Categories: Dog HealthPup Log

Trazodone for Dogs With Behavioral Problems

Trazodone is a very effective antidepressant drug for humans and for a dog with anxiety separation as well.

Though Trazodone is excellent treatment for a dog with anxiety separation, make sure to get a prescription from your veterinarian.

Reason being the drug is yet to get official approval from the FDA.

Trazodone is a generic drug. Many brand names like Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro and Trazodone D associating themselves with the drug.

Veterinarians state that one of the leading causes of euthanization of dogs is due to dangerous behavioral problems. 

Also, it’s estimated that 20-40% of dogs in America suffer from separation anxiety, and these rates are quite alarming.

What is Trazodone and how does it work?

Trazodone is a antagonist/reuptake inhibitor (SARI) that is used to treat dogs suffering from behavioral disorders such as separation anxiety, noise phobia, travel, thunder, hospital visits and fireworks.

Furthermore, trazodone prevents the activities of serotonin receptor sites and brings about an alteration in how the brain cells receive messages.

Additionally, dogs that do not respond to conventional therapy are given trazodone as supplemental therapy.

Photo by Castorly Stock from Pexels

What Dosage of Trazodone should you give your dog.

The drug is in different brand options with standard dosages from 50, 100, 150, and 300mg.

Also a rule of thumb gives an amount of 2.5mg to about 15mg per pound for every 24 hours.

Additionally, on a medium scale, 3.5mg per pound should be given to dogs a day and a reduced dosage with the combination of other medicinal drugs to provide a positive effect on any problematic behaviors. 

However, in most cases, veterinarians will begin by giving the most minimal amount to reduce any side effects. 

The dosage may increase after 3 – 5 days until you start seeing adequate improvement in your dog.

How long will my dog be on Trazodone.

How long your dog takes this drug is dependent on what condition the animal has and how the side effects affect the animal.

Common Side Effects In Dogs That Are On Trazodone.

Although side effects are minimal at the initial stages, your dog might experience a few of the following:

  • Agitation
  • Excessive saliva
  • Paralysis
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision or blindness
  • Vomiting
  • High body temperature
  • Painful persistent erection
  • Disorientation
  • Panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Low blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Lethargy
  • Sedation

Generally, trazodone side effects lessen after a while.

However, dogs that suffer from kidney disease or liver disease may go through long periods of these side effects.

In such an instance, contact your vet to seek professional advice.

It is important to note that the prescribed dosage should be given correctly.

Too much intake of Trazodone can lead to your dog experiencing seizures and falling into a coma.

Drug Interactions

Trazodone is a drug that interacts well with other medicines without any complications.

However, if your pet is on any drugs including mao inhibitors, diazepam, or buspirone, your vet must have knowledge of this to get the best care for your dog.

Likewise, other drugs like aspirin, azole antifungals, CNS depressants, fluoroquinolones, phenothiazines, SSRI antidepressants, digoxin, antihypertensive drugs, cisapride and diuretics should be communicated to your vet.

How to Store Trazodone

This medication should be stored ideally in temperatures between 86°F – 77°F. Also, keeping this drug away from light and in an airtight container is also ideal.

To emphasize more on this, it is extremely important that Trazodone is adequately stored and kept away from your pets.



All in all Trazodone is an excellent drug for treating dogs that have behavioral problems.

A point to stress on to dog owners is to obtain a prescription from your vet and administer the right dosage.


Billy Maxwell

I love dogs! When I was 10 years old we had an Alsatian named "Damfo" - he was so big and strong it seemed like he was taking me for walks instead of the other way round. Our second dog was "Dinah", a beautiful pure bread Boxer. Later, in college, I earned extra money by dog sitting, training, and dog walking. I love to share stories with other dog lovers. Dogs are AMAZING!!

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