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Calming Supplement Chews for Anxious Dogs: Canine Chill Pills!

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Dog Health By Meg Marrs 19 min read February 24, 2022

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Calming Supplements for Dogs
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Pacing, excessive grooming, tummy troubles — the symptoms of canine anxiety can help you understand that your poor pooch on edge.

Not only is anxiety emotionally bothersome for your dog, but it can have physical side effects too, making management a must. 

Recognizing anxiety in your dog is fairly easy, but treating it is another bag of bones entirely, thanks to the sheer number of treatment options out there. Calming supplements are one potential option, and they continue to grow in popularity with some pup parents. 

We’ve fetched the facts about calming supplements to give you a clearer picture of what might work for you and your doggo.

Read on to learn more or just check out our quick picks if you’re in a hurry!

Calming Chews for Anxious Dogs: Quick Picks

  • #1 Gracie To The Rescue’s Calming Treats [Most Socially Responsible Calming Treats — ALSO Best Organic Option] These chews feature organic ingredients like hemp seed oil and chamomile while also donating supplements to local animal shelters for every chew container sold.
  • #2 Finn Calming Chews [Best Soft Calming Treats] These beef liver-flavored calming treats contain several different organic ingredients designed to soothe your canine’s frazzled nerves from hemp and l-tryptophan to chamomile and melatonin.
  • #3 VetriScience Composure Chews [Best Calming Treats for Picky Pooches]Calming treats can’t work if your dog won’t eat them, but these supplements come in four different flavors (including a flavorless liquid) to tempt your pup’s picky palate.

How Do Calming Supplements Work?

Calming supplements contain ingredients that promote relaxation, which may take the edge off mild to moderate cases of canine anxiety.

The efficacy of these supplements varies. Some studies link the active ingredients to an improvement in overall anxiety while others dismiss their claims entirely. 

This makes talking to your vet a must before trying any canine calming supplement to ensure the right fit. 

Ingredients vary by supplement, but the most common are: 

  • Valerian root: Often used by people as a sedative, valerian root is a natural ingredient that may help calm anxious dogs. In fact, dogs who were allowed to smell valerian root extracts exhibited decreased vocalizations and activity in a kennel environment (where anxiety runs rampant ) according to a study published in Applied Animal Behavior Science. Valerian root isn’t for all dogs, however, and can have adverse effects in some, especially those on medication.
  • L-theanine: The amino acid L-theanine is believed to increase dopamine in the brain, easing anxiousness. A study published in a 2015 issue of Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that L-theanine reduced symptoms in dogs prone to storm-associated anxiety. Perhaps most encouraging, owner satisfaction with the treatment in the study was 94%.   
  • L-tryptophan: Believed to increase serotonin levels in the brain, L-tryptophan may help your dog regulate his anxiety. It’s shown promise in one study published in a 2000 issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, as it appeared to reduce aggression and hyperactivity, common side effects of anxiety. However, this study had a pretty limited scope (it only involved 33 dogs), so more research is needed.
  • Chamomile: Found to have a mild sedative effect, chamomile may also have anti-anxiety properties. Unfortunately, while it is thought to be safe for dogs, and one of its primary active ingredients (apigenin) is relatively well-understood, controlled studies with canines have yet to take place. 
  • CBD: CBD or cannabidiol is a plant extract that’s often used to treat anxiety in humans. While there are only a handful of dog studies to-date and more research is necessary, there is some encouraging data available. One 2018 study published in a 2018 issue of Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association concluded that CBD is typically well-tolerated by dogs, and a 2019 survey of veterinarians found that many reported it to be effective at treating anxiety (as well as pain and seizures). CBD typically appears as CBD oil or hemp in dog supplements.
  • Melatonin: A hormone that promotes relaxation and sleep, melatonin is often included in calming treats to help anxious dogs suffering from hyperactivity. There are no clear cut scientific studies surrounding dogs and melatonin, though some vets find it effective in alleviating stress caused by separation anxiety, fireworks, and storms.

