Dog Meds for Anxiety

Dog meds for anxiety may be administered if your dog is suffering from chronic or acute anxiety. Anxiety in canines may be triggered by various short term events such as fire alarms or thunders, but may also be caused by certain events in the pet’s life (i.e. a change of owners). There are numerous types of anxiety medications for dogs and these can be administered according to the cause of anxiety.

Dog Anxiety

Dog anxiety may be caused by separation from a previous owner, loneliness, a change in the house or a new pet or family member. However, anxiety may also be triggered by thunders or fireworks.

Typically, vets won’t recommend meds for anxiety, unless the problem cannot be solved with other methods.

Anti anxiety meds are the last resort. The vet may prescribe clomipramine, fluoxetine or amitriptyline.


Clomipramine is also known as Clomicalm is a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

The drug and may be administered to dogs that have been diagnosed with anxiety. The drug is only available through prescription and there is also a human formulation for the drug.

The drug will act as a serotonin level regulator. Anxiety and depression often occur when there is a low level of serotonin in the body.

Clomipramine is typically effective when administered for several days in a row, so the medication cannot be used to treat acute anxiety caused by noises or other short term events that may cause the anxiety.


Fluoxetine is marketed as Prozac is also a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), acting in the same way as Clomipramine. The chemical imbalance may be fixed with the administration of fluoxetine.

The drug can be administered for a longer period of time, but will typically cause side effects that can be more serious than the initial problem.

Common side effects of Prozac include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Behavioral changes, the dog may become more irritable and aggressive
  • Lethargy and refusal to engage in normal activities

Fluoxetine should be discontinued if the side effects are severe.


Amitriptyline or Elavil may also be administered to dogs that suffer from anxiety.

The drug may have an immediate effect, so it may be administered when the dog is suffer from anxiety caused by a storm or other recent events.


Selegiline is different from Prozac and Clomicalm, being a MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) drug. The dog’s levels of dopamine will be higher following the administration of selegiline. Dopamine can intensify the cognitive processes in the dog’s brain, so that the dog will be able to get over anxiety faster.


Most anti anxiety meds for dogs are only available through prescription and shouldn’t be administered to pets, unless recommended by your vet.

Even if some of these anxiety meds are also available for humans, you should always get a canine formula of the drug or ask your vet prior to administering the human meds in your dog.