Best Calming Treats For Dogs

Did you know that dogs can develop anxiety issues just like you and me? 

But what causes dog anxiety? And can you prevent your dog from becoming anxious? 

Canine anxiety can be treated, and there are lots of possible solutions that owners can try. So, do calming dog treats actually work? 

Read this guide to find out more.

What Causes Dog Anxiety?

Golden doodle close up

Dog anxiety has many causes, but the most common are:

  • Fear
  • Separation
  • Old age

Anxiety also affects some dog breeds and temperaments more than others.

Anxiety Caused By Fear

Fear-related anxiety can be caused by specific situations, such as a visit to the vet or a car ride. Other common causes of panic attacks in dogs include loud bangs, for example, fireworks, unfamiliar animals, or strangers visiting the house.

Dogs with fear-related anxiety often respond by hiding underneath furniture, barking, or becoming aggressive.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is probably the most common cause of anxiousness in some breeds of pet dogs

Many dogs become extremely unhappy and unsettled when separated from their owners, even for relatively short periods. That’s becoming an increasingly big problem now that lockdown is easing in some regions and many people are returning to work, leaving their dogs home alone for the first time in months.

Separation anxiety can lead to behaviors such as incessant barking, defecating and urinating in the house, and damaging home furnishings.

Age-related Anxiety

Some dogs develop a form of canine dementia, commonly called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)

My senior dog began developing these behaviors when she reached her late teens. Age-related anxiety behavior can include confusion, forgetting to go outside to relieve themselves, panting, pacing, inability to settle.

What Helps Dogs With Anxiety?

Sometimes, simply spending more time around your dog or giving them a comfy corner to relax in can help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. However, the treatment must fit the cause of the problem to be effective. 

There are several mild sedative drugs that can be effective in the treatment of CDS and short-lived anxiety, such as riding in the car or 4th July fireworks. However, calming treats are also a very popular choice with many dog owners.

What Are Calming Treats?

Goldendoodle sitting on grass

Calming treats generally contain vitamins and herbs and are designed to be a non-medicinal remedy that can be used to treat mild anxiety. These “nutraceutical” products are similar to non-regulated nutritional supplements that are available for humans.

Although many of the ingredients used in calming treats are not proven to be effective in dogs, there are a few important components to look out for that are known to be helpful, including:

  • L-Theanine (Suntheanine)
  • Probiotics
  • Valerian

How Long Do Dog Calming Treats Take To Work?

Depending on how your dog reacts to each brand of calming treat and its ingredients, you may see results in just a couple of days. However, it can take up to a month or so of regular use for your pet to show the benefits of calming treats.

Generally, most calming treats can be effective for up to eight hours, depending on the formula and the individual dog.

What Are The Side Effects Of Calming Treats For Dogs?

Provided that you choose a high-quality product and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding dosage, your dog shouldn’t experience any unpleasant side effects.

However, some dogs that have sensitive tummies sometimes experience mild diarrhea. Also, if too many treats are given, the sodium content can make the dog thirsty. Finally, given the nature of a calming treat, you should expect your dog to be sleepier than usual until the effects of the treats wear off.

Does CBD Calm Dogs’ Anxiety?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound that’s derived from hemp and cannabis. Some owners give their dogs CBD for its calming, sedative effects. However, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that CBD has any useful effect in relieving dog anxiety.

Note that most CBD oil is derived from hemp, not from marijuana, so it doesn’t contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So, your dog won’t get “high” from taking CBD!

11 Best Calming Treats For Dogs

Here are 11 excellent calming treats for dogs that can be very effective in helping your pet to chill out.

1. The Anxious Pet Relax & Roll Soft Chews

Relax & Roll Calming Dog Treats

These delicious peanut butter flavored chews are veterinarian formulated to be effective in calming your dog without making him drowsy.

The treats contain only natural ingredients, including Acetyl-L carnitine and CBD, and are designed to prevent stress, as well as offering pain relief and containing anti-inflammatory properties too.

PROS

  • Contains no grains
  • Veterinary-approved formula
  • Tasty, appetizing flavor

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs
  • Some dogs don’t like the taste

2. Medterra Pets CBD Chews

Medterra Bacon Calming Soft Chews

These calming chews are flavored with delicious bacon, and most dogs love them! The chews contain highly effective L-Tryptophan, valerian root, and CBD.

Each chew contains 1-mg of CBD, and the manufacturer’s clear dosage guide makes it simple to give your dog the exact serving that he needs.

PROS

  • Contains proven effective ingredients
  • Easy to work out the dose
  • Tasty, appetizing flavor

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs
  • Some dogs don’t like the smell

3. PetHonesty Advanced Calming Hemp + Treats For Dogs

PetHonesty Calming Hemp Chicken Flavored

These chicken-flavored chews can be effective in as little as half an hour! 

