Anti-anxiety products for dogs
Anxiety is a common problem in dogs, and many owners will experience increased dog anxiety as pandemic restrictions loosen and dogs are left home alone for longer than usual.
Fortunately, a variety of products are available to help dogs stay calm and confident, even when their humans are away. Zesty Paws Stress & Anxiety Soothing Bites combine stress-reducing active ingredients with a savory peanut butter flavor to help dogs relax. Here’s how to find the right kind of soothing product for your dog and some better choices.
What to know before buying soothing products for dogs
Anxious dogs usually exhibit recognizable symptoms such as excessive barking, tremors, drooling, unwanted destructive rhythms or behaviors. Just like humans, not all dogs suffer from the same type of anxiety. Separation anxiety is very common and is often triggered by boredom or a change in routine.
Fear anxiety is the result of certain external stressors like car rides, strangers, thunder, or other loud sounds. Anxiety can also be the result of illness or traumatic memories associated with an experience in a pet shelter. Finally, dogs can also suffer from generalized anxiety just like humans, with more subtle symptoms like restlessness or depression.
It’s a good idea to see your vet to diagnose your dog’s anxiety and get advice on choosing a calming product. Calming products may also work best in combination with other products, or with training to reinforce good behavior.
Types of calming products for dogs
Soothing products for dogs come in many different formats, ranging from edible supplements to pheromone sprays and sensory aids. Wearable calming products like swaddle shirts or pheromone necklaces can help with fear-based anxiety. Separation anxiety can be alleviated by using relaxing dog-specific music or aromatherapy sprays. Soothing supplements for dogs can be given when your dog is showing signs of stress, while others are intended to provide long-term benefit through daily use.
Characteristics of soothing products for dogs
Some common herbs and pain relieving ingredients in dog soothing products include hemp, valerian root, L-tryptophan, suntheanine, and chamomile. These ingredients can promote a sense of calm and relaxation and reduce anxious behaviors like scratching, barking and chewing.
When purchasing supplements, be aware of the nutritional content as well as ingredients specific to anxiety. Avoid low-quality filling ingredients like wheat or soy, and follow directions to avoid giving your pet too many treats.
Some anxious dogs respond well to products that limit visual or auditory stimuli. Music products are designed to provide relaxing auditory information that is more calming than standard music. Some dogs enjoy the feeling of being wrapped in a tight embrace, so they respond well to tight-fitting swaddles. Some soothing dog products, like crate lids or special caps, create a dark space or restrict your dog’s sight.
Sometimes it’s easy to predict when your dog will become anxious, but other times a stressful event can happen out of nowhere. An anxious dog may not be willing to eat a supplement once they are stressed, but if you are able to plan ahead, a supplement can prepare a dog and help make an upcoming stressor more tolerable. Musical products and portable soothing aids are also quick and easy to use on a stressed dog. Aromatherapy and pheromonic products are also easy to use but take longer to become effective.
Cost of calming products for dogs
The price of soothing products for dogs varies widely depending on the type of product. Supplements tend to be the most affordable, ranging from $ 7 to $ 40, while portable soothing products and aromatherapy or pheromone products range from $ 10 to over $ 40.
Soothing Dog Products FAQs
Which calming products are the safest for my dog?
A. Soothing products like musical aids or aromatherapy are generally safer than supplements or chews because they don’t contain ingredients that enter your dog’s system the same way. Consider seeking the advice of your veterinarian on the best calming product for your dog, especially if your dog has other health concerns or is taking medication.
Do Dog Soothing Products Actually Work?
A. Your success may depend on the type and severity of your dog’s anxiety, but the ingredients used in soothing products have been tested and frequently demonstrate an ability to relieve anxiety. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s directions for dosage and timing – some supplements should be given at least half an hour before your dog experiences a stressful event.
Which dog calming product should I buy?
The best of the best soothing products for dogs
Zesty Paws Soothing Stress & Anxiety Bites: Available at Soft and Amazon
Our opinion: These popular chews, available in two flavors, reduce stress without putting animals to sleep.
What we like: The organic herbal ingredients in these supplements provide calming compounds like suntheanine, L-theanine, and L-tryptophan to promote calm and focus.
What we don’t like: Some dogs are not impressed with the flavors. Like any soothing product for dogs, it may not be effective for all dogs.
Best Soothing Product For Your Money For Dogs
ThunderEase ThunderEssence Dog Calming Essential Oils: available at Amazon
Our opinion: If your dog is a picky eater or you want to avoid products that need to be applied or ingested, this spray product may provide a calming effect to your dog.
What we like: It is composed of 100% natural essential oils of chamomile, lavender and Egyptian geranium. It can be sprayed in a room or on bedding or applied to your dog’s ThunderShirt.
What we don’t like: It is a homeopathic option, which may not work for all dogs or all stressful situations.
Honorable mention calming product for dogs
ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket: available at Amazon
Our opinion: This 100% polyester version of the classic Calming Aid is easy to use and recommended by veterinarians and dog trainers.
What we like: ThunderShirts apply gentle pressure to calm anxious dogs. The material is breathable and machine washable. The design includes areas for applying aromatherapy or pheromone sprays for further stress reduction.
What we don’t like: Its success rate of 80% is high but does not guarantee a solution for all dogs. Some pet owners have found it difficult to get their dog between sizes. However, the manufacturer offers a money back guarantee.
Laura Duerr is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help you simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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