Dog owners often wonder how to calm their dog during times of anxiety.  This includes dogs that are high strung or, on occasion, get stressed and show signs of anxiety during fireworks, thunder storms or holiday times when new people are around with more general activity occurring.  There are a variety of simple behavior techniques that can be tried to calm the dog.  This can include simple exercise such as taking the dog for a walk.  Reducing the causes of anxiety, such as avoiding fireworks or telling people to be careful around the pet and reducing the immediate activity going on in the house are other ways.  Massaging the dog or even yawning at the dog are other possibilities to calm the pet.  These approaches may work for low to moderate levels of anxiety in dogs.  For more severe anxiety in a pet, it is advisable to talk to your vet and the possibility of getting prescription medication.  However, some owners may prefer an over the counter herbal supplement approach to calming their animal after consulting with a vet.

There are a number of over the counter formulations available to calm dogs including PetsPrefer Calming Formula for Dogs and Azmira’s Herbal Calm and Calm & Relax.  These include herbal ingredients that are known to act by toning down the nervous system a bit.  For example, valerian is an herbal that has been used in traditional medicines as a sedative for over 2,000 years and continues to be used today.  There is little doubt that it does have sedative/calming properties in both humans and domestic animals.  Using an herbal supplement is an effective approach to calming the dog during times of anxiety that is simple to use.  Pets Prefer Calming Formula is wonderful example of an over the counter formulation containing valerian and other active ingredients that can help dogs keep a normal disposition while working in a natural manner.  However, if the condition persists, please do consult your vet.

Dr. Dan DuBourdieu

Dr. Dan holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Macalester College.  He has been involved in basic cell biology, biochemistry and immunology research at Hoffmann La Roche Inc., ImmuCell Inc. and other research companies.  He has worked with Bomac Vet-Plus Inc for a number of years doing animal nutrition product research and development.