Uses, Dosage, and Potential Side Effects of Dog Xanax

Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are extremely common in canines, being caused by environmental factors, illnesses, or change in routine. Such behavior is likely to result in unusual lethargy, appetite loss, and digestive problems.

Fortunately, Xanax is believed to be a miracle drug when it comes to the treatment of anxious behavior in pets. It’s a benzodiazepine drug whose role is stimulating the release of GABA neurotransmitters, known for their calming and sedating effect on the central nervous system.

These are the main uses, recommended dosage, potential side effects, and precautions of Xanax.

Main uses

Owing to its relaxing properties, Xanax is believed to be one of the most effective drugs, used in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks in dogs. Most canines tend to experience panic attacks when being exposed to unexpected noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or gunshots, resulting in uncontrollable shaking, rapid breathing, and desperate hiding. Read more about the most common signs and treatment for noise phobia in dogs.

Moreover, panic attacks in canines are common when being confined or suffering from a certain medical condition. As a result, these furry creatures might demonstrate belligerent behavior towards everyone in their surroundings, even to their owners.

Separation anxiety is another reason why pet parents administer Xanax to their beloved companions. This type of anxiety manifests in clingy behavior when the owner is at home, followed by a destructive behavior as soon as he/she leaves the house. By urinating, howling, or destroying the furniture, canines wish to express their revolt and fear for being left alone.

Similar to humans, dogs suffer from multiple phobias, which lead to anxious behavior every time they are faced with unpleasant situations. For instance, the majority of dogs have phobias of going to the veterinarian, riding in a car, climbing the stairs, or meeting strangers. Therefore, Xanax is supposed to be administered prior to exposing your pet to some of its phobias.

Besides being used for panic attacks and anxiety-related disorders, Xanax is known for its role in the treatment of spastic colon, otherwise known as the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in dogs. Its muscle-relaxing properties prevent the abnormal contraction of intestine muscles, thus avoiding constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal sensitivity. This drug is also capable of restoring pets’ appetite when losing interest in food.

Ultimately, Xanax can be used in the treatment of depression and aggressive behavior as well. Anyhow, in such cases, make sure you avoid long-term use, as the adverse effects of this drug might manifest in depressive behavior.

Recommended dosage

Regarding dosage, this drug should be prescribed by a veterinarian, after performing a detailed check-up of your furry companion. Consequently, the right dosage of xanax is supposed to be based on the type of anxiety-related disorder, the seriousness of the medical condition, the weight, and the age of the pet. For instance, dogs experiencing panic attacks need to receive 0,01 to 0,05 milligrams per kilogram, two times per day. Bear in mind that no canine, regardless of its size, should be administered more than 4 milligrams of Xanax per day.

Apart from being sold in the form of tablets, Xanax can be purchased in the form of a concentrated liquid as well. When using this medication in a liquid form, the optimal dosage ranges from one to five milliliters, depending on your pet’s weight.

Moreover, in order to protect your furry companion from experiencing potential side effects and allergic reactions to the medication, make sure you commence the treatment with a low dose. After testing its effects for a few days, you are expected to increase the dose gradually.

Additionally, when being done with the treatment, the administration of Xanax shouldn’t be immediately stopped so as to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the dose should be decreased continuously by following your vet’s recommendations.

Potential side effects

Despite being a powerful tranquilizer, Xanax is popular for its mild side effects, the most common one being fatigue. Due to its sedating properties, your companion might become overly lethargic, sleepy, and disoriented.

In addition, this drug might cause adverse effects in the form of gastrointestinal issues like constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s also common for dogs to develop an allergic reaction to this medication, which results in bleeding, facial swelling, hives, and potential seizures. Visit the following link,, to check out some of the most common allergic reactions in canines.

Furthermore, some dogs might experience the paradoxical effect when taking Xanax, which refers to achieving the completely opposite effect. Consequently, your companion won’t be relieved from its anxiety and depression when taking the drug but become more depressed or aggressive.

As previously mentioned, dogs using Xanax as a long-term treatment are susceptible to experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as photophobia, vomiting, nausea, and trembling. Therefore, make sure your pet receives doses that won’t cause dependence.


Besides being a popular drug, Xanax isn’t beneficial in the treatment of all breeds of canines. It should be avoided in pets experiencing liver and kidney problems as well as the ones with muscle weakness. Senior pets and pregnant canines aren’t supposed to take this medication as well. Therefore, a vet consultation is obligatory before purchasing such medication.

Bottom line

Xanax can genuinely suppress the stress response of your pet’s central nervous system.

Your beloved companion will no longer be anxious or depressed for no good reason!