Diazepam For a Pet Dog? What You Must Know!

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Can anxious dogs be given Diazepam?

It’s a great question because this sedative medication, AKA Valium, would seem to be useful for certain stressful situations (ie. fireworks and thunderstorms).

Can I Give My Dog Diazepam?But is it safe enough?

Here’s the deal:

Being a powerful controlled substance, this drug can have serious side effects. You should consider it risky to give your dog Diazepam.

With that being said, vets do use it.

But it is often the case that dogs are weaned off to prevent aggressive behavior. Safer alternatives should really be considered.

Some Dogs Can Take Diazepam

A veterinarian must prescribe it. Do not go it alone!

This particular muscle-relaxant is sometimes used to treat the condition known as Separation Anxiety or to stimulate an appetite.

Diazepam, which is a type of benzodiazepine, is also a valuable anti-epileptic for dogs with Status Epilepticus (SE).

In other words…

It can be a life saver though there is a real potential for harm. So, whatever the situation, be cautious about providing Valium to your pet dog.

Precautions For Pets

Pregnant or nursing dogs as well as those with liver or kidney problems should never be given Valium (or equivalent).

Too risky!

The reason?

Diazepam absorption can quickly reach the placenta (sedating unborn puppies and overdosing them).

Several Side Effects

The most common Valium side effects include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Immediately stop the medication and go to a veterinarian if your dog experiences any of these.

It is also essential to avoid dehydration — be sure to provide plenty of fresh water (especially if your dog vomits or has diarrhea).

Careful of Overdose

Giving your dog any type of human-formulated sedative is potentially dangerous and you can never totally eliminate risks.

Closely monitor for lethargy and/or clumsiness. It may become difficult for Fido to stand up.

More seriously…

Coma has been known to occur in some dogs on too much Valium (or most other anti-anxiety meds).

Certainly get help if your dog somehow eats many Diazepam pills.

Forced vomiting and a laxative will likely be recommended.


Warning: Death is possible from a massive Valium overdose.


Use For Epileptic Dogs

Caring for an epileptic dog can be scary (especially the first time a seizure occurs).

Thanfully there are special medications. Anticonvulsants, for easing seizure symptoms, should be looked into.

It is true that Diazepam, and other muscle relaxers, are used to control seizures.

Very seldom is it a realistic long-term solution. Dogs tend to quickly develop a tolerance.

Yes, a vet may prescribe Valium for seizures.

But, again, later they may need to be weaned off Diazepam and put on something more sustainable.

The Bottom Line

Diazepam has valid uses, but get your dog a proper diagnosis first.

Use of this drug requires professional guidance. Diazepam is a strong sedative muscle relaxant that comes with significant dangers.

There are usually better solutions for a dog’s anxiousness or other medical condition.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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32 thoughts on “Diazepam For a Pet Dog? What You Must Know!”

  1. My Patterdale Terrier is absolutely horrified of fireworks. Vets prescribed diazepam in the amount of half of a 5mg pill an hour before dark, but it’s had no effect. I gave her the other half so she’d had 5mg over a 6 hour period. She was still very stressed. Can I give her more? It’s only for a couple days.

  2. I have been giving my 24 kilogram Staffordshire Bull Terrier 10mg of Diazepam for the last 4 days due to him being terrified of fireworks. I give half in the morning and another half 3 or 4 hours later, but look to reduce him to just a half per day (even then he’s no calmer than he was to begin with). Any advice?

  3. My 39 pound Goldendoodle is going for an operation for a large mass in his bowel. I know he will suffer high anxiety. Would it be safe to give him one of my 5mg Diazapam till we get him into the hospital? The thought of him being stressed is breaking my heart.

  4. My dog gets seizures and my vet put him on Diazepam (10mg twice a day) for five days. The problem is after he goes off of the meds he will have another seizure. I think I should give him this medication every other day so he won’t go into a seizure. What do you think?

  5. My 19 pound dog is very old and sick. Vets can do no more. Can I put him to sleep with Valium?

  6. My vet prescribed my 7 kilogram Shih Tzu 20mg (4 tablets) diazepam twice a day. Is that too much?

    1. That’s way too much for a dog that small.

  7. I have 2 Shiatsu and they are very frightened of fireworks. They tremble and shake with fright and won’t leave my side. It’s very distressing for them both.

    One of them has a heart murmur and his back legs are weak. He is on Lexicom drops, 1.5mg, and I put 6ml drops at night in his food. Is there anything I can do to help them when the fireworks start?

  8. I have a Pug that does not travel well. We took her to our vet before having to take her on a 10 hour trip for a surgery. He was prescribed Valium. He gave us 2 pills that were 4mg I believe and said to cut them into 4ths and try her on 1/4 one day while at home before making the trip.

