If you have a fearful or nervous dog, you know how painful it can be to watch your buddy suffer from fear and anxiety.
Calming dog treats are a great solution if you’re looking for a way to help your dog feel calmer in general or just a way to alleviate stressful situations like visits to the vet.
What Is Anxiety in Dogs?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Anxiety in Dogs?
- 2 Dog Anxiety Symptoms
- 3 What Are Calming Treats?
- 4 When To Use Anxiety Relief for Dogs
- 5 How Long Does It Take for Calming Dog Treats to Work?
- 6 10 Calming Dog Treats for Anxious Dogs
- 6.1 Zesty Paws Calming Treats for Dogs
- 6.2 Pet Naturals Calming Treats for Dogs
- 6.3 Only Natural Just Relax Herbal Calming Support
- 6.4 Nutramax Solliquin Anxiety/Calming Treats for Dogs
- 6.5 Alpha Paw Calming Treats with Chamomile and Hemp
- 6.6 NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews
- 6.7 Native Pet Hemp Calming Treats
- 6.8 Ark Naturals Happy Traveler Dog & Cat Soft Chews
- 6.9 Shameless Pets Calming Chew Treats
- 6.10 Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix
- 7 How We Evaluated the Top Calming Treats for Anxious Dogs
- 8 Final Word
At its root, anxiety is a form of fear. A dog develops anxiety when exposed to a situation that makes it uncomfortable or nervous. The event could be anything from its owner leaving for the day to a loud noise outside the home to close proximity to another dog or human that the dog doesn’t know.
Dog Anxiety Symptoms
The symptoms of anxiety might look different for every dog. In general, there are a few universal behaviors that indicate stress and anxiety, including:
- Lip licking or drooling
Other symptoms of anxiety might be more long-term and manifest over time. Those can include:
- Urinating or defecating in the home
- Destroying furniture
- Incessant barking
- Compulsive, self-destructive behaviors like chewing or scratching
What Are Calming Treats?
Calming treats for dogs contain ingredients with a calming effect, including casein, melatonin, tryptophan, or amino acids like L-Theanine. These ingredients are thought to work on the dog’s serotonin and dopamine receptors.
CBD dog treats are also gaining popularity due to the success of CBD in treating anxiety in some humans.
Are Calming Treats Good for Dogs?
Scientific study has not evaluated the effects of calming dog treats. At least one study reports no conclusive evidence that CBD treats alleviate anxiety in dogs. Calming dog treats might be part of a holistic approach to anxiety management that includes behavior modification training and pharmaceutical drugs.
If your dog is suffering from high anxiety and is becoming a danger to itself or other animals or humans in the home, talk to your veterinarian about pharmaceutical anxiety medications. Many of these medications have been rigorously studied and proven to treat anxiety in dogs.
Additionally, behavioral counseling is crucial for addressing aggression and destructive behaviors caused by anxiety.
When To Use Anxiety Relief for Dogs
There are different types of anxiety responses and various forms of anxiety relief. Some anxiety relief methods work through continuous release, which you give your dog daily. Others you can administer just before a stressful event occurs.
How Long Does It Take for Calming Dog Treats to Work?
If you plan to use calming treats for your dog, the best time to administer them is 20-30 minutes before a stressful event occurs. For example, if your dog is sensitive to thunder, give them a calming treat about 30 minutes before the thunder starts.
If you are giving your dog continuous-release treats, make sure to feed the treat at the same time every day.
10 Calming Dog Treats for Anxious Dogs
Here is our list of the best calming treats for dogs.
Zesty Paws Calming Treats for Dogs
Zesty Paws Calming bites contain organic, all-natural ingredients that help to soothe anxious dogs. Each treat contains thiamine and chamomile, which act as natural relaxers that help calm jumping, biting, and other anxious or aggressive behaviors.
Pet Naturals Calming Treats for Dogs
Pet Naturals treats are recommended for stressful events like travel, vet visits, and thunderstorms. It comes in a delicious chicken liver flavor and contains all-natural ingredients like L-Theanine and Colostrum.
