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When my Cocker Spaniel was a puppy, some random kids on bicycles tossed fireworks at him while we were out on a walk. The kids quickly sped away, but left me with a dog who freaks out at fireworks and thunderstorms to this day. Fortunately, calming treats for dogs have made a big difference in how my dog reacts to loud sounds.
If a dog becomes stressed, separated from their owner for too long, or is hyper in general, calming dog treats are a viable option to take the edge off without a prescription.
We always recommend you talk to your dog’s veterinarian before administering any calming treats or new supplements. Keeping my dog calm without turning to chemicals or traditional medication is very important to me and millions of other dog moms and dads.
Calming Treats for Dogs: Why Your Dog Might Need Them
Even the most chill and laid-back dogs may get a bit tense now and then. Perhaps a dog doesn’t like road trips, car travel, nail clippings, or veterinary visits. Some dogs freak out and get nervous if their parents are moving to a new home, a new baby is in the family, or they are left alone for a long period of time.
Positive reinforcements can help with some canine behaviors, but calming treats are designed to calm a dog and help them stay calm. With some preparation, dogs can feel safe and pet parents will have peace of mind.
Are Calming Treats Safe for Dogs?
Yes, in general, calming treats are safe for dogs. Most are made with natural ingredients such as melatonin, chamomile, valerian root, L-tryptophan, and hemp to promote calming and stress relief.
That being said, all dogs react differently to active ingredients in calming treats. So, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian before offering new treats and to monitor your dog for any side effects or reactions. Calming treats may produce a drowsy or sedative effect.
Make sure to look for calming dog treats that are veterinarian formulated or recommended, that undergo testing to verify ingredients and potency labels, and that have transparent and high-quality manufacturing processes.
What To Look For in Calming Dog Treats
Like all products for dogs, not all calming treats are created equal. Fears, phobias, and anxiety can cause stress for dogs and their owners, so here’s what to look for when considering a calming treat for your pooch.
Look for Testing or Veterinary Formulation
Forego the claims and promises on a label or social media ad and look for trusted ingredients that are veterinary formulated and third-party tested. Ingredients commonly used in calming treats for dogs include melatonin, chamomile, CBD, and L-tryptophan (the ingredient that makes us sleepy after eating turkey).
Determine Your Dog’s Type of Anxiety
Another key thing when shopping for calming treats is to determine what type of anxiety your dog has and base your search on those results. If your dog displays anxiety when alone, she could be suffering from separation anxiety. If your dog cowers, shakes, or hides from loud noises, fear-related anxiety could be to blame. Does your dog have any other symptoms that accompany anxiety? Illness or disease can also cause anxiety in dogs.
Calming treats aren’t a cure all, and it’s best to get to the source of the anxiety or fear before giving your dog a treat to chill out.
Find The Right Delivery System
Calming products for dogs are available in many forms such as sprays, tinctures, tablets, chews, pills, and even plug-in diffusers that release calming canine pheromones. Before administering anything to your pup, know whether she is amenable to swallowing a pill or if a chew is a better option. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where calming treats for dogs are plentiful.
How We Ranked Our Top Calming Treats
We narrowed our list down to treats that we’ve personally tried, received positive reviews, are third-party tested, veterinary recommended, and have a good overall reputation.
We scoured through the feedback from pet parent reviews and looked at cost, availability, and ease of administration.
Best Calming Treats For Dogs
Calming treats for dogs are not medicinal but they are categorized as nutraceuticals, much like nutritional supplements consumed by their human counterparts.
We can’t make specific claims but we have gathered together what we consider to be calming treats worth considering for your dog in times of fear, distress, or anxiousness.
Best Calming Chews For Dogs Without CBD
Our Pick: The Anxious Pet Relax & Roll Soft Chews
The Anxious Pet was inspired by the founder’s 8-year-old Golden Retriever who suffers anxiety challenges. Though the dog, named Boulder, is joyful and fun, he has certain triggers that instigate his anxiety. Things like the water bowl moving, rides in the car, and getting wet are struggles for Boulder. His dad was inspired to create The Anxious Pet for Boulder and millions of other dogs like him.
Not every parent wants to give their dog CBD-infused products, which makes The Anxious Pet Relax & Roll Soft Chews for dogs the perfect pick. Designed to promote peaceful moments for your dog, the chews make it easy to administer the relief dogs need from time to time.