A few ingredients that are used less often and are less studied, include:

  • Passion flower: Passion flower is a plant believed to have calming or sedative effects on dogs in homeopathic medicine. There are no definitive scientific studies to back-up this claim, nor verify its safety for dogs.
  • Ginger: We can’t find any studies specifically investigating the safety or efficacy of ginger in dogs, but it is well-known for calming properties on the human stomach. Nevertheless, one 2017 study published in Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research has also linked it to reducing overall anxiety in lab mice. 
  • Thiamine: Also known as Vitamin B1, thiamine is linked to reducing anxiety in humans. However, no study thus far has examined its use, efficacy, or safety in canines.  
  • Helianthemum nummularium: Results are mixed on the overall effectiveness of this plant (which is also known as rock rose) against anxiety, according to a 2010 study published in Annals of Epidemiology. Extracts of the rock rose are typically prepared in homeopathic remedies, which are typically not shown effective in empirical trials. As put by the study’s authors: “it is likely that the placebo effect operates to a significant extent in both approaches.” 
  • Clematis vitalba: Commonly known as old man’s beard, this flower is used to treat anxiety in homeopathic circles, but no studies have been done on humans or canines to verify this claim or the safety of the extract.  
  • Impatiens glandulifera: Also referred to as Himalayan balsam, this plant has long been used in folk medicine to treat ailments including anxiety. In limited studies, however, the extract hasn’t shown a change in lab mice behavior, and there have been no controlled studies conducted on dogs
  • Prunus cerasifera: Also called cherry plum, this plant and other Bach Flower Remedies are popular among some owners, but they have not been shown to have significant impact on human anxiety (or any other ailment) in studies. 
  • Ornithogalum umbellatum: Known by its common name Star of Bethlehem, this supplement demonstrates the fact that caution is important when using natural supplements, and many are not safe. In fact, this additive is potentially dangerous and may cause irreversible blindness when administered to dogs, according to one study. 
  • Colostrum calming complex: Also called C3 by its manufacturer, VetriScience, colostrum calming complex is made using cow’s milk obtained within 12 hours of the birth of a calf. The company states that the nutrient-dense complex contains amino acids including decapeptide that boost the effect of gamma-Aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that can make the brain less reactive to stressful stimuli. Amino-rich formulas derived from colostrum have shown promise in a 2005 study of human Alzheimer patients published in Regulatory Peptides. However, no studies specifically using C3 have been done on humans or dogs.
  • Zylkene: Zylkene (beef-hydrolyzed milk protein, aka alpha-S1 tryptic casein/alpha-casozepine) is quite similar to the colostrum calming complex and works in essentially the same way.
talk to your vet

Always check with your vet before giving your dog a calming supplement.

Some dogs may be more sensitive to certain ingredients than others, and medications can affect the way some supplements affect your pet’s health.

Your pupper may also be experiencing anxiety due to a medical condition, so it’s important to rule any out before treatment.

The Best Calming Supplements for Dogs: Over-the-Counter Options for Dogs with Anxiety 

As we mentioned above, the market is full of calming supplements for dogs that contain a host of ingredients, both natural and man-made. Below, we’ve sorted out the best calming supplements and calming chews to help your pooch chill out and live his best doggone life.

1. Gracie To The Rescue Calming Treats

About: Gracie To The Rescue’s Calming Treats are made with organic ingredients, including hemp seed oil and chamomile powder. The formula is intended for pups aged 12 weeks and above.

Most Socially Responsible Calming Supplements

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Gracie To The Rescue - Dog Calming Chews - Anxiety Relief Treats for Anxiety Relief, Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs, Dog Anxiety Chews, Puppy Calming Treats, Dog Stress and Anxiety Relief

Gracie To The Rescue Calming Treats

Designed to help your canine chill without completely conking out, these treats feature a variety of anxiety-lowering ingredients.

Features:

  • Each container contains 120 treats
  • Have calming properties without causing drowsiness, per the manufacturer 
  • Company has a “Paw It Forward” campaign, where a week’s supply of supplements are donated to a shelter for every container of treats sold
  • Made in the USA

Options: Only available in one size, concentration, and flavor.

