The 7 Best Calming Aids for Dogs of 2023 (2023)

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relax your dog

The 7 Best Calming Aids for Dogs of 2023 (1)

If it's aboutelectric stormsWhether it's fireworks, car rides or visits to the vet, there are things that make some dogs very anxious and stressed. Dog calming aids can help them relax.

"All dogs are different and there is no single treatment that works for all dogs," says Chris Roth, in-house vet.pets the best. "It's going to be a trial and error process to see what works for your dog, so you may need to try a few solutions or a combination of solutions to find the one that works best for your pet."

Calming aids can include natural supplements, anti-anxiety vests and collars, or toys to divert your pup's attention.

"It's important to note that while calming aids can be helpful, they should not be used as a substitute for proper training, socialization, or medical treatment when needed," says Denver's Dr. Alejandro Caos, a veterinarian. withthe veterinarians, a home pet service. "If you're not sure if a sedative is right for your dog, it's best to talk to your vet."

We tested many calming aids, consulted trainers, vets, and pet owners, and reviewed product reviews. Our favorite overall pick is VetriScience Composure, vet-recommended calming treats that can work in 30 minutes and last up to four hours. We also like the ThunderShirt, an anti-anxiety jacket that keeps a light touch on your pup to reduce stress.

Best Overall: VetriScience Composure Calming Chews para perros

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What we like

  • It can work in 30 minutes and last up to 4 hours.

  • Different tastes

  • There are also extended life and prescription versions.

  • It can be given as needed or daily.

  • Seal of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).

what we don't like

  • It doesn't work for all dogs.

Veterinarians often recommend Composure Calming Chews to help relieve anxiety without resorting to prescription drugs. The active ingredients are colostrum, l-theanine, and thiamine, which may have relaxation-promoting properties. The chews can be given every day or only when needed, such as when a thunderstorm or a visit to the vet is expected.

The chews are available in peanut butter, bacon, or chicken flavors. They are made for dogs of all sizes and are fed one to three chews a day, depending on weight. In times of extreme anxiety, it is safe to double or triple the dose. There's amore sustainable versionwhich can last up to 8 hours and aunflavored liquid versionas well as one that your needsvet prescription.

Calm has theSeal of approval from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)., which means that the manufacturer has met several requirements, including strong quality control, a system for monitoring products, undergoing random testing, and adhering to strict labeling guidelines. The chews seem very tasty to dogs and can be given as a treat.

Price in publication:$ 19

flavor:chicken, bacon, peanut butter |Amount:60 bocadillos chew |Active ingredients:thiamine, colostrum, L-theanine

Best Anxiolytic Vest: Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment

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What we like

  • easy to put on and take off

  • Comes in seven sizes from xx-small to xx-large

  • can be used for a long time

  • Breathable and elastic fabric.

  • recommended vet

what we don't like

  • It doesn't work for all dogs.

ThunderShirt acts like a gentle hug, enveloping your pet in soft, breathable fabric. The constant pressure works to calm anxiety and over-arousal. The coat is easy to wrap around your dog using large body straps with sturdy Velcro closures. The coat is available in seven sizes for dogs, from dogs under 8 pounds to dogs over 110 pounds.

The traditional gray ThunderShirt is made from a soft, stretchy blend of polyester, rayon and spandex. There is also a 'polo' version with a slightly different design and the same fabric mix. The ThunderShirt "sport" is made of 100% polyester and is the most breathable. It is a good option for dogs that are hot or have long hair.

The ThunderShirt can be worn for a long time. Just check it every hour or so to make sure it isn't rubbing or irritating anywhere. It can be used in the car when travel is stressful, at the vet's office, or at home during thunderstorms, fireworks, or separation anxiety. In a 2022 customer survey of more than 1,700 dogs, ThunderShirt helped calm 80 percent of pets.

Price in publication:$ 41

Food: xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large

Best Snacks: Zesty Paws Advanced Calming Bites

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What we like

  • 9 biological active principles

  • Different tastes

  • LINK spell

  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

what we don't like

  • The cost can increase, especially for large dogs that take multiple chews.

Zesty Paws is known for a variety of popular multivitamins and supplements. These calming morsels contain nine organic ingredients believed to have calming properties, including chamomile, melatonin, hemp seed powder, and forms of L-theanine and ashwagandha. The soft (and seemingly delicious) treats come in three flavors: turkey, peanut butter, and bison.

