Ativan (Lorazepam) For Dogs: Purpose, How to Use, Dosage, Side Effects

An important note for dog owners

Canine anxiety is a prevalent issue that many pet owners encounter with their furry friends. It could manifest due to separation, fears, age-related issues, or specific events that trigger panic. Veterinary science, fortunately, has introduced medications that help in managing these anxiety problems effectively. One such beneficial medication is Ativan, also known scientifically as Lorazepam, primarily used for treating anxiety in dogs. 

Purpose of Ativan (Lorazepam) in Dogs

Ativan is a medication that falls under the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is primarily utilized for the treatment of situational anxiety in dogs. For instance, it can be beneficial for dogs that showcase severe noise aversion or phobia. When administered in advance of a known event that triggers panic or anxiety, Lorazepam can help manage and mitigate these canine stress responses effectively.


Ativan dosage For Dogs

The ideal dosage depends on various factors such as the dog’s weight, breed, overall health status, and severity of anxiety. Given the impact of these factors, discussion and guidance from your vet is essential in determining the most effective and safe dosage for your pet.

Ativan Dosage Chart for Dogs:

Weight of DogLow Dosage (mg/lbs)High Dosage (mg/lbs)
5 lbs0.25 mg – 0.5 mg0.75 mg – 1 mg
10 lbs0.5 mg – 1 mg1 mg – 2 mg
20 lbs1 mg – 2 mg2 mg – 4 mg
30 lbs1.5 mg – 3 mg3 mg – 6 mg
40 lbs2 mg – 4 mg4 mg – 8 mg
50 lbs2.5 mg – 5 mg5 mg – 10 mg
60 lbs3 mg – 6 mg6 mg – 12 mg
70 lbs3.5 mg – 7 mg7 mg – 14 mg
80 lbs4 mg – 8 mg8 mg – 16 mg
90 lbs4.5 mg – 9 mg9 mg – 18 mg
100 lbs5 mg – 10 mg10 mg – 20 mg

How to Administer Ativan to Dogs:

Ativan is available in tablet form and can be given to dogs orally. The tablets should only be administered as directed by a veterinarian. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule, as well as any additional instructions provided by your veterinarian.

Side Effects

While Ativan can potentially alleviate anxiety in dogs, it comes with possible side effects that pet owners need to be aware of. Most notably, it should not be used for pets that have severe breathing problems or liver disease. It also should not be used for pets allergic to it or other benzodiazepines. Mild side effects could include lethargy, drowsiness, weakness, decreased coordination, or even drooling.

Though the above provides a basic understanding of Lorazepam’s application in treating dog anxiety, an individual consultation with your vet is indispensable. They are the best source to assess if Ativan could be suitable for your pet’s specific case, considering the medical history and potential risks.


Ativan is a promising medicinal route to combat anxiety in dogs, providing, your pet isn’t allergic to it and does not have severe breathing problems or liver disease. Having your vet involved in the entire process can ensure effective, safe treatment for your pet’s anxiety, leading to a happier and healthier life for your beloved furry friend.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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