Xanax for Dogs: Cost and FAQs

Four minutes
Oct 30, 2023

Just like humans, dogs can get anxious. And just like humans, dogs can take Xanax if their anxiety is severe enough. So what does it mean if your dog needs to start taking Xanax regularly? Let’s start with the cost.

Alprazolam for dogs, the generic version of dog Xanax, can cost between $17 and $27 for a 90-pill supply.1 The price varies based on the dosage your dog needs. Dog insurance can help cover the cost of your pup’s Xanax prescription. This way, you can give your dog the medicine they need to live a calmer life.

Let’s dive into what else you need to know about giving your anxious dog Xanax so you feel empowered to best care for your furry friend.

What Is Xanax for Dogs?

Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that temporarily depresses your dog’s nervous system.2 This essentially gives them a low-level of sedation, which relaxes their muscles and calms their mind. It can help ease fear, separation anxiety, thunderstorm anxiety, hyperactivity, and other manifestations of anxiety.

Xanax and the drug’s generic version, alprazolam, are considered benzodiazepine tranquilizers. These are schedule 4 controlled substances.3 This means there are more restrictions on this prescription medication. It’s also not FDA-approved for pets. However, vets regularly prescribe “off-label” medications to treat pet injuries and illnesses.2

So long as you follow your veterinarian's instructions and dosage amounts carefully, it’s considered safe for your dog.

A MetLife Pet Policy May Help Cover Xanax Costs

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Xanax Dosage for Dogs

There’s not a clear Xanax dosing chart for dogs because the dosages are based on your dog’s weight, as well as the kind of anxiety or other conditions the drug is treating. Your vet will work with you to understand your dog’s lifestyle and prescribe their dosage accordingly. Although, as a rule of thumb, dogs should not exceed 4 mg of Xanax within 24 hours.2

Xanax for dogs comes in pill and liquid form, but pills are more common. Depending on your dog’s anxiety, your vet may prescribe Xanax one of two ways, either as-needed or routinely:2

  • As-needed: You may be instructed to give your dog Xanax 30 – 60 minutes before an event like fireworks, a storm, or traveling to manage acute anxiety
  • Routinely: You may be instructed to give your dog Xanax every 6 – 12 hours to manage long-term anxiety

Side Effects of Xanax in Dogs

While Xanax’s benefits usually outweigh the risks, there are still some potential side effects to watch out for. If you suspect your dog has been overdosed or they’re exhibiting serious side effects, call your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline ($85 incident fee applies). Here are some of the side effects:2

  • Sedation
  • Incoordination
  • Aggression
  • Increased appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure

Drug interactions

Xanax may interact with a handful of dog medications and cause serious side effects. As such, it’s important to tell your vet about all the medicines and supplements your dog is taking, so they can safely prescribe it. Here’s a list of some medications that may interact with Xanax to get you started:2

  • Antihistamines
  • Heart medications
  • Antacids
  • Antifungals
  • Behavioral medications
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Opioids
  • Parasite prevention
  • CBD
dog being fed a pill by owner

Xanax for Dogs FAQs

Xanax is a potent sedative that can help your dog conquer fear and anxiety to live their best life. Now that you’ve got the rundown on Xanax for dogs, here are some more questions you may have:

What happens if my dog misses a dose?

Your dog will be OK without the dose. If the time is still close to that dose, then you can still give it to them. But if it’s closer to their next dose, just skip it and give them their next scheduled dose.2 If you’re unsure, call your vet to double-check. Never give your dog a double dose of Xanax.2

What are some other uses for Xanax?

While Xanax is traditionally prescribed for anxiety, sometimes, a vet will prescribe it for other conditions. Xanax may help treat muscle pain, irritable bowel syndrome, colon problems, and depression. It may also help boost your dog’s appetite.4

Are there Xanax alternatives for dogs?

There’s a handful of other anti-anxiety medications your vet may prescribe, including trazodone. You can also try treating your dog’s anxiety with calming treats, CBD for dogs, or behavioral training. Talk to your vet about your options before deciding on Xanax.

Calm Your Anxious Dog Today

Whether your dog needs a vet appointment, a Xanax prescription, or an alternative remedy, dog insurance can help. MetLife Pet Insurance can cover veterinary checkups and prescriptions, so you can get your dog the help they need. This alone can make pet insurance worth it for many people. Take the first step toward treating your dog’s anxiety today with a free quote.

Help Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Alprazolam,” PETplus

2 “Xanax (Alprazolam) for Dogs: Medication to Manage Anxiety and Specific Fears,” GoodRx Health, 2023

3 “Controlled Substance Schedules,” U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, 2023

4 “How Safe Is Alprazolam For Dogs?” Pettable, 2023

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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