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Trazodone for Dogs: How it Works, Dosage, Side Effects [2022]

trazodone for dogs

As a dog owner, you want a calm and friendly dog, especially when traveling or during vet visits. But that’s not always the case, as many dogs get anxious and restless when taken to a new place. They have difficulty getting used to the new surroundings. Dogs can become restless or aggressive if their anxiety isn’t handled correctly. One option is to use trazodone for dogs.

How then do you keep your dog calm on a trip? There are several ways to achieve this, from using herbal remedies such as lavender oil for dogs to taking prescribed medication such as trazodone for dogs.

There are many trazodone for dogs brands that you can use. It all depends on your buddy’s situation, clinical signs, age, and body weight. And since trazodone is veterinary medicine, you should ensure you get a proper prescription before using it in your canine buddy.

In this article, I’ll discuss all you need to know about trazodone for dogs. I will start with what it is, how it’s used, then move on to possible side effects and the best brand names in the market. Let’s get started!

sad dog lying on the floor

What Is Trazodone for Dogs?

Trazodone is a drug used in humans to treat depression, generalized anxiety, and insomnia. However, when this drug is given to dogs, it helps them stay calm and relaxed for longer periods.

This medication from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or monoamine oxidase inhibitors class has been used in veterinary practices for quite some time now. You can give it to dogs that are particularly anxious or appear restless when taken out during trips, veterinary visits, or even for boarding. Trazodone helps reduce seizures in epileptic dogs and calm dogs with serotonin syndrome.

Trazodone is not effective against seizure disorders caused by epilepsy. Still, it has been found to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.

While there are many other supplements that your vet can use to calm down your four-legged friend, trazodone is commonly prescribed, thanks to its effectiveness. The vet can prescribe this drug for daily use or just before an event that might traumatize your dog. You can use it before a fireworks event or just before a thunderstorm.

Does Your Dog Need Trazodone?

Trazodone is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) whose main purpose is to treat people with depression. Therefore, it is not advisable to give your dog trazodone without consulting your vet first.

Trazodone acts by inhibiting the reabsorption of serotonin into nerve cells in the brain, which increases its levels and makes your dog calm and less anxious. It is also the best medication for dogs with serotonin syndrome. It has also been seen to reduce aggressive behavior in dogs with a history of biting or attacking.

Trazodone is best given to dogs with anxiety problems, which includes dealing with noise phobias, stress while traveling, or even getting used to new people in the house. Veterinary medicine is usually described as a feel-good drug for dogs as it makes them feel relaxed and happier.

Here are circumstances when your dog might need trazodone;

1. To Treat Hyper-Excitability

Trazodone can be given to overly excited dogs, making them difficult to manage. The drug reduces the hyperactivity and impulsiveness in dogs when they can’t calmly sit still and relax. To avoid using drugs you may give your dog a lot of exercise. Even if you don’t have time for long walks you can use a dog treadmil.

2. For Dogs With a Seizure Disorder

Dogs with epilepsy usually take drugs such as potassium bromide to control the seizures. However, trazodone has been seen to reduce the number of seizures dogs have when given together with potassium bromide. While it isn’t a recommended dose, vets use it in dogs that aren’t responding well to other medication or where other drugs might not be safe to use.

3. To Calm Dogs With Anxiety Issues

Some animal studies indicate that dogs with anxiety disorders are treated using trazodone. It calms the anxious dog, making it easier to manage and train them. The drug is given before a visit to the vet or during thunderstorms or fireworks events. It also helps dogs get used to new people in the house.

4. To Treat Insomnia in Dogs

Trazodone can be used to treat insomnia when all other options have been exhausted. It makes dogs sleep better and wakes them up with much less excitement. This is a common problem in dogs living alone or left unattended during the day, making them constantly whine and restless at night. With this, your dog will not experience separation anxiety whenever you leave them alone.