    Giving it to her at home didn’t help. Sure, it calmed her but she is generally always calm at home. When we started out to Virginia I gave her 1/2 with no result, gave her another 1/2 a couple of hours later as per the doctor’s recommendation but with no result. Also gave her 2 25mg of Benadryl at his recommendation with no result.

    By the time we got her to Virginia we had to take her to an emergency vet where she was treated with more sedation. She had panted the entire trip, never voided the many times we stopped for her and she drank over two 16oz bottles of water.

    She was in tachycardia and could’ve died. We finally got her to the hotel room at like 3AM and she finally settled down where I was to call the surgeon the next morning to see if they would even do the surgery after all of this. Long story short, she did get the surgery a few days later and the trip home was much easier but now I am getting ready to move 12 hours away and this terrifies me.

    I am gonna call the surgeon and find out what he prescribed her for the trip home in the morning, but I fear our vet here will be too conservative again with her treatment. Flying is out for her as well since most dogs her size have to go in the cargo hold and I will not allow that. It would kill her I am sure.

    She is very anxious even if I leave for an overnight trip. I’d really like some guidance on this as we’ve tried the hormone collars, and essential oils. We’ve tried doing short trips every other day with treats and nothing seems to help my poor baby.

  9. I can’t take my dog near other dogs as as she becomes extremely agitated. She will snap if they come close and will even attack smaller dogs. I’m thinking of trying Valium to see if this makes a difference. How much should I start with? She’s a 24 kilogram Border Collie.

  10. My Yorkie was prescribed 1/4 of 5mg Diazepam for severe Scotty Cramp disease. We gave it for the first time tonight during a terrible episode.

    The pill seemed to make her way more hyper which has made her condition even worse. She is on liquid Nutri-Calm 1/2 dropper, 2 times a day, but it has done nothing.

    She is a very hyper dog and cannot exercise her due to her condition. I feel lost. Is there any other med option to calm her? We live in a small town with no neurologist anywhere near here. We are desperate for help.

  11. I have a standard poodle who weighs about 70 pounds. Is it safe to give him a small dose of Valium? How many milligrams? I want to clip his nails and cut his hair.

  12. My dog is in kidney failure right now. I’m using 10mg Diazepam once daily for seizures. Is it safe? What should I look out for? Can she be left alone for any period of time?

  13. I am moving and the car trip will be slightly over 1 hour. My dog is a Rottweiler. She was a rescue dog and gets nervous around strangers. She has only been in the car on the few occasions that she’s been to the vet. You have to almost lift and push her into the back seat. When she is there she just lays there not panting or anything, she just looks scared.

    These trips are of a very short duration about 10 minutes. So, someone suggested I give her some Valium to just calm her down and she may even doze during the much longer trip in the car. She weighs around 50 kilograms, so how much would I give her just to take the edge off? Thanks for any help you could give my family.

    1. Diazepam has a duration of action of about 6 hours and a half life of over 3 days. 1 hour trips do not justify its usage. Also, benzodiazepines in rare occasions can have what’s known as paradoxical symptoms which means basically strong agitation.

      If you’re going to use one, I’d recommend 0.5mg of Alprazolam (Xanax) a full hour before the trip. Now, if this is a one time thing, 10mg of Diazepam won’t hurt her. There are a few natural dog tranquilizers. Melatonin also seems to work well. I’d look into those before going with such potent drugs.

  14. Is it okay to give my Pug some Alprazolam along with Phenobarbital? He weighs just under 30 pounds. How much of each is safe?

  15. Josephine says:

    I hope that someone can help me. I live in Florida and we have some very bad thunderstorms. My one and a half year old Shi Tzu/Pomeranian just shakes so bad she can hardly stand up when we have lightning and thunder with a lot of hard rain. The Thundershirt did nothing to help her with this problem.

    This morning we were having a very bad storm so I gave her one 2mg Valium as prescribed by my vet and she can barely stand up on her feet. I gave it to her at 8:00AM, it’s now 5:00PM and she is still not able to stand.

    Do you think that this reaction can be normal for the first time? Do you think I should wait another hour or two and see if she improves or should I get her to the vet now?

    1. Hello Josephine. Sorry to hear about your dog’s problems. Unfortunately, nobody here can give you an answer for something so urgent. Only your vet can determine the severity as well as the best course of action. In any case, I hope that your dog is doing better.

    2. Shih Tzu Mom says:

      I have been giving my senior Shih Tzu 0.5mg of Valium. He’s suffering from dementia and fear due to glaucoma. It has helped but 0.5mg once a day isn’t enough. My Lhasa took 1mg and it worked for her lung spasms.