- Active ingredients in a proprietary blend of acetyl-L carnitine, ginger root, chamomile, and melatonin.
- Chewable treat contains non-allergenic peanut butter.
- No corn, wheat, soy, or grains
- No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
- Can be administered one to two times per day for desired results
- 60-day, money-back guarantee
- Veterinarian formulated with antioxidant rich compounds and fatty acids
- Available for auto delivery to make refills easy.
Things To Consider
- May increase a dog’s serotonin or dopamine levels for a calming effect.
- Not all dogs like peanut butter (I have one of those doggos).
- Promotes calmness without drowsiness but the effect on each dog varies.
Best Powdered Calming Supplement For Dogs
Our Pick: Dr. Harvey’s Relax and Stress
Designed as an all-natural calming aide without harmful side effects, Dr. Harvey’s supplement is gentle and effective to sprinkle onto a dog’s food daily. Give a scoop or more to your dog based on her weight and slowly acclimate your pet to the supplement. I always like to start small and build on the dosage with any sort of calming treat or powder.
- Made in the United States.
- Ideal for dogs with destructive behaviors, noise aversion, or general anxiety.
- Contains no dyes, preservatives, chemicals, or synthetic ingredients.
- Includes a proprietary blend of ingredients like spirulina, alfalfa, kelp, and valerian root.
- A pioneer in holistic and natural nutrition for animals, Dr. Harvey started his career in 1970 as a human practitioner in New York City.
Things to Consider
- Fussy dogs may not like anything added to their food
- Can be used daily but for larger dogs, the powder does go fast
- A bit on the more expensive side for a jar formulation
Best Calming Hemp Treats For Dogs
Many pet parents turn to hemp treats for dogs for anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, pain, arthritis, and even seizures. Though results vary and each dog is different, hemp-based treats remain a viable option for some dogs.
PetHonesty’s CalmingHemp+ claims to reduce stress in 30 to 45 minutes for situations such as car rides, vet visits, thunderstorms, and hyperactivity. No need to hide this in food or sneak it into a treat, as these maximum strength soft chews seem like treats to your dog.
- Tremendous amount of positive reviews.
- Made in the USA without GMOs or wheat, corn, and preservatives.
- Ingredients include suntheanine, a clinically researched form of an amino acid in green tea leaves.
- Coupled with melatonin, organic chamomile, and hemp seed without any THC or CBD.
- Based in carrot, sweet potato, and flaxseed for a taste most dogs love.
Things To Consider
- Some reviews say it works but the affect wears off rather quickly.
- May become expensive depending on size of the dog (bigger dogs = more treats).
- Contains duck and barley.
- Best when given on a full stomach.
Best Calming Bars For Dogs
The Anxious Pet hits a homerun with this unique variety for dogs who love to chew on something more substantial. Produced in a certified cGMP (certified Current Good Manufacturing Facility) in Kansas, the bars come in packs of 5, 15, or 30. The peanut butter flavor used in the bar is non-allergenic to keep pets with peanut allergies safe.
- 3rd party tested and made in the USA
- Contains TAP30, a proprietary blend of ginger root, St. John’s wart, chamomile, L-tryptophan, and melatonin.
- Easy to pop in a purse or backpack for easy, safe portability.
- Individually packaged.
- Ideal for dogs who need relief during typical stressful situations.
- Veterinarian formulated and recommended.
Things To Consider
- Only available in peanut butter flavor.
- Each bar can be scored into three, so pet parents may need to experiment on how much to feed for desired effect.
- Some dogs may require up to two bars daily.
- Not to be used as a meal replacement.
Best Calming Dental Sticks For Dogs
Our Pick: Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming Orastix
Some dogs love to sit and work on a treat, so Zesty Paws created a dental stick snack that helps to clean teeth as dogs gnaw on it. As a bonus, the sticks contain melatonin, magnesium citrate, chamomile, and valerian root to help calm nervous pups.
To support periodontal health, Zesty Paws includes peppermint oil, rosemary extract, and kelp in the sticks to keep doggy breath at bay. Feed your dog a Zesty Paws stick before a thunderstorm, car ride, or vet visit and minimize stressful situations.
- Zesty Paws is a member of NASC (National Animal Supplement Council).
