Everything from fireworks to thunderstorms can wreak havoc on a dog’s mental and emotional well-being. A recent Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements online survey by Relevation Research found 63 percent of dog owners have pups who display some type of anxious behavior. About half of the respondents, 47 percent, said loud noises are the primary culprits.
The good news is there are tons of unique products to calm your dog on the market. You just have to find the best fit. This could take some trial and error, but peace of mind for you and your pup are totally worth it. Here are 25 places to start.
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This is basically a weighted blanket your dog can wear. It gently applies consistent pressure to the torso, without causing discomfort. Put it on before a scary car ride or as a thunderstorm approaches and leave it on for up to an hour (it’s recommended you check your dog’s comfort level every hour or two). It’s washable, colorful and comes in many sizes.
Buy it ($45)
One alternative to the official ThunderShirt is the AKC’s Calming Coat. The organization, which probably understands performance- and crowd-based anxiety in dogs better than anyone, compares the soft garment to swaddling a crying baby.
Starting at $30 at Amazon
This collar emits a drug-free scent designed to smell just like a mother dog’s pheromones during nursing. The brand boasts a 90 percent success rate, so it’s definitely worth a shot for any kind of canine anxiety.
Buy it ($20)
Pheromones alone may not do the trick, so a collar like this one from Talis that incorporates essential oils may be more effective.
$16 at Amazon
If your pup hates wearing clothes, but doesn’t mind hats, this is the hoodie for you! This is an ideal product for dogs who fear loud noises, get nervous at the groomer’s or regularly go for walks in cold environments.
Buy it ($17)
Made with vegan fur, this blanket is built to feel just like a mother dog’s fur. Wrap your pup in it, let her sleep on it, cover her crate with it—the calming possibilities are endless.
Starting at $20 at Amazon
Or, plop your pup in her calming bed and toss her Best Friends blanket right on top! This bed is deep enough for your dog to curl up and feel secure in and wide enough for her to stretch out and relax.
Starting at $30 at Amazon
Some dogs really crave warmth when trying to soothe themselves (or relieve stiff joints). When this is the case, invest in a warming pad. They can lay directly on top of it or you can place it under a favorite blanket. Since it relies on your pup’s body heat to activate the bamboo and charcoal inside, it requires no electricity.
Buy it (starting at $20)
Puppies (and adult dogs!) that respond well to pheromones or faux fur that remind them of their mothers may also enjoy a heartbeat mat. This is an ideal product for puppies who are crate-training or dogs with separation anxiety.
$33 at Amazon
For dogs with general anxiety, a slow feeder is a great way to encourage them to slow down and enjoy a treat. Not only is repetitive licking soothing on its own, slow feeders can help your pup form a positive association with a scary event if you bring them out whenever there’s a loud storm.
$15 at Amazon
Interactive toys are terrific for dogs who grow afraid or apprehensive when left alone. Using their brains and brawn to earn a treat is a good way to entertain and reward them for a job well done.
Buy it (starting at $8)
Another solution to constant or chronic nervousness is a diet dedicated to calming your dog. Royal Canin’s Calm Formula includes alpha-casozepine and L-tryptophan, two amino acids known for their relaxing properties. Vitamin B3 is added for its ability to directly calm the central nervous system.
Buy it (starting at $27)
Oh, your dog only eats wet food? No problem. This recipe is particularly helpful for dogs experiencing heightened emotions due to changes in environment or routine.
Buy it ($24)
For dogs with severe noise aversion or chronic stress, it’s worth discussing this oral gel with your vet. Though it’s the only FDA-approved treatment for dogs with noise aversion, you need a prescription from a vet to purchase it.
Buy it ($27)
Not interested in gum gel? Try a nose ointment. This product is a topical cream that you apply directly to your dog’s nose. It releases pheromones for an immediate calming effect. This is ideal for short term relief (and very portable).
Buy it ($13)
Spraying the backseat with this drug-free, pheromone calming spray roughly 15 minutes before hopping in the car for a ride to the vet does the trick. It also works indoors and lasts roughly two to three hours. Note: Per directions, do not spray this on your dog like perfume.
Buy it ($18)
If you find the scent of pheromones aren’t working to soothe your pup, reach for this mist. Lavender, chamomile and Egyptian geranium essential oils naturally calm your dog (and the spray is vet-recommended).
Buy it ($14)
For a more consistent calming pheromone experience, plug in an electric diffuser in the room your pup loves best. These emit soothing scents for up to four weeks and can cover between 530 and 750 square feet.
Buy it ($18)
If you already own an essential oil diffuser, this concoction will specifically target your pet’s stress.
Buy it ($23)
Dietary supplements are excellent ways to make sure your dog stays—and feels—calm in trying situations. This supplement from Purina uses a probiotic strain, BL999, to help dogs maintain even temperament. Since it is meant to be mixed in with food daily, it’s ideal for dogs with consistent anxiety.
Buy it ($50)
For more in-the-moment stress relief, calming treats like these with organic hemp, chamomile, valerian root and L-theanine are great options. These are peanut butter-flavored, so your pup thinks she’s just getting a treat.
Buy it ($30)
These chews also contain chamomile, hemp seeds, hemp oil and valerian root, but they also contain ginger and flaxseed. Ginger has been known to reduce cortisol levels, which decreases stress.
Buy it ($25)
Melatonin is the key ingredient in these chews. They also contain ginger, which, in addition to lowering cortisol levels, eases upset stomachs.
Buy it ($12)
Whether it’s the duck flavor or the passion flower extract, these treats are the number-one best-selling calming chews for dogs on Amazon.
$30 at Amazon
If, for some reason, your dog refuses to eat calming treats or has an adverse reaction to them, try incorporating an oil-based supplement into her diet. Mixing in several drops (which contain lavender extract, hemp seed oil and chamomile extract) with each meal can drastically decrease your pup’s stress.
Buy it ($15)
It’s important to experiment with several different types of calming products, since each dog will respond differently. Combine a few strategies if necessary. Keep in mind, many supplements begin working best after about four weeks, so don’t give up!
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