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A recent study from the University of Helsinki in Finland proves dogs are prone to a wide range of anxiety-like traits and behaviors (1). Researchers analyzed nearly 14,000 dogs consisting of 264 breeds. An astonishing 72.5 percent of dogs exhibited anxiety-like behaviors, according to their owners.
Aside from loud noises, other common causes of fear and anxiety in dogs include being left alone (separation anxiety), strangers, other dogs, new situations, and sudden changes in routine. Stress in dogs is a silent pandemic affecting pets around the world.
Fortunately, pet parents have access to calming supplements for dogs. Like the number of pets with anxiety-related issues, the sheer volume of products for calming—ranging from calming treats to puzzle toys—an anxious dog is overwhelming. Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits of calming supplements for dogs, and I’ll share what happened when my dog and I put calming products from The Anxious Pet to the test.
Calming an Anxious Dog: Why Use Calming Supplements?
Dogs can get nervous or worried for various reasons, and the right calming supplement can help alleviate their symptoms.
With the advent of CBD hemp oil for dogs, calming chews, and calming supplements for pets, there are safe and effective ways available to calm your anxious pooch. When dogs are calm, dog moms and dads can breathe a sigh of relief, too. If you’re anything like me, you feel better when your dog isn’t anxious or nervous.
CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive component of the hemp plant, seems to be everywhere these days and infused into thousands of products for pets. When I first learned about CBD and hemp for dogs, I was worried it might make my dog “high.” But I learned that hemp-based CBD contains less than 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive component in marijuana, and does not make dogs “high” at all at such a low concentration.
The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned consumers that cannabis products marketed to pets have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and recommends pet owners speak with their veterinarian about appropriate treatment options for their pet (2).
Though research on veterinary use of CBD is still limited, favorable studies are emerging. Both Cornell University and Colorado State University performed studies on the efficacy of CBD in dogs. Cornell noted results were significant, according to the researchers, with over 80 percent of the dogs taking the CBD oil showing “significant improvement in pain levels and quality of life” without observable side effects (3). At the Colorado State University, neurologist Dr. Stephanie McGrath noted her research showed “that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures” and called the results “promising.” (4)
Before starting any medical or alternative treatments for anxiety on your dog, we recommend seeing a veterinarian first so he or she can rule out any underlying medical issues.
What is The Anxious Pet?
The Anxious Pet is a small company focused on helping pets and pet parents “live happier, more peaceful lives.” The company was inspired by the founder’s dog. Much like other pet parents want to help their dog’s anxiety without prescription medications, this dog dad wanted safer options. Some of the greatest inventions and products are born out of necessity.
Brock noticed that his Retriever, Boulder, exhibited fear of his water bowl. Boulder also became tense on car rides and had trouble getting to sleep at night. Brock founded The Anxious Pet to help Boulder and millions of dogs like him find comfort without compromise.
The Anxious Pet offers a range of calming products for pets that are:
- Veterinarian formulated
- Third-party tested through each step of the supply chain
- Made without chemicals, fillers, flavors, or unnecessary ingredients
- Effective or your money back with your 60-day risk-free guarantee
- Made with less than 0.3 percent THC
- Properly researched and quality controlled with third-party lab testing
These factors piqued my attention because I’ve tried calming products for my dog before with mixed results. I felt reassured that all of their CBD comes from registered hemp farms in La Junta, Colorado. The farms practice sustainable farming and are transparent in their processes, so it’s a win-win for pets and their parents.
Third-party testing is the most transparent way to prove the finished product contains what it says. The Anxious Pet puts its products through rigorous third-party testing. The Anxious Pet also passes CGMP (Certified Good Manufacturing Practice) standards. Translation: They took my anxiety away and didn’t create more.
I’ve tried numerous calming chews for dogs, tinctures, and various products designed to keep my dog calmer. I don’t want him to feel loopy or seem medicated. The Anxious Pet does not include anything that would trigger a hallucinogenic or “high” effect on my dog.
The Anxious Pet Product Line
The Anxious Pets offers a wide assortment of dog products designed to target your pet’s individual needs. One of my favorite features of the line is the format in which they are dispensed.
Like people, some dogs do better with oil, others with a chewable treat, and some with a snack-type bar. Here’s a breakdown of each of the different formulas and how they can help your dog:
Hemp oils are one of the most effective ways to deliver anxiety relief, pain relief, and anti-anxiety benefits to your dog or cat because they are absorbed quicker. The Anxious Pet CBD oil comes in two formulations:
- 400 mg hemp oil for dogs or cats with mild anxiety
- 800 mg hemp oil for dogs with moderate to severe anxiety
I chose to test the 800 mg hemp oil on my dog because he exhibits more than moderate symptoms of anxiety when the thunder rolls. I like that these pet-focused formulations allow me to choose which organic hemp oil is best for my dog.
Maybe your dog is opposed to oil or anything on his food or placed on his tongue. The Anxious Pet Relax & Roll calming soft chews are administered according to your dog’s weight. Each 5-gram chew is infused with 15 mg of CBD and 1,600 mg of active ingredients, including chamomile, ginger root, L-carnitine, and melatonin. Bonus points for the antioxidant-rich compounds that diffuse stress but also help pain relief and inflammation. There is also a non-CBD option available.
