A pet owner giving a dog a red pill.
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Dogs can get stressed for many reasons. In serious cases, stress can be a result of a more serious condition called separation anxiety, where your dog displays severe distress anytime you leave their side. If you are concerned your dog is more anxious than normal, contact their veterinarian, who may prescribe a medication such as Fluoxetine, for a consultation.

What is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), or, an antidepressant, frequently prescribed to humans to treat various anxiety disorders. Fluoxetine is FDA-approved for veterinary use in cats and dogs. It can treat:

  • Repetitive licking and other obsessive behaviors
  • Tail chasing
  • Stress and/or anxiety

Is Fluoxetine safe for dogs?

In some cases, yes. Fluoxetine may not be safe or healthy for all dogs, though, which is why you should always talk to a veterinarian about potential risks of administering this medication to your pet.


Dosing may differ for all dogs, depending on their weight, other medication(s) they take and other medical conditions they have. 1-800-PetMeds also states dosing will be dependent on the condition your veterinarian plans to treat in your dog, as well as the dog’s response to the medication.

Side Effects

Your pet may experience side effects during treatment with Fluoxetine, including but not limited to:

  • Allergic reaction, which can lead to rash, breathing problems, swelling, etc.
  • Change in mood and/or behavior
  • Aggression
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight change

If your pet experiences any side effects, contact their vet immediately, as some side effects can lead to serious health problems.

Final Thoughts

Contacting your pet’s veterinarian is the safest and best choice when it comes to their health. If you suspect your pet is more anxious than usual, you should seek medical advice immediately.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.

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