Yes, you can give a dog Xanax for anxiety.

But, you should seek a veterinarian’s advice before giving your dog Xanax.

Dogs can experience anxiety just like people do. Anxiety can be incredibly frustrating for dog owners, and it’s not easy to treat.

Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication used in humans.

It can be used safely in small doses by vets to treat severe separation anxiety or noise phobias in dogs.

Note: The information below is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the advice of your veterinarian.

Can You Give Human Xanax For Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

  • Anxiety in Dogs
  • Anxiety Triggering Factors in Dog
  • Giving Xanax To Dogs For Stress
  • Recommended Dosage
  • Xanax Cautions in Dogs
  • Drug Interactions
  • Paradoxical Effect
  • Xanax Side Effects 
  • Xanax Alternatives

1)    Anxiety in Dogs

Anxiety in dogs can be defined as an intense, chronic experience of fear that is abnormal and usually out of proportion to the actual threat.

It’s natural for dogs to be nervous or fearful of some things, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud noises.

The most common cause of anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is an intense fear of being left alone by their owners or family members.

It can cause the dog to exhibit destructive behavior.

They may also show signs of depression, such as loss of appetite or sleep disturbance. [1]

2)    Anxiety Triggering Factors in Dog

  • Not enough exercise
  • Unfamiliar surroundings
  • Confinement to an enclosed space (e.g., crate)
  • Separation from owner
  • Noise or other frightening stimuli [2]

3)    Giving Xanax To Dogs For Stress

Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam.

Alprazolam is a medicine that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which have sedative, calming effects on people and animals.

Xanax works by affecting GABA receptors in the brain to block the transmission of nerve impulses that trigger anxiety.

It is also used to treat insomnia and seizures.

Dogs with severe separation anxiety, thunderstorm phobia, or other phobias may benefit from taking Xanax. [3][4]

4)    Recommended Dosage

The easiest way to give Xanax to dogs is in pill form.

You can use capsules or tablets that are appropriate for dogs.

You can also crush tablets and mix them with food or water.

The suggested dose depends on the dog’s body weight. The typical starting dose rate for Xanax therapy in dogs is 0.01 – 0.05 mg per pound every 8-12 hours.

In addition to being prescribed by your vet, a dog should take Xanax under strict supervision. [5]

5)    Xanax Cautions in Dogs

Xanax is not recommended for use in dogs with liver disease, glaucoma, kidney disease, and heart problems.

It should also use with caution in dogs with diabetes or epilepsy.

Xanax should never give to pregnant or nursing female dogs because this drug can pass through breast milk and into an unborn puppy.

For dogs with kidney or liver problems, or if your dog is pregnant, consult your veterinarian before using Xanax.

6)    Drug Interactions

The following medications should not use with Xanax.

Not only can they negate the effects of Xanax, but they can also be dangerous when mixed with other drugs.

There should be at least a 2 hours difference when taking these medicines. [6]

  • Antacids
  • Antihistamines
  • Aspirin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Cimetidine

7)    Paradoxical effect

The paradoxical effect of Xanax occurs due to high doses. It can make a dog more anxious and hyperactive instead of less.

Researchers found that dogs given Xanax became more aggressive after taking it than before they were given the medication.

The signs of paradoxical excitement include restlessness, increased vocalization (barking), increased salivation (drooling), panting, and pupil dilation.

If your canine shows these signs within 30 minutes after taking Xanax, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. [7] [8]

8)    Xanax Side Effects

  • Drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia

Many veterinarians are now prescribing Xanax for dogs with severe anxiety (separation anxiety and noise phobias). [9]

9)    Xanax Alternatives in Dogs

Diazepam is another benzodiazepine frequently prescribed for dogs with anxiety or aggression problems.

It has similar effects as alprazolam but has a longer half-life, so it lasts longer in the system than alprazolam does.

Buspirone is another alternative to Xanax that can use to treat some types of canine anxiety or aggression problems.

Herbal medicines like valerian root and catnip have been shown to reduce anxiety levels in dogs.

These both are used in chew toys for dogs to reduce anxious behavior. [10] [11] [12]

Can I Give My Anxious Dog Xanax?

Yes, you can give your anxious dog Xanax. Xanax is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders in humans.

The drug can help relieve anxiety in nervous or fearful dogs, especially if they are going through a stressful situation.

It can also treat separation anxiety in dogs, which can be very distressing both for your dog and yourself.

Xanax should never give to a dog without veterinary approval and supervision.