Take a quick break from your internet 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 all 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, and it’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 such a debilitating condition like dog anxiety.
But the reality is, anxiety in dogs is perhaps the most common mental disorder pet owners report to their veterinarians.
If you’re experiencing this, you’re probably at your wit’s end as you’ve probably tried traditional dog anxiety treatments. And we don’t blame you!
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 do you do?
How to calm your anxious dog
Anxiety has a way of gripping every fiber of your dog's being, and before it fades, it persistently feeds on their mind and emotions until it leaves them feeling wrecked.
In other words, 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.
First let’s look at the 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 Nellies. In fact, a few studies show that certain dog breeds suffer more from various types of anxiety.
- Illness-induced dog anxiety –– Illness, injury, and past trauma can easily throw a dog into an anxious state. Arthritic pain and inflammation is often a contributor to anxiety in dogs.
- Noise anxiety –– This is another common type of dog anxiety, especially during thunderstorms and firework season. In extreme cases, 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. And getting them acclimated to their new environment and routine can be a whole other stressful bag of bones.
Now that we know the different types of dog anxiety, we can finally 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.
How do calming supplements for dogs work?
We’re so glad you asked! You see, dog calming supplements are packed with therapeutic ingredients that promote total relaxation and calmness.
In fact, calming supplements are carefully formulated and designed to take the edge off for your anxious dog in a gentle but 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…
Natural calm ingredients found in calming supplements for dogs
Chamomile is one of those ancient medicinal herbs that’s been around for hundreds of years. Scientists have studied it for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sedative-like properties.
But there’s one particular study that caught our eye… It was a study involving patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). After consuming extracts of chamomile, the patients had a reduction of 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 dietary 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 yet another medicinal herb that’s been studied for its sedative-like effects in humans. But 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.
Passion flower has been studied for multiple reasons. But the main reason researchers are so intrigued by passion flower is because 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 can help manage stress; curb destructive behaviors and hyperactivity; and most of all, it prompts 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 explored 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 from this study. Now, that’s impressive!
But as groundbreaking as this study is, we understand more studies are needed.
Now, you’re probably thinking: “All of these ingredients sound amazing, but where do I begin?”
Well, let us introduce to you…
Best Calming supplements for dogs
Calming supplements for dogs come in all shapes and sizes. And depending on you and your dog's preference, you may need to try various forms.
Let’s first look at the traditional...
Calming 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. But you may need to use a pill pocket, or just 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 way…
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 might find yourself creating your own concoction.
That said, we’ve heard great things from pet owners and pet CBD oil.
But if tinctures aren’t your cup of tea or your dog's bone of choice, then we’re positive they’ll wag their tails to this…
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 firsthand (and paw!) of what’s going into our pet products, because we would never offer anything we wouldn’t give to our own canine friends.
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…
Can calming supplements help my anxious dog?
It really depends. While we know there are some pretty convincing studies and even more 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 and mission is to see your canine friend thrive and live a long and 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…
Natural remedies for anxiety in dogs
- 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.
The takeaway: Calming supplements for Dogs
We know firsthand how helpless it feels to see your furry friend battle dog anxiety. That’s why we’ve done our research to find the best natural calming ingredients to give to your canine friends.
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!