Ingredients List

Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Organic Chamomile Powder, Organic Passion Flower, Valerian Root...,

L-Tryptophan, Organic Ginger Root Powder, Oat Flour, Palm Fruit Oil, Rice Bran, Rice Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Natural Duck Flavoring, Sunflower Lecithin, Coconut Glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, Sorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols

Pros

  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Chew size is perfect for most dog breeds
  • Calms without making your dog drowsy

Cons

  • Chews can be a bit crumbly
  • Dogs with extreme anxiety may need something stronger
gracie rescue treats
Hands-On Experiences

I had the chance to try Grace to the Rescue Calming Treats with my pooch Remy. By and large, they seemed to work quite well.

While I can see where some users found these chews to be on the crumbly side, I didn’t find this to be an issue. They held up just fine and were easy to dispense to Rem.

calming chews

Remy was happy to nom these chews right down. We also love that this organization gives back to local animal shelters. Plus Gracie, the company mascot, is a decent Remy lookalike, which is a nice bonus.

gracechews1

Note: I’ve met the founder of Gracie to the Rescue in person while spending time in Austin, and while we haven’t let this fact affect our review, it’s something I want to disclose.

2. Finn Calming Chews

About: Finn’s Calming Chews are liver-flavored soft chews that calm your dog’s nerves through the use of organic hemp powder as well as other calming ingredients like chamomile, passion flower, and L-Tryptophan.

Best Soft Calming Chews

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finn-supplements

Finn Calming Chews

Soft beef liver-flavored chews that include calming ingredients like L-Tryptophan and passion flower.

Features

  • Beef liver flavored soft chews that dogs enjoy, with 90 chews per tin
  • Includes several calming ingredients including organic hemp powder, passion flower, l-tryptophan, chamomile, and melatonin
  • Made with no cellulose powder, silicon dioxide, maltodextrin, corn, soy, or wheat
  • Each batch of dog calming chews is lab-tested and tracked through the supply chain from ingredient supplier, manufacturing, and processing to ensure safety

Options: Only available in one size, concentration, and flavor.

Ingredients List

Organic Hemp Powder, Organic Passion Flower, L-Tryptophan, Valerian Root, Organic Ginger Root, L-Theanine...,

Organic Chamomile, Melatonin

Pros

  • Contains an array of calming ingredients
  • Additional lab testing offers peace of mind
  • Plastic-free packaging is a win with eco-friendly pawrents

Cons

  • More flavor and concentration options would be ideal
  • Dogs with severe anxiety may need a stronger calming aid

3. PremiumCare Calming Treats

About: PremiumCare Calming Treats are the perfect size for owners in search of on-the-go anxiety management. The 120-count jar makes ongoing or as-needed administration easy, and it is made with organic hemp-based ingredients.

Best Owner-Rated Calming Treats

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PREMIUM CARE Calming Treats for Dogs - Made in USA - Helps with Dog Anxiety, Separation, Barking, Stress Relief, Thunderstorms and More - Natural Calming Relaxer for Aggressive Behavior - 120 Chews

PremiumCare Calming Treats for Dogs

These extremely well-rated soft chews are duck-flavored and feature several relaxation-promoting ingredients.

Features

  • Duck flavored soft calming chews are tasty and easy to eat
  • Made in the USA with no corn, soy, or dairy
  • Suitable for all dog breeds and ages
  • Work by calming your dog rather than sedating, according to the manufacturer

Options: Only available in one size, concentration, and flavor.

Ingredients List

Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Organic Chamomile Powder, Organic Passion Flower, Valerian Root...,

L-Tryptophan, Organic Ginger Root Powder, Oat Flour, Palm Fruit Oil, Rice Bran, Rice Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Natural Duck Flavoring, Sunflower Lecithin, Coconut Glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, Sorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Mixed tocopherols

Pros

  • Made with a litany of organic ingredients
  • Pup parents raved about its efficacy
  • Sizing works great as a treat or meal addition

Cons

  • Some inactive ingredients can be an issue if your dog has food sensitivities 
  • More flavor options would be helpful

4. PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats

About: PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats use a mixture of natural ingredients to relax your dog, including organic hemp seed powder and oil, chamomile, and valerian root. Formed into soft, bite-sized calming chews, they’re easy for any breed to eat.

