In this article you will find:
- 8 Best Dog Calming Treats and More
- Reviewed Calming Treats For Dogs
- 1. PetHonesty Calming Hemp Chews
- 2. Zesty Paws Calming Bites
- 3. SmartBones Calming Care Chews
- 4. VetriSCIENCE Composure Bite-Sized Chews
- 5. NaturVet Quiet Moments Dog Calming Aid Soft Chews
- 6. Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix
- 7. NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments Calming Aid
- 8. PetNaturals Calming Chew for Dogs and Cats
- Dog Anxiety 101
- Dog Calming Treats: How Do They Help Your Dog?
- Do calming treats for dogs work?
- What do vets recommend for calming dogs?
- Can dogs overdose on calming treats?
- How long does calming aid for dogs last?
Road trips, family reunions, dog walks in the park, and watching fireworks under the midnight sky are just some of the things we look forward to (especially in this day and age). This changes inexplicably, though, when you have to take care of a pooch who is acting up.
We know how nerve-wracking it is to pacify anxious dogs and hyperactive pups. At times, it can even be heartbreaking. Thankfully, over-the-counter dog calming treats, aka “calming chews or calming bites,” exist to help keep the nerves of your dog in check. Problem solved, right? Think again.
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The number of pet products to help manage dog's anxiety and stress are plenty. While it is good to have a lot of options, this just makes the task of choosing the best calming treat crazy difficult.
Keep calm and relax, though, because we’ve just compiled for you this year's best calming treats for dogs.
OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR DOG CALMING TREATS
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8 Best Dog Calming Treats and More
If playtime, as well as hugs and kisses, no longer keep your dogs at ease, giving them calming chews might work as a temporary fix.
The big question now is: Which one is the RIGHT one?
Sadly, there’s no one full-proof calming supplement that works for dogs of all breeds and sizes. As we all know, each dog is made unique. What works well for one will not always work for another. Don’t fret, though, because help is here.
Apart from providing you with a list of treats approved by fur moms, fur dads, and their furry pals, we also went the extra mile. Our buying guide is here to give you tips on how you can choose the best calming treat for your canine companions.
As a bonus, we have also included all the must-know details about canine anxiety.
Now that we’ve done the nitty-gritty part, it does not hurt to talk to your vet as well. They are, after all, the experts when it comes to your pet and his/her health.
So, hearing what they have to say should be your top-most priority.
Zesty Paws Stress & Anxiety Calming Bites
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PetHonesty Hemp Calming Anxiety Soft Chews
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SmartBones Calming Care Chews
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VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health Chews
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NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Soft Chews
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Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix
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NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments Plus Hemp Seed Chews
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Pet Naturals Calming Dog & Cat Chews
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Reviewed Calming Treats For Dogs
- Zesty Paws Stress & Anxiety Calming Bites
- PetHonesty Hemp Calming Anxiety Soft Chews
- SmartBones Calming Care Chews
- VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health Chews
- NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Soft Chews
- Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix
- NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments Plus Hemp Seed Chews
- Pet Naturals Calming Dog & Cat Chews
1. PetHonesty Calming Hemp Chews
You and your furry pals no longer have to dread trips to the vet, loud noises, or thunderstorms. This is all thanks to PetHonesty’s Hemp Calming Anxiety and Hyperactivity Soft Chews.
Among all the calming aids or calming treats, this one gets the top spot in our list or best dog calming treats. Wondering why? Here are just a few reasons.
Produced in a US GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified facility and veterinarian-reviewed, this calming supplement contains all-natural and preservative-free ingredients.
The combination of active ingredients like Valerian root, L-Tryptophan, organic chamomile, passion flower, hemp oil, and ginger root promises to soothe your troubled pup in no time.
- Dogs (even those suffering from severe separation anxiety) and their human pals can get a good night’s sleep or go through day-to-day activities with lesser worries.
- Unlike sedatives, these calming treats keep the dogs’ nerves calm and collected without zoning them out.
- Focus is enhanced. These calming treats help pups get back on track and make training sessions more bearable.
- Dogs love this healthy treat thanks to its natural ingredients.
- Positive effects were seen on dogs of all sizes, from Shih Tzus to Labradors.
- Finicky eaters may not like this calming hemp’s odor and taste. Adding flavored pills or mixing this with their favorite food can help make it more appetizing.
- For a small number of dogs, the calming effects did not immediately show.
2. Zesty Paws Calming Bites
Thanks to these treats, your furball can now join the pack. If your dogs love peanut butter and you’re on the lookout for grain-free calming chews that are manufactured using heat-free methods, then Zesty Paws’ Calming Bites might just be the treat you need for your PB-loving paw friend.
Like PetHonesty’s calming hemp, these treats are made of non-artificial ingredients, including hemp powder, chamomile, Valerian root, and L-tryptophan.
