What is the Best Calming Treat for Dogs with Anxiety?

Just like humans, your dog can experience anxieties. While it may make you anxious to see your dog scared, there are several ways that you can help calm an anxious pet.

One of the most common ways is by providing your dog with calming products, such as treats, that are designed to relieve stress.

A Saint Bernard laying down while appreciating the bone treat
A cute Saint Bernard Puppy enjoying its treat

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best calming treats for dogs:

Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Calming Treats and Chews in 2021

  Calming Treats for Dogs Our Rating
Overall Best Dog Calming Treats PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs

  • Soft chews with a chicken flavor and friendly on the budget
  • No GMOs
  • Free of any sedatives of drowsy side effects
4
Best Budget Dog Calming Treats Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Calming Bites

  • Made from all-natural ingredients
  • Designed to minimize fear-driven behaviors 
  • Suitable for both cats and dogs
4
Best Calming Treats for Puppies Vet’s Best Comfort Calming Soft Chews 

  • Veterinarian formulated soft calming chews made 
  • Made from a variety of non-drowsy plant-based ingredients
  • Contains an all-natural blend of antioxidants and prebiotics
4
Best Calming Treats for Adult Dogs PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs

  • Soft chews with a chicken flavor and friendly on the budget
  • Has no GMOs
  • Free of any sedatives of drowsy side effects
4
Best Calming Treats for Senior Dogs VetriScience Calming Treats for Dog Anxiety Relief

  • A sedative-free L-theanine supplement 
  • An appealing chicken flavor 
  • Includes C3 Calming Complex, L-theanine, and thiamine 
4

Best Calming Treats for Dogs (by Life Stage)

Over-the-counter calming treats for dogs are one of the most popular forms of treatment for anxiety.

However, with a variety of brands available, it can be challenging to determine which option is right for your pet. Keep reading to discover some of our top choices:

Best Calming Treats for Puppies

An Australian Shepherd puppy with her breakfast
Meet Evie, a hungry Australian Shepherd puppy ready to eat – Image source

Giving any puppy under the age of four months calming treats should be done with extreme care. Puppies need to play, and their instincts should not be calmed just to make them easier to handle.

1. Vet’s Best Comfort Calming Soft Chews 

Vet’s Best Comfort Calming Soft Chews

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: L-Tryptophan, Ocean Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum), Organic Ginger Root Powder
Type: Chews

Veterinarian formulated soft calming chews made from a variety of non-drowsy plant-based ingredients.

These extra-moist chews are explicitly designed to reduce separation anxiety and help your dog relax. 

Pros:

  • Features the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal of approval
  • It contains an all-natural blend of antioxidants and prebiotics

Cons:

  • Some pet parents complained that these treats did nothing to help their anxious pets

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. maxxicalm Natural Calming Aid for Dogs

maxxidog maxxicalm Calming Aid for Dogs

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Taurine, Inositol, Chamomile
Type: Chews

These treats are helpful for soothing dogs that are known to develop anxiety in storms and for helping dogs to transition to new environments.

They contain B vitamins and L-Theanine with the extra effects of calming chamomile.

These liver-flavored chewable tablets also have a natural blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and herbs to reduce stress.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA with premium all-natural ingredients
  • Made from a blend of seven active ingredients that support behavior and improve mood

Cons:

  • Some dogs did not like the taste of these calming chews

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Calming Bites

Pets Are Kids Too Premium Pet Calming Bites

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Valerian Root, Organic Chamomile, Organic Passion Flower
Type: Chews

A budget-conscious product made from all-natural ingredients to calm anxious and hyperactive pets.

This product is also designed to minimize fear-driven behaviors such as licking, biting, barking, and chewing.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA with organic ingredients
  • Designed for both cats and dogs so suitable for multi-pet families

Cons:

  • Some owners complained these treats had a powerful smell

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Calming Treats for Adult Dogs

A Blue Heeler sitting and squinting at his treat
Meet Jake, a patient Blue Heeler waiting for his bone treat – Image source

When it comes to calming your dog’s anxiety and keeping your pup relaxed and chilled-out, there are several fantastic products on the market. Here are just a few:

4. PetHonesty Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs

PetHonesty Hemp Calming Anxiety & Hyperactivity Soft Chews

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Hemp, Valerian, Chamomile
Type: Chews

Soft chews with a chicken flavor and natural ingredients that are friendly on the budget.

