natural Calming Treats For Dogs

Natural Calming Treats For Dogs? According To A Veterinarian

Have you ever watched your four-legged companion struggle with anxiety or stress and wished for a simple, effective way to help? The solution might be closer than you think, nestled right in their treat jar.

Natural calming treats for dogs are becoming increasingly popular, but what are these treats? Do they work? What are their pros and cons?

Calming treats for dogs, often including ingredients like CBD oil, chamomile, B Vitamins, Passionflower, and melatonin, are crafted to soothe anxiety and stress in canines.

From managing hyperactivity to soothing nerves during thunderstorms, these treats can be a valuable aid in your dog’s emotional health.

As we delve deeper into this topic, we’ll uncover the intricacies of these calming treats – their safety, effectiveness, and the right way to introduce them to your pet’s regimen. Stay with us to learn how these treats can potentially transform your dog’s response to stressful situations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Natural ingredients like chamomile, passionflower, L-Theanine, melatonin, and B Vitamins are favored in treats for their calming properties, contributing to the reduction of anxiety and stress in dogs without relying on artificial additives.
  • The effectiveness of calming treats varies among dogs, and their use should be tailored to specific scenarios like thunderstorms, travel, or introducing new environments, etc.
  • When selecting calming treats, prioritize reputable manufacturers, scrutinize ingredient lists for natural components avoid unnecessary fillers, and be wary of exaggerated claims to ensure quality and safety.

Understanding Calming Chews for Dogs

Calming chews for dogs, often referred to as nutraceuticals or calming bites, are specially formulated treats designed to alleviate anxiety and stress in canines.

These products, which come in various forms like tablets, chews, and bites, contain active ingredients such as CBD oil, chamomile, or melatonin.

These compounds work by interacting with the dog’s brain to induce a state of calmness, making them particularly useful in stressful situations.

Widely praised by pet parents, these treats not only aid in managing hyperactive behavior but also contribute to fostering healthier pet-owner relationships.

They are crafted to be easily digestible for dogs, offering a convenient and effective solution for managing canine anxiety.

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Are Calming Treats Safe?

Calming treats for dogs, while generally safe, fall under a less regulated supplement industry compared to pharmaceuticals. This results in varied quality and efficacy among brands.

Unlike prescription medications, these over-the-counter supplements aren’t required to undergo Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, placing the onus on manufacturers for safety and accurate labeling.

Most dogs and puppies tolerate these treats well with rare side effects. However, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian before introducing any new supplement. And you should pay close attention to the ingredients when buying, especially for dogs with specific dietary needs.

Natural ingredients typically offer more benefits compared to treats laden with sugars, fats, and artificial preservatives. If adverse reactions occur, or if any health concerns post-introduction of calming treats, it’s advised to cease their use and seek veterinary guidance.

Ingredients Used in Dog Calming Treats

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High-quality dog calming treats typically utilize natural ingredients, carefully selected for their calming properties to alleviate a dog’s anxiety, without resorting to artificial additives or quick fixes. PetMD lists ingredients calming ingredients in these treats.

Chamomile:

A common ingredient in calming dog treats, chamomile is renowned for its relaxing qualities.

Similar to its use in human teas for promoting sleep and relaxation, chamomile’s active components like apigenin and luteolin interact with specific brain areas to calm dogs. Administered correctly, it’s a gentle way to soothe nerves.

Passionflower:

Used traditionally to maintain normal, relaxed dispositions in pets, passionflower is effective for stress relief.

It contains flavonoids and alkaloids that increase brain GABA levels, reducing neurotransmitter activity and fostering calmness. This is particularly helpful for dogs dealing with stress or restlessness.

L-Theanine and L-Tryptophan:

These amino acids, commonly found in calming products, have distinct functions. L-theanine, primarily found in tea leaves, stimulates relaxation-related brain waves, while L-tryptophan is converted into serotonin, aiding stress management.

Melatonin:

Naturally produced in the brain, melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycles and has sedative properties that can calm dogs, especially those with nervousness, hyperactivity, or environmentally-induced stress.