One of its main ingredients is Suntheanine, a clinically-researched and non-GMO form of L-theanine. It is a type of amino acid that promotes relaxation without drowsiness
- These calming treats work like a charm on highly-energetic and fidgety dogs as well as pups suffering from separation anxiety, regardless of age, size, and breed.
- Pups consider this a yummy treat since it is available in turkey and peanut butter flavors that most dogs love.
- Training sessions are more fruitful because of this treat’s focus-enhancing effects.
- These calming treats curb a dog’s anxiety and rowdy behavior without altering their personality or draining their energy.
- While these calming treats get a thumbs up for their flavor, expect this to leave a mess because of its crumbly texture.
- A few wish that this came in bottles with more bite pieces instead of just 90 soft chews.
- It is a bit pricey compared to other soft calming chews.
3. SmartBones Calming Care Chews
Pups who love rawhide sticks will love this treat. Each pack contains 16 sticks. These tasty chews are made with real chicken and provide all the benefits of rawhide sticks minus the rawhide.
You heard that right. SmartBones’ SmartSticks chamomile and lavender chew dog treats are rawhide-free.
Apart from its calming effects, your lovable four-legged pets’ teeth are also taken care of thanks to its gummy texture that scrapes the teeth clean.
- Skittish dogs (including the fussy eaters), from chihuahuas to German shepherds, gobble this up without a problem thanks to its yummy chicken flavor.
- Most dogs love having this as their snack before bedtime.
- Price-wise, this will not burn a hole in your pocket.
- Your pooch can say goodbye to stinky breath.
- These scrumptious calming treat will help calm your pet without upsetting his tummy or causing diarrhea.
- Senior dogs may have trouble chewing on these calming treats. Cutting them into smaller pieces helps.
- A few dog owners did not notice any change in their dog’s behavior.
4. VetriSCIENCE Composure Bite-Sized Chews
If you want your jumpy dog to stop pacing around or your stress-driven pet to mellow down their excessive barking without altering its behavior, try VetriSCIENCE’s vitamin-enriched Composure Behavioral Health Bite-Sized Dog Chews.
NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) – and veterinarian-approved, this tasty calming treat comes in a pack filled with 60 chicken flavor chews that your dog (young or old) will surely love.
These treats’ active ingredients have gone through extensive research and are known for their natural ability to bolster balanced behavior without impairing a dog’s motor skills.
Its ingredients include L-theanine and Thiamine (Vitamin B1).
- Many dog owners attest to this treat’s mild yet noticeable calming effects on both overly-excited and anxiety-filled dogs.
- The size of these chews is perfect for small dogs.
- It is fairly-priced.
- Dogs enjoy eating this as a treat thanks to its chicken liver flavor.
- Although it has a calming effect, dogs remain alert. This allows them to focus more on their training sessions.
- The effect of this calming supplement lasts for not more than 4 hours. A few wish the effects could last longer.
- A small number of fur dads and moms thought this treat had a weird, unpleasant scent.
5. NaturVet Quiet Moments Dog Calming Aid Soft Chews
You and your furry friend can finally savor quiet moments with the help of NaturVet’s Calming Aid Soft Chews. A veterinarian formulated and recommended calming treat; this easy-to-feed dog treat deserves a spot in our list of best calming aids for its positive results in managing dog anxiety.
If your pet has a sensitive stomach and is over the age of 12 weeks, then this calming treat for dogs is worth trying. Stress and tension are reduced with these calming aids’ unique combination of Thiamine and L-tryptophan.
Its active ingredients also include passion flower, chamomile, Melatonin, and ginger root. The former is commonly used to treat an upset stomach while the latter is a hormone that helps calm dogs by promoting rest and relaxation.
- Pets of various breeds who are reactive and whose anxiety is caused by trips to the groomer or loud noises like thunderstorms and fireworks can settle down with the help of this dog treat.
- Fur moms and dads who gave this dog treat to their pups before bedtime were happy with its calming effect. Both the dog and their owners had a good night’s sleep.
- It is priced right.
- This dog treat did not have any adverse side effects for most dogs.
- Picky eaters may need some pushing to eat these dog treats because of its medicinal smell. Blending this with your dog’s favorite food like peanut butter or gravy fixes the problem.
- A few pet owners had to give these treats to their dogs a couple of times before seeing its calming effect.
6. Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix
It seems that Zesty Paws has a lot to offer when it comes to high-quality pet products. Their products are so good that we can’t help but include this one on our list of top-rated calming treats.
Bedtime restlessness can’t be helped for some dogs, but this calming treat has proven its worth when it comes to easing sleeplessness.
Like Zesty Paws’ Calming Bites, this dog treat is also made of natural ingredients. Its ingredients include hemp seed powder, melatonin, chamomile, Valerian root, and L-Theanine (Suntheanine).