These affordable treats are designed to temporarily relax your pet during stressful situations with a range of active ingredients, including organic hemp powder and oil, chamomile, ginger, and valerian root.

Pros:

  • Made in an FDA-registered facility in the USA and free of GMOs, wheat, corn, soy, and preservatives
  • Free of any sedatives of drowsy side effects

Cons:

  • These treats didn’t seem to work on very high-energy dogs like Vizlas and German Shepherds

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Calming Care

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Calming Care

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Bifidobacterium longum BL999 1×109 CFU, liver flavor, Maltodextrin
Type: Powder

A simple supplement made from the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum helps dogs to keep calm. This liver-flavored powder can easily be sprinkled on your dog’s food to manage daily anxiety.

This supplement is also designed to assist dogs with a sensitive stomach in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Pros:

  • Specially formulated by researchers, nutritionists, and veterinarians
  • Suitable for dogs with food allergies

Cons:

  • It can take up to six weeks to see the full effect of this supplement

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. GOODGROWLIES Calming Hemp Treats

GOODGROWLIES Hemp Calming Chews duck flavored

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Protein Powder, Chamomile Powder
Type: Chews

An organic hemp chew that is designed to calm your dog and provide relief from pain. This chew is packed with proteins, fatty acids, and nutrients that keep your dog healthy, strong, and mobile.

These chews are also designed to support whole-body health by building a robust immune system and promoting healthy skin and coatings. 

Pros:

  • Choose from duck or chicken flavor
  • Sugar and dairy-free with added Chondroitin Sulfate to support cartilage and joints

Cons:

  • Some pet owners complained that while these treats were expensive, they had no effect on their pet’s anxiety issues

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. PREMIUM CARE Calming Treats 

Premium Care Calming Chews Duck Flavored

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Organic Passionflower, chamomile, valerian root
Type: Chews

Duck-flavored organic treats with a formula of L-Tryptophan, passionflower, valerian, chamomile, and ginger effectively calm your dog.

These treats are also corn, dairy, and soy-free for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Designed to reduce the symptoms of anxiety such as barking, chewing, licking, and scratching.

Pros:

  • The company offers a money-back guarantee if the treats don’t work

Cons:

  • It can take several days to see the full effect

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Calming Treats for Senior Dogs

A Senior Pinchi comfortably laying on a couch
Meet Capo, a Senior Pinchi mix resting on a sofa – Image source

Older pups may experience anxiety or stress due to pain or the onset of various medical conditions. Providing them with calming treats can help reduce the stress your senior dog is experiencing.

8. VetriScience Calming Treats for Dog Anxiety Relief

VetriScience Composure Behavioral Health Bite-Sized Dog Chews

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Thiamine (Vitamin B1), C3 Tm (Colostrum Calming Complex), L-Theanine
Type: Chews

This sedative-free chew is an L-theanine supplement designed for dogs exhibiting nervous behaviors or hyperactivity.

The chew has an appealing chicken flavor and an advanced formula designed not to affect your pup’s personality. Keeping dogs calm for up to four hours, these treats are designed for daily use. 

Pros:

  • Vetriscience composure includes C3 Calming Complex, L-theanine, and thiamine, which work together to promote balanced behavior
  • Features the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal of approval

Cons:

  • Some dogs were still anxious after taking these supplements even after their owners tripled the dose

CHECK PRICE HERE

9. NaturVet Calming Treats for Dogs

NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Chamomile, Passion Flower, Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Type: Chews

Soft chews that promote calm and assist the nervous system with Thiamin, L-Tryptophan, and Melatonin. These easy-to-feed chews are designed to reduce tension in pets within 30 minutes.

Pros:

  • Includes ginger for calming sensitive stomachs
  • Available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of your dog

Cons:

  • Some dogs were unaffected by this product

CHECK PRICE HERE

10. Zesty Paws Calming Treats For Dogs

Zesty Paws Calming Bites Stress & Anxiety Peanut Butter Flavor Soft Chew

Rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Organic Hemp Powder, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Organic Chamomile
Type: Chews

An all-natural herbal formula combined with a yummy turkey or peanut butter flavor that covers all the bases.

