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Type: Medications

Acepromazine (Ace)

A short-acting sedative, from the antipsychotic family of drugs.  Although it was once commonly prescribed for dogs with fears of grooming and vet visits, its popularity has declined as it has come to be associated with an increase of fear, and seizures in some breeds.

Adaptil (DAP)

A chemical that is said to mimic the pheromones released by lactating bitches, which have a soothing effect on their puppies. The synthetic version, marketed as DAP in the United States, is claimed to have a calming effect on adult dogs and is available as a plug-in diffuser, infused collar, or spray.

Alprazolam

A short acting drug from the benzodiazepine family, prescribed by vets to treat separation anxiety, anxiety about visits to the vet or other specific events, and general anxiety issues. Alprazolam is the generic form of Xanax. It has not been approved by the FDA for use in animals, but has been widely prescribed by vets as there is not considered to be a better alternative medication.

Buspirone

A drug sometimes prescribed by vets for dogs with anxiety and/or aggression issues. It is a long-acting drug that is not meant to have a sedative effect.  Commonly referred to by its brand name, BuSpar.

Clomipramine

A drug sometimes prescribed by vets to treat anxiety and/or aggression in dogs. It is specifically recommended and licensed by the FDA as part of the treatment of separation anxiety, but is widely prescribed off-label for general anxiety. The brand name is Clomicalm.

Clonidine

A short-acting anti-anxiety medication, often prescribed as an alternative to alprazolam.

Homeopathic Remedies

Medications prepared according to homeopathic principles.  The principle of homeopathy was invented by Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann in the 19th Century. It is based on the idea that “like cures like” and that the more an active ingredient is diluted, the more potent the preparation will become.

Homeopathic preparations have been systematically shown not to have any effect on the problems they are designed to treat, however this is disputed.

Not to be confused with natural remedies or nutraceuticals.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland.  It is synthesized naturally through the breakdown of an amino acid, tryptophan, but is also given to dogs as a dietary supplement.  Melatonin is said to aid sleep and have some calming effects.

Rescue Remedy

A type of over the counter supplement marketed as being able to relieve anxiety in both humans and dogs. It is made of flower extracts at extremely low concentrations, using similar principles to homeopathy.

Use in dogs is controversial as there is no scientific evidence for the efficacy of this product.

Trazodone

A fast-acting anti-anxiety medication, available on prescription from a vet. Trazodone is most commonly prescribed as a daily medication, alongside a longer-acting medicine like fluoxetine.  This is because studies have shown that trazodone can increase the effectiveness of these medications due to a synergistic effect.

Trifexis

An FDA-approved monthly tablet for dogs, which prevents fleas, heartworms and intestinal worms.

Side-effects are listed as vomiting and lethargy, but some pet owners claim that Trifexis is linked to more serious concerns.  However, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA state that no evidence has been found to support this at the present time.

Zylkene

The brand name for a nutraceutical compound derived from cow’s milk.  These products are said to promote calmness and decrease anxiety in dogs with mild behavioral problems.