Prescription Anxiety Drugs for Dogs

There are several prescription and over the counter anxiety drugs that help your pet cope with conditions like separation anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and behavior problems. Since these drugs act on certain chemicals that are present in your dog’s brain, they should be administered with care. It’s important to find out the type of anxiety disorder your pet is suffering from by first visiting the vet.

Anxiety in Dogs

While some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave them alone at home for a few hours, other pets become anxious when they hear sudden loud noises or thunderstorms. Such pets cry out, tend to hide under furniture or show signs of trembling. Pet owners often confuse the symptoms of behavior disorders with anxiety and nervousness. It’s thus important to take your pet for a vet check to find out if your dog requires medication or behavior training lessons instead.

Anxiety Drugs for Dogs Include:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Clomipramine
  • Hydroxyzine Pamoate 
  • Acepromazine

Amitriptyline for Dogs

Amitriptyline contains the active ingredient Amitriptyline HCL and it’s available in varying potencies of 10, 25, 50 and 75 mg. This medication is a tricyclic antidepressant that calms pets suffering from anxiety, behavioral problems and fear of noises. Your pet will have to be given the medication for several days before you see any results.

Since the medication is available in different potencies, you must follow the dosage and administration instructions that are given by the vet. Also make sure that your pet consumes plenty of water while he’s taking the drug. Some of the most common side effects that are caused by Amitripyline include drowsiness and in some cases, dizziness.

Clomipramine for Dogs

Clomipramine is available as 25, 50 and 75 mg capsules. Although this medication is not formulated for use in pets, it’s prescribed by the vet to treat behavior disorders and anxiety attacks. It alters serotonin levels in the dog’s brain and reduces the symptoms of various behavioral problems.

The medication shouldn’t be administered along with other monoamine oxidase inhibitors. It’s not ideal for pets suffering from liver problems, kidney disorders, thyroid gland problems and gastrointestinal disorders. Since it’s also known to cause a few side effects, you must administer this medication according to the vet’s guidelines.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

Although Hydroxyzine Pamoate is an antihistamine medication, it has sedative properties. Due to this reason, it’s administered to pets to keep them calm when they’re anxious. Dogs should generally be given 1mg of the drug per pound of body weight, every 6 hours or 8 hours.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate may cause drug interactions when combined with other medicines like Demerol, Prozac or Tavist. You must thus inform the vet about any other drugs you’re giving your pet even if they’re only herbal remedies.


Acepromazine is a tranquilizer that’s generally administered to dog’s before they have to undergo surgery. Some pet owners prefer to give this medication to their pets before they groom them. The general dosage guideline for this medication is 0.25 to 1 mg per pound of body weight. The tablet should be given to pets almost 45 minutes before they’re taken in for surgery or a doctor’s visit.

Although it’s ideal for dogs that suffer from anxiety or nervousness, it shouldn’t be given to pets that become aggressive when they’re under stress.

Medications help you keep your pet calm during stressful situations but you must find out the real cause of your pet’s anxiety and look for other ways to keep these problems under control.