Can you share your Xanax with your dog

Can You Share Your Xanax With Your Dog?


It was a stormy night, and Jane was feeling anxious about the impending thunderstorm. She reached for her prescribed Xanax to help calm her nerves, but her loyal canine companion, Rufus, seemed just as on edge. As she held the bottle in her hand, she began to wonder if she could share her Xanax with Rufus to help him through his own anxiety.

Anxiety medications are often prescribed for pets who suffer from separation anxiety and fearfulness, among other conditions. However, you can’t just give out any medication to your pets without consulting a vet, as it may cause harm to your pet without you realizing it. According to the center, almost a quarter of the calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is about animals taking human medications and suffering adverse effects.

Ibuprofen, tramadol, alprazolam, Adderall, zolpidem (Ambien), clonazepam, acetaminophen, naproxen, duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor) are the top 10 most commonly abused medications in dogs. In addition, several dogs anxiety medications are available for animals, including anti-depressants, tranquilizing drugs, and others. Your veterinarian will likely recommend an appropriate dosage based on your pet’s weight, age, overall health, and other factors.

How Does Xanax Work?

Xanax, also known by its generic name alprazolam, is a medication in the benzodiazepine category, often employed to manage conditions linked with excessive brain activity. For instance, it’s utilized to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Occasionally, it’s used off-label for sleep disorders like insomnia.

The primary function of Xanax involves amplifying the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter in the brain that curtails the actions of the central nervous system. This amplification instigates a soothing effect, diminishing anxiety and fear, promoting relaxation, and inducing sleepiness, which can be especially useful for treating dog anxiety.

Xanax achieves its effect by binding to GABA receptors in the brain, thus intensifying the impacts of GABA. This action decelerates brain activity, reducing feelings of anxiety and other stress-related psychological reactions, making it an effective anti-anxiety medication. This can provide significant relief for dogs suffering from situational anxiety, much like the effect gabapentin can have.

However, it’s worth acknowledging that, as Xanax modifies brain chemistry, it can cause dogs to become dependent, showcasing withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped. Therefore, Xanax pills should only be administered under the careful guidance of a pet owner and a healthcare provider, mainly when used for pain relief.

Can You Give a Human Xanax To Your Dog?

Although Xanax, or alprazolam, is occasionally utilized off-label in veterinary medicine to alleviate anxiety and phobias in dogs, its administration should always be under a veterinarian’s direct guidance and supervision. This is critical because Xanax is a controlled substance, and inappropriate use can lead to toxicity. In addition, research indicates that over 67% of dogs experience at least one form of noise aversion, a common anxiety issue that could benefit from such treatment.

However, it’s crucial to understand that animal dosages are different from those for humans. Providing a dog with a dose designed for a human could result in a potentially lethal overdose. Accidental ingestion of Xanax by a dog or cat should always prompt an immediate veterinary visit.

Can you give a human Xanax with your Dog

Xanax also has the potential to interact adversely with other pet medications your dog may be taking, and it can be dangerous for dogs with certain health conditions. It’s important to note that Xanax can lead to serious side effects, and long-term use can cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, impacting a dog’s mental health.

In summary, while Xanax can potentially assist an anxious dog with specific conditions, it should only be administered under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Never give your Xanax prescription to your dog; always consult a vet about how much Xanax to share if it is deemed necessary for your dog’s health. In addition, your dog should have a veterinary consultation before receiving any prescribed or over-the-counter medication.

What Are The Side Effects of Xanax on Dogs?

Like in humans, Xanax, also known as alprazolam, can lead to side effects in dogs. Some side effects are mild and may subside with time, while others could be more severe. If your dog takes Xanax under veterinary guidance, monitoring them for any health or behavioral changes is crucial.

Common side effects of Xanax in dogs include sedation and drowsiness, which could affect your dog’s alertness and make them sleepier than usual. Ataxia, or lack of coordination, is another side effect that might make your dog appear unsteady or have difficulty walking. Xanax may also play with your dog’s appetite, leading to an increase that, if not managed, could cause weight gain.

Gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, are possible adverse reactions some dogs might experience while on Xanax. In addition, the drug can cause paradoxical behavioral changes, such as increased anxiety, agitation, or even aggression in some dogs. It’s also important to know if your dog has health problems that could exacerbate these effects, such as liver or kidney disease.

In rare cases, Xanax can induce respiratory depression, which involves slowed or shallow breathing and can be life-threatening. In the worst-case scenario, extended use of Xanax could potentially lead to liver failure.