It’s also used for adjusting internal clocks during travel or routine changes.

B Vitamins:

Essential for nervous system function, B Vitamins support brain function and neurotransmitter synthesis. Vitamins B1, B6, and B12, in particular, play critical roles in maintaining balanced behavior and supporting brain and nerve function.

Valerian Root:

Known for its compounds that increase brain GABA levels, Valerian root promotes relaxation and helps maintain contentment during stressful situations like separation or travel.

Organic Ginger Root:

Besides aiding digestion and maintaining inflammatory pathways, ginger root also promotes relaxation, making it a beneficial ingredient in calming treats.

CBD:

According to AKC, CBD interacts with the dog’s endocannabinoid system, supporting emotional balance. This extract contains all hemp plant compounds, offering a comprehensive approach to stress management.

In addition to these ingredients, premium quality dog calming treats may also include:

  • Sweet Potato: High in B vitamins, sweet potatoes act as mood boosters and have a natural anti-stress effect.
  • Lavender: Used in aromatherapy, lavender’s scent induces relaxation and sleepiness.
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics: Promoting gut health, these ingredients can influence mood and encourage clear-headedness through the gut-brain axis.
  • Zylkene: A natural supplement, used in anticipation of stressful events.
  • Pheromones: Mimicking those from puppyhood, these supplements offer comfort and familiarity.

When To Feed the Dog Calming Treats?

Determining when to offer calming treats to dogs hinges on recognizing scenarios that induce stress or anxiety in your pet. According to the SprucePets these treats are beneficial in various situations:

  • Thunderstorms or Fireworks: The loud noises can terrify dogs. Treats of calming aid in soothing them during these events.
  • Vet or Groomer Visits: These environments can be stressful. Administering a treat beforehand eases the experience.
  • Travel: For long car rides or flights, calming treats mitigate travel-related stress.
  • Introducing New People or Pets: To prevent overwhelming your dog during such introductions, calming treats can maintain their emotional balance.
  • Separation Anxiety: The Merck Veterinary Manual indicates that there are several reasons for anxiety in dogs, with separation being a notable cause. If your dog exhibits destructive behavior or cries when left alone, a calming treat can help stabilize their nerves.
  • New Environments: When in unfamiliar settings, like a different home, these treats can reduce stress.

Are Calming Dog Treats Helpful?

Calming dog treats can be quite effective in alleviating mild stress and anxiety in dogs, with their efficacy varying from one dog to another. The market offers diverse calming treats, so finding the right one might require some experimentation.

It’s important to select a product tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

For Example: If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, a treat designed for use just before a storm would be ideal. Conversely, for dogs experiencing daily anxiety, a product intended for daily use would be more appropriate.

This targeted approach enhances the likelihood of finding an effective solution for your pet’s anxiety or stress issues.

How Do Calming Treats Work in Dogs?

Calming treats for dogs function by altering brain chemistry to foster calmness and relaxation. In stressful situations, a dog’s instinctual fight, flight, or freeze response is activated, often leading to unpredictable or destructive behavior.

Calming treats work in several ways depending on their active ingredients.

For instance, they might boost serotonin production, reducing stress. CBD oil in these treats interacts with the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors to induce calmness. According to research published on Pubmed amino acids like L-theanine and L-tryptophan help mitigate aggressive behavior.

Additionally, another publication in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Science indicates that passionflower, another common ingredient, increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, further relieving anxiety.

This multifaceted approach helps in managing a dog’s stress response effectively.

Benefits of Dog Calming Treats

Calming treats for dogs offers a spectrum of benefits, as highlighted by veterinarian.org. These benefits include:

1. Calmer Dogs

Administering a calming treat before a stressful event can significantly reduce anxiety, helping dogs to either enjoy or at least tolerate stressful situations more effectively.

2. Relief from Mental Disorders

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and stress. Calming treats are formulated to ease these symptoms, providing much-needed relief.

