What are the side effects of dog anxiety medication? The Ultimate Guide

How long does it take Prozac to work in dogs?

At the four-week mark, the medicine will “kick in [and] will begin making the changes we need in the brain,” Dr. Pike says–by then, it will have taken full effect. About 30% of dogs will need to be switched to a different medicine, such as Lexapro or Zoloft, if Prozac doesn’t work.

Is Prozac right for your dog?

Before prescribing anti-anxiety meds, your vet needs to rule out a medical cause. Dog anxiety can be triggered by internal issues such as irritability caused by allergies or even pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Once an underlying condition is ruled out, a veterinary behaviorist will assess your dog’s social and environmental history and anxiety episodes. “It’s not really always about figuring out the ‘why,’ but how to move forward,” Dr. Pike says. A diagnosis—such as fear-based aggression with people and dogs—will be followed by a prognosis. A treatment plan including medications and behavioral modification will also be made.

For dogs with mild anxiety, Dr. Pike recommends natural calming pheromones and supplements. These include the Adaptil pheromone spray or collar and Anxitane S which is an L- theanine supplement that comes in a chewable treat.

For dogs with more intense anxiety, she recommends Prozac (generic fluoxetine). Lexapro or Zoloft are other name brand psychotropic medications that are commonly used. There is also an FDA-approved veterinary brand of fluoxetine specifically made for dogs called Reconcile. Dr Pike likes this version because it comes in a flavored chew tab that most dogs will take as a treat.

(And, yes, you can use the SingleCare card on any brand name or generic drugs that your vet prescribes that would also be prescribed to humans—i.e., Prozac, Lexapro—for savings up to 80%).

Dog Anxiety Meds: Frequently Asked Questions

Dog anxiety medication can be tricky to understand. For that reason, we’ve provided answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding anxiety medication for canines below.

Side Effects of Anxiety Medications in Dogs | Wag!