If you notice any of these side effects or other unusual symptoms in your dog, including Xanax-induced anxiety disorders and panic, immediately contact your veterinarian. They might need to adjust the dosage, consider an alternative medication, or treat any health problems contributing to the side effects. Alprazolam may cause side effects that interact with other medicines, so always disclose any other drugs or supplements your pet takes.

Remember, never attempt to help your pet with anxiety by sharing your prescription without consulting a vet. Pets ingesting human medication can face significant risks, including becoming dependent. Always work with your vet to find the best way to support your pet’s health.

Proper Xanax Dosage for Cats and Dogs

When administering Xanax (alprazolam) to your pet, it’s crucial to remember that a licensed veterinarian must determine the dosage. The exact dose of Xanax will vary based on several factors, including the animal’s size, weight, age, overall health condition, and the specific issue being treated.

For dogs, Xanax dosage typically ranges from 0.01 to 0.1 mg per kg of body weight, given orally every 12 hours. However, the lower end of the dosage range is more commonly used to minimize potential side effects.

In cats, Xanax is used less frequently due to its unique metabolism, which can make them more susceptible to side effects. If used, it is typically at a lower dosage range than in dogs and always under close veterinary supervision.

It is essential to remember that these are general guidelines and that individual dosages may vary. Therefore, a veterinarian should always determine the correct dosage for your pet.

Overdosing can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms, including extreme sedation, difficulty breathing or even collapse. If you suspect your pet has ingested too much Xanax, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Never administer Xanax prescribed for a human to your pet, as the dosage for humans is significantly different than for pets. Always consult with a veterinarian before giving your pet any new medication.

Alternative Treatment Options for Dogs

If Xanax (alprazolam) is not a suitable option for your dog, or if you’re interested in exploring alternative treatments, several possibilities exist. These include:

Alternative Treatment Options for Dogs

Different anti-anxiety medications

Other anti-anxiety drugs might be more appropriate for your dog. Fluoxetine (Prozac), Clomipramine (Clomicalm), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Amitriptyline (Elavil) are a few options. However, always consult your veterinarian before starting any new treatment with alprazolam or other medication. Each pill can have serious side effects, and dosages of alprazolam and other medications can vary significantly between humans and dogs. Moreover, these drugs may interact with other medications your dog is taking.

Pheromone Therapy

Products such as Adaptil replicate the soothing pheromones produced by mother dogs to comfort their puppies. These are available in different forms like diffusers, collars, or sprays and can help create a peaceful environment for your dog, thereby reducing anxiety.

Herbal Supplements

Herbal remedies like valerian root, chamomile, and passionflower have been known to alleviate anxiety. They usually come as chewable tablets or drops that can be added to your dog’s food.

Natural substances

L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, and melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep cycles, can both have calming effects.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound present in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC, it doesn’t have psychoactive properties. Instead, it’s been used for its potential soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. Remember to choose products specifically designed for pets and follow the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines, including Xanax dosage for dogs.

Dietary Changes

Some diets are specifically designed to manage stress and anxiety in dogs. These foods may contain particular nutrients that support brain function and promote a sense of calm.


Essential oils like lavender can have a calming effect on dogs. However, caution is necessary since not all essential oils are safe for dogs, and they should never be applied directly to the skin or ingested.

Behavior Modification

This non-pharmacological approach to anxiety management can also be highly effective.

While many human drugs can help dogs, it’s crucial to remember that even though many human drugs can assist, the effects of some drugs, such as opioids or drugs for kidney disease or glaucoma, can be worsened by the drug and may cause hyperactivity or even aggression.

Always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new treatment or supplement to manage your dog’s anxiety. Considering your dog’s unique needs and circumstances, they can guide the best course of action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Xanax (alprazolam) can sometimes have the opposite effect on dogs than intended. While it is primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorders in humans, it can affect dogs differently due to their metabolism and physiology differences. As a result, while some dogs may experience sedation and relaxation when given Xanax, others may become hyperactive, agitated, or exhibit other unusual behaviors. Therefore, it’s important to note that Xanax should only be used under the guidance and prescription of a veterinarian, who can determine the appropriate dosage and assess the potential risks and benefits for your dog’s specific situation.

The duration of the effects of Xanax (alprazolam) in dogs can vary depending on several factors, including the dosage, the dog’s response, and the reason it was prescribed. Xanax typically has a relatively short duration of action in dogs, with effects lasting anywhere from a few hours to up to 12 hours. However, it’s important to note that the exact duration can vary among individual dogs. Additionally, the sedative effects of Xanax may diminish over time as the dog’s body adjusts to the medication. Therefore, it’s best to follow the guidance of your veterinarian regarding the appropriate dosing frequency and duration of treatment for your dog’s specific needs.

