For all you dog owners out there… we know how worrying it can be when your dog is acting up or out of the ordinary. It can often be difficult to understand the root cause of their changed behaviour. Especially if nothing significantly traumatic or noticeable has occurred to make them behave unusually.
There are various tactics to help soothe an anxious dog, such as physical exercise or removing them from stressful situations. However sometimes you’ll need to consider special supplements designed help relax your pooch. We’ve got you covered with our complete guide to calming supplements for dogs, and our recommendations for some of the best ones on the market.
Best Calming Supplements For Dogs Buying Guide
How Do I Know Whether My Dog Is Suffering from Anxiety?
First things first, how do you even figure out if anxiety is the issue with your dog?
If you’re unsure why your dog is acting up, have you considered that it could be anxiety? Anxiety in dogs is actually much more common than you might think. There are a number of anxiety symptoms to watch out for, such as excessive barking, overlicking, or more aggression than usual. Read on to find out a little bit more about some of the most common symptoms.
If you’re spotting signs of anxiety in your pet, it’s very likely that you’re more than a little concerned and want to ease and comfort them as quickly as possible. If you’re not sure whether it’s anxiety that your dog is suffering from, check out some of the most common symptoms of anxiety in dogs below:
- Seeking solitude: If your dog is hiding or isolating itself from other people and animals more than usual, it could be experiencing feelings of anxiety. Some dogs just want to be left alone when feeling anxious and may retreat or hide from fear.
- Panting or shaking excessively: Though it’s fairly common for dogs to pant (especially after a run or a bit of exercise), look out for signs of excessive panting. Similarly, if you find your dog shaking or quivering excessively, it’s likely that it may be feeling quite anxious.
- Howling or barking excessively: If your dog is making a lot more noise than it usually does, and for no good reason, it could be due to anxiety. This is especially true if they continue to bark incessantly, even after you try and calm them using your usual tactics.
- Out of character aggressive behaviour: If your dog doesn’t usually display signs of aggression and suddenly begins to, this is the most obvious sign of anxiety. Watch out for out of character aggressive actions such as sudden growls or snapping.
- Hyperactive energy: Anxiety in dogs can often be spotted if they are suddenly extremely energetic and hyper.
- Panic attacks: If your dog is suffering from severe anxiety, they might have a panic attack which can last a few minutes or even a few hours. During a panic attack your dog might display any or all of the above symptoms.
What Causes Anxiety In Dogs?
Now that you know what the main symptoms of anxiety in dogs are, you are probably keen to find out what causes it so you can try and prevent it occurring where possible. Here are some of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs:
- Separation anxiety from their owners: if your pet is usually quite close to you and displays signs of attachment, they may suffer anxiety when you’re separated.
- Being around loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms: This is a major cause of anxiety in pets especially when the noise is sudden or unexpected.
- Social anxiety in stressful social situations with other people or other animals: Many dogs can get riled up when they meet another animal, especially if the other animal displays signs of aggression.
- Genetic disposition – some breeds tend to be more prone to anxiety. Usually dogs with higher emotional intelligence tend to suffer with problems of anxiety and stress.
- Medical conditions including hearing loss, poisoning or diabetes.: Anxiety can be a symptom of other medical conditions. If you’re unable to get to the root cause and are concerned that your dog may be more seriously ill, get them to a vet as soon as possible
- Past traumas, fears or phobias: If you adopt a dog that may have suffered a traumatic or abusive past, it’s likely that their anxiety of such situations reoccurring will linger for a while. It may also be that your dog has a specific phobia or fear that causes them to be anxious. Recognising what your dog could be afraid of helps greatly, as you can offer them a calming supplement before they face any situation they may be afraid of.
Do Calming Supplements For Dogs Actually Work?
Calming and anxiety supplements for dogs are now widely available in different forms including liquid, capsule, and powder. The supplements are made of a mix of herbs and nutrients that are known for their calming benefits. Various studies have shown that these herbal supplements are proven to have a naturally soothing influence on an anxious dog.
Though the supplements can have a powerful effect when your dog is suffering from chronic or more serious anxiety issues, there are other tactics that can help those who may just suffer from occasional or less severe anxiety. For instance, regular exercise (both physical and mental) can be hugely helpful when it comes to soothing or relaxing an anxious dog. The calming supplements themselves are most effective for your dog when combined with regular exercise and proper care.
If your dog is still displaying symptoms of anxiety after taking the supplements, or is displaying more severe symptoms, we’d recommend that you visit your veterinarian to get their professional input. The anxiety could be a symptom of something more medically serious that should be looked into.
What To Look For In Dog Supplements For Anxiety
When you’re considering which calming supplements to give your dog, we’d recommend going for the most natural option available, which includes a number of active ingredients with calming benefits. You also want to offer them something which a nice flavour which is easy to swallow. This will make it much simpler for you to try and convince your dog to eat them, especially if they are in an extremely anxious state.
Anything too strong which will cause your dog to be drowsy or even unconscious should definitely be avoided. If your dog is suffering from severe anxiety, the next step after natural calming supplements is to visit your vet. They will be able to help you find a long-term solution that is safe for your dog and deals with the root cause of anxiety. If you have a pet which you haven’t had since it was a pup, there may have been abuse at the previous home which may not have been detected. Whatever the reason for the anxiety, your dog needs to know that you love them and that they can come to you when they’re feeling a little stressed out.