Best Hemp-Based Calming Treats

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PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs - All-Natural Soothing Snacks with Hemp + Valerian Root, Stress & Dog Anxiety Relief- Aids with Thunder, Fireworks, Chewing & Barking (Chicken, 90ct)

PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats

An American-made treat featuring natural calming ingredients like organic hemp seed powder and oil, valerian root, and more.

Features

  • Made without wheat or corn
  • Veterinarian-reviewed formula
  • Come in 90-count tubs
  • Made in the USA at a GMP-certified facility

Options: Available in chicken, beef liver, and maximum-strength duck flavors.

Ingredients List

Valerian Root, Chamomile, Organic Hemp Seed Powder, Organic Passion Flower, Organic Hemp Seed Oil...,

Organic Ginger Root, L-tryptophan, Magnesium Citrate, Brown Rice Syrup, Carrot, Cellulose Powder, Coconut Glycerin, Flaxseed, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Chicken Flavor, Natural Turkey Flavor, Oat Flour, Palm Fruit Oil, Rice Flour, Rosemary Extract, Sorbic Acid, Sunflower Lecithin, Sweet Potato

Pros

  • Most pup parents reported a calming effect
  • Reasonably priced supplements
  • Each tub will last you quite a while

Cons

  • Taste can be hit or miss with pickier pups
  • Owners report the smell is a touch strong 

5. VetriScience Composure Chews

About: VetriScience Composure Chews are calming treats that can be given daily or on an as-needed basis for storms and other anxiety triggers. Made to calm rather than sedate, the manufacturer reports that these won’t leave your pup drowsy.

Best Calming Treats for Picky Pooches

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VETRISCIENCE Composure, Calming Support for Dogs, Naturally Sourced Chews to Provide Anxiety Relief for Anxious & Nervous Dogs. 60 Bite Sized Chews

VetriScience Composure Chews

Available in four different flavors, these quick-acting chews are ideal for finicky four-footers who refuse other supplements.

Features:

  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages
  • Veterinarian-approved formula 
  • Made in the USA 
  • Starts working within 30 minutes
  • Soft chew is suitable for most dogs and can be crumbled over food

Options: Offered in one concentration, four flavors, and two quantities: 60 and 120-count packages.

Ingredients List

Thiamine, Colostrum Calming Complex, L-Theanine, Brewer's Yeast, Canola Oil...,

Chicken Liver Flavor, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Mixed Tocopherols, Propionic Acid, Maltodextrin, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Sulfate, Rosemary Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Soy Lecithin, Vegetable oil

Pros

  • Fast-acting calming supplements are super convenient
  • We love that this is a veterinarian-approved formula
  • Most dogs enjoy the flavor

Cons

  • May not be strong enough for dogs with severe anxiety
  • Some ingredients can be a problem for dogs with food sensitivities

6. NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid

About: The NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid is a soft chew suitable for dogs of all sizes. Combining calming chamomile with the sedative properties of melatonin, it may help your pooch remain calm during those pesky fireworks and thunderstorms.

Great Quick-Acting Calming Treats

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NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Supplement, Helps Promote Relaxation, Reduce Stress, Storm Anxiety, Motion Sickness for Dogs (Quiet Moments, 180 Soft Chews)

NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid

Designed to work in as little as 30 minutes, these calming aids are a good choice for addressing mild to moderate anxiety.

Features:

  • Suitable for mild to moderate canine anxiety according to the manufacturer
  • Added ginger helps soothe sour tummies
  • Reportedly provides comfort and relief within 30 minutes
  • Calming chews are safe for dogs over 12 weeks old

Options: Available in one flavor, one concentration, and two quantities: 70 and 180-count tubs.

Ingredients List

Chamomile, Passion Flower, Thiamine, Ginger, L-Tryptophan...,

Melatonin, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Meal, Glycerin, Lecithin, Natural Flavoring, Oat Groats, Rice Flour, Sorbic Acid, Vegetable Oil, and Wheat Germ.