5. To Keep Dog Calm During Surgery

Many drugs used to calm dogs prior to orthopedic surgery are habit-forming. Addiction makes it hard for the dog to adjust once discharged from the clinic or hospital post-surgery. Trazodone is one of the most effective drugs for keeping dogs calm and relaxed before, during, and after surgery. It also reduces pain sensations following orthopedic surgery.

dog hiding under the sofa

Trazodone for Dog Dosage

The dosage of trazodone for dogs depends on the reason behind its use. Here are some common dosages;

Give your dog 0.5mg to 2mg total dose for canine anxiety disorders every 8 hours. The latter is used for more severe cases that require constant intervention.

For epilepsy or hyperactivity disorders, your dog will receive 0.5mg to 2mg every 8 hours, depending on the severity of their condition.

For a seizure disorder where potassium bromide is used, your dog should be given 1mg/kg to 4mg/kg divided doses until seizures have been controlled.

Vets recommend a dosage of about 2.5 mg to 15mg per pound every 24 hours. However, this number varies depending on the dog’s condition and weight. It’s also advisable to start with a low dosage and increase gradually as your dog gets used to the medication to minimize the side effects.

Here’s trazodone for dogs dosage chart by weight to help guide you on this.

Dosage Weight Period
25mg Under 22 pounds Every 8-24 hours
50mg 22 to 44 pounds Every 12-24 hours
100mg 44-88 pounds Every 12-24 hours
200mg Over 88 pounds Every 12-24 hours


Trazodone dose for dogs is usually given 2 to 3 times daily. The most common administration methods include oral trazodone and subcutaneous injection.

Trazodone is usually given orally by mixing it into the dog’s food or directly into their mouths. If you are giving the drug with food, don’t mix it with anything spicy as this might decrease its effectiveness. There are no known dangers of giving trazodone to pregnant or lactating dogs. However, only give your dog the drug if advised by a veterinarian.

Proper storage is very important. Protect trazodone from light, heat, and moisture. Make sure you follow all instructions on the packaging label before giving your dog the drug.

Trazodone for Dogs Side Effects

Trazodone is usually safe and effective in most dogs as long as dosed correctly. However, there are reports of trazodone causing abnormal heart rhythms in dogs. This results from an increase in the levels of serotonin in a dog’s bloodstream, leading to irregular heartbeats and other cardiovascular problems. Trazodone can also cause severe sedation in some dogs when used with other medications that act on the brain.

Other side effects include;

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gastrointestinal signs

Many side effects are dose-related in dogs, making them more likely to occur when you administer very high doses of trazodone. Some of them include impaired motor skills, prolonged erections, and reduced coordination. However, the medication side effects are generally mild and if they persist, talk to the vet immediately.

Trazodone withdrawal symptoms in dogs can be challenging. The symptoms usually develop within 7 to 14 days after discontinued trazodone administration. Affected dogs might need drugs and supplemental therapy to fully recover from the withdrawal symptoms.

Best Trazodone for Dogs Reviews

Many dog medications use trazodone as an active ingredient. Most of them are available over-the-counter without a veterinarian’s prescription. However, it is always best to seek professional medical advice before beginning any new medication on your canine buddy.

Here are some of the best trazodone for dogs reviews;

1. Trazodone Generic Tablets

trazodone for dogs generic tabletsThis trazodone drug comes in tablet form and is used to treat depression in dogs. You can also use it to decrease anxiety, aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and enuresis in dogs.

The medicine helps increase canine friends’ appetite, mood, and energy levels. This drug is also safe for use with other medications, so you can combine it with other serotonergic drugs to get the best possible results.


  • Works to relieve anxiety in dogs
  • Dog’s portray increased appetite after taking it
  • Treats major depression disorder (MDD)
  • It helps treat insomnia that comes with depression


  • Only available as a generic medication
  • It might come with side effects such as blurry vision, fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, etc.

Trazodone generic tablets are great for dogs with behavioral issues. However, vets advice not to give this medicine to dogs with hypersensitivity or allergy issues.

2. Trazodone for Dogs and Cats

walmart trazodone for dogs tablet rxThese are trazodone hydrochloride tablets for dogs and cats that display increased anxiety symptoms. The medicine is fast-acting and only needs to be given once daily in most cases.

