Just like humans, dogs can get anxious in the face of frightening or uncertain events. With some dogs, anxiety persists and becomes a chronic issue, leaving owners desperate for a safe remedy that actually works.
For some dogs and their owners, CBD has become that much sought-after solution. That’s not the only natural remedy that might help with canine anxiety, however. Learn about the top natural substances and activities you can use to help your dog feel calm safely and sustainably.
Do dogs get anxiety?
Yes, dogs are susceptible to anxiety just like humans. Acute events like thunderstorms and fireworks shows can trigger temporary anxiety in dogs, and some dogs display symptoms of chronic anxiety that persist for years. Whether temporary or long-term, canine anxiety makes dogs suffer and frustrates their owners.
What are the signs of dog anxiety?
Anxiety shows itself in different ways in different dogs. Some of the most common symptoms of canine anxiety that owners can recognize, however, include:
- Tremors or shaking
- Unusual displays of aggression
- Constant panting
- No longer housebroken
- Barking incessantly
- Pacing the house
- Excessive licking of fur
What are some common treatments for dog anxiety?
There are quite a few activities you can try that might help your dog feel less anxious, and a veterinarian would most likely be more than happy to prescribe you pharmaceutical drugs that have been shown to help with canine anxiety.
Natural remedies for dog anxiety, though, have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Many of the same natural substances that provide anxiety relief in humans appear to do the same for dogs, leading to an explosion of dog-related natural anxiety products on the internet.
What can I do with my dog to relieve its anxiety?
Sometimes, a natural remedy doesn’t have to be something you give your dog — it can be something the two of you do together instead. Going outside for a walk is a prime example of an all-natural activity that might put your pet’s mind at ease, and every pooch could always do with an extra brushing. Discover the top 5 activities you can try for canine anxiety relief before we move on to ingestible solutions:
1. Go outside
Your dog might just be feeling a bit cooped up. If you two haven’t been on a long walk out in nature for a while, now is the time. Dogs love the freedom of running around outside, leading to increased endorphin levels that might continue to keep anxiety at bay even when you get home.
2. Listen to music
Some research indicates that classical music can help your dog feel relaxed. Given that studies performed on humans have delivered similar results, it would probably be good for both of you to enjoy some Beethoven or Bach.
3. Pleasant aromas
Dogs seem to find aromas like lavender just as relaxing as humans. Load some soothing essential oils into your diffuser, and bring your dog close to the misty cloud that spews out.
4. Brushing and grooming
Just like people, dogs like getting attention. A simple grooming or petting session can do wonders for a dog’s mood, so make sure you have a brush close at hand whenever your canine companion starts to shake.
5. Playing with toys
Venting aggression in a healthy way can help a dog relax and avoid letting it out in less healthy behaviors. Even if it’s just a quick wrestle on the floor or a game of tug of war, playing with your dog regularly will make it feel more at ease.
What can I give my dog for anxiety?
In conjunction with anti-anxiety activities that dogs love, you might want to try some substances that have been shown to help with canine anxiety as well. You can go the prescription route if you decide that’s a good approach, or you could give herbal remedies or CBD a shot:
— Prescription medications
Some of the same prescription drugs that doctors give humans for anxiety are prescribed to anxious canines by their veterinarians. Some of the most common examples include Prozac, Trazodene, and Xanax. Note that prescription anxiety medications often have severe side effects.
— Natural herbs
Most herbal remedies that are used for anxiety in humans are also safe for dogs. If you’ve experienced success calming anxiety using herbs like valerian, chamomile, or lavender, give them a try with your pooch as well.
A natural, non-intoxicating cannabinoid that humans often use for anxiety, CBD is also an alternative substance that dog owners turn to for anxiety in their pets. As CBD products for dogs have surged in popularity, scientists have begun researching this cannabinoid’s safety for canines, and results have so far been promising.
CBD won’t get your dog high, but it might provide the same relief from anxiety that people report experiencing after taking this hemp-derived substance. Many CBD products are easy for dogs to consume, and there aren’t many risks associated with giving this option a shot.
Summary: Best natural remedies for dog anxiety
Some dogs have adjusted to their transformation from wolves better than others. Certain stoic breeds are nonplussed by loud noises just outside, but others shake uncontrollably whenever a car alarm goes off and need to be kept in soundproofed rooms on the Fourth of July.
For some canines, anxiety is transitory and related to certain events. Other dogs simply feel anxious all the time — especially smaller breeds.
Whatever reason your dog might need relief from anxiety, the remedies we’ve gone over are great places to start as you search for solutions. If you decide to try CBD, just make sure you choose a reliable company that uses safe ingredients — or you might simply want to make your own CBD dog treats instead.
Dog anxiety natural remedies FAQ
Still something you need to know about how to cure your dog’s anxiety naturally? Check the following section for answers:
Why is my dog anxious?
Canine anxiety can have a lot of different causes. Some breeds are simply more prone to anxiety than others, and dogs that are less active and receive less attention are more likely to become anxious. Even your dog’s diet can cause it anxiety.
Exposure to repeated traumatic events — like abuse — makes dogs anxious, so shelter dogs are more likely to suffer from anxiety than puppies from safe homes. If your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety, search your home environment for factors (loud children, unpleasant aromas, etc.) that might be contributing to its distress.
How long does it take for CBD to work on dogs for anxiety?
CBD will start taking effect in your dog’s body around 30 minutes after ingestion. The benefits that CBD can provide dogs, however, sometimes don’t make themselves apparent until you’ve administered this cannabinoid a few times. If CBD still hasn’t helped your dog after two weeks, try a different product.
How does CBD make a dog feel?
Due to the significant language barrier, it’s hard to know exactly how your dog might feel after taking CBD. If this cannabinoid‘s effects in humans are any standard to go by, however, CBD will most likely make your dog feel calm or slightly sleepy. CBD oil will not make your dog high, however, since it contains less than 0.3% THC.
What natural remedy can I give my dog for depression?
Dogs don’t generally suffer from long periods of depression like humans can. While dogs are like humans in that they can be hurt by traumatic events like the loss of a loved one, they usually bounce back within a month or two.
If your dog is acting depressed, make sure to give it extra love. Spend more time with it at home, take it on walks regularly, and groom it more often than before. With a little bit of loving kindness, your canine friend will be back to its old self sooner than you’d think.
Can I give my dog Benadryl to calm him down?
It appears to be just as safe to give dogs Benadryl as it is to give this over-the-counter allergy drug to humans, but it’s a far-from-ideal solution to dog anxiety. Benadryl is less effective in dogs than in humans, and it has significant side effects that can sometimes include increased anxiety.
Can dogs have chamomile?
Yes, chamomile is safe for dogs. You can try giving your dog chamomile tea to drink or add small amounts of chamomile essential oil to its food. Dog owners report that chamomile is just as effective for calming their dogs as it is useful for human anxiety.
Does valerian work for dogs?
Valerian root appears to be safe for dogs, and some dog owners report that this natural herb helps their pooches calm down. Tinctures and treats are common product types used to give valerian extract to dogs.
Is lavender good for dogs?
Yes, lavender can help relieve dog anxiety whether it’s used in an aromatherapy diffuser or added to your pet’s food. This natural essential oil also has calming effects in humans, so make sure to enjoy some lavender for yourself as well.