It’s a running joke among professionals in the dog industry that high-strung dogs should be on Prozac. While this used to be a joke and nothing more, it’s actually a legitimate treatment for anxiety and certain behavioral problems. If you’ve been working hard with your dog to eliminate destructive anxiety or behavioral issues but behavior modification isn’t doing the trick, you should investigate the use of Prozac.
Prozac for Dogs
Prozac (fluoxetine) is prescribed so commonly in dogs that there’s actually a veterinary equivalent. The brand name for veterinary fluoxetine is called Reconcile. Like any medication used to treat anxiety, aggression, or behavior problems, Prozac works best when it’s used in conjunction with dedicated training. The medication is designed to work with the training, and most vets will insist your dog is working with a trainer before they prescribe an SSRI for behavioral problems.
Prozac is incredibly safe for dogs–obviously, since there is a brand marketed specifically for veterinary use in canines. The drug is safe for dogs that are healthy and without any neurological or organ disorders. Dogs with a history of seizures or an epilepsy diagnosis shouldn’t be prescribed Prozac because the drug has a risk of causing seizures. There are other pharmaceutical alternatives for calming down a dog that won’t risk inducing a seizure. Liver conditions also rule out the use of Prozac. The liver is the organ responsible for breaking the drug down, and your vet won’t prescribe a medication that further taxes an impaired liver.
The use of Prozac in aggressive dogs is controversial. Some individuals believe Prozac is effective at managing aggression, but many vets caution against administering Prozac in aggressive dogs because it can exacerbate it. There are different SSRIs appropriate for aggressive dogs that won’t make their behavior worse.
Side Effects of Prozac
The most common side effects are diarrhea, panting, and increased anxiety. This “new” anxiety can present as pacing, excitability, or excessive panting. Since Prozac is prescribed to combat these symptoms, many owners think this is an indication of the drug not working. It’s always important to consult with a vet, but these side effects typically disappear within a few weeks once the brain has adjusted to the Prozac. Other dogs become aggressive which is why many vets won’t prescribe Prozac to naturally aggressive dogs. Aggression is a normal side effect, but it is dangerous, so it’s important to report this to your vet immediately.
Serotonin syndrome is a dangerous condition that can occur when SSRI medications are given to canines. It’s very rare, but it’s something to be aware of when beginning an SSRI treatment regimen. Serotonin syndrome occurs when the central nervous system has a rapid and dangerous increase of serotonin. It typically happens when the dog is given an MAO inhibitor with the SSRI, but it still happens without this interaction. If you notice high blood pressure, an elevated body temperature, and a rapid heart rate, it’s time to be concerned and call your vet. Other signs include restlessness, muscle rigidity, muscle tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even though it’s a rare condition, don’t dismiss any symptoms you think are fishy.
Unless you’re a veterinarian, you should never be the one calculating your dog’s Prozac dosage. While there is a base dosage calculated by your dog’s weight, their weight isn’t the only factor in the calculation. First, it’s recommended your dog be on as low of a dose as possible. It reduces the likelihood of side effects and eases stress on the body’s organs. A proper dosage depends on your dog’s age, health history, and the severity of their disorders. Since Prozac is considered a controlled substance, you can only get it through a veterinarian, but many people will give their dogs Prozac from their personal prescription. This is how overdoses and dangerous medication interactions occur.
The typical recommended dosage is 0.5-0.9 mb/lb. Some sources consider this the upper limit, meaning the amount shouldn’t go above this range. However, other sources say 1.35 mgl/lb is a safe maximum. This stresses the importance of letting your vet decide the appropriate dose for your dog.
While considered a very safe drug, it’s important to use discretion when you begin a Prozac regimen. This drug should only be administered under the guidance of your vet. This ensures the medication is working, but it also prevents your dog from experiencing side effects that can range in severity from normal to deadly.
Prozac For Dogs | Benefits & Side Effects Of Prozac!
What Is Prozac?
Prozac is an antidepressant. The generic name for Prozac is fluoxetine. This drug belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) category and is usually used to bring balance to mental conditions by regulating the serotonin levels in the brain.
Some conditions where SSRIs are usually prescribed include anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, bulimia, and OCD. It’s also used for dogs under certain circumstances, which we shall discuss below.
A word of caution: Never give any drug to your doggo before consulting a vet first!
Facts about Prozac and dogs
The fast-paced human lives are taking a toll on the mental health of dogs as well.
They can not speak up about their troubles but they sure show it through signs and symptoms. While the mental issues of dogs aren’t as complex as those of humans, nonetheless, they are pretty detrimental to the dogs.
It can negatively impact their health, and it is imperative to treat the symptoms at the earliest. Prozac is used to treat anxiety symptoms in the dog. Canine anxiety is at its highest in these times, and Prozac is a commonly prescribed remedy for it.
After a thorough diagnosis, your vet may prescribe Prozac for the dog. Never self-diagnose a dog for any health condition and start any medication. Such situations mostly end in horrible results.
CAN DOGS TAKE PROZAC?
Yes, Prozac is used to treat anxieties in dogs; separation anxiety being the most common one.