      Anyway, don’t overdo it with Valium. 1mg is all you should give and only twice a day (unless your vet says otherwise).

  16. I take Valium up to 10 a day, each being 10mg. My Chihuahua doesn’t even calm down on 5mg, but I’m afraid to increase it to 10mg.

    1. Please see a vet. This is not only addictive but sometimes these medications affect pets very differently. The dosage seems way too high for your size dog. It could be that another med would be better. I gave my 15 pound dog the dosage that my vet recommended which was 2mg. I cut it in half and it worked.

      1. Good advice Jane. I only use it on the 4th of July and other problem times like New Year’s. She’s a big girl at over 80 pounds, a Rottie. I talked to my vet and he said to use 0.5mg to start and she how she tolerates it. She’s doing great!

  17. I rescued a 7 week old Chihuahua puppy who was having 3 to 4 seizures a day. Zeus was full of parasites, had an infection, and had ear issues. I immediately rushed him to an emergency clinic. He had 5 seizures back to back.

    The vet immediately calmed him with Valium. It has helped him tremendously. He takes 1/4 Valium twice a day along with phenobarbital twice daily. His seizures are now down to 2 to 3 a week. We are trying to get him to one a month so we can wean him off the meds, if possible.

    I feel Zeus would have died without us and the care of our vet. He is an amazing puppy. His parasite issues are nearly cleared up. He is still on meds for his ears. I definitely am not a bad pet owner for trying to save this little guy. I have eight other dogs that are strong and healthy. I feel great about how far Zeus has come in the short four weeks with us.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    A couple years ago, I gave my Maltipoo 0.25mg of Xanax and he was out of it for a long while. It was to the point we were about to take him to the animal hospital. If you look up the normal dosage of Valium, which is like Xanax on steroids, the minimum for an adult human is 2mg. The overall maximum for any adult treatment is 10mg. Those dogs are happy and calmer because they are stoned out of their minds. It’s just irresponsible!

    1. I have taken Diazepam for years due to sever panic and anxiety attacks. I guarantee you that 10mg is not the overall maximum for any adult treatment. When I started taking it, I was on 30mg and I now take 5 or 10 depending on the day.

      I’m considering giving my 75 pound Australian Shepard 1mg for a long car trip we will be taking soon. It’s what my vet recommends. He will only take it for the trip to help with his anxiety of riding in the car. I will be monitoring him closely.

      I do not consider myself an irresponsible pet lover! I just don’t want him to be miserable for the entire trip.

    2. Were you advised by a veterinarian to give your dog Xanax? Your remark that Valium is like Xanax on steroids is completely untrue.

    3. You cannot determine pet dosage using human equivalents. Since dogs are resistant to Valium, they would obviously need more, not less. I have seen a recommendation of 0.25mg per pound of weight. That means a 40 pound dog would need 10mg.

      Still, dosage recommendations should be left to the professionals since one must also factor in health conditions. It is irresponsible to post information outside one’s scope of expertise, especially if it creates fear and noncompliance with recommended usage.

  19. My Chihuahua has been on Tramadol for chronic pain. Unfortunately, he has run out and his vet is out of town. I have given him 2mg of Valium and he has calmed down, breathing and pulse are also normal. My concern is when and how much to give for subsequent doses. Does anyone know?

    1. Cindy, I just found this regarding Valium dosage for a dog:

      0.5 to 1mg per kilogram of dog. A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. Use a lower dosage to start, say 0.5 or one half of a milligram. Just once in a 24 hour period! This is assuming the dog isn’t on other meds or antacids.

      I’m not sure of the exact dosage schedule for a Chihuahua. But Valium has a long half life, meaning it takes a long time to clear the system. It builds up making for a high over-dose potential.

      2mg seems quite high for that low body weight. In fact, 2mg knocks me out! Please go online and search for an after hours or 24 emergency vet in your area. You can then call them for advice.

  20. I have started giving my old dog Valium and it has worked wonders for him. He is back to his old self. He is happy again and much more active and his noise phobia is completely gone.

    I am, however, going to stop giving it to him because I will not have him go through withdrawals. Maybe I will use it occasionally for severe fear. I am doing this all with my vet, however she tells me not to worry about withdrawals but she just doesn’t get it.

    1. If usage has been under a month, Valium shouldn’t give him withdrawal. As a precaution, you can diminish the dosage by 25% each week until it’s gone. For example, for 10mg:

      Week 1: 7.5mg
      Week 2: 5mg
      Week 3: 2.5mg
      Week 4: This is the hardest part. You may want to alternate between nothing and 2.5mg for a week before going full stop.

      And, of course, adapt this to the dose your dog is taking.

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