Trazodone for dogs and cats has a calming effect on pets with anxiety issues such as aggression, depression, destructive behavior, fearfulness, and compulsive disorders related to anxiety. This trazodone for dogs and cats medication is also used to manage appetite loss in canines. You can consider administering on an empty stomach to treat appetite loss and reduce symptoms such as vomiting.


  • You can give it once daily
  • It has excellent anti-anxiety effects on dogs and cats
  • Works well in treating anxiety and other behavioral issues


  • It might cause side effects such as dry mouth, vomiting, etc.


Trazodone for Dogs and Cats is great for treating behavioral issues in pets. It only needs to be given once daily, so it is convenient for pet owners. However, you should still exercise caution as trazodone for dogs might cause mild sedation and other side effects.

3. Rx Trazodone 50 mg x 100 Tabs

trazodone tablet uspThis is another excellent antidepressant tablet that is available over-the-counter. Trazodone for dogs and cats effectively manages behavioral issues such as aggression, depression, compulsions, etc.

This Rx trazodone 50 mg tablet works well with other medications to achieve the best possible results for anxiety issues. It only needs to be given once daily, so it’s easy for pet owners to do.


  • It only needs to be given once daily for best results
  • Works well in treating medical conditions related to anxiety and depression
  • Effectively manages behavioral issues such as aggression, depression, compulsions, etc.


  • Trazodone for dogs might cause some side effects like feeling lightheaded or nauseous when combined with other drugs
  • Needs veterinarian prescription.

Rx Trazodone 50 mg x 100 tabs is a wonderful all-purpose medication. You can use it as a standalone to treat anxiety and depression in pets or combine it with other medications for the best results. Make sure you get a proper prescription from the vet before using this drug.

4. Trazodone HCL Tablets, 50mg, 500ct

trazodone hcl tabletsThis over-the-counter trazodone tablet is just the right solution if you need to improve your dog’s behavior. It helps manage anxiety-related behavioral disorders and other mental issues such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, and pain.

This medication works by increasing serotonin levels in dogs, making them feel more relaxed and portray calm behavior. This drug does not have mild sedative effects, so you do not have to worry about your furry friend feeling sleepy or lethargic after intake.


  • It makes dogs feel more relaxed, reduces anxiety levels
  • Effectively treats mental issues such as depression, insomnia, etc.
  • It does not have any sedative effect, so it is safe to take when combined with other drugs


  • Will need repeated dosages if symptoms persist since it’s a short-acting drug

Trazodone HCL is very effective for treating anxiety levels and mental issues in pets. However, you should only administer the dosage once daily as this medicine might cause mild sedation if dosages are repeated within a short time.

5. Trazodone HCL Tablets, 150mg, 100ct.

rxtraz150 100Another wonderful all-purpose medication to increase serotonin levels in pets is this trazodone HCL 150 mg tablet. It helps reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms and other mental problems such as pain, insomnia, etc.

Trazodone for dogs and cats tracks the chemical levels in your pet’s central nervous system that affect mood and behavior. This drug helps balance the chemical levels to make your pet feel relaxed and happy. This is an excellent treatment for animals that need increased serotonin levels without side effects such as drowsiness or dilated pupils.


  • Increases serotonin levels naturally in pets, helping them feel more relaxed and happier
  • Helps treat behavioral disorders, depressive symptoms, pain, insomnia, etc.
  • Highly effective in both dog and human medicine
  • It does not cause drowsiness or any other adverse side effects


  • May cause some side effects such as vomiting or agitation when combined with other drugs

This trazodone HCL 150 mg tablet is the all-purpose solution for pets that need increased serotonin levels and improved behavior. Just ensure that you get a proper prescription from USDA accredited veterinarian before using this medicine to treat your furry friend.

6. P-5495 Trazodone Hydrochloride 100mg

3216 trazodoneHere is a wonderful option for owners who have very anxious pets that need instant relief from anxiety and depression. P-5495 Trazodone Hydrochloride 100mg is a fast-acting tablet that starts to work in just an hour of intake. It has a high serotonin reuptake inhibitor rate, so it takes effect quickly. It works by releasing chemical signals, also referred to as neurotransmitters in the brain.

