Isn’t it frustrating when your canine friend looks anxious and you can’t help them out of it? Probably because you can’t seem to understand the root cause of the problem, much less how to treat it. Even if you’ve never dealt with such a situation before, chances are high it could happen at some point in your dog’s lifetime.
So, what should you do?
First, understand that anxiety is just as common in dogs as it is in humans, and it can be triggered by things such as loud noises, separation from the owner, or places that your dog has never been, new smells, new people, and so on.
The good news is there are a variety of things you can do to help your furry friend feel safe, happy, and comfortable.
Moving them out of the stressful situations and physical exercise are just a few of the science-proven ways to treat your anxious dog.
Another effective option you can combine with those two is the use of a calming supplement. In case you are wondering if they actually work, where to find them, what the best options are, and how to choose them, I’ve gathered all the answers and information you need.
Best Calming Supplements For Dogs
Consultations from vets combined with reviews from fellow dog parents, led me to choose five of the best anti-anxiety supplements for dogs on the market right now. They include:
1. Bach Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pet Supplement
Not many anxiety medications have earned the trust of pet parents, dog trainers, and vets to the level that Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Pet Supplement has, especially in treating everyday fears and stresses triggered by things such as thunderstorms, fireworks, etc.
One of this supplement’s top qualities is that it’s a blend of five flower remedies, namely Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Clematis and Impatiens, each with its own special calming effects.
Generally, they see to it that your dog is able to regain its self-control and patience, in addition to restoring their courage and calmness and neutralizing any shock or trauma they may have encountered.
Most pet parents have found the solution to be non-habit forming, which is a huge relief given the fear that a good number of supplements encourage addiction.
Also, the product is homeopathic, alcohol-free, and full of active, healthy ingredients and pheromones, making it easy to use, safe, and effective at calming your stressed dog.
However, it’s important to note that the supplement might not be effective on big strong dog breeds such as German Shepherds or extremely hyperactive breeds as reported by some pet parents.
Also, if your pet suffers from acid reflux, you may want to consult your vet first before administering it. This will help you avoid further complications.
2. VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health Bite-Sized Dog Chews
Composure easily qualifies as one of the finest dog anxiety medications developed by VetriScience Laboratories, given its success in treating anxiety, hyperactivity, nervousness, and other behavioral issues.
Just as the manufacturer claims, many of us have seen the calming effect kick in within thirty minutes and last for several hours. Even better than that is the fact that the treat never interferes with your dog’s personality or energy levels.
All these great results can partly be attributed to the product’s three naturally sourced active ingredients, which include Thiamine, known to calm anxious animals; Colostrum calming complex, a component so effective at supporting cognitive function and stress reduction; and L-Theanine, another effective ingredient great at managing stress and supporting relaxed behavior.
What’s more, you can go ahead and administer it up two times per day or as the need arises, without worrying about adverse side effects.
Composure also comes in different tasty flavors, a feature that has made it a suitable option for pet parents with picky eaters. For best results, serve it alongside a nutritious diet and ensure your dog is getting proper training and exercise.
Unfortunately, not all dogs are assured of a favorable response from this supplement. So, should the supplement fail to work on your dog, it would be better to stop administering it and speak to your vet about the issue.
3. Zesty Paws Stress & Anxiety Calming Bites
If not their commitment to developing clinically-proven pet foods, what’s guaranteed to get you hooked on Zesty products is their completely organic and natural formulas, like the one found in Zesty Paws Stress & Anxiety Calming Bites.
The availability of different flavors, such as turkey and peanut butter, make the supplement easy to chew and swallow, even for your anxious dog.
Each chew contains about 30 mg of Suntheanine, a pure form of L-theanine, which helps stimulate brain waves, thereby promoting relaxation without any drowsy effects.
Other healthy ingredients formulated into each bite include thiamine, chamomile, and hemp seed oil. All are natural ingredients that help get rid of restlessness and anxiety.
To make the treat even more versatile in the treatment of behavioral disorders, Zesty Paws added organic ginger root, passion flower, l-tryptophan, and valerian root. Each of these ingredients performs special roles that help minimize things such as outbursts, scratching, chewing, and licking, among other tense and hyperactive behaviors.
Now, as much as your dog will enjoy eating this supplement, note that sometimes it may take hours before you see any noticeable results.
