Dog calming treats or chews are available over the counter, but for dogs truly dealing with anxiety, a prescription medication is often a better option. Don’t hesitate to discuss this with your veterinarian, because the medications were developed due to a definite need. If your veterinarian agrees and gives you a prescription, be sure that you fill it and use it as prescribed and report back to your veterinarian. Canine anxiety medications may be a good choice for your dog.
Over-the Counter Options
If you want to see if it makes any difference, it’s not a bad thing to reach for a calming treat. Calming chews and treats for dogs available in pet stores can help produce a short-term “Zen” for the average dog. Ingredients known to help are L-tryptophan and chamomile (yes, like in turkey or chamomile tea). Interestingly, probiotics have also been shown to help mellow out a dog. L-theanine, valerian root, and hemp (CBD) all have fans who say they help calm a dog.
Solliquin, Pawfy, Purina Calming Care, and Zesty Paws Calming Bites all have their fans, as well as the homeopathic supplement Rescue Remedy. As with any supplement, discuss these with your veterinarian to be sure you don’t interfere with anything your dog is already taking, such as medications or supplements. It is also important to look for products made in the United States and have a National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal of approval if possible.
Dog Calming Treats Proof
Most of these products and their ingredients do not have evidence-based medicine behind them. Also, while some ingredients may work for many dogs, other dogs may not respond. That’s also why we recommend you discuss this with your veterinarian.
You should always do a test run on any product before you need it, as in before a known stressful events, just in case your dog does not respond at all or responds in the wrong way. In addition, don’t mix and match supplements without veterinary guidance.
For some dogs, a large and safe chew item such as a treat-filled Kong given while in a crate in a quiet room, works as well or better than any supplement. Even social dogs will benefit from a quiet break from “the action” at times.
Finally, we would be remiss not to recommend behavior training to overcome some anxieties, preferably with the guidance of a force-free/fear-free professional trainer.