3. Increased Safety

Dogs experiencing stress or anxiety can behave unpredictably, potentially leading to harmful situations. Calming treats helps stabilize their emotions, reducing the likelihood of such incidents.

4. Overall Wellness

Beyond their calming effects, these treats often contain additional health-promoting ingredients like vitamins, minerals, immune boosters, probiotics, and antioxidants, contributing to the overall well-being of your pet.

Dog Calming Treats Side Effects

Like all dog supplements, calming aids are mostly safe, but they can have potential side effects, which can vary among individual pets:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may develop allergies to ingredients in calming treats, leading to symptoms like itching, swelling, or breathing difficulties.
  • Interaction with Medications: Calming aids can interact with other medications your dog may be taking. Always consult with your vet before introducing any supplements.
  • Behavioral Changes: In some cases, calming treats may have the opposite effect, causing agitation rather than relaxation.
  • Overdose Risks: Excessive consumption of calming aids can lead to drowsiness, lethargy, respiratory issues, and even seizures.
  • Sleepiness/Lethargy: Due to their sedative effects, some dogs may become overly sleepy or lethargic, indicating that the treats might be too strong or consumed in excess.
  • Digestive Upset: Any dietary change can affect a dog’s bowel movements. If your dog shows signs of sickness, diarrhea, or discomfort after consuming these treats, they may not be suitable.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain natural ingredients in calming treats can counteract the effects of other medications. It’s important to discuss with your vet about any calming treats if your dog is on regular medication.

Always observe your dog’s response to calming treats and follow the recommended dosage. If adverse effects are noticed, discontinue use and consult a veterinarian.

How Often To Give Your Dog Calming Chews and When To Give?

When introducing calming chews to your dog, start with a small amount and observe for a couple of days for any adverse reactions. The frequency and amount of calming treats depend on your dog’s size age, health condition, and the treat’s active ingredient concentration.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult your veterinarian before use.

Generally, it’s best to administer these treats about 40 minutes before anticipated stress events like fireworks or storms.

For daily stress management, especially in hyperactive dogs, milder supplements can be used, ensuring they don’t lead to excessive lethargy.

For an anxious dog, timing the administration of calming aids can be proactive, such as before anticipated stimulating or stressful scenarios, or at night, particularly if your dog exhibits anxiety or high energy levels before sleep.

How To Find Premium-Quality Calming Chews for Dogs

Calming treats vary in quality, with some containing unlisted ingredients or incorrect amounts. There’s also a risk of contamination with harmful substances. So, how can you select good calming treats for your dog? Here are essential tips:

1. Research the Manufacturer: Look for brands that are transparent about their manufacturing processes and quality control. Brands that conduct third-party testing for quality and purity are more reliable.

2. Read Reviews: Assess reviews from other pet owners. While experiences can vary, consistent patterns in reviews can indicate the effectiveness and overall quality of the product. Good quality calming treats generally have predominantly positive reviews.

3. Beware of Exaggerated Claims: Trustworthy brands provide realistic descriptions of their products’ benefits, avoiding overblown claims.

4. Check Ingredients: Avoid calming treats containing unnecessary fillers. These not only diminish the quality but also pose a risk to your pet’s health. These include:

  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Gumming agents
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • And artificial flavorings.

Remember: Terms like ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ are not always strictly regulated and don’t automatically guarantee the safety or quality of calming treats. Prioritizing these factors will help you find the best calming treats that are safe and effective for your dog.

Conclusion

In wrapping up our exploration of calming treats for dogs, it’s clear that these products can be a game-changer for you and your furry friend.

Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or contemplating bringing a new pup into your life, understanding the impact of these treats is crucial. They offer a beacon of hope for managing stress-related issues, from thunderstorms to separation anxiety.

Remember, while these treats generally promise safety and natural ingredients, your vigilance in selecting the right product is key. Consult with your vet, watch for any unusual reactions, and always prioritize your dog’s health.

With the right calming treat, you’re not just offering a snack; you’re providing comfort and stability, enhancing the bond you share with your beloved canine companion.

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