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At some point in their lives your dog may experience anxiety. Dog anxiety can be difficult to understand and treat. However, there are many options for treatment to help our companion animals feel safe, comfortable, and happy. One option is to use dog supplements designed to help with anxiety. Dog supplements for anxiety can be found at pet specialty shops. They offer a range of ingredients from vitamins, minerals, and herbs that claim to help reduce anxiety in dogs. Since they are not often prescribed by veterinarians, most owners are left wondering do dog supplements for anxiety work?
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety In Dogs?
The symptoms of anxiety in dogs are much like the symptoms of anxiety in humans. The most common symptoms of anxiety in dogs include:
- Excessive crying, whining, or barking
- Shaking or trembling
- Uncontrolled urination or bowel movements
- Tucking their tail between their legs
- Hiding or withdrawing
- Excessive licking or biting
- Engaging in destructive behaviors
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should always look for what is triggering your dog’s anxiety so you can begin to address the problem.
What Causes Anxiety In Dogs?
Your dog can develop anxiety for a number of different reasons. Most dogs will experience some form of anxiety in their lifetimes. The most common causes of anxiety include:
- Anxiety triggered by pain from an illness
- Old age
- Trauma from a bad experience
- A lack of social exposure
- Separation anxiety
- Scary situations like thunderstorms or fireworks
Anxiety is especially common among rescue dogs who have experienced poor conditions or abuse in their lifetimes. Dogs who have had multiple owners, experienced neglect or abandonment, or were locked in a crate or isolated for long periods of time. Many of these issues take a lot of time, patience, and work to help your dog overcome their fears.
What Can You Do To Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety?
The first thing you should do if your dog is experiencing anxiety is to talk to your vet. Sometimes a dog’s anxiety is the result of a medical condition like a brain or thyroid condition, so you need to make sure that they are healthy before you start treating their anxiety. Once your veterinarian gives your dog a clean bill of health, there are some simple things you can introduce to their routine to help reduce their anxiety. First, you will need to modify your training behaviors. Do not reassure your dog while they are having anxiety because they may see it as a reward for their behavior, instead promote calmness. Secondly, exposure to fear stimulus and counter-conditioning are the most effective ways to help reduce their fears. Repeat their exposure in a controlled condition and train your dog to do a positive behavior when presented with the stimulus. Next, make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise. Just like with humans, exercise helps release endorphins that can reduce anxiety and improve happiness. Finally, during this time you should consider giving your dog supplements for anxiety.
What To Look For In Dog Supplements For Anxiety
When picking out a dog supplement for anxiety, you will start by looking for the same things you will look for in a good quality pet food. Make sure there are no harmful ingredients like artificial coloring, flavors, or preservatives. You also want to avoid treats with added salt and sugar. Most dog supplements for anxiety are herbal based. Some of the most effective herbs include:
- Chamomile: Chamomile is a calming flower that helps calm the nerves and encourages sleep in dogs.
- Passion Flower: Passion flower has calming effects that can reduce excitability and anxiety in dogs.
- Ginger root: Ginger root helps calm nerves, supports healthy digestion, and boosts the immune system.
- Valerian: Valerian reduces tension, anxiety, and excitability in dogs.
Most dog supplements for anxiety will use a combination of vitamins, minerals, and these herbs.
The Five Best Dog Supplements For Anxiety
Once you have decided to give your dog supplements for anxiety, it’s important to know what the best quality supplements are on the market. Here are the top-rated dog supplements for anxiety:
Dog Calming Treats Complete by K9 Nature Supplements uses a mixture of chamomile, passion flower, ginger root, and the calming amino acid L-tryptophan. These anxiety treats are formulated specifically for dogs who experience digestive issues as a result of anxiety. Dog Calming Treats Complete are easy to give your dog because they are small, tasty dog chews. These are specifically recommended for dogs who experience anxiety when traveling or get nervous from thunderstorms or other loud noises.
Vet’s Best Comfort Calm Calming Soft Chews are made with a blend of valerian root, chamomile, ginger root, thiamine, and L-tryptophan. They also contain ocean kelp for anti-oxidants which bolster your dog’s immune system against the free radical damage caused by stress. These are designed to be given daily so they are great for dogs that experience separation anxiety or dogs who have past trauma.
Unlike the first two options, Calm-Aid Anti-Stress Tablets are a traditional style of vitamin supplement, so you may have to put them inside of a treat to feed them to your dog. They are made with chamomile, passion flower, and ginger root. Calm-Aid is specially formulated to be time-release, so they are a perfect supplement to give your dog before a big day that has a lot of anxiety triggers.
ZEN Licks calming remedy is neither a pill nor a treat, but is instead an easy-to-deliver flavored liquid. You can feed zen licks directly or mix it into right in their food. ZEN Licks is made with chamomile and L-tryptophan. It also contains ashwaghanda root which can help reduce aggression in dogs. ZEN Licks is the perfect dog supplement for anxiety for dogs who are picky eaters or who become destructive.
NaturVet Quiet Moments is formulated with chamomile, passion flower, ginger root, and tryptophan. It also contains melatonin which can help encourage and promote sleep. NaturVet is the perfect supplement to give to dogs who experience anxiety at night. They are in a tasty soft chew form so they are also easy to feed your dog as a treat.
Dog anxiety can be stressful for both you and your dog. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves. One of the best things is to give them a dog supplement for anxiety. So if your dog is experiencing anxiety, first take them to the veterinarian to make sure it’s a not a product of an illness, then try one of these five great recommendations.