Yes, there are differences between Xanax (alprazolam) formulations for humans and those used in veterinary medicine for dogs. While the active ingredient, alprazolam, is the same, there may be variations in the strength, dosage forms, and inactive ingredients used in the different formulations. Human Xanax is specifically formulated and approved for human use, while veterinary alprazolam products are developed and approved for animal use. The dosages and administration guidelines may also differ between humans and dogs. It’s important to note that medications intended for human use should not be given to dogs without veterinary guidance, as the dosages and formulations may not be appropriate or safe. Always consult a veterinarian for guidance on using medications for your dog’s needs.

CBD oil has shown promise in treating certain neurological disorders in dogs. However, more research is needed to fully understand its efficacy and safety. CBD (cannabidiol) interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which regulates various physiological processes, including those related to the nervous system. Some studies suggest that CBD may have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anticonvulsant properties, potentially benefiting dogs with neurological conditions such as seizures, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and anxiety. However, it’s important to note that CBD products for dogs should be specifically formulated for pets and administered under the guidance of a veterinarian. Each dog’s condition is unique, and the appropriate treatment approach should be determined in consultation with a veterinary professional.

If you forget to give a dose of Xanax (alprazolam) to your dog, it’s generally best to consult with your veterinarian for guidance. They can provide specific instructions based on your dog’s needs and the prescribed dosage schedule. Sometimes, they may advise giving the missed dose as soon as you remember, but if it’s close to the next scheduled dose, they may recommend skipping the missed dose and resuming the regular dosing schedule. It’s essential to only double up on doses if expressly advised by your veterinarian. They can provide the most accurate and tailored advice for your dog’s situation.

Yes, natural alternatives can help calm dogs with anxiety or stress. Here are a few options:

  1. Behavior modification techniques: Positive reinforcement training, desensitization, and counterconditioning can help address anxiety triggers and modify behavior.
  2. Environmental enrichment: Providing a stimulating and comforting environment with toys, puzzles, and safe spaces can help alleviate stress.
  3. Herbal remedies: Certain herbs like chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower have calming properties and can be used in the form of teas, tinctures, or supplements. However, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian before using herbal remedies, as they can interact with other medications or have individual sensitivities.
  4. Adaptil: Adaptil is a synthetic pheromone product that mimics the calming effect of a mother dog’s natural pheromones. It comes in diffusers, sprays, and collars and can help reduce anxiety in dogs.
  5. Thundershirts: Thundershirts are snug-fitting garments that provide gentle pressure and can help relieve anxiety in some dogs.

Remember, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian to determine the most suitable and effective natural options for your dog’s needs. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your dog’s condition and overall health.

Xanax (alprazolam) is a medication human use to treat anxiety and panic disorders. While it is occasionally prescribed for specific behavioral issues in dogs and cats, it is essential to note that using Xanax in pets should only be done under the guidance and prescription of a veterinarian. The dosage and administration of Xanax for animals can differ from that of humans, and it is not recommended to give human Xanax to pets without proper veterinary supervision. Only a veterinarian can determine if Xanax is appropriate for your dog or cat and provide the correct dosage based on their needs.

The decision to use Xanax (alprazolam) for dogs is typically made by a veterinarian based on a thorough evaluation of the dog’s behavior, anxiety levels, and specific needs. Xanax may be considered in dogs that exhibit excessive anxiety, panic disorders, phobias, or other behavior problems that negatively impact their quality of life. Some everyday situations where Xanax might be prescribed for dogs include separation anxiety, noise phobias (such as fireworks or thunderstorms), travel anxiety, or situational anxiety. However, it’s important to note that the use of Xanax should always be done under veterinary guidance, and the veterinarian will determine the dosage and duration of treatment based on the individual dog’s condition.

Xanax (alprazolam) can interact with various drugs, so it’s essential to be aware of potential interactions for dogs. Xanax can have additive effects when combined with other central nervous system depressants, such as sedatives, tranquilizers, antihistamines, or alcohol. Mixing these substances can increase sedation and lead to respiratory depression or other adverse effects.

Liver enzymes metabolize Xanax, so medications that affect these enzymes can potentially alter the metabolism and effectiveness of Xanax. For example, certain antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, and some antidepressants can interfere with Xanax metabolism and lead to increased or decreased levels of the medication in the body.

It is crucial to inform your veterinarian about all medications, supplements, or herbal products your dog is taking to ensure the safe and appropriate use of Xanax. Your veterinarian will consider potential interactions and guide the concurrent use of medications to avoid any adverse effects. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and never combine medications without professional advice.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

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