Take a quick break from your search and do a little thought experiment with us…
Imagine the walls around you caving in. Your heart begins to race and your adrenaline starts pumping.
You feel a tingling sensation in your legs and feet. Your hands get clammy and your breathing becomes increasingly shallow. No matter how much you try, you can’t stop the chaotic thoughts flooding your mind.
This is just one example of what anxiety feels like. That’s how your canine companion may feel when they become anxious, too. Pretty scary, right?
As dog parents, we never want to see our helpless canine friends suffer from a debilitating condition like anxiety. The reality is, though, that anxiety in dogs is perhaps the most common mental disorder pet owners report to their veterinarians.
You’re probably at your wit’s end if you’re dog’s experiencing this, having tried traditional dog anxiety treatments. We don’t blame you if you’re frustrated!
The common medications for dogs with anxiety often cause additional unwanted side effects. Before you know it, your dog is on various medications all addressing different symptoms, but never getting to the root cause of their canine anxiety.
So, what can you do?
How to Calm Your Anxious Dog
Anxiety has a way of gripping every fiber of your dog's being. Before it fades, it persistently feeds on their minds and emotions until it leaves them feeling wrecked. Think of dog anxiety as a panic attack at its worst.
Now, it may be easy for you to recognize when your dog is anxious. But before you dive into how to calm your dog down, you need to determine why your dog might be anxious in the first place, because treating dog anxiety is no walk in the park.
Different Types of Dog Anxiety:
- Separation anxiety –– This is the most common type of dog anxiety. It’s the fear of being alone. In severe cases, some dogs become anxious even if their owner is still at home but out of sight in another room.
- Generalized anxiety –– Some dogs are just prone to being nervous. In fact, a few studies show that certain dog breeds suffer more from various types of anxiety.
- Illness-induced anxiety –– Illness, injury, and past trauma can easily throw a dog into an anxious state. Arthritic pain and inflammation are often contributors to anxiety in dogs.
- Noise anxiety –– This is another common type of dog anxiety, especially during thunderstorms and firework season. Some dogs are fearful of loud music, construction work, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, ice makers, and other loud noises.
- Rescue/shelter dog anxiety –– Shelter dogs that have been rescued to a new home often come with their own set of issues. Getting them acclimated to new environments and routines can be a whole other stressful bag of bones.
Now that we know the different types of dog anxiety, we can adopt a plan that best suits your anxious dog. One very easy and effective way to calm your dog down is by using calming supplements for anxious dogs.
Can Supplements Calm an Anxious Mind?
Dog-calming supplements are packed with therapeutic ingredients that promote relaxation and may fight anxiety.
In fact, calming supplements are carefully formulated to take the edge off for your anxious dog. They do this in a gentle, yet effective way. What’s more, the ingredients found in dog-calming supplements are usually 100% natural (depending on how reputable the brand is).
Now then, let’s look at some of these calming ingredients…
Ingredients That May Calm Your Dog
Chamomile is one of those ancient medicinal herbs that’s been around forever. Scientists have studied it for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sedative-like properties.
There’s one particular study that caught our eye—a study involving patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). After consuming extracts of chamomile, the patients had a reduction in their moderate-to-severe GAD symptoms. That’s pretty cool!
While no studies have been conducted on our canine friends, chamomile is considered a safe calming ingredient for dog anxiety.
Tryptophan, or L-tryptophan, is an essential amino acid that helps create serotonin, a neurotransmitter that naturally stabilizes your dog's mood.
Here’s the thing about Tryptophan… Too little or too much in your dog’s diet can increase their aggression and may have an impact on their emotional well-being. In other words, not having a well-balanced level of tryptophan can potentially open the doggie door to depression and anxiety.
One study found that our canine friends need to “consume at least 1.1 gram of tryptophan per kilogram of dry matter food in order to maintain basic health”.
The fact is, if you’re feeding your dog healthy dog food packed with proper dog nutrition, then chances are they’re getting the right level of tryptophan. That said, anxiety is often one sign that your precious canine might not be getting enough tryptophan.
Valerian root is another medicinal herb that’s been studied for its sedative-like effects in humans. That said, there have been a few studies that show valerian to be quite effective in reducing stress in other species as well.
As of now, more studies are needed regarding valerian and canines, but it’s intriguing to see the promising research thus far.
Ah, passion flower: the plant genus with over 500 known species and amazing calming properties.
Passionflower has been studied for multiple reasons, but the main reason researchers are so intrigued by passionflower is that, in one study, they saw that it significantly exhibits sedative, anticonvulsant, and depressant activities in mice.
