Herbal Remedies for Your Anxious Dog
How to reduce anxiety and stress in your dog using natural herbs
“Sit, Spot, sit.”
“And calm down!”
There are only so many things a veterinarian can do before prescribing your medication to help combat your pup's anxiety. But you can use natural herbal remedies to help calm your pooch. Check out these herbal remedies for your anxious dog:
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, has become a popular medicine with owners seeking to improve their pets’ anxiety levels. The oil increases your dog’s ability to stimulate the receptors and release serotonin in his brain. That serotonin stabilizes his mood. Add a few drops of oil (how many depends on your dog’s weight) to his food 30-60 minutes ahead of a stressful situation to ease nerves. You can also place a few drops in his mouth for quick relief.
Be cautious, though. While studies have validated its promise in treating pet anxieties, only a few such studies exist. And because of legal issues surrounding this cannabis-based product, few veterinarians have the background to discuss it, and you must initiate the conversation — vets in most states can’t raise the topic themselves.
Growing your own herbal remedies at home ensures you always have some on hand. Chamomile is another herb that soothes anxiety by acting as a sedative. Many dog owners use chamomile to prevent car sickness as it can also soothe the stomach. You can steep chamomile leaves in water to create a tea and mix it with your dog’s food or water. Capsules and tinctures can also help calm an anxious dog.
St. John’s Wort
While many view this plant as an invasive weed, St. John’s wort has some powerful qualities that can help calm the nerves. It's a vigorous perennial found in many parts of the country. The plant features bell-shaped yellow flowers toward the end of June and does well in wet soil conditions. Use the leaves to create a tea for the water bowl or pour over dry food to help dogs fight anxiety. If you don’t want to grow this plant, you can pick up this herb in capsules at most grocery stores.
This herb is an excellent, gentle sedative. Germination can take a while when starting with seeds, so consider buying a mature plant. Valerian plants need to grow at least a year before they're ready to harvest for medicinal use. Snip the roots into small pieces and spread them out to dry for a few months. Create a tea with the potent dried roots to pour over dog food. The leaves of the plant also provide quick relaxation when steeped in hot water for tea.