Aside from its calming effect, the peppermint flavoring of this dog treat will help freshen the breath of your pooch.
- After a stick (or just half of the stick), its relaxing effects were already noticeable. Dogs of various breeds (from Yorkies to Huskies) approve of its positive results.
- Aside from helping fidgety dogs calm down, these dog calming treats have also freshened up their breaths and kept their teeth healthy.
- These calming aids taste good. Most dogs (even the finicky eaters) gobble this up without hesitating.
- It comes in an easy-to-open and resealable pack. Choose between 2 sizes: 12 oz and 25 oz.
- This calming treat curbs stress and anxiety without lowering down your pet’s energy levels.
- A small number complained about their pooch experiencing mild tummy problems, which caused them to vomit or have loose stool.
7. NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments Calming Aid
Make the best out of a stressful situation with the help of NaturVet’s Quiet Moments Hemp Seed Soft Chews.
Another entry from NaturVet, like the first one, this treat’s active ingredients include chamomile and L-Tryptophan as well as Thiamine, ginger, and melatonin. The only difference is that this one comes with a serving of hemp oil and hemp seed powder.
The addition of hemp oil makes this calming treat a pet product to look for if your pooch suffers from excessive scratching or fur loss.
Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and vitamins that improve the dog’s skin protecting it from breakouts and aiding healing.
- These treats help calm most dogs (small or big) without experiencing drowsiness.
- This dog treat proved that it is effective in calming anxious dogs as well as managing destructive behavior.
- It is reasonably-priced.
- Despite its calming effect, dogs are still alert and are able to walk and play.
- Many gave these treats high marks for its all-natural ingredients.
- Its taste is not the most pleasant for a few dogs.
- Bowel issues were experienced by a small number of pups who tried these treats.
8. PetNaturals Calming Chew for Dogs and Cats
If you have dogs (and cats) who become fidgety when the storm starts rolling, then these calming chews are worth considering. This veterinarian formulated calming aid is here to help manage your pets’ behavioral issues and everyday stress.
Apart from its chicken liver flavor (a taste appealing to most dogs), this dog treat’s active ingredients include L-Theanine and Thiamine as well as Colostrum Calming Complex which manages everyday stress while supporting cognitive functions.
- Expect your anxious dog to join the pack with ease. This calming treat for dogs (and cats) enables them to feel relaxed in situations that often induce stress and anxiety.
- Most dogs don’t feel drowsy after taking this dog treat.
- Your restless pooch can now have an uninterrupted sleep.
- These treats come with an excellent price tag.
- Dogs who tend to be choosy in the type of food they eat didn’t like this dog treat’s taste.
- It had a medicine-like scent that was unappealing to a few dogs.
Dog Anxiety 101
Just like human beings, our four-legged pals also experience anxiety. It is the body’s normal response to stress-inducing situations or potential danger.
This type of reaction, although negative, helps us adapt and survive. And similar to us, anxiety in dogs can go haywire. Yes, it is normal for your canine companions to experience anxiety and feel distressed from time to time.
However, if your dog’s anxiety level is left unchecked and untreated, this can turn into a disorder that can affect the quality of your pets’ life. Knowing what canine anxiety is and its possible causes will help you address this situation effectively.
Common Causes of Canine Anxiety
Anxiety in dogs can happen in a variety of situations. These feelings of uneasiness can be a result of loud noises or unfamiliar faces visiting your home. It can also be triggered by events like family members leaving home or changes in your work schedule.
To give you a better picture, here are the most common causes of dog anxiety:
- Unfamiliar and frightening situations – this includes exposure to unknown faces, trips to the vet or groomer, and car rides
- Loud noises – such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or gunfire
- Traumatic experiences – examples include abandonment, neglect, and being transferred from one home to another
- Age and medical issues – include dogs with illnesses like encephalitis and hypothyroidism and senior dogs who are suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS (a condition likened to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease)
- Genetics – while all dog breeds experience anxiety, some breeds are more inclined to have it. Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Pekingese, and Cocker Spaniels are just some of the breeds that are most susceptible to having this condition.
- Improper puppy socialization – puppies deprived of their mom’s affection during the first 8 weeks can be habitually fearful and stressed
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
Like a mom to her kids, fur parents can immediately tell if something is wrong with their pets. Dogs exhibit a variety of telltale signs that reflect feelings of stress and anxiety.
It can be subtle like tail tucking or extreme like growling. Here are the most common symptoms mentioned by trusted websites (PetMD and American Kennel Club or AKC):
- Tucked tail
- Avoiding eye contact
- Hiding behavior
- Whining and whimpering
- Excessive barking or vocalization
- Trembling or fidgeting
- Urination and bowel movement
- Repetitive or compulsive behavior like excessive scratching and licking
- Aggressive and destructive behavior
Separation anxiety is also experienced by dogs who have become hyper-attached to their guardians. These dogs feel upset whenever they’re left alone.
