What if My Dog Ate 1 Mg of Ativan? Facts Before You Panic

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Dogs are well known to eat everything, or at least they try to.

Unfortunately, that also means that it might ingest something that can be very harmful to them, including human medicine.

So what happens if your dog ate 1 mg of Ativan?

Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, is a medication in the benzodiazepine class and is used for treating moderate to severe anxiety disorders. Although they are generally treated as being safe for dogs, they should not be given without a vet’s prescription. There could be undesirable side effects that should be avoided.

Read on as I share more about this subject and what you should do if you are caught in this situation.

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what if my dog ate ativan

What is Ativan?

Ativan (also Lorazepam) is a medication that acts on the central nervous system to produce anxiolytic and hypnotic effects.

It is used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, and acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

It may also be used to relieve symptoms of withdrawal from other drugs.

This medicine belongs to the benzodiazepine drug class, and it acts on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect.

It works by boosting the effects of a specific natural chemical in the body known as (GABA).

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Can Ativan Hurt Dogs?

Any effects caused by Ativan are usually gone within 24 hours, so it can be said that it usually will not harm dogs.

However, you need to be aware of potential side effects such as sleepiness, weakened muscles, unsteadiness, increased appetite, drooling, aggressive or odd behavior, increased activity or anxiousness, and vocalization [1].

If you notice that your dog’s skin, gums, or eyes are turning yellow, these are serious adverse effects that require immediate medical intervention.

And because it’s a prescription medication, you should always consult with your veterinarian before giving Ativan to your dog.

While the drug can be very helpful for humans, it can be dangerous for dogs if given in high doses or if not prescribed by a vet.

Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: My dog ate a whole bag of Greenies!

Can a Dog Take Human Ativan?

In general, it is quite safe for a dog to take Ativan.

In fact, vets usually choose it over Valium as a drug of choice for treating anxiety.

However, pets who are allergic to lorazepam or other benzodiazepines shouldn’t take them.

Those with liver disease or severe respiratory issues should avoid taking this drug too.

And lastly, if your dog is pregnant or lactating, benzodiazepines should not be given too.

Be sure to communicate with your vet about the presence of these conditions.

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When Can Dogs Take Ativan?

Dogs can take Ativan when they have anxiety disorders, but it should be used only in extreme cases and only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

In no other circumstances should you feed your dog this drug, especially if it has an existing medical condition or is on certain medication such as Valium.

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How Much Ativan Can a Dog Take?

The usual dosage is 0.025 mg/lb, but as always, your vet will make the best judgment call.

How is Ativan Given to a Dog?

Ativan can be administered in a couple of ways including by mouth or by injection.

When it is fed to a dog, it is given in a tablet or in liquid form, which can be taken with or without food, but if there’s vomiting, then it should be taken only with food.

When administering this medication for the first time, make sure not to leave your pet unattended and also keep a close eye out for any negative effects.

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What Happens If My Dog Ate 1 mg Ativan?

Even for a small dog that weighs around 12 lbs, 1 mg of Ativan is considered safe to consume.

Just be aware that there will be effects of sedation and sleepiness, so don’t be surprised if you see that.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Gave my dog heartworm pill early

Do I Need to Induce Vomiting if My Dog Ate Ativan?

If you are sure of the amount your dog has taken and that it is within limits, there really isn’t a need to induce vomiting.

Emesis should only be done if you suspect your dog has overdosed and it should be done within 30 minutes of the event.

You could administer some 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to your dog to purge the medicine.

I would advise giving it two tablespoons of peroxide in the back of his throat every ten minutes for two doses, up till it throws up.

Do you know why dogs throw up after taking medicine?

What Is A Natural Sedative For A Dog?

The most well-known herbal sedative is valerian, scientifically known as Valerian officinalis.

It soothes the nerves and is gentle and harmless as it encourages bodily relaxation.

Use it during tense situations or if your dog becomes emotional or overly excited.

Alternatively, you can consider using St John’s wort or chamomile which are all natural herbs that can be used safely.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Can You Bury a Dog That Died of Parvo? [+3 Alternatives]

What Human Drugs Are Harmful To Dogs?

There are several drugs that should not be given to dogs, including a few common ones like Tramadol, Xanax, Adderall, and Ibuprofen (Advil). These are all very harmful drugs for dogs and must be stored away carefully to prevent any accidents from happening.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog ate Band Aid/Elastoplast? [Solved]

Does Benadryl Help Dogs With Anxiety?

Some dogs may experience symptom relief from Benadryl, although the drug’s moderate sedative effects on canines are not nearly as noticeable as they are in humans. Overall, Benadryl is not usually beneficial for dogs that are experiencing anxiety or phobias.

How Long Does It Take For Ativan To Have An Effect On Your Dog?

Typically, the medication will have an effect on your dog in 30 to 60 minutes.

How to Treat Ativan Overdose in Dogs?

There could be a few likely methods that your vet will use, including emesis, gastric lavage, fluid therapy, as well as using certain medications to stabilize the respiratory functions.

In Conclusion: Dog Ate 1 Mg of Ativan

While Ativan is relatively safe, any medication can be harmful and dangerous if used improperly.

If you suspect that your dog has overdosed or is exhibiting any abnormal signs, you should bring him or her to an emergency vet right away.

Being a dog owner can be incredibly testing, and trying to care for your dog does require quite a fair bit of information.

As a fellow doggy parent, I have written lots of articles covering topics such as feeding a dog with parvo, caring for your dog after heartworm treatment, eating raw steak off the counter, and much more.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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