Buspar for Dogs

BuSpar is an anti-anxiety medication given to both dogs and cats. It is the brand name formulation of the generic medicine called buspirone HCl. Although it has slightly different applications for dogs than it does for cats, in both animals the mechanism of the drug is the same, as is the effect. If your pet is highly anxious or nervous, giving him this medicine can help to calm him down and may even cause some sedation. Read on for a short guide on what BuSpar is and how to use it effectively for dogs that suffer from anxiety problems.

BuSpar Overview

BuSpar is primarily designed to help dogs cope with adverse reactions to anxiety. Many dogs become anxious during thunderstorms or when other loud noises occur, and BuSpar is a great way of helping to ease those fears. It can also be helpful at reducing general stress and anxiety that come about for other reasons. BuSpar is different from other medicines of the same type in that it doesn't have any direct muscle relaxant properties. Rather, it reacts with the serotonin receptors in your pet's brain to help ease his anxiety and fear. The medicine is approved and designed for use in humans only, but it can legally be prescribed for veterinary use in certain cases. You'll need to have a vet's prescription in order to give BuSpar to your dog.

Administering BuSpar

BuSpar comes packaged in tablets of different sizes. The tablets typically come in 5 mg, 10 mg and 30 mg sizes. For most dogs, either 5 or 10 mg once per day will be sufficient. You can provide the dosage of the medicine to your pet along with his food or with a treat, and some dogs will be fine to eat the tablets on their own. It's important that you provide your dog with an appropriate dose of this medicine, so consult with your vet about how much you should give the dog based on his weight and health.

Side Effects and Risks of BuSpar

BuSpar is generally safe for use in dogs of all breeds. However, due to potential behavior and energy changes that may come about while he's taking this medicine, it's best to avoid the use of BuSpar in working dogs. It's also important that you tell your vet about all other medicines that your dog is taking before he begins his treatment using BuSpar, because the medicine may interact negatively with certain other drugs in his system.

The most common side effects of BuSpar are primarily behavior related and include:

  • Increased aggression
  • Agitation immediately after dosing
  • Increased playfulness or friendliness

Physical side effects of BuSpar are rare, although it's possible that your pet may suffer from an allergic reaction to this medicine. If you suspect that your pet has suffered a reaction of this type, take him to an emergency veterinary clinic immediately.