Calming Anxious Dogs

“Herbs can be helpful for gently calming an animal during stressful occasions. In circumstances in which fear and anxiety prohibit an otherwise passive animal from relaxing, valerian may induce just enough sedation to allow napping.”

Wulff, Mary L.. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life. CompanionHouse Books

“If nervousness is causing trembling or hypersensitivity to touch and sound, skullcap or oatstraw can be very effective—especially if combined with valerian or passionflower. A small dose (0.25 milliliters per 30 pounds of an animal’s body weight) of vervain (Verbena officinalis) tincture may reduce muscle twitching and restlessness, but too much of this herb may have a reverse effect. In situations in which nervousness is causing an upset stomach, chamomile, valerian, catnip, or a combination of all three may help induce relaxation and prevent vomiting. Before you reach for valerian or any other herb, try giving your pet a few drops of Rescue Remedy (flower essence formula)” Wulff, Mary L.. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life (p. 217). CompanionHouse Books. Kindle Edition.

Are Canine Calming Formulas All Safe?

How to choose the best product for your stressed-out dog.

“Not all calmative herbs are alike. Some, such as chamomile, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), and valerian are especially well suited to calming a nervous stomach. Skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia), an herb that many of my veterinarian friends use for treatment of canine epilepsy, is better suited to cases of nervous jitteriness, muscle twitching, or hypersensitivity to touch.”

Passionflower can be used in a manner similar to that of skullcap, but it’s better than skullcap when dealing with emotional upset, such as separation anxiety or fear aggression that is associated with jealousy of another animal.”

“• No single herb will work effectively in each and every animal, because no two dogs are alike. “

“• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Buyer beware.”

“And if a calming formula contains an ingredient you don’t recognize, don’t buy it – at least not until you do some research into exactly what the stuff is.”

Whole Dog Journal

-Greg Tilford is well known in the field of veterinary herbal medicine.

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