We all deal with stress from time to time, and our pets are no different. While some dogs are more anxious than others, most dogs will have at least one thing that causes them stress, whether it’s a trip to the vet, fireworks, or moving to a new house. There are medications that can help, but you might want to start with something a little milder first. Here are 6 natural ingredients known to help calm anxious dogs.
(As always, consult with your vet before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet.)
#1 – Valerian
Valerian is a sedative herb that relieves tension, anxiety, and over-excitability in dogs. Valerian can be bought dried or in capsule form and given to the dog orally, wrapped in a piece of cheese, or with a treat. Give it to the dog before situations that tend to cause anxiety and over-excitability in your dog. Valerian is available in many popular soft chew supplements, such as this 9-in-1 calming chew.
#2 – Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that naturally rises in the bloodstream when animals sleep. Giving it to them when they are awake can help calm them down during stressful situations. It may be especially effective in dogs with separation anxiety issues, as its calming effects may last up to 8 hours. Be sure to read the ingredients before sharing your melatonin – it may contain Xylitol or other ingredients that are toxic for dogs. Melatonin for dogs is available in many popular soft chew supplements, such as this 9-in-1 calming chew.
#3 – Lavender (Scent)
You probably already know that the scent of lavender helps you to relax and fall asleep, but did you realize it can have the same calming effect on your dog? The scent of lavender actually reduces the body’s production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and it doesn’t have the same sedative effects of some of the other ingredients on this list. A drop or two of lavender oil in a place where your dog can’t ingest it will help relieve their anxiety.
#4 – Passionflower
Passionflower has been used since the mid 1500s as a sleep aid and sedative. Studies have shown that it can actually lower your brain activity and boost levels of GABA, a feel-good chemical. In humans, it’s been shown to be as effective as benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Xanax in treating anxiety. It also has less of a sedative effect than other herbs. This can be a great option for highly anxious dogs. Passion flower is available in many popular soft chew supplements, such as this 9-in-1 calming chew.
#5 – Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family, lemon balm has been used since the Middle Ages to soothe nerves, relieve indigestion, and remedy insomnia. This sedative herb is effective in treating excitability and anxiety in dogs.
#6 – Chamomile
If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia, you’ve probably tried chamomile tea to help you sleep. Chamomile calms the nerves and induces sleep. It can also calm the stomach and ease digestive problems. You can give chamomile tea to your dog or soak a dog treat in the tea. Chamomile is available in many popular soft chew supplements, such as this 9-in-1 calming chew.
#7 – CBD
CBD oil or treats are a newly popular tool that many pet owner’s have found great success with. While your results may vary, approximately 67% of the dog owners polled here claimed that CBD was ‘extremely effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ in helping their dog’s anxiety.
In our experience, CBD can help a dog calm down enough to respond positively to the other training methods. When choosing a CBD oil, always look for a certificate of analysis showing a pure and safe product. I’d also recommend a canine CBD oil with 0% THC.
Our Favorite Solution (9-in-1 calming chew + CBD oil)
For your best chance to beat your dog’s anxiety, consider an all in one supplement that contains many of the ingredients above in one convenient, tasty formula. This 9-in-1 dog calming chew is a great place to start, and nearly all dogs love the flavor.
For the most relief possible, you can combine the above chew with a high quality CBD oil to increase the calming effect even more.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.