Is Prozac Safe for Dogs?

Prescription Drugs

Is Prozac Safe for Dogs?

Pets.Pet Health.Pet Medication
Jennifer Hadley
By Jennifer Hadley
Apr 16, 2021
Gerri Katz, DVM
Medically Reviewed ByGerri Katz, DVM
Man is holding and kissing his dog.

Prozac, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is a frequently prescribed medication to treat anxiety and depression in humans. Its generic form, fluoxetine is also approved for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs. If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe fluoxetine, in addition to behavior modification training to help reduce symptoms. So, is Prozac safe for dogs? Read on to learn more.

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Why are dogs prescribed Prozac?

Your veterinarian may prescribe generic Prozac if your dog is struggling with separation anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved fluoxetine for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs.

It is believed that separation anxiety strikes dogs who are overly attached to certain members of their family. When that family member leaves or prepares to leave, a dog suffering from separation anxiety may engage in behaviors such as:

  • Barking, crying, howling
  • Shaking
  • Trembling
  • Drooling
  • Escaping
  • Pacing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Chewing on household items
  • Soiling the inside of the home

If your dog displays any of these symptoms of separation anxiety, talk with your veterinarian about behavior modification training, and medication if appropriate.

Off-Label Uses of Fluoxetine in Dogs

Fluoxetine is FDA-approved for separation anxiety in dogs, but it may also be prescribed by your veterinarian to treat other conditions. Known as off-label or extra-label uses, generic Prozac may be prescribed along with behavioral training to treat:

  • Aggression
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Noise anxiety or other phobias (thunderstorms, etc.)

Fluoxetine is not a fast-acting medication, and should never be given to a dog experiencing acute aggression, compulsive behaviors, or anxiety. If your dog behaves unusually or aggressively, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out other underlying conditions.

How Generic Prozac Works To Reduce Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Fluoxetine works the same way in dogs as it does in humans. That’s because the medication increases serotonin levels in the central nervous system. It does so by blocking your dog’s body from reabsorbing serotonin. Higher levels of serotonin help to improve mood.

Is Prozac safe for dogs?

Prozac is safe for dogs if and only if it is prescribed by your veterinarian. You should never give your dog Prozac or fluoxetine that was prescribed for a human. The dosage of fluoxetine that humans are prescribed is very different from the dosage your dog is prescribed.

Before prescribing Prozac for your dog, your veterinarian will go over all other medications your dog is taking, and review your dog’s medical history to ensure that fluoxetine is safe for them to take.

Giving your dog Prozac that has not been prescribed to them may result in seizures.

What are the side effects of Prozac in dogs?

All medications have the potential to cause side effects in humans and dogs. Common side effects of fluoxetine in dogs may include.

  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Panting
  • Whining
  • Restlessness
  • Drooling
  • Weight loss
  • Incoordination

Rare but serious side effects may occur. Serious side effects of Prozac in dogs include:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Aggression
  • Seizures

If your dog experiences any side effects of Prozac, notify your veterinarian right away. But do not abruptly stop giving your dog the medication. Likewise, if you skip a dose for your dog, give it to them as soon as you remember, but do not give them a double dose.

How long does it take for Prozac to work in dogs?

Prozac takes several weeks before the full effects can be seen. Blood work may be used to confirm that the medication is working. You may not notice any visible improvement in their behavior at first. However, you may begin to notice they have stopped soiling inside the home or chewing on their crate or furniture in your absence.

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How to Afford Prozac for Your Dog

To afford generic Prozac for your dog, ask your veterinarian to write a prescription for your dog that you can fill at a pharmacy. Then, search for coupons on the free RxSaver app or website.

Select the coupon for the pharmacy where you wish to fill the prescription. Then just show the pharmacist the coupon when you pick up your dog’s medication. You can also call the pharmacy ahead of time to provide the coupon code when you order the medicine for delivery, or before you pick it up at the drive-thru.

The RxSaver coupon price for fluoxetine starts at $4.00 for 20 mg and 30 capsules.

Always Talk to Your Veterinarian

If your dog is struggling with behavioral issues, talk with your veterinarian. Although medication may be recommended, many animals will respond well to behavioral training. Together with your veterinarian, you can decide the best course of treatment to help your pup get relief from stress and anxiety as soon as possible.

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 4/12/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.

Gerri Katz, DVM

Gerri Katz, DVM

Dr. Geri Katz is a 1996 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced as a small animal veterinarian for over 25 years but has a particular fondness for felines. She opened Aristokatz, a veterinary hospital dedicated solely to the welfare of cats, in April of 2012. As an active member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and regional veterinary associations, Dr. Katz is continually learning from veterinary specialists regarding various health issues that affect cats. “What fulfills me most as a veterinarian,” Dr Katz says, “is building trusting relationships with pet owners, and ensuring that my patients live long, healthy, and comfortable lives.” In Dr. Katz’s free time she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two children in Fairfield, Connecticut. She also loves to spoil her kitties – Jimmy, Meep, and Jeorge.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

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