Pros

  • Contains omega-3s in addition to calming ingredients
  • Most dogs seem to enjoy the taste
  • Added melatonin can help your dog settle in at bedtime

Cons

  • Smell is too strong for some pup parents and doggos alike
  • May not calm the most anxious pups

7. Zesty Paws Calming Dental Sticks

About: Zesty Paws Calming Dental Sticks are a fun twist on anti-anxiety treatment. Made with a soothing mix containing chamomile and valerian root, the manufacturer reports that they’re safe for use as-needed.

Best Calming Dental Chews

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Zesty Paws OraStix for Dogs - Calming Dental Sticks for Stress and Anxiety Relief with Hemp Melatonin Chamomile Dog Tartar Teeth Cleaning Calm Composure for Fireworks and Thunderstorms 25oz

Zesty Paws Calming Dental Sticks

These US-made calming treats are great for helping your dog relax, while also promoting dental health and fresh breath.

Features:

  • Promote relaxation without drowsiness
  • Peppermint flavor freshens breath
  • Chew design keeps your anxious pooch busy and cleans his teeth
  • Made in the USA using a grain-free formula

Options: Available in one flavor, one concentration, and two quantities: a 12-ounce and 25-ounce package.

Ingredients List

Chickpea, Tapioca Flour, Coconut Glycerin, Hemp Protein, Brewer’s Yeast...,

Bone Broth Powder, Chamomile, Valerian Root, Lactic Acid, Kelp Meal, Sorbic Acid, L-theanine, Magnesium Citrate, Taurine, Rosemary, Peppermint Oil, Citric Acid, Hemp Extract, Melatonin

Pros

  • Pet parents loved these breath-freshening sticks
  • Innovative design keeps dogs engaged (and distracted) during high-stress situations
  • Helps clean your dog’s chompers

Cons

  • Can be a choking hazard, as with any chew
  • Chew design may not offer quick relief compared to chews or drops

8. Rescue Remedy for Pets

About: Rescue Remedy Stress Relief Drops for Pets are plant-based and alcohol-free. Suitable for one time or ongoing calming applications, the manufacturer reports that the formula can be used on dogs, cats, lizards, and more.

Best Liquid Calming Product

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Bach RESCUE REMEDY PET Dropper 20mL, Natural Stress and Occasional Anxiety Relief, Calming for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, Homeopathic Flower Remedy, Thunder, Fireworks and Travel, Sedative-Free

Rescue Remedy Stress for Pets

This liquid calming supplement makes it easy to treat anxiety in dogs of all sizes and — unlike many similar products — doesn’t require refrigeration.

Features:

  • Flavorless, making it easy to mix into food or water
  • Made in England 
  • Doesn’t require refrigeration
  • Usable for dogs of all ages and sizes

Options: Available in one flavor, one concentration, and two quantities: 10-mL and 20-mL bottles with dropper included.

Ingredients List

HPUS 5x dilution of Helianthemum nummularium, Clematis vitalba, Impatiens glandulifera, Prunus cerasifera, Ornithogalum umbellatum...,

Pros

  • Fast-acting formula works great during storms and fireworks
  • Additive-free recipe is a good choice for dogs with food sensitivities 
  • Taste works well with most dogs

Cons

  • Owners reported mixed results — they did not work for all dogs
  • Active ingredients aren’t as heavily studied in dogs as those in other brands

9. STRELLALAB Hemp Calming Treats

About: STRELLALAB’s Hemp Calming Treats use hemp and other organic ingredients in an effort to soothe dogs suffering with anxiety. These dog calming chews can be used daily or for occasional treatment for storms or fireworks.  

Best Calming Chews for Dogs with Dental Issues

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STRELLALAB Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs - 120 Soft Chews - Made in USA with Hemp Oil - Dog Anxiety Relief - Natural Separation Aid - Stress Relief - Fireworks - Storms - Aggressive Behavior - Barking

STRELLALAB Hemp Calming Treats

Because they’re quite soft and easy to chew, these hemp-based calming treats work well for older dogs or those with oral health problems.

Features:

  • The soft chew form is teeth-friendly and crushes easily over food if needed
  • The 120-count container lasts between 24-120 days, depending on your dog’s weight
  • Made in the USA with no corn, soy, or dairy
  • Dosing starts for dogs over 25 pounds to those over 100 pounds

Options: Only available in one size, concentration, and flavor.

