Fluoxetine (Prozac) for Dogs

Grouped under a class of drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), Fluoxetine, popularly known as Prozac, is used for treating multiple psychological disorders in humans and animals. As an SSRI antidepressant, Fluoxetine is typically used as a veterinary drug to treat several disruptive behavioral disorders.

For instance, Fluoxetine helps control and manage anxiety, panic attack, and aggressive behavior (such as incessant barking) in dogs. Administering Prozac on a controlled and sustained basis can help encourage dogs to behave appropriately. Fluoxetine, like many other veterinary medications, can be used as an 'extra-label' or 'off-label' drug for treating specific behavioral issues.

This drug works best when you administer it or pair it with a compatible training method.

Fluoxetine at a Glance

Brand Name

Reconcile, Prozac

Generic Name

Fluoxetine hydrochloride

Drug Type


FDA approved

Yes, as an extra-label medication

Suitable for

Dogs and cats

Availability and available form

As a prescription drug; chewable tablets


How Effective is Fluoxetine for Dogs?

The effectiveness of Fluoxetine could vary based on the behavioral issue demonstrated by your dog. Nevertheless, several studies have shown that the medication is most effective when offered alongside behavior correctional training. As per one study, the drug's success rate in managing anxiety, aggression, and obsessive-compulsive behavior was almost 60% when administered with behavior improvement guidance.

Studies have also fairly established that your dog has a better chance of behaving appropriately (if he's overly aggressive) if administered Fluoxetine than without it.

How safe is Fluoxetine for Dogs?

Vets often prescribe Fluoxetine as an extra-label medication to treat the disorders above in dogs despite the FDA disapproving its veterinary use. However, a veterinary variant of the generic Fluoxetine, known as 'Reconcile,' has been approved by FDA for dogs exclusively for managing separation anxiety. Nevertheless, many vets prescribe Reconcile for various other psychological disorders affecting canines.

Since Fluoxetine is strictly a prescription drug, you'll be able to administer it only if a licensed vet prescribes it. Never commit the folly of offering Prozac formulated for humans as it could worsen things. Keep in mind that Prozac developed exclusively for human use, has a different formulation than the variant created for dogs.

The Mechanism of Action of Fluoxetine on Dogs

As the expression SSRI indicates, Fluoxetine works by enhancing the level of serotonin in the dog's brain by slowing its metabolic rate. The enhanced serotonin level soothes the dog's aggressive tendencies and feelings of anxiety, which calms down the animal. The drug acts slowly and steadily, and it may take nothing less than 5-6 weeks before you can notice the effects.  

Dosage and Dosage Instructions

Your vet will generally prescribe about 0.5-1mg/lb (or 1-2mg/kg) based on the weight of your pet dog. You should make it a point to abide by the veterinarian's prescribed dosage of Fluoxetine strictly. You'll need to give the above dosage of the antidepressant once daily.

How to Administer Fluoxetine?

You can mix the drug (mainly available in tablet form) with food or offer it as a treat. Avoid offering Prozac tablets without food, or there's a high likelihood of the dog throwing up. If you're offering the medicine in a liquid form, then take care in measuring the exact dose prescribed by your vet.

Continue administering Fluoxetine for the entire period recommended by the vet, and don't cease unless the professional tells you to. Refrain from administering the medication if the dog has a tick/louse collar.  

Likely Side Effects

Your dog may experience a few side effects while the animal is taking Fluoxetine. Nevertheless, you can reduce or minimize the adverse effects provided you follow the vet's use directions. Some of the common side effects of the antidepressant are:-

  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Loose motion
  • Weight change

Drug Contraindications and Interactions

Do not give Prozac to your pet if the animal is/has:-

  • Allergic to the medication
  • Diabetes
  • Has kidney or liver disease
  • epileptic

Disclaimer: The above content is based on multiple research articles referred to online. Global Dog Breeds intends to share information, but it's strictly advised to consult a veterinarian and seek advice before using any medications described. We believe each condition and dog is unique, and only after careful evaluation from a qualified professional should you be offering any medications to your pet.

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