You can tell that your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety if your dogs start to whine, bark, and scratch your windows and doors when you’re away. Some even try to escape resulting in injury.
Dog Calming Treats: How Do They Help Your Dog?
As the name suggests, dog calming treats are dog treats with calming properties. Categorized as a nutraceutical, this pet food product often comes in the form of soft chews or sticks and is known for its health benefits.
Unlike prescription drugs, the ingredients in these nutritional supplements are derived from natural food sources (like herbs and vitamins). These anti-anxiety treats can also be bought over the counter and are generally recognized as safe.
Since these dog treats are made explicitly of ingredients that promote relaxation, these supplements are especially beneficial for overly excitable pets as well as stressed, anxious, and fidgety dogs.
If you're wondering what these treats contain and how these calming treats work, check out the list of ingredients below. You’ll notice that the list of best dog calming treats on this website contains at least one of these natural ingredients.
- Hemp oil. While many question the legality of using hemp products (given that hemp and marijuana come from the same plant), we cannot deny its increasing popularity. This is due to its health benefits which include anxiety relief.
- Chamomile. This herbal supplement can keep your dog calm and collected. Too much of it, however, can upset your pets’ tummy.
- Melatonin. This hormone is often used to treat behavior and sleep disorders as well as non-allergic hair loss.
- Valerian root. Another herbal supplement, Valerian root is known to improve nighttime sleep. Side effects like drowsiness and lethargy may be experienced. Make sure to get in touch with your dog’s vet, especially if your dog is suffering from other medical conditions.
- Passion flower. Also known as Passiflora, its extract is known to induce relaxation and reduce tension.
- L-tryptophan. A natural amino acid commonly found in proteins, L-tryptophan helps pets face stressful situations by regulating their mood.
L-theanine. Like L-tryptophan, L-theanine is also a type of amino acid often found in mushrooms and green and black tea. This helps manage aggression and ease dog anxiety. It also promotes digestive health.
Calming Treats for Dogs: Choosing the RIGHT One
Since dietary supplements (including the products in our list of best dog calming treats) are loosely regulated, paying extra attention to the details will go a long way.
As a pet parent, we know you only want the best for your lovable dogs. To make sure that your pets are only getting the best, remember these tips.
- Use your common sense filter (a piece of advice given by Dr. Erin Perotti-Orcutt, DVM of Four Paws Veterinary Center). An excellent strategy to find the best dog calming treat is by using your common sense. Find out what your pet needs, do your research, and ask around. Make sure to check the labels and determine what these treats are made from; this includes knowing its active and inactive ingredients.
- Read the fine print. All pet product brands and retailer websites will tell you what’s good about a product, but they will seldom tell you the crucial stuff. Often, the important stuff is tucked away somewhere in the fine print at the back of the container.
- Talk to your vet. We might sound repetitive, but your vet knows so much more than you do. As mentioned previously, anxiety in dogs can be caused by illnesses or underlying medical conditions. Remember as well that even the best calming treats for dogs can have side effects. It’s good to ensure that your dog is physically healthy before giving him/her any sort of dog calming treat.
Alternative Treatments for Anxiety
Aside from giving your furry companions treats to calm their nerves, there are other ways to ease their feelings of distress. It is also good to know that using a combination of these methods has proven to be much more effective in soothing anxiety.
- CBD oil (Cannabidiol). A substance derived commonly from hemp, it is often used to stimulate appetite and reduce anxiety.
- Pet pheromone products. These are available in the form of sprays, wipes, collars, or plug-in diffusers. It mimics natural dog pheromones and is used to send calming messages.
- Pressure wraps. Similar to human babies, research shows that swaddling also has a positive effect on a dog’s mood. These wraps give pups the feeling of being swaddled.
- Puzzle toys and other forms of distraction. Engaging a dog either physically or mentally through play has always helped in diverting your dog’s attention. Using a white noise machine can also help ease their minds.
Do calming treats for dogs work?
Anxiety is common in dogs and although training is the best method to help them long-term, dog calming treats can take the edge off day to day, making your dog more relaxed. Dog Calming treats may also help excessively high-energy dogs to chill out a little, though in these cases, long walks are the best remedy.
What do vets recommend for calming dogs?
Valerian and chamomile are both naturally sedative herbs often found in calming supplements. Some sprays and plug-in diffusers contain synthetic versions of calming canine pheromones. You can also buy CBD products for dogs in areas where it's legal.
Can dogs overdose on calming treats?
Since Calming is a supplement, not medication, there's no risk of harm by ingesting an additional chew. In fact, it's safe to double or even triple the dose of Calming during times of heightened stress.
How long does calming aid for dogs last?
Every dog is different but generally the effects last about 8-10 hours.