Ingredients List

Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Organic Chamomile Powder, Organic Passion Flower, Valerian Root...,

L-Tryptophan, Organic Ginger Root Powder

Pros

  • Fast-acting per many pup parents (good choice for storms/fireworks!)
  • Large container lasts quite a while
  • Flavor is a win with most dogs

Cons

  • Chew size is on the larger side
  • Dogs with severe anxiety may need something stronger

10. Ready Pet Go! Natural Calming Treats

About: Ready Pet Go!’s Calming Treats come in 90-count packages, offering up to a 3-month supply depending on your dog’s weight. Made with hemp powder, chamomile, and more, these dog calming treats seek to give your pooch a touch of relaxation using natural ingredients.

Best Tasting Calming Chews

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Calming Chews for Dogs | Dog Anxiety Relief Calming Chews with Chamomile & Ginger | Supports Separation Anxiety, Sleep, Barking, Fireworks, Storms, Pet Anxiety, USA Made | 90 Dog Calming Treats

Ready Pet Go! Natural Calming Treats

Made at a GMP-certified, FDA-registered facility, these high-quality treats feature a bacon-and-cheese flavor that’s sure to tempt your pooch’s palate.

Features:

  • Come in a tasty bacon and cheese flavor
  • Safe for daily use to help ease ongoing anxiety or on an as-needed basis for fireworks and storms
  • Safe for puppies to adult doggos according to the manufacturer 
  • Made in the USA at a GMP-certified, FDA-registered facility

Options: Only available in one size, concentration, and flavor.

Ingredients List

Hemp Powder, Thiamine Mononitrate, Chamomile, Valerian Root, L-Theanine...,

Passion Flower, Ginger Root, L-Tryptophan, Magnesium Gluconate, Hemp Extract, Chickpea Flour, Potato Flour, Sunflower Lecithin, Cane Molasses, Purified Water, Tapioca Starch, Cheese Flavor, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Bacon Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Mixed Tocopherols

Pros

  • Made with a variety of active ingredients
  • Great pricing that won’t blow your budget
  • Flavor gets tail wags from most dogs

Cons

  • Some ingredients could cause tummy upset for sensitive systems
  • Not every owner reports a calming effect

11. Zesty Paws Calming Soft Chews

About: Zesty Paws Calming Soft Chews have a chicken-free formula containing a number of ingredients that promote relaxation, including organic hemp seed powder, organic chamomile, and more. Best of all, it’s earned the National Animal Supplement Council’s quality seal. 

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Zesty Paws Calming Soft Chews for Dogs - Melatonin, Ashwagandha, L-Theanine & L-Tryptophan - Composure & Relaxation for Everyday Stress & Separation + Thunderstorms - Regular & Mini Sizes 90 Count

Zesty Paws Calming Soft Chews

A chicken-free soft chew designed to calm your pup without causing drowsiness.

Features:

  • Formed into easy-to-eat small calming chews
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Packaged in 90-count containers
  • Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients

Options: Available in turkey, peanut butter, turkey with melatonin, and turkey mini-bite varieties.

Ingredients List

Organic Hemp Seed Powder, Organic Chamomile, Valerian Root, Organic Passion Flower, L-theanine...,

Organic Ginger Root, Sensoril Ashwagandha, L-tryptophan, Magnesium Citrate, Coconut Glycerin, Flaxseed, Garbanzo Flour, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Bacon Flavoring, Natural Flavors, Natural Turkey Flavoring, Palm Fruit Oil, Pea Flour, Powdered Cellulose, Rosemary Extract, Sunflower Lecithin, Sweet Potato, Turkey

Pros

  • Seems to calm canines without causing drowsiness
  • Affordably priced
  • Taste is a hit with most dogs

Cons

  • Dogs with severe anxiety may need something stronger
  • Some dogs experience tummy upset
dog needs calming treats

Different Types of Calming Supplements: Chews, Tinctures, & Tablets to Help Your Dog Deal with Stress

As with all medications, calming supplements come in several forms for administering. Which form works best will vary by your dog’s preference and overall medication tolerance. The most common types are: 

Chews

Typically flavored with peanut butter or a protein as an incentive, chews are given to your dog like a treat.

