“Dog Anxiety”. Do you know how to identify and help your dog’s anxiety?
Written by Beth Ann Mayer — Medically reviewed by Dr. Erica Irish & Sara Ondrako
Dogs, like humans, are prone to dog anxiety. Sometimes, it’s situational — loud noises, such as thunder or fireworks, can stress out our furry friends. Other dogs are anxious more frequently, perhaps because of a traumatic experience.
We want our pups to be happy and healthy, physically and mentally. Calming supplements may help your dog feel less anxious, but you’ll need to find the right ingredients and formula for your pup. Our team reviewed and tested these five calming products for dogs against the following criteria: safe ingredients, drowsiness, consistency, palatability, smell, and packaging.
Vetriscience teams up with veterinarians and nutritionists, making it a respected brand by vets around the country. These calming soft chews live up to the brand’s reputation — we love the simple and safe active ingredients list. We found that the chews work best during the day and for situational anxiety issues, like car rides.
Vetriscience treats contain L-theanine, which is known to help soothe canine anxiety. Colostrum is another active ingredient. Though there isn’t much research yet, it’s thought that some of the proteins in this milk for newborns can help induce calmness.
These chews don’t have any ingredients known to induce drowsiness, making them great for daytime use.
Consistency. These brown, bone-shaped chews are soft.
Palatability. Vetriscience’s chews are highly palatable for dogs. Pet parents can choose from several flavours, including bacon and chicken liver.
Smell. This supplement has a light-but-enticing meaty smell.
Packaging. The chews are in a white bag that looks clean and streamlined. The bag seals easily, so your pup’s chews will stay fresh.
What our vet thinks about Dog Anxiety
Vetriscience consults with vets and nutritionists before putting a product on the market, so Dr. Irish and her peers feel confident recommending the brand to pet parents. Dr. Irish has also seen Vetriscience’s calming chews work firsthand. She loves recommending them to pet parents for daytime, event-specific use
Native Pet doesn’t take long; confusing ingredient lists. Instead, it leans into natural solutions. These air-dried calming chews have nine ingredients, including L-theanine. The real chicken smells great, and our pups got excited (in a good way) to take the treat.
- Ingredients. L-theanine is proven to help soothe dogs, and the real chicken smells and tastes great (according to our furry friends’ reactions). Though the ingredients are safe, there are a few flags. These chews contain melatonin, which induces sleep but doesn’t help with anxiety. We don’t recommend giving these treats to your dog during the day, particularly before you want to play with your pup. Hemp seed powder is a trendy ingredient, but it’s not proven to help with canine anxiety. Dr. Irish says clinical trials would be helpful for pet parents and vets.
- Drowsiness. The melatonin in this chew caused some drowsiness in our dogs. So, avoid giving the chews to your dog during the day. Doing so may disrupt your pup’s natural sleep pattern.
- Consistency. The Native Pet Calming Chews are light brown and have a natural shape and hard consistency. Because they’re natural, they’re not all the same shape.
- Palatability. Our dogs LOVED these chews! This supplement is one of the most palatable options on our list.
- Smell. These chews have a strong, meaty scent. One whiff of them, and your dog will be begging for a second before they’ve even devoured their first.
- Packaging. Native Pet’s clean, simple packaging is refreshing and modern. The lid is difficult to twist off at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Natural & Relaxing for Dog Anxiety
Sometimes, our tummies hurt when we get stressed. Dogs are no exception. But anxious pups with sensitive stomachs deserve some tender loving care, too. Premium Care’s Calming Chews are soothing for situational-induced stressors without causing GI flare-ups. If you’re hesitant to spring for these chews, we have good news: You can buy them, let your pup try them, and return them if they don’t work. Premium Care offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Ingredients. Premium Care’s zen-inducing chews contain chamomile, valerian root, and L-tryptophan. They’re also made with hemp oil, which isn’t scientifically proven effective yet.
- Drowsiness. Though chamomile, valerian root, and L-tryptophan are considered safe and effective at quelling anxiety, these ingredients make our dogs sleepy.
- Consistency. Natural is the name of the game here. These dye-free chews are light green and very soft.
- Palatability. These calming duck-flavoured chews double as tasty, highly-edible treats.
- Smell. The chews have a light hemp smell.
- Packaging. Premium Care’s calming chews come in a simple container with easy-to-read ingredients and instructions. The solid-freshness seal ensures the product will last.
Pack Harmony’s for dog anxiety
Front of the Pack Harmony’s cool box is only part of the package. After snapping a few photos, pet parents can give their anxious pup a treat containing soothing ingredients like L-theanine. These chews are designed for event-specific anxieties, such as loud noises. And the best part? Front of the Pack supports Best Friend’s Animal Society. Select your local no-kill shelter at the time of purchase, and Front of the Pack will donate a portion of the proceeds.
- Ingredients. Front of the Pack’s Harmony chews contains L-theanine and a Relora blend, a combination of ingredients in another effective supplement called Solliquin. Meanwhile, the nootropics serve as a brain booster. They also have ashwagandha. Though the brand says the adaptogens can soothe anxiety, it’s not scientifically proven.
- Drowsiness. These chews didn’t cause drowsiness in our dogs, making them great for daytime use.
- Consistency. This calming supplement comes in a granular formula that pet parents can sprinkle over food or feed to their dog as is. The supplement is yellowish-brown and is made up of tiny bead-link granules.
- Palatability. This powder is palatable.
- Smell. If certain scents irritate your pup, you’re in luck — Front of the Pack’s product doesn’t have any noticeable smell.
- Packaging. The packaging is top-notch. The product arrives in a printed box with each dose individually packaged, taking the guesswork out.
These calming chews from Zesty Paws come in a fun orange container. But though the package is bright and cheery, the formula is soothing. Chamomile and L-theanine are among the main ingredients.
- Ingredients. This product packs a ton of proven and potentially soothing ingredients into a small chew. Chamomile and L–theanine is proven to help calm dogs. Other ingredients, like adaptogens and hemp oil, are still being studied. Zesty Paws’ chews also have melatonin, which can disrupt sleep cycles. Stick to giving these chews to your pup at night.
- Drowsiness. There’s melatonin in these chews, so expect them to make your pup yawn.
- Consistency. Zesty Paws’ calming bites are brown and soft for dogs to chew.
- Palatability. These chews come in multiple flavours, including turkey and peanut butter. Our dogs thought they were tasty.
- Smell. These chews even smell soothing. Expect a light hemp turkey scent.
- Packaging. The bright package stands out. It’s tightly sealed to ensure freshness.