Other studies show that it exhibits anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects in other animals. Of course, more studies are always needed, but these studies are intriguing, to say the least.
If you haven’t already heard, CBD is packed with tremendous therapeutic value. In fact, there’s one scientific review solely dedicated to exploring CBD’s effects on anxiety disorders.
But here’s the real reason we love pet CBD: High-quality CBD helps to maintain both emotional and physical balance. It may help manage stress; curb destructive behaviors and hyperactivity; and most of all, prompt a calming effect to help animals maintain a normal and relaxed disposition.
For these reasons, many pet owners have opened their arms to all that pet CBD has to offer.
Still not convinced? Well, remember when we said some anxiety can be brought on through illness or injury? As it turns out, there’s one study that explores the relationship between osteoarthritic dogs and CBD. The researchers concluded that there was “a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity” after the dogs were given CBD.
What’s more, no side effects were reported by the pet owners in this study. We think that’s impressive! But, as groundbreaking as this study is, we understand more studies are needed.
You’re probably thinking: “All of these ingredients sound amazing, but where do I begin?” Let’s find out.
The Best Calming Supplements for Dogs
Calming supplements for dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your and your dog's preference, you may need to try various forms.
Let’s look at the traditional options first.
Tablet and Pill Supplements
Tablets and pills are a great way to administer a few of the calming ingredients listed above to your canine friend. You may need to use a pill pocket or place the tablet or pill in the back of your dog's throat and then close their mouth.
We understand that might sound difficult, but calming tablets and pills are just one way to administer the natural calming ingredients listed above.
Here’s another was:
Tinctures are very popular these days. They’re equipped with an easy-to-dose dropper and they tend to last a long time.
One benefit of tinctures is that you can literally add a few drops to your dog’s food or treat and they might not know the difference, although picky doggos may know.
The main drawback of tinctures is that they sometimes don’t contain all of the calming ingredients listed above, so you may have to create your own concoction.
That said, we’ve heard great things from pet owners about pet CBD oil. If tinctures aren’t your cup of tea or your dog's bone of choice, though, We’re positive they’ll wag their tails to these…
Chews or treats are often the ideal way to administer calming ingredients to your pooch. Not only are they packed with flavor, but they’re fun for your dog to eat and you can even crumble them up as a nice topping on your dog’s food.
And here’s the best part… We know exactly where you can get the best calming chews for dogs… Lolahemp!
That’s right, we decided to create a calming supplement that contains all of those natural calming ingredients listed above.
Now, we know we might sound biased, but you see, we have our hand in every single product we create. So, we know first-hand (and paw!) what’s going into our pet products because we would never offer anything we wouldn’t give to our own dogs.
Our calming hemp soft chews are packed with the therapeutic benefits of tryptophan, chamomile, valerian root, passion flower, and certified organic hemp-derived phytocannabinoids like CBD.
It’s made with grain-free and soy-free brewers yeast, smooth peanut butter, and delicious sweet potato. These calming chews are “two paws up” delicious, and we have sneaky suspicions that your pooch will agree.
Now then, you might be wondering…
Will These Supplements Actually Work?
It really depends. While we know there are some pretty convincing studies and anecdotal pet owners’ stories regarding the calming ingredients listed above, each dog is different.
You may find yourself exploring a few different calming supplements for dogs, and that’s OK. In fact, we encourage you to do so. Our main goal is to see your canine friend thrive and live a long, happy, tail-wagging life.
But when all else fails, just know that we’ll be here when you’re ready to give your dog the best calming supplement on the market.
If you’re looking for other steps to soothe your anxious dog, you may find the following remedies helpful…
Dog Anxiety: More Natural Remedies
Exercise –– Increasing your dog’s exercise will help burn excess energy that could be contributing to their anxious behaviors.
Crate training –– A crate is not a bad thing. In fact, it can provide a safe place for your dog to retreat when their anxiety or stress levels are at their highest.
Thundershirt –– Believe it or not, some dogs like the feeling of being hugged or comforted when they hear thunder, fireworks, or other loud mysterious sounds. So a thundershirt may be worth a try.
Toys –– Some dogs just need something to do or play with when you're away. Doggie puzzles and chew toys are great items to keep your dog’s mind busy instead of endlessly wondering if you’ll ever come back home.
Here’s The Main Takeaway…
We know first-hand how helpless it feels to see your furry friend battle anxiety. That’s why we’ve done our research to find the best natural calming ingredients to give to your canine partner in crime.
To make things easier for you and your dog, try our Calming Hemp Soft Chews.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team at Lolahemp. We’re happy to help in any way we can!