Can My Dog Take Ritalin? Is It Safe? (Dosing Info Included)

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Are you wondering if your dog can take Ritalin for ADHD-like behavior?

Can I Give My Dog Ritalin?First thing’s first:

There is unfortunately no veterinary equivalent to this well-known central nervous system stimulant ie. Methylphenidate.

With that being said, Ritalin is sometimes prescribed to dogs. But such an idea should not be taken lightly.

Let’s take a closer look…

Some Dogs Can Benefit From Ritalin

We say this very cautiously. 

Results of a Study

No dogs died after completing this 90-day experiment, but there were adverse effects:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Diarrhea
  • Salivation

Not Our 1st Choice

So, you see, giving Ritalin to your dog comes with several risks.

Sure, it may work. However, this drug obviously is not as safe for canines as it is for people.

A good veterinarian will try to avoid using Ritalin.

Truth be told, there are plenty of other treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and pet anxiety.

Still set on Ritalin?

Dog Dosing Info

To be very clear, this is not a recommendation. Ritalin use absolutely requires a professional diagnosis and detailed instructions.

For reference only:

Never exceed 1/4 of a milligram (0.25mg) per pound for your dog’s body weight.

A partial tablet (cut up) may be necessary for accurate dosage.

Something else has to be stressed here:

Severe side effects are not always associated with high doses. Nevertheless, avoid giving your dog a Methylphenidate dose more than 3 times per day.

That’s not all…

What To Watch For

Dogs with heart problems or high blood pressure typically should not take Ritalin.

Is your buddy definitely being put on this medication?

Be familiar with a long list of potential side effects in addition to what the study found:

  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Aggression
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Fever
  • Seizures

These require medical attention as soon as possible.

Toxicosis: Dogs Do Die

Still not convinced?

Here is another study’s clinical findings on the effects of generic Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) given to a group of 128 dogs.

84% of them experienced signs of toxicosis.

As you can read for yourself: 3 dogs died.

The study’s conclusion?

“Ingestion of even small amounts can cause severe clinical signs in dogs.”

Adderall Any Better?

Dextroamphetamine, AKA Adderall, is also popular and also quite similar.

Honestly, it is equally bad.

Adderall tends to last longer than Ritalin, but that is no reason to depend on it.

Ideas for Calming

Try something more natural to help your dog relax.

Look into Rescue Remedy as well as St. John’s Wart.

There are all kinds of calming supplements that can achieve results comparable to Ritalin.

They are also much less dangerous!

Pet Poisoning Plan

Have a supply of activated charcoal on-hand in case you need to reduce absorption of Ritalin or various other medications.

But, for a suspected overdose, you need to take your dog to your vet regardless.

The Bottom Line

Ritalin can be given to dogs for various behavioral problems.

It is usually effective. Nevertheless, this narcotic is powerful and poisoning can be fatal.

Never go it alone with a leftover Ritalin supply. Too dangerous for your dog!

If possible, go with a non-pharmaceutical option for hyperactive tendencies.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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One thought on “Can My Dog Take Ritalin? Is It Safe? (Dosing Info Included)”

  1. My dog loves my wife and I. But we are both almost 84 and I have extremely thin skin, am permanently on Plavix and his nails are hard and sharp. I am about to either return him to the shelter or put him on some sort of medication to calm him down. I think spending a fortune on obedience training could break his spirit or not work at all. Any suggestions?

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