In researching this piece, I was delighted to learn The Anxious Pet makes hip and joint supplements for dogs, too. Their Hip & Hop Soft Chews blend glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric with proprietary ingredients to reduce joint inflammation and pain in dogs. Even cooler, they make Hip & Hop Soft Chews with or without CBD to support your dog’s joints and his overall mood.
Perhaps your dog is more of a chewer and prefers a sit-down and nibble-on-it type snack. I know my dog loves an “after dinner” treat each evening. The Anxious Pet’s Relax & Roll Supplement Bar (available with or without CBD) is designed for relief in stressful situations and as an on-the-go solution. They are vegan and contain no GMOs, so dog parents can feel good giving one to two bars daily, depending on their need. The Anxious Pet Hip & Hop line is also available as a supplement bar.
Putting The Anxious Pet to the Test
I am the proud mom to a senior Cocker Spaniel who has graced my life with smiles, laughs, companionship, and affection. Like many aging pets, he also shows signs of joint issues, namely lumbosacral disc disease in his lower back. Coupled with situational anxiety, I welcomed the opportunity to put The Anxious Pet products to the test. Here’s what happened.
In full disclosure, I tested the products for nearly four weeks and did not try every single formula in The Anxious Pet line. Instead, I tried the full-spectrum 800 mg hemp oil and the Relax & Roll 900 mg CBD calming soft chews while traveling. We opted for the soft chews over the supplement bars because Dexter is a medium-sized dog, and I prefer something smaller and bite-sized.
However, for pet parents who want to pack a supplement bar for road trips, long walks, hikes and camping, visits to the veterinarian, or on car-fearful dogs, I highly recommend the Relax & Roll anxiety relief supplement bar with CBD.
My senior dog has seasonal allergies, so knowing The Anxious Pet hemp oil could help this while supporting brain function and immune health made me eager to get Dexter started.
For three days in a row, I administered four 800 mg hemp oil drops directly into Dexter’s cheek. He didn’t mind, as he is used to receiving medications and supplements in a similar fashion. We bumped the dosage to twice a day on day four—once with breakfast and once with dinner.
I put The Anxious Pet Hemp Oil to work at Dexter’s curbside veterinary wellness exam. Due to COVID-19 precautions, pet parents are not allowed in the office yet. A very helpful veterinary nurse talked to us over the phone and then came outside to take Dexter in for the examination.
Normally, Dexter gets a little bit anxious, especially since I cannot go inside with him. I told the veterinarian I gave Dexter some CBD oil. He never exhibited any nervousness or anxiety, and he was a “happy patient the entire time,” according to his discharge report.
Things We Like
- Portability: I love that The Anxious Pet designs all of its products with today’s modern pet parent in mind. The hemp oil, calming chews for dogs, and dog supplement bars are portable.
- Money-back guarantee: The Anxious Pet gives pet parents a full 60 days to try the products out. If you aren’t 100 percent happy, you get a full refund with no questions asked.
- Veterinarian recommended and third-party tested: Not many companies go the extra mile to ensure CBD products are safe for pets. The Anxious Pet gave this dog mama a lot of reassurance in their transparent process and quality standards.
- Chewable products are actually chewable: I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to give your dog something labeled “chewable” but wound up with something as hard as a rock. The soft chews and bar are actually moist and breakable. My dog had no issues breaking them up with his teeth.
- Variety: Like people, not all dogs are the same. Whether you want a product with CBD or not, The Anxious Pet has something for your dog. From joint and hip health to the immune system and brain function, they cover the canine bases.
Things to Consider
- Few flavor choices: The soft chews are only available in non-allergenic peanut butter flavor at this time. Thankfully, I hear bacon flavor is soon to be introduced!
- Serving size: In order to keep a dog calm for veterinarian visits, during storms or fireworks, etc., up to two Relax & Roll Supplement bars must be fed. Each bar is 3-by-2 inches and can be broken into segments, but that’s a lot of product for one dog.
- Feeding recommendation: The Anxious Pet states their CBD hemp oil for dogs is most effective when given with a full meal that contains some fat. Keep this in mind when you need to dispense.
- Kits do not allow mix and match: The Anxious Pet offers several top-selling kits starting at $49, but you cannot choose the exact products you want in each kit. The product combinations are outstanding but choose your kit selection carefully to ensure you get the items you want for your pets.
The Anxious Pet: Our Verdict
I’ve been working in the pet industry for close to 15 years, and I’ve reviewed thousands of products in that time. I’ve been hesitant to try CBD hemp oil and related products on my dog until there was enough proof of concept.
The Anxious Pet’s money-back guarantee, third-party testing, and veterinarian-formulated products are the three main reasons I took the plunge. I talked to a few pet parents and asked them a few questions about CBD products. Some of them were hesitant, and others weren’t sure which products were safe or useful.
When I asked if they would be willing to try The Anxious Pet line to calm an anxious dog, they answered a resounding yes. One of my greatest joys as a pet product expert is sharing products my dog uses that I believe in. After putting The Anxious Pet products to the test, I unequivocally recommend them to pets with anxiety, during adjustment periods, and for overall health and well-being.