Only Natural Just Relax Herbal Calming Support
Only Natural herbal supplements contain an all-natural blend of B-Vitamins and herbs that support a healthy nervous system and brain function. They’re also packed with chamomile, passionflower, and valerian. They can be used daily or given during high-stress situations.
Nutramax Solliquin Anxiety/Calming Treats for Dogs
Solliquin can be given to dogs and cats from as small as 8lbs to as large as 30lbs. Nutramax’s treats are formulated as a long-term relaxation solution, not a single-use treatment. Most customers report seeing a difference in behavior after a few months of consistent daily use.
Alpha Paw Calming Treats with Chamomile and Hemp
Alpha Paw Calming Chews are made with Kava root, a well-known natural anti-stimulant and muscle relaxer. All the ingredients in these treats are natural and non-GMO. The treats relieve aggressive and nervous behaviors like chewing and scratching and may reduce anxiety.
NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews
Quiet Moments contain a unique blend of thiamine and L-tryptophan to promote the reduction of stress and tension. They also contain ginger to help settle nervous stomachs while traveling. You can use them daily or as a one-time treatment for stressful situations.
Native Pet Hemp Calming Treats
Native Pet make their treats with just the right blend of hemp and melatonin to help support normal brain function, reduce anxiety, and relax tense muscles. These treats are made with real chicken and contain no fillers.
Ark Naturals Happy Traveler Dog & Cat Soft Chews
Happy Traveler treats are approved for use in dogs and cats and are especially good for pets who get nervous while traveling. They contain L-tryptophan, chamomile, and St. John’s Wart to promote relaxation and also help ease motion sickness.
Shameless Pets Calming Chew Treats
Shameless Pets Calming Chews come in two flavors: Turk It Easy and We Be Salmon. They are made with high-quality meat and contain a soothing formula of chamomile, passionflower, and thiamine. They are easy on dogs’ digestive systems and contain no grain or artificial flavors.
Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix
Zesty Paws Hemp Orastix packs a two-for-one deal: relaxation and dental care, all in one! The sticks contain Suntheanine, a clinically studied form of L-theanine that promotes relaxation and relieves anxiety.
They are peppermint scented and contain kelp and rosemary extract to support dental health.
How We Evaluated the Top Calming Treats for Anxious Dogs
Here is the list of categories that we used to evaluate each dog treat, ensuring that only the best options were included on this list.
We evaluated all of the treats on this list based on criteria that include how long a treat lasts, its effectiveness, and the company’s reputation.
All the treats on this list contain high-quality ingredients that dogs love. You won’t find fillers and artificial ingredients in any listed treats.
Flavor and Taste
Your dog won’t feel any of the benefits of a calming dog treat if they won’t eat it! All the treats on this list include flavors dogs love, like beef, chicken, and liver.
Do They Make Your Pup Drowsy?
While you might think that giving your dog something to help them sleep through a scary situation is a great idea, it can be dangerous for your dog. Your dog should always have the ability to defend itself or run away in any scary situation.
None of the treats on this list will make your dog drowsy.
Some anxiety treats also provide added benefits like probiotic support and improved dental hygiene. Ingredients like chamomile and ginger are great for digestion, while hard treats give your pup’s teeth a much-needed scrub.
The National Animal Supplement Council is a nonprofit organization that promotes the health and wellness of companion animals. They can provide additional information on the trustworthiness of many treat companies on this list.
We assess a company’s reputation in one of two ways: federal evaluation and customer reviews. All of the companies on this list meet the federal government’s requirements for dog food quality. Not only that, they are very well reviewed by many satisfied customers.
Some people have found calming dog treats to successfully alleviate low-level anxiety in their dogs. However, most of the evidence of their success is anecdotal, and there is very little conclusive scientific evidence to support that calming treats work.
Talk to your vet before giving your dog any calming dog treats. Also, always monitor your dog closely after feeding them a new treat to ensure they don’t have any adverse reactions.