There are selections of music that can be used to desensitize a dog who experiences noise phobias. Some people leave the radio on for dogs who experience separation anxiety when they’re away from home. You can find a wide range of selections available on the internet, along with playlists if you’ll be gone for more than a few hours.