This treat included a wide range of ingredients, including L-Theanine, Thiamine, L-Tryptophan, passionflower, chamomile, valerian, ginger, and hemp.

Pros:

  • Zesty Paws Calming Bites are free of corn, grain, and soy
  • Formulated with suntheanine for relaxation and sensoril ashwagandha for focus

Cons:

  • These treats are not recommended for daily use

CHECK PRICE HERE

What is anxiety in dogs?

a Sharpei Labrador laying under the sun
Meet Birdie, a Sharpei x Labrador resting on a porch – Image source

While all dogs have a natural and healthy fight or flight reaction, anxiety is caused when this response goes slightly haywire.

This can be a response to a real threat or in anticipation of something that your dog thinks will cause harm.

Such as a new environment, vet visits, car rides that can cause motion sickness, the addition of a new pet, or loud noises caused by thunder or fireworks.

Socialization issues, traumatic experiences, or age-related health conditions can cause anxiety to develop, as can genetics, with some breeds more prone to developing anxiety than others.

Separation anxiety is also widespread in dogs.

While most dogs are comfortable spending a few hours on their own, some pups can become destructive if left alone or resort to excessive whining or barking.

Separation anxiety is more common with dogs that have been rescued or re-homed, but it can also be triggered by a family member’s death or a change in environment or routine.

When looking to treat an anxious dog, it’s essential to try and address the root cause of your dog’s fear.

Recognizing Canine Anxiety: What are the symptoms of dog anxiety?

Anxiety in your dog manifests typically in a behavior change, such as acting unruly or barking and howling excessively.

Some other symptoms are more subtle, making it more challenging to pinpoint anxiety as the source of your dog’s issues.

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Cowering or hiding
  • Chewing
  • Depression
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Drooling
  • Excessive barking, whining or howling
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
  • Restlessness
  • Unexpected aggression
  • Urinating or defecating in the house

What are dog calming treats?

A Great Pyrenees looking happily at his treat
Meet Appa, a charming Great Pyrenees asking for a treat – Image source

Calming supplements usually come in the form of chews, tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids.

These treats can be given to your dog to help with daily pain relief or supplemented with a sudden onset of anxiety.

Some forms of canine anxiety come on without warning, such as noises from thunderstorms or fireworks, so calming treats can be an excellent option in these instances. 

How do calming treats work? Are they safe?

Calming treats work to not only reduce stress by making your dog more relaxed.

They can also take the edge off daily pain for dogs that suffer from inflammation or help to make high-energy dogs more comfortable. 

Calming treats are safe for most dogs if your pup doesn’t have any severe health issues, and in fact, they have far fewer side effects than other medications such as sedatives and anti-depressant medication. 

While calming treats can provide an effective and safe solution for these issues, they should not be given in replacement of any vet-prescribed medication for injuries.

Instead of providing your dog with sufficient daily exercise to meet their energy levels. 

Complete Best Calming Treats for Dogs Buying Guide

a Fox Hound mix waiting for her breakfast waffle treat
Meet Ruby, a Fox Hound mix sitting – Image source

Calming treats are similar to supplements that humans take. These are non-medical remedies aimed to reduce anxiety and soothe symptoms.

They typically feature a blend of herbs and vitamins as their active ingredients. 

What Should you look for when choosing calming treats for dogs?

Although some calming treats are produced in FDA-approved facilities, over-the-counter treats don’t get regulated by the FDA.

That means that checking the ingredients are of high quality is up to you. 

Most pet calming treats are made from common herbs known to keep dogs calm and prevent aggression.

These herbs include chamomile flower, ginger root, passionflower, valerian root, and l-tryptophan.

As dogs don’t like these strong herbal smells, treats are often flavored, such as bacon, chicken liver, or duck flavor, to make them more appealing. 

Besides relieving these feelings of anxiousness, some calming treats also included added ingredients to improve digestive health or build strong and healthy bones and joints, such as amino acids and fatty acids. 

