Pill shaming in recent years has reached an evangelical pitch. With that kind of reaction, who is going to admit that their dog has been on antidepressants?
Now it’s time to wean your dog off Prozac and you need advice. Let me tell you this…weaning your dog off of Prozac is very similar to weaning a person from the drug. It can be done easily and safely.
When you’re finished, make sure to sign up for your free Prozac tapering schedule. You can start using it right away!
REMEMBER THIS 2012 QUOTE FROM TOM CRUISE?
“There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance… antidepressants – all it does is mask the problems. There’s ways, there’s vitamins, there’s exercise”
Mr. Cruise obviously wasn’t talking about dogs, although they DO need exercise and good nutrition. I’m going to go ahead and say that Tom Cruise probably isn’t the expert to talk to about weaning your dog off Prozac. This is where I take over.
STEP 1: Make Sure the Veterinarian is in the Loop Before Weaning Your Dog Off Prozac.
The veterinarian can offer a tapering schedule that’s easy and safe to follow.
The doctor might request a follow-up visit during the weaning process to monitor your dog’s progress. Antidepressants like Prozac take time to metabolize completely. Serious interactions can occur when mixing antidepressants with other medications.
STEP 2: Consider Whether It’s Too Soon to Taper
Weaning your dog off Prozac too soon doesn’t give him a chance to imprint/remember a new set of appropriate behaviors. Antidepressants alleviate the anxiety that is blocking access to learn new behaviors. Make sure your dog has had enough time to do this.
In case you want to see what it’s like, here’s a pregnant dog that was dropped off at the shelter because they had “no use” for her anymore. Look at how sad and depressed she looks pic.twitter.com/cSIGki7cn5
STEP 3: Examine Your Own Behaviors Before Weaning Your Dog from Antidepressants
Reconditioning your own behavior is an important step on the path to your dog’s ultimate mental health. Look at ways you could be contributing to your dog’s anxiety and work to change that.
Simple changes could include:
- Not engaging excitedly with your dog before leaving the house. Be calm, quiet, and confident.
- Carve out time to walk the dog.
- Talk to your dog! Play with your dog!
STEP 4: Begin the Weaning Process
There’s no hurry. Decrease the original dose by 1/2 (one-half) for 4 weeks. Monitor your dog, and if he continues to do well, halve the dose again and continue for another 2 to 4 weeks.
At the end of 8 weeks, it should be safe to totally discontinue the medication.
The following quick video showcases the lighter-side of anxiety.
When it’s been a while since you’ve seen the beach.. #WhippetGood #funny #dogs #dogsoftwitter VideoDownloader.in pic.twitter.com/4Xu8PSO3pY
STEP 5: MONITOR YOUR DOG FOR ANOTHER 4 WEEKS
Continue to monitor your dog’s behavior and reactions for up to 4 more weeks. It’s important for you to monitor your own behavior as well. Remove any habits that were provoking fear or anxiety in your dog. Remain calm but assertive. Your dog needs to see you as the leader of the pack at all times.
If a dog doesn’t feel that there’s a pack leader available, his dominant behavior will take over. It’s a matter of safety in the wild. Your dog might sleep on the bed, but deeply ingrained in his brain are thousands of years of DNA that continue to dictate what he needs to do to survive.
“Without a strong pack-leader, your dog reverts to the “wild” latheriault
Without a strong pack-leader, expect behavior such as:
- eliminating on the floor
When you give your dog the signal that you are in charge, your dog can relax and follow. A well-adjusted dog that gets appropriate exercise, discipline, and reward, is a powerful thing to witness.
DOGGIE DEPRESSION AND THE ADVENT OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Veterinarians have been prescribing antidepressants for dogs since the 1990’s, long before they were approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for canine use.
PROZAC WAS APPROVED FOR USE IN DOGS IN 2007
After the official approval to medicate dogs with Prozac, more studies emerged.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) found that a significant portion of the population (1/4 of all dog owners) leave their pet alone in the house for 5 hours or more.
It was also found that at least 250,000 dogs (personally, I suspect the number is higher) are never walked.
Dogs are not designed to live in solitude. Dogs, as noted above, need a pack to be balanced.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to weaning your dog successfully off of Prozac. As promised, I have a free tapering guide for you. Just enter your email and you’ll be directed to it immediately!
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