The recommended dose of trazodone for dogs is 0.77 to 4.3 mg per pound of body weight. The frequency of administration can vary from every 8 to 24 hours, depending on the condition being treated and your dog’s response to the medication.
It is best to start with a low dose of 0.9 to 1.36 mg per pound of body weight given every 24 hours, and gradually increase as needed. If your dog is also taking other medications, lower doses of trazodone may be sufficient.
100 mg Trazodone dosage for dogs chart
|Dog’s weight (lbs)||Trazodone dosage (100 mg tablet)|
|10 to 20 lbs||1/4 tablet of 100 mg|
|21 to 30 lbs||1/4 tablet of 100 mg|
|31 to 40 lbs||1/2 tablet of 100 mg|
|41 to 50 lbs||1/2 tablet of 100 mg|
|51 to 60 lbs||1 tablet of 100 mg|
|61 to 70 lbs||1 tablet of 100 mg|
|71 to 90 lbs||1 and 1/4 tablets of 100 mg|
Trazodone Explained: What Is It and What Does It Do?
Trazodone is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI). Veterinarians prescribe it for dogs to manage anxiety-related behaviors, such as separation anxiety or reactions to noise like thunderstorms and fireworks.
Understanding Your Dog’s Anxiety
Before delving into the specifics of Trazodone administration, it’s crucial to understand why your dog might need it. Anxiety in dogs can manifest in various ways, from persistent barking and destructive behavior to excessive panting and restlessness. Identifying these signs is the first step towards addressing your dog’s discomfort.
Trazodone’s Role in Managing Anxiety
Trazodone acts on the brain’s serotonin levels, promoting feelings of calm and relaxation. It’s most often used to manage situational anxiety – for instance, during thunderstorms, vet visits, or when left alone. Regular administration can help make these potentially stressful situations more bearable for your dog.
When administering Trazodone, consistency is crucial. It’s typically given orally and should be given at the same time each day to maintain a steady level of the drug in your dog’s system. The exact timing will depend on your veterinarian’s instructions.
For best results, Trazodone should be given about an hour before the onset of the anxiety-inducing situation. This allows the drug to take full effect. If you’re struggling to get your dog to take Trazodone, consider disguising it in a treat or using a pill dispenser.
It’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. If you notice your dog is still experiencing significant anxiety despite being on Trazodone, do not increase the dose without consulting your vet. They can assess your pet’s condition and make appropriate adjustments to the medication regimen if needed.
Safety and Side Effects
While Trazodone is generally considered safe for dogs, it should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian to mitigate potential side effects. Drowsiness is the most common side effect, followed by gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. If these side effects persist or worsen, it’s crucial to contact your vet immediately.
In rare cases, Trazodone can cause a condition called Serotonin Syndrome, where too much serotonin accumulates in the brain. Signs include agitation, restlessness, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect your dog is experiencing this.
The Importance of Regular Vet Check-Ups
While Trazodone can be an effective tool in managing your dog’s anxiety, it’s not a substitute for regular veterinary care. Regular check-ups allow your vet to monitor your dog’s overall health and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. This proactive approach can help ensure your dog lives a happy, healthy life, free of unnecessary anxiety.
FAQs on Trazodone for Dogs
Can I give my dog Trazodone daily?
Yes, Trazodone can be administered daily, but only under the guidance of a veterinarian. Some dogs may need it regularly to manage ongoing anxiety, while others may only need it for sporadic anxiety-inducing events. Your vet will provide you with a specific dosing schedule based on your dog’s unique needs.
What happens if I miss giving my dog a dose of Trazodone?
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never give a double dose to make up for a missed one, as this could increase the risk of side effects.
Is it safe to give Trazodone with other medications?
Trazodone can interact with certain other medications, potentially causing adverse effects. Always inform your vet about any other drugs your dog is taking. This includes over-the-counter products, supplements, and herbal remedies. Your vet will decide if Trazodone can be safely administered alongside these medications.
Can my dog become dependent on Trazodone?
Trazodone is not known to cause physical dependence in dogs. However, if your dog has been on Trazodone for a long period, don’t suddenly stop giving it without consulting your vet. They may recommend a gradual reduction in dosage to avoid any withdrawal-like symptoms.
Can Trazodone help my dog with sleep problems?
Trazodone can potentially help dogs with sleep problems, particularly if these issues are rooted in anxiety. The drug’s sedative effects can help dogs settle down at night, promoting better quality sleep. However, it should not be used purely as a sleep aid; it should always be administered under the direction of a vet and for the appropriate indications.
How long does it take for Trazodone to start working in dogs?
Trazodone typically takes about an hour to take effect in dogs. This can vary based on factors like your dog’s size, metabolism, and the presence of food in their stomach. To ensure optimal effectiveness, try to give your dog Trazodone an hour before a known stressor, such as a vet visit or thunderstorm.
What should I do if my dog has a negative reaction to Trazodone?