Pros

  • Most are flavored in pooch-appealing ways
  • Convenient for travel and dispensing as needed
  • Easy to mix in with food if needed

Cons

  • Can be tricky to give to pickier dogs
  • Added flavors or ingredients can be a problem for dogs with sensitivities

Tinctures

This liquid-extract form is administered orally or over food via a dropper. 

Pros

  • Easy to mix into your dog’s food
  • Often flavorless, making them better than chews for some pups
  • Generally free of ingredients that can affect sensitive dogs’ systems

Cons

  • Can be messy to administer
  • Often require refrigeration

Tablets

Tablet-form supplements are typically round pills that may or may not be flavored.

Pros

  • Generally easy to administer
  • Rarely require refrigeration
  • Can be easily slipped into cheese or pill pockets

Cons

  • Those with flavoring can be an issue for dogs with sensitivities
  • Can be hard to give to pickier dogs

What Kinds of Pets Can Benefit from a Calming Supplement for Dogs?

Like all treatments, calming supplements work better when dealing with some kinds of stressful situations than others. Dogs who typically benefit from calming supplements are:

  • Dealing with separation anxiety: If your dog fears being alone, a calming supplement can give him the temporary relief he needs when you need to venture out without him.
  • Fearful of loud noises: Storms and fireworks aren’t an everyday event, making the occasional calming supplement ideal for controlling your dog’s anxiety as needed.
  • Suffering from generalized anxiety: Some pups are nervous Nellies by nature, and a calming supplement can provide everyday relief without a prescription.
  • Recently adopted: Joining a new family and routine is stressful. Relaxing your new friend with a calming supplement can smooth out the adjustment period.
Dog needs anxiety help

Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs 

Our dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling anxious, but they can clue us in with their behavior. Not every dog will act the same when they’re feeling anxious, with some pups making their troubles known loudly and proudly while others mask them as much as possible.  

That said, the most common signs your dog is anxious are:

  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Hiding
  • Improper elimination
  • Trembling
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Whining or barking
  • Excessive grooming (particularly paws)
  • Destructive chewing 

If you suspect your dog is anxious, call your vet and schedule an exam to rule out other health conditions if the cause isn’t obvious, such as fearing storms or fireworks.

Additional Steps to Soothing Your Anxious Dog

dog-getting-exercise

While calming supplements can help your dog relax, the best approach to tackle anxiety is a comprehensive one.

Treating the source of your dog’s anxiety through counter-conditioning and training, rather than only masking the stress symptoms, is always ideal.

Dogs with more serious anxiety may need the help of more high-dose dog anxiety medication that can be more powerful than the supplements covered here. Talking with your vet can narrow down the best treatment plan. 

Other tools and techniques you can use include:

  • Increasing exercise: Upping your dog’s activity levels can alleviate stress. This is particularly important in woofers exhibiting anxiety related to a change in routine.
  • Crate training: An anxiety-proof crate gives your pooch a place to unwind, feel safe, and relax. Ideal for keeping dogs with separation anxiety safe and out of trouble, a crate can also be used to isolate your storm-fearing dog with calming music during thunder.
  • Thundershirt: Like swaddling a baby, a Thundershirt provides your dog with security when he’s feeling anxious during an event, like a storm or fireworks. Snug but not restrictive, thundershirts may be used alone or in combination with another anxiety-controlling method.
  • Prescribed medication: For doggos with severe anxiety, medication like Xanax may be the best option. These specially formulated medications target chemicals in your pupper’s brain to help him relax.
  • Desensitization/Counterconditioning: If specific things send your pup’s anxiety through the roof like other dogs, desensitization or counterconditioning training can tackle his fear. This gradual training exposes your pooch to his trigger over time, reducing and finally eliminating the phobia and subsequent anxiety. 
  • Providing a chew toy: Chewing and licking help to release endorphins in your doggo’s brain, which will help calm him down a bit. Plus, these types of anxiety dog toys and chews help keep his brain busy too.

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Have you tried any of the calming supplements above or another with your pooch? What works best for calming your doggo? Let us know in the comments.

stressed dog symptoms
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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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