Feed one to three treats per day, depending on your dog's weight. Start with half the recommended amount and gradually increase. You can split the amount if you want to give them at breakfast and dinner. The treats have no artificial flavors or preservatives or synthetic colors and are free of grains, corn and soy. The bits carry the NASC quality mark, and Zesty Paws offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Price in publication:$ 32

flavor:turkey, peanut butter, bison |Amount:90 bocadillos chew |Active ingredients:Hemp Seed Powder, Chamomile, Valerian Root, Passion Flower, L-Theanine, Ginger Root, Ashwagandha, L-Tryptophan, Magnesium Citrate

Best Pills: Vetoquinol Zylkene Calming Supplements for Small Dogs and Cats

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What we like

  • three strengths

  • LINK spell

  • It can be given daily or as needed.

  • It can be given in capsule form or sprinkled on food.

  • No preservatives or lactose

what we don't like

  • More expensive than many other calming solutions

  • It doesn't work for all dogs.

Vetoquinol Zylkene capsules contain a natural cow's milk protein called alpha-casozepine, which has been found to promote a sense of calm in some pets. Its calming effects have been well studied in cats, but not extensively studied in dogs, although initial resultsthey are promising. You can feed the capsule as is or open it up and sprinkle it over your dog's food. They shouldn't even notice it because it's tasteless.

The capsules come in three strengths: 75mg, 225mg, and 450mg. Choose based on the size of your pet. You can give them as needed during times of stress or offer them daily as a supplement. Zylkene is preservative and lactose free and does not cause drowsiness. Vets often recommend them, but they can be more expensive than other options.

Price in publication:$ 50

flavor:No flavor |Amount:30 capsules |Active ingredient:alfa-casozepina

El mejor spray calmante: ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Spray

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What we like

  • You can use it anywhere (car, hotel, veterinary office)

  • Starts working in about 15 minutes.

  • No odor for humans.

what we don't like

  • It doesn't work for some dogs.

  • It should be reapplied every 4 to 5 hours.

Calming sprays can help you deal with anxiety outdoors. You can spray it in the car, on a dog's bed, or in a hotel room. ThunderEase spray releases pheromones that mimic the chemicals a lactating bitch uses to communicate with her puppies. The goal is to inspire a sense of calm and comfort.

Spray about 8-10 pumps where you need it, like the inside of the car or on a dog's bed. Then wait about 15 minutes before bringing your dog into the room. Re-spray every 4 to 5 hours as needed. You can also spray it directly onto a ThunderShirt Anti-Anxiety Vest to enhance its calming effects. There is no lingering odor that humans can sense.

Price in publication:$ 28

Amount: 60 milliliters |Active ingredient:dog pheromone

Best Collar: Adaptil Calming Pheromone Collar for Dogs

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What we like

  • three sizes

  • lasts about a month

  • Can be used 24/7

  • No odor for humans.

what we don't like

  • It doesn't work for all dogs.

Vets often recommend this Adaptil collar to calm anxiety and nervousness without medication. The collar is infused with pheromones released by lactating bitches to communicate with their pups. Pheromones are chemicals that act like hormones, but outside the body, and can influence the behavior of others of the same species.

The collar is available in three sizes: puppy, small, and medium/large. Place it comfortably around your pup's neck and your dog's natural warmth will activate it to release the pheromones. Keep it on at all times, except when you are bathing your dog. The effects usually last about a month before the collar needs to be replaced.

Adaptil also makes oneplug-in diffuserIt releases the same pheromones. The odor is not perceptible by human members of the family.

Price in publication:$ 22

Food:Puppy, small, medium/large |Amount:1 |Active ingredient:dog eating pheromone

Best Calming Toy: West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Dog Puzzle Treat Toy

The 7 Best Calming Aids for Dogs of 2023 (8)

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What we like

  • Available in two sizes

  • dishwasher safe

  • May contain spreadable treats and bully sticks.

  • Floats and can be used for recovery

  • Durable

what we don't like

  • Cannot contain loose candies or kibble

West Paw's Qwizl is one of oursvery favorite dog toy. The durable, curvaceous Qwizl has an opening that runs the length of the toy and then small open spaces along the ends and sides. That allows you to spread with a smooth cream like peanut butter or yogurt and then add some dog treats or kibble and freeze it all. Helicking can self-soothewhen a dog is anxious or nervous, so giving him a long-lasting toy can calm him down.