If your dog exhibits signs of a negative reaction to Trazodone — such as excessive sedation, agitation, vomiting, or other severe symptoms — contact your veterinarian immediately. In rare cases, Trazodone can cause Serotonin Syndrome, a serious condition requiring urgent medical attention.
Does Trazodone affect my dog’s appetite?
While not common, some dogs may experience changes in appetite when taking Trazodone. They might eat less than usual or show a lack of interest in food. Always monitor your dog’s eating habits and consult your vet if you notice any significant changes.
Can Trazodone be used for long car trips with my dog?
Yes, Trazodone can be beneficial for dogs that experience anxiety during car rides. It can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable during the journey. Always consult with your vet before using Trazodone for this purpose, and never sedate your dog without a vet’s guidance.
Will Trazodone change my dog’s behavior?
Trazodone can cause temporary changes in your dog’s behavior due to its sedative effects. Dogs may appear more lethargic or relaxed while the drug is in their system. This should return to normal once the medication has worn off. If you notice any unusual or prolonged changes in your dog’s behavior, consult your vet.
What’s the best way to give Trazodone to my dog?
Trazodone is usually given orally as a tablet. You can give it to your dog directly or hide it in a treat or food if your dog is resistant. Always follow your vet’s specific instructions regarding administration.
Can puppies take Trazodone?
Trazodone can be administered to puppies, but only under a veterinarian’s direction. Puppies may require a different dosage or monitoring compared to adult dogs. Your vet will be able to provide the safest and most effective treatment plan for your puppy.
Does Trazodone cause any long-term effects in dogs?
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that Trazodone causes any harmful long-term effects in dogs when used appropriately under a vet’s supervision. However, every dog is unique, and long-term use should be monitored by a vet to ensure it remains the best course of action for your pet’s needs.
Can Trazodone be used in dogs with medical conditions?
Some medical conditions may affect a dog’s ability to safely take Trazodone. If your dog has any pre-existing conditions, especially liver or kidney disease, inform your vet before starting Trazodone. They will evaluate your dog’s overall health and decide if Trazodone is a safe choice.
How should I store Trazodone?
Store Trazodone at room temperature, away from moisture and light. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Do not store it in places with high humidity like the bathroom, and never use Trazodone beyond its expiration date.
How do I wean my dog off Trazodone?
If your vet decides that your dog no longer requires Trazodone, it’s important not to stop the medication suddenly. Your vet will likely recommend a gradual dosage reduction over a certain period to avoid potential withdrawal-like symptoms. Always follow your vet’s specific instructions on this process.
What if my dog accidentally ingests more Trazodone than prescribed?
If you suspect your dog has ingested an excess amount of Trazodone, contact your vet immediately or seek emergency veterinary care. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, slow heartbeat, fainting, or respiratory distress.
Can Trazodone be used for post-operative care in dogs?
Trazodone is frequently used as part of post-operative care in dogs to help manage anxiety and restlessness during the recovery period. Its calming effects can help keep your dog relaxed and prevent them from interfering with the surgical site.
How will I know if Trazodone is working for my dog?
When Trazodone is working effectively, you should observe a decrease in your dog’s anxiety symptoms. This may appear as a reduction in pacing, whining, shaking, or other behaviors associated with anxiety. However, each dog responds differently to medication. Regular check-ups with your vet will help monitor the drug’s effectiveness.
What should I discuss with my vet before giving Trazodone to my dog?
Before starting Trazodone, discuss your dog’s full medical history with your vet, including any other medications or supplements your dog is taking. Mention any behavioral changes you’ve noticed and share your concerns about your dog’s anxiety. This information will help your vet determine if Trazodone is the right choice for your pet.
Can Trazodone cause my dog to become too sedated?
While sedation is a desired effect of Trazodone, in some cases, dogs can become excessively sedated. If your dog shows signs of extreme lethargy, weakness, difficulty walking, or unusual sleepiness, contact your vet promptly. Your vet may recommend a dosage adjustment or consider another medication.
What should I do if I miss giving a dose of Trazodone?
If you miss a dose of Trazodone, give it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the regular dosing schedule. Don’t give your dog two doses at once as it can lead to an overdose.
Can Trazodone interact with other medications my dog is taking?
Trazodone can interact with certain medications, which can affect its effectiveness or cause adverse effects. Always inform your vet about all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, your dog is currently taking before starting Trazodone.
Can Trazodone cause a dry mouth in dogs?
Dry mouth is not a common side effect in dogs taking Trazodone. However, each dog reacts differently to medications. If you observe any changes in your dog’s mouth, such as excessive thirst or difficulty eating, contact your vet.
Can Trazodone be used in conjunction with behavioral training in dogs?
Yes, Trazodone is often used alongside behavioral modification programs to manage anxiety in dogs. The medication can help reduce anxiety levels, making dogs more receptive to training efforts. Always consult with your vet or a professional dog trainer to ensure a balanced approach to your dog’s anxiety treatment.