by Vladimire Herard

More veterinarians are writing prescriptions for psychiatric drugs for dogs after they’ve been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, an animal rights advocacy group reports.

Animal medicine specialists are prescribing drugs that carry multiple dangerous side effects and precautions, including greater anxiety, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as ASPCA, states.

One of those drugs includes Xanax, the anti-anxiety medication. Dogs can react to stress by being aggressive.

They become even more so when they are taking Xanax, which renders them less inhibited. Then, just as do humans when they are drunk, dogs may seek out a fight when they are under the influence.

However, their owners believe their pets need these medications. There are several reasons for this belief.

In modern life, dogs experience more stress than in simpler times. They encounter more stressful situations that did not exist two decades ago. They stay alone in their homes for hours when their owners go to work.

Dogs remain locked up in small kennels so that they won’t ruin furniture in those facilities. In the meantime, they have no contact with the outside world or nature.

Some are kept at day care centers just for dogs. This may seem like a refreshing alternative to staying home alone but not all day care facilities are top-flight.

Some dogs can stay kenneled most of the day with only indoor play areas. Some kennels don’t keep smaller dogs from being preyed upon by bigger ones. Others employ cheap labor who manhandle dogs.

When medicine for flea and tick control and arthritis are thrown into the mix, it makes for a heady brew for dogs.

When dogs endure stress, they may act out in a number of ways. Signs of stress include changes in appetite, drooling, obsessive and compulsive behaviors, hiding, loss of bowel or bladder control and whining.

Instead of using psychiatric drugs for dogs, owners have several options for reducing stress in their pets: spend dollars on suitable entertainment; maximize facetime with pet dogs, and ponder natural remedies.

Finding fitful entertainment for a dog means curing his boredom when he is home alone. This can include hiding treats for him throughout the house, buying him a toy full of snacks when he tosses it back and forth, placing a doggy door near his bed with kibble inside or hiring a dog walker or sitter three to four days out of the week.

Optimizing quality time with a dog translates into giving him or her attention. This means feeding and watering him or her, taking him or her for a walk, going to a dog park and tossing a Frisbee and including him into family activity for the evening, including watching TV.

Taking note of natural remedies means using herbs that are effective in relieving anxiety in dogs such as chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap and echinacea, which can improve their immune systems.