For instance, L-Theanine or Suntheanine is an amino acid often found in calming treats designed to increase dopamine, which makes you happy, and serotonin, which relaxes you.

Tryptophan and melatonin also have calming effects, and probiotics are sometimes added to support digestive health and prevent diarrhea in stressed dogs.

One thing to watch out for is low-quality filler ingredients like soya, sugar, and wheat.

While not necessarily harmful for your dog, these filler or gluten-heavy ingredients will only make your pet full without providing any nutritional value.

As a result, you may find that too many of these low-quality treats may result in your pet not wanting to eat his usual dog food.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A fluffy Yorkie with huge bone treat
Meet Riley, a Yorkshire Terrier loving her bone treat – Image source

How long will it take for calming aids to take effect?

Most calming treats work within 30 minutes of being administered. However, this time does vary depending on the type of dog, when your pup last ate, and how big your dog is.

It is always best to consult the packaging to see how long it takes for each specific treat to take effect.

How long do calming treats last?

How long each treat will last depends on your dog and the treat itself. Most treats usually work for between 4 and 8 hours, with large dogs typically needing treats more frequently than small dogs.

Try out the treat to see how long it lasts, taking a careful look at how often it can be administered to your dog to prevent an overdose.

At what age do you recommend using calming treats?

While dogs of all sizes and ages can be given calming treats, puppies can develop a dependency on them, so it’s best not to rely on them for young dogs.

Exercise and games are a much better way to let puppies burn off excess energy and deal with anxiety. 

How should you store calm treats?

Calming treats will come with a best before or expiration date on the package. This will vary from product to product, but on average, calming treats’ shelf life is around 2 years.

These treats can usually just be stored in the bottle or bag they come in; however, if the package isn’t resealable, you may need to put them into another airtight container. 

Can I give my dog Benadryl for anxiety?

Some dog owners give their dogs Benadryl for allergies and stress.

While it can be used, it is not recommended as it can be challenging to determine the exact dose suitable for your pet, putting your pet at potential risk of an overdose

All-natural treats are a much better solution as they come in the proper dose for dogs, making it difficult for your dog to overdose. They are also easier for your dog to process and digest. 

What can I give my dog for anxiety over the counter?

Calming treats sold over the counter are known as nutraceuticals.

While prescription anxiolytics are available at your vet, calming treats do not contain any pharmaceutical medication and thus can be bought without a prescription. 

However, they do have side effects, and their active ingredients can interact with any other medication your dog is on.

Hence, it’s best to consult with your vet before administering these products to your pup.

What is the multimodal approach in helping dogs calm down?

While calming treats are one way of helping your dog overcome anxiety, other methods include regular exercise, situation avoidance, and obedience training.

Using a variety of these methods together is known as a multimodal approach. 

What are alternatives to calming treats?

While some dogs respond well to calming treats, others do not. Some pets simply aren’t treat-driven, don’t like the taste of chews, or can be too nervous to eat.

In this case, you may need to look at other alternatives such as prescription anxiety medication or spending more time with your pet.

Here are some alternatives to calming treats:

  • Pheromone diffusers, sprays, and collars that emit a soothing scent that mimics the smell of mother dogs
  • Pressure wraps that work like hug machines for your pet
  • Puzzle toys that stimulate the brain and act as a distraction
  • White noise machines 
  • Blankets, comfort pillows, and stuffed toys
  • Anxiety vests
  • CBD/Hemp oil
  • Crates
  • Dog television or music

Talk to your vet before choosing any new treat for your dog

a sweet Cavalier peeking for a sweet treat
Meet Happy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a sweet tooth – Image source

Before you decide on a calming treat for your dog, always talk to your vet about what will work best for your dog.

Your pooch could have a medical condition that presents with similar symptoms to anxiety, and you don’t want to overlook a potentially more significant issue at play.

Have you bought any anti-anxiety calming treats for your dog that work? Let us know more about your personal experiences in the comments below.

Further Reading: The best dog treats for pups with problems

  • Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats
  • Best Treats for Diabetic Dogs
  • Best Dog Treats for Sensitive Stomachs
  • Best Dog Treats for Bad Breath
  • Best Training Treats for Dogs
  • Best Grain-Free Dog Treats

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