Are Muscle Relaxers Safe For Dogs?

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Some folks depend on muscle relaxers to get them through the day.

But are these types of meds safe for dogs? After all, there are times when canines need this sort of pain relief too.

Can I Give My Dog Muscle Relaxers?The truth is veterinarians do use muscle relaxants on pets (short-term treatment only).

Hold on though!

Do you have a personal supply that you’re considering for your dog?

It’s always a bad idea to give leftover medication and especially when it comes to muscle relaxers.

This is a very broad topic. Learn more…

Muscle Relaxers Work For Dogs But Your Vet’s Help is Required

Providing a drug like Xanax (for example) without professional guidance is not recommended.

The same goes for other less well-known brands that have similar properties including:

  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Tizanidine (Zanaflex)
  • Oxazepam
  • Carisoprodol (Soma)
  • Baclofen
  • Metaxalone (Skelaxin)

There are so many skeletal muscle relaxants. And many are actually just as dangerous for dogs (if not more so) than popular pain killers or NSAIDS.

What’s absolutely certain is this:

Antispasmodic drugs could put your dog in harm’s way. Do not go it alone!

Others Worth Considering

Are there viable treatment options for when a pet has muscle pain or spasms?


There is a drug that’s FDA-approved for veterinary medicine.

Robaxin-V (Methocarbamol) is a muscle relaxer that is an option for dogs with acute muscle spasm disorders. It has a pretty good safety record.

For Reference Only: Dosing is typically around 20mg per pound of body weight.

Other possibilities:

  • Dantrium AKA Dantrolene was found to be “well tolerated after oral administration” for dogs that were part of a detailed pharmacokinetic evaluation
  • Tramadol (this opioid is an option for animals)
  • Benzodiazepines (Diazepam, for example, is prescribed by vets to achieve muscle relaxation)

But of course you’d need to get your dog a prescription for these. Be sure to ask about them!

Very Real Risks For Rover

It cannot be stressed enough:

Most muscle relaxers can impair or depress your dog’s central nervous system (CNS).

Toxicity may appear as overall weakness, disorientation as well as mood swings.

But that’s not all…

Serious cases of poisoning can cause seizures, coma and even death.

Overdose And Other Concerns 

When it comes to muscle relaxers, it’s so important to get a diagnosis and then adhere to proper dosage.

Puppies and small breeds are particularly at risk compared to larger breeds.

Make no mistake:

Overdose can cause organ failure of the liver, kidneys and heart.

Does your dog have another existing heath problem? If so, be super careful with muscle relaxants!

The above are just a few reasons to consult with a veterinarian.

Two Safer Alternatives

This may sound far out there but acupuncture is worth looking into.

Yes, this can also be done on canines! It may be a lasting solution to a furry friend’s muscle spasms.

You could also look into a light therapy device designed specifically for dogs. It’s safe and can be beneficial in several ways including for deep muscle pain.

The Bottom Line

There are muscle relaxers that can be given to dogs.

But these pharmaceuticals require expertise and especially when it comes to pets!

Never provide your dog with a muscle relaxant that may be sitting in your medicine cabinet. Get a diagnosis!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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10 thoughts on “Are Muscle Relaxers Safe For Dogs?”

  1. I absolutely appreciate all this great advice from people here. I just gave my dog 6 of those cute little ‘bar-looking’ pills. My daughter takes them and she’s really anxious all the time. The strange thing is that Buster isn’t really mobile at this time. Almost catatonic, but I’m sure it will pass-at least until this storm is over. I can’t stand barking!

  2. Tramadol is commonly used on dogs, but the cost is a lot higher for a vet’s prescription. So I cut my own Tramadol into quarters in order to help my old, crippled dog rest when the cold/wet weather affects her. She responds well to it.

  3. There are meds safe for dogs that can help with arthritis.

  4. I have an elderly dog that’s in a lot of discomfort due to arthritis. During lightning and thunder storms he shakes and is incredibly uptight (not able to settle down). He’s overwhelmed. Can I give him a small amount of Tizanidine to relax him?

  5. Can I give a muscle relaxant as well as Metronidazole? My dog can no longer stand, and he has lockjaw. Can I buy dog medicine over the counter? I cannot afford a veterinarian. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    1. Having a pet is not cheap! As far as being that injured (he cannot stand), think about the quality of his life. Is it terminal? Is he really old?

      Sometimes it makes sense to spare the dog suffering. I just put my 15 year old cat to sleep last month. It was the hardest thing I ever have done! But he was barely breathing and weighed like 3 pounds. Saying goodbye and releasing him from the pain is the right thing to do.

      1. It’s not so much the cost as the availability of emergency visits. Our closest is 70 miles. We live in the country. I’ve read, listened and watched my vet long enough to know what I can give my dog. Tramadol and Mobic are terrific. Codeine is also great.

        1. What about giving the dog Baclofen?

          1. No! It will kill your pet faster than muscle relaxants (they’re dangerous too). Also, Tylenol will harm your animal. Depending where you live, there are rescues that may help you.

    2. Metronidazole is an antibiotic, not a muscle relaxant.

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