- Made in the USA from globally-sourced ingredients.
- Simple to dispense with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
- Smaller dogs get one stick where larger pets over 75 pounds require up to 3 sticks.
- Amounts can be split between morning and night.
Things to Consider
- 12 to 13 sticks per bag can get expensive to dispense regularly, especially for larger dogs.
- Contains bone broth powder but not clear on flavor.
- Some dogs may not like the peppermint taste.
- As with all dental chews and sticks, dogs should be supervised when chewing on these.
Best Calming Tablet For Dogs
Our Pick: Maxxidog Maxxicalm Calming Aid
Some pet parents (and dogs) prefer palatable tablets to avoid caloric treats. Maxxidog’s calming tablets for dogs are designed to work in tandem with training your dog to better behavior. Designed to promote a balanced dog without inducing drowsiness, taurine and inositol are two of the active ingredients.
- Use at the rate of one tablet per 25 pounds.
- Designed to relax dogs and not make them sleepy.
- Contains 120 liver-flavored tablets.
- Many multiple-star reviews on Amazon.
- All-natural ingredients.
Things to Consider
- Dogs over 50 pounds require two to three tablets daily.
- Available in liver flavor only.
- Contains taurine, an amino acid found naturally in fish and meat.
- Manufacturer recommends using it for a few weeks before a specific stressful event.
Best Calming Treats for Large Dogs
Large dogs often need a larger serving of calming treats to experience the benefits. And that can get frustrating for pet parents who have to give their dogs multiple chews or treats per day. But these squares from Heavenly Hounds are a great size for dogs over 20 pounds, who only need to be given one full square to reduce anxiety. These tasty, peanut-butter-flavored squares contain ingredients like valerian root, niacin, and thiamin to help calm down dogs. They are made without hemp and manufactured in the USA.
- One square is enough for larger dogs.
- Made in the USA.
- Individually wrapped for convenience.
- Contain active, natural ingredients like valerian root, niacin, and thiamin.
- Tasty, peanut-butter flavor.
Things to Consider
- These can get really pricey if using on a daily basis. We recommend them for once-in-a-while calming benefits.
- Only available in peanut-butter flavor.
- If giving these to smaller dogs, the squares need to be broken up for correct dosing.
Best Calming Treats For Small Dogs
Our Pick: BONIES Calming Formula Small Dog Treats
BONIES are all-natural, low calorie dog treats that are infused with brown rice, lavender, and chamomile. Designed with small dogs in mind, they are recommended for those weighing 15 to 25 pounds. In addition to helping ease nervousness and anxiety, the chew helps scrape off tartar to promote good oral hygiene in a dog’s mouth between brushings.
- Made in the USA.
- Natural chicken flavor that dogs love.
- 66 calories per treat.
- Targeted at small dogs who are nervous, anxious, and have anxiety.
- Feed one bone daily as a healthy treat.
Things to Consider
- Supervision of dogs while eating any treat is advised.
- Only available in one flavor.
- Some say the texture seems rubbery, but it is designed as a chew.
Best Calming Treats For Hyper Dogs
Our Pick: ElleVet Calm and Comfort Chews
Sometimes dogs can be overly excitable, at which point channeling that energy into an activity, sport, walk, or play session is best. If a dog is overly excitable, work in conjunction with a veterinarian and/or positive reinforcement behaviorist in addition to adding in a calming treat for hyper dogs.
Hyper dogs who are food motivated will find extra pleasure in these calming treats. In a clinical trial at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, over 80 percent of participating dogs showed significant or dramatic improvement while using products from ElleVet Sciences.
- ElleVet products contain less than .3% THC, which will not cause a psychoactive effect.
- Ideal to have on hand for situational hyper behavior such as nail trims, grooming visits, meeting new people or being in a new environment.
- Designed to provide situational support within 45 minutes.
- Cannabinoid concentration of 46 mg per chew.
- Completely organic product.
- Veterinarian recommended.
Things To Consider
- These chews do contain CBD.
- 3 chews per pack, so they won’t last long.
- Contains peanut butter, rice bran, brewer’s yeast, sweet potato, tapioca starch, pea protein digest, and natural prebiotic.
- If dogs are over 100 pounds, Ellevet Sciences recommends giving more than four chews.
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