Trazodone for Dogs Dosage Chart: A Guide for Pet Owners

Trazodone for Dogs Dosage Chart


Trazodone for Dogs Dosage Chart: Trazodone is an antidepressant medication used to treat anxiety and behavioral problems in dogs. It works by adjusting the levels of serotonin, a natural chemical in the brain that helps maintain mental balance and mood.

By increasing serotonin, trazodone can have a calming effect and help relieve anxiety, aggression, and other behavioral issues in dogs.

The normal dosage of trazodone for dogs is 2 to 15 mg per pound of body weight, given 2-3 times a day. The exact dosage will depend on your dog’s condition and severity of symptoms.

It’s best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it under the guidance of your vet to find the optimal level.

Some potential side effects of trazodone for dogs include:

  • Sedation and drowsiness, especially when first starting the medication or after a dosage increase. This usually decreases over time.
  • Dry mouth. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting. Contact your vet if severe or persists for more than 24 hours.
  • Behavioral changes like restlessness or agitation. Report any strange behaviors to your vet immediately.

The effects of trazodone typically appear within 1-2 hours of administration and last 6-12 hours, depending on the dosage. Never stop giving trazodone abruptly, as this could cause withdrawal symptoms in dogs.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s dosage or discontinuing the medication.

With proper dosage and monitoring, trazodone can be a safe and effective treatment for anxiety, aggression, and behavioral problems in dogs. But as with any medication, close supervision and guidance from a vet is essential.

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Trazodone for Dogs Dosage Chart

Typical Trazodone Dosage for Dogs by Condition

For dogs with anxiety or certain behavioral issues, trazodone can be an effective treatment option. The dosage for each dog will depend on their weight and condition. You should always follow your vet’s recommended dosage, but here is a general guide:

  • For mild to moderate anxiety or fear-based aggression in small breed dogs (under 20 lbs), a typical starting dose is 25 to 50 mg, two to three times daily. For medium breed dogs (20 to 50 lbs), 50 to 100 mg, two to three times daily. For large breed dogs (over 50 lbs), 100 to 200 mg, two to three times daily.
  • For noise phobias like fear of fireworks or thunderstorms, slightly higher doses may be used, from 50 to 200 mg for small dogs, 100 to 300 mg for medium dogs, and 200 to 400 mg for large dogs. The medication should be given 1 to 2 hours before the anticipated noise event.
  • For severe anxiety or aggression, or in cases that do not respond to initial treatment, dosages at the higher end of the recommended range or slightly above may be tried. However, the risks of side effects also increase. Close monitoring by a vet is advised.
  • For insomnia or restlessness, a dose of 25 to 50 mg for small dogs, 50 to 100 mg for medium dogs, and 100 to 200 mg for large dogs given 30 minutes before bedtime can help. The dose can be adjusted based on response.
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By starting at a lower dosage and slowly increasing under guidance from your vet, you can find the right trazodone dosage for your dog to improve their symptoms while minimizing risks.

Be sure to schedule regular checkups and let your vet know of any side effects. With the proper dosage and monitoring, trazodone can be a safe and effective treatment option for many dogs.

Potential Side Effects of Trazodone for Dogs

Trazodone can cause several side effects in dogs. Owners should be aware of the following potential side effects when giving trazodone to their pets:

Sedation and Drowsiness

The most common side effect of trazodone is sedation and drowsiness. Trazodone is used to treat anxiety and insomnia in dogs, so this side effect is expected. Dogs may seem overly tired or lethargic after taking trazodone.

This side effect is temporary, but can last 6-8 hours after administration. Dog owners should avoid activities that require high alertness or coordination after giving trazodone.

Diarrhea and Vomiting

Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset, like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting when first starting trazodone or when dosage is increased.

These side effects are usually temporary, but owners should contact their vet if symptoms are severe or persist for more than a couple of days. It may help to give the medication with food to minimize stomach irritation.

Loss of Appetite

A decreased appetite is another possible side effect of trazodone for dogs. While rare, some dogs may experience a loss of appetite that leads to weight loss over time.

Owners should monitor their dog’s eating habits and contact the vet if loss of appetite continues or significant weight loss is noted.

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Additional Side Effects

Other potential side effects of trazodone for dogs include:

  • Excessive panting or salivation: Some dogs may pant excessively or drool more than normal. This is usually temporary.
  • Skin rashes: Rarely, dogs can experience an allergic reaction to trazodone that leads to hives, rashes, or skin irritation. Seek vet care immediately if this occurs.
  • Behavioral changes: Increased aggression, restlessness, or other behavioral changes can sometimes occur. Consult your vet about dosage adjustments or alternative medications if behavioral side effects are problematic.

By being aware of possible side effects and closely monitoring your dog when starting or increasing the dosage of trazodone, owners can help minimize risks and ensure the best results from treatment.

Always talk to your vet about any concerns with side effects or lack of efficacy from the medication.


Pet owners commonly have questions about trazodone dosage for dogs. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

What is the normal dosage of trazodone for dogs?

The typical dosage of trazodone for dogs is 3 to 5 mg per pound of body weight, given two to three times a day. So for a dog weighing 40 pounds, the normal dosage would be 120 to 200 mg total per day, divided into two or three doses.

The specific dosage for your dog will depend on their condition and response to the medication. Always follow your vet’s dosage instructions.

How long does it take for trazodone to start working in dogs?

Trazodone usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes to start working in dogs after oral administration. The effects tend to last 6 to 8 hours, so the medication is often given two or three times per day.

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The time it takes to start working and the duration of effects can vary between individual dogs.

Are there any side effects of trazodone for dogs?

Some potential side effects of trazodone for dogs include:

  • Sedation and drowsiness – Trazodone is a sedative, so sedation and drowsiness are expected effects. These side effects are usually temporary as the dog adjusts to the medication.
  •  Priapism (prolonged erection) – This side effect is rare but can occur in male dogs. Seek vet attention immediately if it occurs.
  •  Irregular heartbeat – Trazodone can sometimes cause abnormal heart rhythms or rates in dogs. Report any irregular heartbeat to your vet right away.
  • Loss of appetite – Some dogs may experience decreased appetite or loss of appetite when first starting trazodone. This is usually temporary, but contact your vet if your dog’s appetite does not improve or gets worse.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting – Stomach upset and gastrointestinal issues are possible side effects. Contact your vet if these symptoms are severe or persist more than a couple of days.
  • Lethargy – While trazodone causes sedation, lethargy or extreme tiredness can sometimes occur. Report any lethargy that seems excessive or does not improve to your veterinarian.

When should I contact my vet about trazodone side effects?

Contact your vet immediately if your dog experiences priapism, irregular heartbeat, or any severe or persistent side effects from trazodone such as lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea or vomiting.

Your vet may need to adjust or change your dog’s dosage or medication. For less severe side effects like sedation or drowsiness, contact your vet if these do not start to improve within 3 to 5 days of starting the medication or if they get worse

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