Also, if the supplement fails to have the much-needed effect on your stressed or anxious dog, that could mean this treat isn’t right for him/her. So, talk to your vet to see if there are other options.
4. Vet’s Best Comfort Calm Soft Chews Dog Supplement
Vet’s Best’s consistent record of formulating reliable, natural formulas from plant-based ingredients is among the many reasons you will want to give their Comfort Calm Soft Chews Dog Supplement a try.
What enables this product to support a relaxed and more balanced behavior is the blend of powerful ingredients, ranging from thiamine, chamomile, and valerian root to L-tryptophan, and ginger root, among many others.
Whether it’s separation anxiety, motion sickness, or environmental stress, there are a variety of other ingredients formulated into the supplement that enable it to handle that, including ginger root and Natural Ocean.
The presence of prebiotics and antioxidants means that your pet is set to enjoy better ingredient intake, immunity, and optimum digestive health.
Also, this flavored chew is made without any artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, or gluten, making it a great option for dogs with sensitivities or those that are allergy-prone
Like most supplements, Vet’s Best Comfort Calm Soft Chews Dog Supplement doesn’t always work. Some pet parents report that they got little to no effect after administering it.
5. Vetoquinol Zylkene Behavior Support Capsules Small Dog & Cat Supplement (75 mg)
Zylkene capsules are among the few calming pills for dogs that I’ve witnessed being used extensively in behavior modification and dog training.
Unlike the rest of the supplements on the list, Zylkene is made with very few ingredients. Alpha-capsazepine, the key ingredient, is a natural component sourced from cow’s milk, which has calming properties that enable it to balance reactions in situations such as travel, meeting new people, moving, loud noises, adoption, and so on.
That’s in addition to helping your pet stay normal, relaxed, and be more receptive to behavior-modification training.
To make the supplement ideal for dogs with stomach sensitivities, Vetoquinol formulated it without any preservatives or lactose.
That aside, the best results are experienced when you combine this supplement with a nutritious diet, daily exercise, and training, especially when dealing with an overly reactive pet.
Nonetheless, you can still serve this supplement to your dog as a treat.
However, Vetoquinol Zylkene is relatively expensive, but given its super calming effects, not many pet parents have a problem with that.
Do Anxiety Supplements For Dogs Really Work?
Various studies that sought to answer this question found out that specific diets, nutraceuticals, and supplements can actually treat behavioral disorders in dogs, including anxiety.
Anxiety supplements, like the ones we are about to look at, comprise vitamins, herbs, minerals, and lots of other nutrients that have calming benefits.
However, note that not all dogs respond well to these anxiety supplements. Some may become lethargic or even develop more serious conditions. Others may not respond to the medication at all. At this point, it would be best to consult with your vet.
Also, if your dog has allergies or other health conditions, talk to your vet before administering the supplements.
Generally, whenever you notice any of the symptoms that point to anxiety (excessive whining, crying or barking, destructive behaviors, shaking/trembling, hiding, uncontrolled bowel movements/urinating and so on), quickly find out what’s triggering the problem so you can address the problem properly.
You can learn more about dog anxiety by watching the video below from NatGeo:
What To Look For in Anxiety Supplements For Dogs
When deciding which supplement is best for your dog, follow the same procedure you would when choosing any other pet food. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- First, look out for products that seem to be more natural or organic and are made with active ingredients that carry calming effects. For example, I found out that herbal ingredients such as chamomile, valerian, ginger root, and passionflower have powerful calming effects that can help to eliminate behavioral disorders in dogs
- It would also be better if the supplement has a tasty flavor because this makes it easy for the dog to chew and swallow it, despite their anxious state.
- Avoid products formulated with fillers such as corn, soy protein, etc. or artificial flavors, colorings, preservatives because they can be harmful to your dog’s health.
- Lastly, carefully read the labels and scrutinize all the ingredients. Note the number of tablets/chews and the suggested dosage. Some products may look cheaper, but the suggested dosage may be huge. Also, make sure the product has a proportionate combination of minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
Even though each of these calming supplements seems to have their own set of special ingredients, the end goal is the same for all of them: To relieve your pet’s stress, anxiety, fear, and other behavioral disorders.
Also, this is great because if your dog is allergic to, say, the herbal ingredients, you have the option to choose Zylkene, which uses a milk protein. And, because all the supplements we’ve looked at come packed with healthy nutrients, you don’t have to worry much about the choice you end up with.