The safe Prozac dosage for dogs will vary from one dog to another, and it is always recommended that you take your dogs to the vet if you see anything worrisome about their condition.
Prozac is usually a safe drug, but its consumption for a longer period can cause side effects.
Should I Give Prozac To My Dog?
No. Not on your own. Prozac is a safe drug for dogs in certain situations only. If you find something odd with your dog, it is recommended that you take them to the vet immediately.
The vet will thoroughly examine your furbaby and give the necessary med prescription.
Do dogs really need Prozac?
Prozac is the most common prescription for one common anxiety type in dogs- separation anxiety.
If your dog has separation anxiety, then you should handle that first. Mild to moderate symptoms of separation anxiety can be cured without Prozac.
Dogs develop separation anxiety for various reasons. Some of them are:
- Being left alone for extended periods.
- Not getting enough mental stimulation as before.
- Not getting enough affection from their humans.
- A traumatic event.
- Constant changes in the routine.
All these issues can be addressed by giving time and affection to your dogs. So dogs don’t really need Prozac unless the vet believes there’s no way out other than medication.
How do I know my dog needs Prozac?
Dogs will display symptoms that’ll be unusual.
Again, the symptoms will vary from one furbaby to another. Anxieties induce different behaviors in different dogs. Some become aggressive and will display destructive behaviors like they’d attack your couches, cushions, bed, or even shoes.
Some dogs, on the other hand, will become depressed and go into silent mode. Some dogs will start seeking unusually high levels of attention when you are around and would resist or become insecure whenever you want to leave.
So the symptoms will vary. The safest thing to do is to note any unusual behaviors and discuss them with the vet for better guidance about your furbaby’s health.
Why should I give Prozac to Dogs?
You should only give Prozac to dogs when the vet tells you to do so. The common reason why a vet prescribes Prozac to dogs is anxiety. Specially separation anxiety.
But, with enough attention and care for the dog, you can resolve the problem without any medication. Though, in some serious cases, such as extreme anxieties, traumatic situations, and panic attacks, Prozac could be a must to bring your good boy to ease.
However, don’t give it to your dog on your own as he may face the side effects of Prozac.
How long does it take Prozac to work in dogs?
Since Prozac mainly works with serotonin levels of the dog’s brain, it can take some time to act. The usual time that it takes for Prozac to show significant results is somewhere between 3 to 4 weeks.
But it really depends upon a lot of factors. For instance, the severity of the problem, the age and breed of your dog, etc.
However, remember that it’s not a fast “pop-it and fix-it” pill. Your vet can better guide you about how long the course should continue to show effective results.
Benefits of Prozac to dogs
Prozac shows several positive benefits for dogs. It helps with their anxieties, irritation, aggressive and destructive behaviors, etc.
It also helps dogs with their fear of anything.
Prozac helps change the brain chemistry of the consumer, be it a human, dog, or any other animal. However, many of the dog issues can go away with proper care and attention.
With benefits also come the side effects. It is best to give Prozac to your dog only when the vet thinks it’s necessary to do so!
Side effects of Prozac for dogs
The common side effects of Prozac for dogs include sleepiness, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, unexplained restlessness, etc.
In some cases, the dogs may even lose their appetite and eat way less than usual. Unmonitored Prozac consumption can throw dogs into great trouble. It’s best that you give your dog Prozac only upon the vet’s prescription.
Also, for mild issues, it’s best to avoid Prozac and go for alternative options such as pheromone and vitamin therapy.
Although many side effects are severe and may only come up when you give the max dose to your dogs. In some cases, the side effects are the necessary evil to heal your dogs of the health conditions they suffer,
But, it’s highly recommended that you don’t keep your dogs on Prozac for any more than what’s needed.
Is Prozac Bad For Dogs?
Prozac is harmful to dogs when given to them without a prescription and professional supervision. Otherwise, when necessary, Prozac can treat your dogs for several mental issues such as anxiety, separation anxiety, anger issues, etc.
It is best to consult a vet and let them decide whether your dog needs Prozac or not. Just like humans, unnecessary medicine consumption is harmful to dogs as well. But when needed, it can solve problems as well.
PROZAC DOSAGE FOR DOGS
The dosage of Prozac for dogs depends upon several factors. Some of which are:
- The severity of the problem
- The age of the dog
- The breed and size of the dog
- Whether they have other health issues or not.
So really, the best judge of the Prozac dosage for your dog can be your vet. However, the usual Prozac dosage given to the dogs is somewhere between 0.5 to 0.9mg per pound per day. So let’s say your dog weighs 25 pounds, so the dosage can vary between 12.5mg to 22 mg.
Best time to give Prozac to dogs?
Prozac is usually given once a day without any specific time. Since the medicine works slowly and restores hormonal balance, it doesn’t really make a difference at what time you give it to the dog.
However, different dogs have different needs, and the vet can better guide you about the best time that can make Prozac work most efficiently for your dog.
When should I not give Prozac to my dog?
There are several situations where you shouldn’t give Prozac to the dogs. Firstly, never give this med to your dog without expert supervision. A lot of dog owners diagnose problems with their dogs and start the medications on their own.
