Written by FOTP Team
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from stress and anxiety. Some dogs are naturally more anxious than others, while some dogs might experience something during their lifetime that causes them to be anxious and fearful in the future. Changes to environment and routine are often some of the most common reasons for stress and anxiety in dogs. While some dogs can benefit from being calmed and reassured by their favourite human, some will need a little bit more help to get back to a calm state. If your dog is dealing with mild to moderate anxiety, you may want to consider getting dog anxiety medication over the counter.
Anxiety supplements for dogs are usually quite effective in helping a dog who is dealing with mild to moderate stress and anxiety. Many people find that their dog calms down during stressful situations such as Bonfire Night or a big move when they add supplements to their diet such as L-Theanine or S-Adenosylmethionine to their diet a few days before.
While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to back up the effectiveness of many homoeopathic anxiety supplements for dogs, there are plenty of dog owners who have used them and reported a positive change in their pooch. One popular dog anxiety medication over the counter that you can get for your pet is Rescue Remedy.
It’s never nice to see somebody that you love and care for suffering with anxiety, especially your pet. As pet owners, we do all that we can to keep our pets healthy and happy and it can leave us feeling quite helpless and even a little bit stressed out ourselves to see our precious pets feeling stressed and anxious over something that we might not be able to control. Some of the best dog anxiety medication over the counter that you can get to give to your dog to help calm them down include:
There are also various herbal and homeopathic sedatives and anxiety medications that you can get over the counter for your dog. Homeopathy is based on the ‘like treats like’ theory. Simply put, this means that this is a more natural form of treatment that is based on stimulating the natural ability of the body to respond to stressors. Homeopathic supplements are less likely to make the issue worse as the active ingredients are diluted to the point where the solution is ‘remembering’ their presence rather than increasing amounts of them. Some popular homeopathic and herbal anxiety remedies for dogs include:
Along with supplements and herbal solutions for treating anxiety in dogs, you can also find various calming aids that are designed to help your dog feel more secure and reduce anxiety levels. These include:
Pheromone therapy involves using sprays, diffusers, or collars that release a dog-appeasing pheromone, which is a version of the hormone that female dogs produce to calm their puppies during nursing. In some cases, pheromone therapy might be effective for helping to calm a dog that is suffering from anxiety for various reasons. This can be a good option for dogs struggling with mild anxiety.
Various calming aids such as the ThunderShirt or Anxiety Wrap can be useful to use on a dog with anxiety as they follow the same premise weighted blankets do for humans. These are items that your dog can wear to provide consistent body pressure, which can help some dogs stay calm. It is designed to help them feel more secure, almost as if they are being hugged. Calming aids can be very useful for dogs who only tend to become anxious under certain conditions, such as on Bonfire night, when visiting the vet, or during thunderstorms.
In all but very mild forms of dog anxiety, it is often best to combine more than one form of treatment including prescription medications, pheromones, calming aids, nutritional supplements, and herbal supplements, with behavioural therapy for the best chance of success with your dog. Behavioural modification with a skilled trainer is often one of the best ways to reduce anxiety issues in dogs since it involves training your dog to remain calm in situations where they would normally be stressed. It works by exposing your dog to mild versions of their triggers and rewarding them when they stay calm, gradually changing their mindset to associate staying calm in these environments with praise and reward. As your dog gets used to the things that would once cause them to be anxious, you can gradually increase the intensity of the exposure.
If you are not sure why your dog is acting anxious or have tried some of the over-the-counter options and haven’t had great results, it’s best to speak to your vet who can carry out a full assessment and get a better idea of what might be causing the problem. Some dogs will act more anxious if they are suffering with an underlying health condition that will need to be treated.
Some of the most common prescription medications that your vet may suggest to treat anxiety issues in your dog include:
Dogs can suffer from anxiety for various different reasons. While there are various medications that your vet can prescribe to help with this, you can also try a range of over the counter medications and supplements that are useful for treating mild to moderate anxiety in dogs.