Just like people, our pets can develop anxiety—and as you may have experienced, there is almost nothing worse than feeling unable to help during an anxiety spiral. You’re not alone if you’re wondering what solutions there may be.
More and more pet parents are looking for solutions, and their search has led to the rise of a wide range of new calming products for pups, from beds and heartbeat toys to medications. Among these new products is calming powder for dogs.
How Do Calming Powder Work for Dog Anxiety?
Dog anxiety is a natural response to fear and discomfort. The fight, flight, or freeze reaction is a healthy and necessary survival tool that’s activated in response to a real threat—but when this reaction takes place in anticipation of something that can’t do actual harm, it can feel extremely distressing to both dog and pet parent.
Things that may trigger anxiety in dogs include:
- sudden loud noises
- a new environment
- visual stimuli like hats and umbrellas
- separation from owner or bonded pet
If you know an anxious trigger or event is coming, you may have looked into calming powder for dogs. Calming powder provides a medical or health benefit by reducing the impact of your dog’s fight, flight, or freeze response.
What should you be looking for to know if your dog is experiencing anxiety?
- Canine body language is a strong signal of anxiety: flattened ears, a tucked tail, and shivering can all indicate a pup is uneasy. Yawning in a new or unusual situation is another behavior that can indicate stress, as are drooling, panting, whining, and pacing. More obvious signs of distress are aggression, destructive behavior, and urination or defecation in the house.
If you’re unsure what’s triggering your dog’s anxiety, that’s where to start your journey. The hard part isn’t usually spotting the symptoms; it’s more likely to be identifying the causes. Your vet, behaviorist, or trainer is a great resource to help you identify trouble spots and determine where to start—which might be both behavioral and nutritional strategies.
Bottom Line: The Pros and Cons of Calming Powder for Dogs
- Let’s start with the cons: Calming powder for dogs is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Addressing anxiety in dogs often takes a multi-pronged approach because anxiety isn’t a cause; it’s an effect. It also requires careful label reading to ensure the active ingredients are genuinely effective in dogs and not just herbs that promote calm in humans. It’s also worth noting that calming treats don’t work in some dogs, and the only way to know is through trial and error.
- Now for the pros: Calming dog powder can be a valuable part of your more extensive anxiety management toolkit, especially where the cause is a specific and predictable kind of event (like thunderstorms, fireworks, or your regular departure from the house). Their efficacy is improved when used in tandem with behavioral methods and solutions like ThunderShirts and puzzle toys.
Suppose you’re ready to try calming powder. Armed with sound advice and the right tools, many dogs see a dramatic decrease in their anxiety levels—and their humans’. In that case, it’s a good idea to loop your vet into your plan since they’ll be able to make not only strategic recommendations but also flag any ingredients that might not be a good choice for your particular pup.