Can Trazodone Kill A Dog

Can Trazodone Kill A Dog?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Trazodone is a prescription medication and, as with humans, it should only be given to dogs after consulting a medical expert, in this case, a veterinarian. Trazodone overdose can result in death for dogs consuming too much of the drug. Overdose symptoms include seizures, loss of consciousness, vomiting, and coma.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Trazodone Kill A Dog?“.

The same as humans dogs are prone to anxiety and high levels of stress. They are constantly exposed to sounds sights and situations that may not make sense to them. 

Can Trazodone Kill A Dog

In addition they must endure deafening thunderstorms unwelcome visits to the vet unfamiliar strangers entering their space and the list goes on. 

Other dogs might find themselves in a constant state of distress despite being able to stomach watching the world go by. 

These behaviors can be exhausting for your dog and the fearful and anxious behavior they exhibit may put other dogs and humans at risk. 

If training and increased socialization are not successful in improving your dogs anxiety your vet may recommend Trazodone a common antidepressant. Choosing whether or not to give your dog Trazodone can be a challenge. 

After reading this article you will have all the information you need about treating your dog with Trazodone.  

What Is Trazodone? 

Trazodone is an antidepressant drug commonly used by humans to treat depression and anxiety. It is marketed under the brand names Desyrel and Oleptro. As a neurotransmitter serotonin is called the happy chemical because it helps restore the brains balance of serotonin. 

Serotonin plays a vital role in regulating mood and promoting happiness. Serotonin is selectively blocked by the drug. This in turn leads to an increase in serotonin levels which in turn enhances its effects. 

Humans have been prescribed Trazodone since 1981 and it is now one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. 

As a treatment for canine anxiety disorders trazodone has also been shown to be beneficial and safe for dogs. Trazodone is therefore commonly prescribed by veterinarians to dogs. 

When Will My Vet Prescribe My Dog Trazodone? 

In a number of cases veterinarians prescribe Trazodone to dogs to treat anxiety. In dogs trazodone can be used to treat general anxiety such as separation anxiety which is characterized by behaviors such as barking growling destroying property or having accidents in the house while their owner is away. 

Trazodone can also be used to treat dogs’ anxiety caused by phobias including anxiety caused by loud noise travel and hospitalization.

Many veterinarians recommend behavioral interventions such as professional training before prescribing Trazodone. 

Negative side-effects are more likely to occur in dogs with hypersensitivity to the medication or those with kidney disease liver disease or narrow-angle glaucoma.

What Dosage of Trazodone Should Be Given to Dogs?

The dose of Trazodone prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety in dogs could vary significantly from that stated on the label depending on the dogs weight. Trazodone is often prescribed as an off-label drug when treating anxiety in dogs.  

In general veterinarians will prescribe dogs 1 mg to 3 mg of trazodone per pound per day for generalized anxiety. Due to its rapid-acting nature Trazodone can be used 90 minutes before a visit to the veterinarian for separation anxiety and other panic-inducing situations.

A combination of Trazodone and other drugs can be used to enhance its effects. Veterinarians prescribe dogs trazodone starting at 0.9 mg to 2.3 mg and increasing as needed to a maximum dose of 6.4 mg per pound per day when combined with mild sedatives or tricyclic antidepressants such as Amitriptyline or Clomipramine. 

Trazodone is metabolized differently by certain antifungal medications such as Fluconazole which makes the dog more sensitive to the drug. Trazodone should be administered less often when combined with antifungals.

Owners should let their vet know if their dog is taking any other medications or has any health problems before receiving a prescription for Trazodone.

How To Administer Trazodone To Dogs Correctly? 

White tablets of Trazodone are typically available in 50 mg 100 mg and 150 mg immediate-release dosages as well as higher-dose extended-release dosages. The drug is sometimes prescribed in liquid or capsule form. 

Orally administered Trazodone. Despite being able to be given to dogs on an empty stomach it can have more pronounced side effects. 