You can also stick a bully stick into the center of the toy, making it a challenge for your pup to reach it. The Qwizl is made of a unique material called Zogoflex, which is a hard, rubbery substance. It comes in two sizes, small or large, and three bright colors. Qwizls also float so they can be used at the beach or lake and because they are so sturdy some pups like to use them as a chew toy. When you're done, you can easily clean the Qwizl in the dishwasher.

Price in publication:$ 20

color:aqua blue, granny smith, tangerine |Amount:1 |Material:Zogoflex, hard rubber material

final verdict

Our favorite general pick isVetriScience Composure masticables calmantes, vet-recommended calming treats that can work in 30 minutes and last up to four hours. we also like thethunder t-shirt, an anxiolytic jacket that maintains gentle pressure on your pup to relieve stress.

What to look for in calming aids for dogs

Use it to help calm

Calming aids can be helpful in situations where dogs may be stressed or anxious. That may be:

  • reyes—Some dogs can become stressed when traveling by car or plane.

  • fear of abandonment“Dogs can get anxious when left alone.

  • Loud noises—Dogs can become frightened or stressed during thunderstorms or fireworks.

  • visit to the vet—Dogs can be anxious when they go to the vet, especially if they have had bad experiences in the past.

  • New places-Dogs can get stressed when they are in another place, like in another house.

"An important aspect of reducing stress and anxiety is predicting the event that may cause your pet to enter an unwanted state of anxiety," says Dr. Chaos. You know there will be fireworks on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve, so plan for these events by administering sedatives about two hours before the sound goes off. While calming aids can be helpful, they should not be used as a substitute for proper training, socialization, or medical treatment when necessary. If you're not sure if a calming aid is right for your dog, it's best to check with your vet."

Active ingredients

There are several natural substances that have been studied for their calming properties. “While these ingredients have been shown to have some calming effects in dogs, it is important to note that their effectiveness can vary depending on the individual dog and the specific situation in which they are used,” says Chaos.

Some common active ingredients are:

  • L-theanine—The amino acid found in green tea and some mushrooms has been shown to reduce anxiety in some dogs

  • root of valerian—Herb with sedative properties that has been used to treat sleep problems and anxiety in humans and dogs

  • Chamomile— Folk herbused for its sedative propertiesand to reduce anxiety

  • passion flower-Grasstraditionally used for anxietyand to help with sleep

  • pheromones-These can mimic the calming feelings of a nursing mother for her puppies

  • melatonin- Hormone thatregulates the sleep-wake cycleand can relieve anxiety in dogs

Side effects and risks

Sedatives are generally considered safe for dogs, but each pet may react differently. "It's always important to follow the recommended dosage instructions for any calming aid and closely monitor your dog's behavior and response to the aid," says Chaos. "If you notice any side effects, discontinue use of the product immediately and consult your veterinarian."

Here are some side effects to watch out for:

  • Allergic reactions—Dogs can have an allergic reaction to specific ingredients, which can cause itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

  • interactions—They can interact with other medications, so talk to your vet before adding supplements to your dog's diet.

  • behavior changesSome dogs may experience the opposite effect of calming down and may become agitated when given certain supplements, Chaos says.

  • Overdose- Taking too many sedatives can cause drowsiness or lethargy and even lead to breathing problems and seizures.

Frequent questions

How long do calming aids for dogs last?

The effectiveness of a calming aid and the duration of those effects depends on the specific product and your dog's reaction. “Some natural calming aids, like chamomile or valerian root, may take longer to work and may last for a shorter time, usually a few hours,” Chaos says.

However, vets or calming collars can last from several hours to several days. Similarly, supplements with natural ingredients like L-theanine or melatonin can last up to 8 hours or more.

“The duration of the effects of calming aids can also be influenced by the size, age, and general health of the individual dog,” Chaos says. "As with any supplement or medication, it's important to follow the recommended dosing instructions and monitor your dog's behavior and response to the aid."

Why trust The Spruce Pets?

To find the best calming aids for dogs, we tested a range of products on our own pets. We also consulted with vets on what to look for when shopping, asked dog owners about their favorite products, and searched tons of product reviews online.

This article was researched and written byMary Jo DiLonardothat has covered animals and pets for decades. Mary Jo has cared for over 60 dogs and puppies. She is always looking for the healthiest and most effective products to use on him, such asbest dog toysInbest car seats and headrests.

Read below:The 17 Best Dog Toys of 2023

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