The all-natural chews are USA-made and contain no artificial preservatives, GMOs, or grains. These drug-free treats are ideal for use in stressful situations, such as car rides, fireworks, separation, and more.

PROS

  • Contains proven effective ingredients
  • No fillers
  • Tasty chicken flavor

CONS

  • Some dogs don’t like the taste

4. Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix

Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Peppermint Flavored Chews

These calming sticks are peppermint flavored, containing hemp seed, Suntheanine, valerian root, and magnesium citrate. As an added bonus, the sticks are great for keeping your dog’s teeth clean.

PROS

  • Contains natural, effective ingredients
  • No GMO or fillers
  • Appetizing peppermint flavor

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs

5. Maxxidog Maxxicalm Calming Aid

maxxidog maxxicalm Calming Aid for Dogs

Maxxidog Maxxicalm treats are made in the USA, using only premium ingredients that are lab-tested for potency and purity. The treats are suitable for dogs of all ages and are designed to treat anxiety caused by fear and separation.

As well as containing taurine and L-theanine, the chews have added vitamins B1 and B8 and magnesium citrate.

PROS

  • Contains natural, effective ingredients
  • No GMO or fillers
  • Appetizing, tasty flavor

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs

6. Relievet CBD For Pets

You can always find CBD chews for dogs online. Relievet manufactures and sells CBD oils, chews, and topicals for dogs and cats.

The chews have a natural calming effect, as well as promoting healthy skin and coat, and providing anti-inflammatory effects, too. These treats are particularly beneficial for older dogs with joint issues.

PROS

  • Contains natural, effective CBD
  • No GMO or fillers
  • Won’t make your dog “high”

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs

7. BONIES Calming Formula Small Dog Treats

BONIES Calming Formula Small Dog Treats

Bonies are specially designed for smaller dogs, weighing up to 25 pounds. 

The crunchy, teeth-cleaning treats contain only natural ingredients, including brown rice and a mix of calming herbs. There’s no corn, soy, wheat, gluten, or animal by-products in the recipe that might upset a little dog’s delicate tummy or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

PROS

  • Designed for smaller dogs
  • Helps keep teeth clean and free from tartar
  • Easily digestible 

CONS

  • Not suitable for larger dogs

8. ElleVet Calm and Comfort Chews

ElleVet Calm and Comfort Chews

These super-tasty, pork flavored treats are suitable for all dogs over 5 pounds.

The treats contain all-natural hemp oil as their main active ingredient, providing relief from anxiety within 1.5 to 2 hours.

PROS

  • Contains natural CBD oil derived from hemp
  • Appetizing pork flavor
  • Easily digestible

CONS

  • Contain some fillers

9. Dr. Harvey’s Relax and Stress

Dr. Harvey's Relax & Stress Herbal Dog Supplement

This all-natural calming supplement comes in powdered form that works as a gentle aid to calming anxious dogs. Simply mix the powder into your pet’s food every day to combat stress and destructive behavior.

Made in the USA, the powder contains no artificial ingredients, dyes, or preservatives.

PROS

  • Contains no artificial additives
  • Gentle, chemical-free formula
  • Easy to feed

CONS

  • Not effective for all dogs

10. NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments Soft Chews Calming Supplement for Dogs

NaturVet Hemp Quiet Moments

These hemp-based calming chews contain L-tryptophan, as well as melatonin to ease stress. Ginger is also included to help support sensitive tummies, especially during traveling. 

The soft chews are easy for senior dogs to eat and contain no artificial additives or chemicals.

PROS

  • Contains no artificial additives
  • Soft chews are ideal for older pups
  • Hemp-based formula

CONS

  • Some dogs don’t like the flavor

11. VetriScience Composure Chicken Liver Flavored Soft Chews Calming Supplement for Dogs

VetriScience Composure Chicken Liver Flavored Soft Chews Calming Supplement for Dogs

These delicious chicken liver flavor soft chews contain L-theanine and thiamine to calm your dog. Clinical tests have shown that these NASC-approved calming treats are effective within 30 minutes and last up to four hours.

You can give your dog additional chews up to double or even triple the dose without fear of harming your pet.

PROS

  • Delicious chicken liver flavor
  • Soft chews are ideal for older pups
  • NASC-approved formula

CONS

  • Not fully effective for all dogs

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this guide to the best calming treats for dogs? If you did, please share.

Dogs can get stressed out and anxious just like people do. In many cases, if your dog is bothered by loud noises, strangers visiting your home, or gets upset at the prospect of a ride in the car, calming treats can help.

What brand of calming treats work best for your dog? Share with us in the comments box below.

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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