Alone time, loud noises, or sudden changes are all things that can stress our dogs out. Even usually calm dogs could become sick with worry in certain scenarios. Dogs can’t talk to us when something is causing them anxiety, so we need to pay attention to their behaviors and comfort them as needed. Luckily, many dog companies create anxiety-reducing supplements to calm canines, including ingredients like passion flower for dogs.
Passion flower is a unique plant you probably won’t encounter in the wild. Yet, it has long been used for anxiety relief in humans and animals. It could be the key to making your furry friend’s life more comfortable!
What is Passion Flower?
Passion flower, also known as passiflora vine, is a perennial vine distinguished by its vibrant purple flowers. There are over 500 varieties of this plant, including versions that grow into shrubs or small trees. Passion flower plants can produce fruits similar to oranges, but the gorgeous flowers they’re known for rarely bloom for longer than a day. Yet, they’re still detailed and mesmerizing even when they’re not in bloom.
These plants are native to Central and South America, where the indigenous society grew them for thousands of years. People would smoke the plants, use the plants as medicine, and eat the fruits. Today, passion flowers can be grown in warm, tropical areas all around the world, especially in Asia and New Guinea.
So, passion flowers are grown for both beauty and medicinal purposes. They’ve been used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia in humans for many years, and they seem to have a similar effect on pets.
Is Passion Flower Safe for Dogs?
Yes, passion flower extract is a safe ingredient. Experts have formulated passion flower supplements that are geared specifically toward canines. So, as long as your dog gets the proper dose, this plant can provide natural anxiety relief.
Passion Flower Benefits for Dogs
This plant is primarily used for its relaxing properties. It calms dogs by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Less of that naturally-occurring amino acid will decrease the activity of cells in your dog’s brain. Then, your dog’s body will feel calmer and more relaxed as a result. Passion flower may also increase serotonin and dopamine in the body to improve your pup’s mood.
Passion flower affects the nervous system with its calming and sedative properties. One of the leading causes for this plant’s success is flavonoids. The antioxidant-rich nutrients can neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. With less stress, your dog will age slower and have a lower risk of cognitive decline and other age-related conditions.
All of these aspects of passion flowers help calm your dog’s brain activity to help them relax and get a good night’s sleep. Pet parents give their dogs passion flower for all types of anxiety, such as when they leave their dog alone or before a stressful vet visit. Depending on the situation, it may be just as effective as a stress-relieving medication that the vet prescribes but with fewer side effects.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Anxiety is different for every dog. The cause and its severity will vary, so pay attention to your dog’s specific behaviors to find the root of the problem. Here are some common causes of anxiety in dogs, which passion flower can help with.
One of the most common causes of stress in dogs is separation anxiety. Now that more humans are working from home, more dogs get anxious or worried when they’re left alone. Separation anxiety may cause dogs to be destructive or have accidents when their humans are away. They may be restless, even if kept in a crate. So, taking an anxiety supplement may make alone time easier.
Specific fears may also trigger anxiety in dogs. Some pets are scared of loud sounds, while others are nervous in certain situations. Fireworks, thunderstorms, vet visits, and sudden changes are all reasons dogs can be anxious. Removing the triggers is a great way to calm your dog, but if that’s not possible, you’ll need to find ways to soothe them during stressful events.
Rescue dogs may have anxiety because of abuse or trauma they endured. Their past may cause them to be hesitant around certain people, animals, or places. Dogs who had a rough past may be nervous in social settings and might prefer time alone with their loved ones. While supplements can help calm them, it’s also important for their humans to be patient and understanding.
As dogs age or develop illnesses, they may suffer from anxiety even if they never have before. Older dogs can experience problems like cognitive decline, joint pain, vision loss, or worsened hearing. Those changes could be confusing and stressful for them, leading to abnormal behaviors. Keep their environment calm and familiar as they deal with these issues.
Passion Flower for Dogs Dosage
There is no exact dosage for passion flower, so the best way to get the most accurate dosing is to talk to your vet. They can let you know if the plant will be effective for your dog’s anxiety, and then they can suggest a dosage based on your dog’s age, weight, and medical history.
You’ll rarely give your dog passion flower on its own. Instead, it’s usually used as an ingredient in an anxiety relief supplement. To determine the dosage for a specific product, check the container for details. If you’re worried about how your dog will react to it, start with a lower dose than recommended and then work your way up to the ideal dosage. Then, you can keep an eye out for any side effects and catch them early on.
Passion Flower Side Effects
Passion flower is a natural ingredient that has very few side effects. However, eating too much of any ingredient could cause problems for canines. Dogs consuming improper doses or dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience digestive issues. The plant is non-toxic, so luckily, side effects will be minor.
Pregnant dogs should avoid taking passion flower since it could stimulate the uterus. Contact your vet right away if your dog experiences any unusual behaviors when taking a passion flower supplement. They may be able to suggest a supplement that’s more suitable for your dog.
Are There Any Drug Interactions?
Avoid giving your pup passion flower if they are currently taking medication for their nervous system. Other than that, there are no known drug interactions. However, you should always tell your vet about all the medications and supplements your dog takes before adding a new supplement to their diet. That way, the vet can confirm whether or not it will be safe.
How to Serve Passion Flower to Dogs
There are lots of ways to serve passion flower to dogs. Passion flower is often included in supplements that are in the form of powder, liquid, pills, or chews. You may even be able to find fresh leaves, dried passion flower, or passion flower tea.
Most forms of passion flower supplements can be mixed with your dog’s food. However, picky pups might be quick to eat around the supplement, so you may need to disguise it in a treat if possible. Many dog parents prefer chewable supplements because they often smell like treats, so they’re more appealing to picky eaters.
Whenever you choose a new product for your dog, make sure it’s from a company you trust. When it comes to supplements, look closely at the ingredient list. If you don’t feel comfortable with the ingredients used in the product, keep looking until you find something more suitable for your furry friend.
Related: 12 Best Dog Breath Fresheners
If you’re looking for an anxiety-reducing supplement for your dog, consider trying the iHeartDogs 9-in-1 Calming Chews for Dogs. These supplements come in the form of soft, bacon-flavored treats that even picky pups will enjoy. In addition to passion flower, these chews include other calming ingredients like organic hemp powder, chamomile, valerian root, melatonin, and L tryptophan.
These chews are meant to ease anxiety, promote better sleep, and improve digestion. They may also control seizures, benefit heart health, and keep your dog’s skin and coat shiny. Plus, every container purchased donates 14 healthy meals to dogs in need. So, you’ll be feeding shelter dogs while also helping your own dog’s health.
Many dogs face stress at some point in their life. Some dogs get so anxious that it affects their health in other ways too. By giving your dog a supplement with passion flower in it, they can feel calmer and more relaxed. So, consider adding some safe anxiety-reducing ingredients to your dog’s diet.