That’s a wrong practice that can reap negative results. Secondly, Dogs and Prozac is a sensitive issues. You should give Prozac to the dog if it shows an extremely negative reaction to the meds. Or you shouldn’t give the meds if your dog is suffering from other health conditions as well.
When should I stop giving Prozac to my dog?
Always consult the veterinarian to know the exact time frame to continue giving Prozac to the dogs. However, if your dog shows extreme symptoms or isn’t reacting well to Prozac, then you should stop immediately and seek professional help.
Also, when the problem gets treated, and you see your dog getting better with their anxieties, mental troubles, or behavioral issues, then also you must call it quits on Prozac.
How to give Prozac to dogs?
Giving medicines to dogs can be a challenge. Not all dogs are open to gulping the pill down.
There are several ways to give Prozac to your dog. The first one is obviously by putting it in their mouths. If they gulp it down easily, that’s good. If that’s an issue, then try mixing the medicine with their food or try giving it to them with their favorite treats.
You may as well give liquid Prozac to the dog by syringing it down their throat. The are several ways. Only give Prozac to the dog in ways that are the most comfortable to them.
Weaning dog off Prozac
Weaning the dog off Prozac can demand patience from your side.
It’s best to wean the dog off Prozac with the help of a veterinarian. They’ll tell you the right medicine dosage and schedule that can get the dogs accustomed to the meds without much worry about the withdrawal symptoms.
Taking dogs off Prozac cold turkey can result in negative withdrawal symptoms. The key is to take it slow. The best thing is to work with a professional.
However, it’s usually safe, to begin with by halving the dosage initially and then see the dog’s reaction. If things are smooth, you can continue cutting down the dosage by halves over a period of 6 to 8 weeks until the dog gets weaned off perfectly.
Effect of Prozac on dog’s behavior
Prozac does bring many changes to a dog’s behavior. In fact, it can also help dogs calm their nerves and learn new behaviors.
The most widely noted effects of Prozac include alleviated anxiety levels, a decrease in damaging behaviors, and a calmer reaction in most cases.
However, there can be negative effects of Prozac as well for the dogs, such as excessive sleepiness and a general loss of interest in the activity. Weight loss and decreased appetite are also common negative symptoms of Prozac in dogs.
What are the alternatives to Prozac?
Prozac is one common brand name for the generic name fluoxetine. It belongs to the SSRIs category and is available with several alternative names as well. Some of them are Paxil, Pexeva, Zoloft, citalopram, and Lexapro.
It’s good to know the alternatives but only give the brand that your pooch’s doctor prescribes.
Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions about Prozac and dogs.
How Long Does Prozac Last In A Dog?
This depends upon several factors. But SSRIs stay in the system for some time even after their use is discontinued. Usually, Prozac can last in your dogs for 3 to 5 weeks, depending on the age, activity, breed, and problems of the dog.
Do Vets Allow To Use Prozac For Dogs?
Yes. It’s a common practice among vets to prescribe Prozac for dogs when necessary.
However, it’s an SSRI and should not be given to the dogs without professional supervision. Unmonitored dosages can cause damage to your dog’s health.
If you feel that your dog needs some medication or is showing some behavior that can be treated by Prozac, then consult the vet. Even if the problem requires Prozac, you may not know the exact dosage or time period necessary to cure the problem.
With the proper directions and instructions from the vet, Prozac can be really effective and solve the issues for your beloved pupper.
Can I Give Prozac To My Puppy?
Only give Prozac to the puppy when it’s recommended by the vet.
Puppies have a much more sensitive stomach than adult dogs. Therefore, any unmonitored medication can negatively impact their stomach more than the harm it would do to an adult dog.
It’s only advised to consult a professional before putting Prozac into your puppy’s mouth.
Puppies generally heal quickly and if the condition isn’t serious, your vet may not recommend any medications at all.
What is max dose of Prozac for dogs?
The recommended Prozac dosage for dogs is somewhere between 0.5mg to 0.9mg per pound.
0.9mg per pound being the highest. So if your dog weighs 25 pounds, the max dosage for it would be 0.9*25=22grams. Although, only give that dosage to the dog if the vet recommends it to you.
Prozac belongs to the SSRIs category, which means it can balance or topple over the brain hormones. You’d not want to give heavy doses to the dog on your own and make the problems worse than they were, to begin with.
The best strategy is to take your vet’s advice and only follow what they say.
Discussion | Prozac For Dogs
Prozac and dogs have a unique relationship. When the situation demands, Prozac can show great results for the dogs. It can improve their mental balance, help alleviate anxiety, and even help with anger issues.
However, if Prozac is given to dogs without the need for it, the results can be negative.
The most common reason why vets recommend Prozac is because of issues with separation anxiety. It is best to handle the root cause without putting your doggo on medications.
Spend time with them, take them out for walks and understand that they want nothing from you but your time and affection. And in return, they are willing to return the same.
So, the bottom line is- Prozac is safe for consumption for dogs in the amounts recommended by the vet. And it is best to avoid the medicine unless there’s absolutely no other way out.