Valium (Diazepam) in Dogs: How Long Does It Take to Work?

Valium, also known as Diazepam, is a benzodiazepine that’s occasionally prescribed to dogs for various conditions including anxiety, seizures, and muscle spasms. Like all medications, it’s essential to follow your vet’s guidance when administering Valium to your pet. Here’s a brief overview of how long it takes for Valium to work in dogs and some other related information.

Valium (Diazepam) in Dog

Onset of Action

  1. Oral Administration: If given orally (usually in tablet form), Valium typically begins to work within 30 minutes to an hour. This can vary depending on the individual dog, the specific condition being treated, and the presence of food in the stomach.
  2. Injectable Form: When administered as an injection (intramuscular or intravenous), the onset of action is much quicker – often within minutes.

Duration of Effect

The duration of the therapeutic effects of Valium can vary. Typically, it lasts for several hours, but in some cases, especially with higher doses, the effects might be observed for a more extended period.

Factors Influencing Efficacy

  • Dosage: Higher doses will generally have a more potent and prolonged effect. However, it’s crucial never to administer more than the vet-prescribed dosage, as an overdose can be harmful or fatal.
  • Individual Variation: Each dog is unique. Factors such as age, health status, metabolism, and size can influence how a dog reacts to Valium.
  • Presence of Other Medications: If your dog is on other medications, these can influence how Valium works and how long it takes to take effect.

Side Effects

Like all medications, Valium can have side effects. These can include:

  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Ataxia (loss of control of body movements)
  • Increased appetite
  • Aggression
  • Respiratory depression (in high doses)

It’s essential to monitor your dog after administering Valium and to notify your vet of any unusual reactions.


Valium can be a useful medication for certain conditions in dogs. Its onset and duration of action vary based on the method of administration and individual factors. As with all medications, it’s vital to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.

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