As a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Trazodone 100mg for dogs makes it easier for dogs and cats to move on from traumatic experiences and other adverse events. It also helps them engage in social activities such as playing with other pets or talking to their owners without feeling anxious or shy. This drug works very well for previously abused animals and those with PTSD.


  • A fast-acting tablet that starts to work just one hour after intake
  • It takes away anxiety and depression quickly, reducing the number of negative emotions your pet might have
  • It helps pets recover from traumatic experiences, eases social engagements
  • Stops dogs from engaging in undesirable behaviors such as aggressiveness


  • Effects might wear out in case of repeated dosages within a short period
  • Pet might vomit after taking the drug

P-5495 Trazodone Hydrochloride 100mg is the perfect solution for pets that are too shy to engage in social activities or show affection. This medicine will help them recover quickly from life’s stressful events, and they will start feeling better within just a few hours.

dog hiding in the door

FAQs About Trazodone for Dogs

How much trazodone to give my dog?

The recommended dosage of trazodone for dogs is 2.5 mg to 15mg per pound every 24 hours. This dosage is usually acceptable as long as your pet isn’t in any other SSRI and your vet is comfortable with the idea of your dogs receiving trazodone medications.

Is trazodone a sedative for dogs?

Trazodone is not a sedative. But if your dog suffers from seizures, you can use trazodone to treat them by giving between 25mg and 100mg per dose in divided dosages three times a day. If you’re using the drug for sedative effects, your vet may prescribe the right dosage for dogs.

How long does it take for trazodone to wear off?

How long the effects of trazodone last vary with the dog’s weight and size. The 100mg trazodone for dogs dosage chart can guide the proper administration. You can expect it to wear off between 4-6 hours after administration.

It can take up to 24 hours to stop working on some dogs, which is the right time for the next dose. It can take even less time for the elimination half-life of the drug. If you forget to give your dog trazodone, you should administer medication as soon as you remember.

What is a good sedative for dogs?

A good sedative should leave your pet euphoric and relaxed without causing drowsiness. It should also help them sleep for about 8 hours straight. Depending on their condition, your vet can prescribe a good sedative for your canine buddy.

What is a natural sedative for dogs?

There are several natural sedatives you can use to treat your pet’s anxiety. If you’re looking for a herbal solution, try Passion Flower, which works as a medicine and as a sedative. You can also administer valerian root or chamomile, they work as mild sedatives.

How long does it take for trazodone to work in dogs?

Trazodone takes up between 30 minutes and four hours to work. It is a fast-acting SSRI, so you should expect the effects in an hour or less. If used for long-term treatment, it can take a few weeks before the dog’s body can absorb its full effects. Your vet can advise on trazodone for dogs how long to take effect.

Does trazodone make dogs sleepy?

There are mixed reports about how prescribed trazodone affects dogs. Some dogs may be more hyper when taking the drug, while others might feel drowsy. The best thing you can do is talk to your vet about your dog’s condition and what might work best for them.

What does trazodone do to dogs?

Trazodone is the perfect solution for dogs that suffer from frequent anxiety and depression. It helps them recover fast from life’s stressful events and reduces their hyperactivity, making them gentler and milder as pets. It also works well for dogs that portray behavioral issues and aggressiveness.

What can I give my dog to sedate him for grooming?

If your dog is restless and nervous during grooming, you can administer either Valium or trazodone for dogs to make them feel better. Your vet will determine the best dosage for your canine buddy.

sad dog

Talk to your vet before you get trazodone for your dog!

Trazodone for dogs helps them feel better if they are agitated, hyperactive, or suffer from anxiety. It is one of the best medications for treating behavioral issues in dogs and can help your pet get back to normal within hours.

Another great thing about this medication is that it doesn’t have adverse effects and can work on several dogs and cats. You just have to ensure you administer the correct dosage according to professional prescription, and you won’t have any problems.

Talk to your vet about the right trazodone dosage for dogs.

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