Prior to being given Trazodone dogs should be given a small snack or meal; this helps to regulate the rate at which the drug is absorbed into the dogs system. Always give Trazodone whole not crushed. 

If you accidentally forget to give your dog his scheduled dose of trazodone there are a few things you can do. Whenever you remember you can administer trazodone to your dog. If the missed dose is close to the time the dog would receive the next scheduled dose of trazodone anyways the missed dose can be skipped. 

Trazodone should never be given to a dog in excess of one dose or extra doses at once as this can result in the dog overdosing. 

How To Give A Trazodone Pill To A Dog Successfully?

How to give a dog a pill has been described in a number of videos and articles. 

In general dogs that enjoy gulping down treats without chewing can be given Trazodone by wrapping the pills in cheese or bread and placing them far enough back in the dogs mouth so that it can simply swallow the pills. 

A pill should be placed behind the dogs hump in his mouth so that he will instinctively swallow the trazodone. After the dogs mouth has been closed the throat should be stroked gently in a downward motion to encourage the dog to swallow the Trazodone pill. 

When inserted into the mouth of a dog these methods work best if they are unlikely to bite. You can consult your veterinarian if you feel these methods will not work for your dog. 

How Long Does It Take For Trazodone To Work On Dogs?

Fast-acting Trazodone is an antidepressant. The medication begins working on dogs within 30 minutes to 2 hours of receiving it for short-term situation anxiety such as separation anxiety. 

The dog may experience a more gradual effect of Trazodone when prescribed in smaller doses such as for generalized anxiety. 

How Long Does It Take Trazodone To Wear Off On Dogs?

The liver metabolizes tramadol and the kidneys excrete it. Trazodones effects usually last at least four hours. There is a 7-hour half-life for the active ingredient in the drug. 

The effects of the medication should stop within 24 hours after administration although the effects may last longer if the dogs metabolism is compromised by liver or kidney problems.

What Are The Side-Effects Of Trazodone For Dogs? 

When dogs are treated with Trazodone mild side effects may occur. Some of the immediate side effects include dilated pupils sedation tiredness vomiting colon inflammation poor muscle control painful erections panting diarrhea irregular heartbeat and increased appetite. 

Increased anxiety and increased aggression are examples of counterproductive side effects. Serotonin syndrome may occur when Trazodone is taken with other drugs that block serotonin reuptake. 

Dogs with serotonin syndrome may experience excessive effects from serotonin due to an overstimulation of the receptors. 

Mental changes such as agitation depression neuromuscular abnormalities such as loss of movement control vocalization disorientation and paralysis and altered body functions such as elevated temperature difficulty breathing skin sensitivity vomiting and diarrhea are typical. 

You should immediately contact your vet if you see any of these signs while your dog is taking Trazodone.

Can A Trazodone Kill Dogs? 

A concern when giving dogs human pills is that the pill could harm or even kill the dog. Trazodone is a prescription medication and as with humans it should only be given to dogs after consulting a medical expert in this case a veterinarian. 

Trazodone overdose can result in death for dogs consuming too much of the drug. Overdose symptoms include seizures loss of consciousness vomiting and coma. Trazodone should be administered according to a veterinarians instructions to avoid trazodone overdose. 

You should never leave Trazodone pills anywhere where your dog can access them. Even asymptomatic dogs can experience vomiting within an hour after ingesting Trazodone pills if they accidentally ingest them. 

Are There Any Alternatives To Trazodone For Dogs?

Instead of visiting the vet to get your dog started on Trazodone you may be tempted to just rummage through your medicine cabinet and give your pet a non-prescription human medication. 

During high-stress situations like thunderstorms or fireworks some people use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) as a sedative to calm their dogs. 

Drugs such as Benadryl may alleviate symptoms in some dogs but the effects are not as strong in dogs as they are in people and these drugs should not be used long-term. 

It is imperative that you seek medical advice from your veterinarian. You should never treat your dog medically on your own.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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