The world is full of frightening and stressful stimuli — at least, that’s what your dog may think. There are rainstorms with booming thunder, loud trucks that rumble past your street and the looming possibility that you may leave them alone to fend for themselves.
No matter your dog’s source of stress, there are many natural calming supplements for dogs that can help them relax, refocus and rejuvenate in addition to CBD oil. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the two types of stress your dog may be experiencing, as well as natural calming dog cbd products to keep your dog calm, cool and collected.
Types of Canine Stress
If you notice your dog is acting unusually, such as pacing back and forth, panting, licking or destroying household objects, they may be experiencing some form of stress. When it comes to the stress experienced by dogs, it typically comes down to two types — situational and behavioral:
- Situational stress – Situational stress stems from when your dog becomes fearful or nervous about something specific, such as storms, car rides or going to the vet or groomer.
- Behavioral stress – Behavior stress is a form of ongoing stress that can stem from conditioned responses due to past trauma, abuse, moving homes or the loss of someone close.
Although the causes of situational and behavioral stresses are different, they typically manifest in the same ways:
- Chewing or destructive behavior
- Barking, whining or crying
- Restlessness and pacing
- Excessive licking
- Change in appetite or a refusal to eat
- Shaking or trembling
- Excessive panting
Benefits of Natural Solutions
The use of holistic healthcare — such as herbal remedies — can promote your dog’s health, wellness and vitality. In doing so, they help your dog ward off nervous behavior and thoughts and achieve a deeper sense of calm.
...a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that lavender can help dogs with a history of travel nervousness during long car rides.
However, it’s important to remember that natural calming remedies for dogs can come in many forms. Read on to explore the many natural solutions you can implement into your dog’s daily life to mitigate their stress so they can start living better.
#1 CBD Oil
CBD oil is an extract from the hemp plant that can ease your dog’s nerves. More specifically, CBD oil contains cannabinoid receptors that bind to your dog’s own receptors within their endocannabinoid system (ECS). These receptors stimulate the production of serotonin, a natural mood stabilizer.
The vast network of receptors are found within your dog’s:
- Central and peripheral nervous systems
- Cardiovascular system
- Immune system
- Gastrointestinal system
- Reproductive system
Essentially, the endocannabinoid system, which is found in all mammal, invertebrate and vertebrate species, works to create homeostasis within your dog’s body, which may ease feelings of stress or nervousness.
Herbs can help soothe feelings of nervousness in your pup. Consider the following herb types:
- Chamomile – This herb is a gentle sedative that can help ease your dog’s stomach when they’re feeling nervous. It may also help with sleep quality and relieve feelings of sadness. Try a chamomile supplement if your pup tends to get sick when traveling in the car or experiences high levels of stress due to other situational stressors.
- Valerian – Another herbal sedative, Valerian root relaxes the nerves and promotes physical relaxation as well. If your dog tends to become overly excited or suffers from ongoing stress, a Valerian supplement may help to calm them down.
- St. John’s Wort – This herbal supplement may help dogs that experience separation or fear-based nervousness from noises like thunderstorms or fireworks.
When administering chamomile, valerian and St. John’s Wort to your dog, try the following delivery systems:
- Tea – Brew a pot of tea with your herb of choice. Once it cools down, pour the tea into your dog’s bowl. Dogs one to 20 pounds should be administered ¼ cup up to three times a day, while dogs that are 20-50 pounds can have up to a ½ cup three times daily. For dogs on the heavier side, give them one cup three times a day.
- Tincture – Tinctures are also available at many retail stores, and should be administered two to three times each day. Low-weight dogs should receive one to four drops while medium-weight dogs can have up to 10 drops. Heavier dogs should get about 10 to 20 drops.
- Capsule – When using capsules, open them up and pour them into your dog’s food for easy ingestion. Low-weight dogs should get a half or whole capsule one to three times a day. Medium-weight dogs should receive one or two capsules two to three times daily. Heavier dogs can have one to two capsules, three to four times daily.
#3 Bach Flower Essence
Best suited for dogs that experience discomfort or nervousness from separation when their owners leave, bach flower essence was discovered by an English physician named Edward Bach who found that the flower helps to restore emotional balance.
It’s gentle and non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry about your dog experiencing adverse side effects from this natural remedy.
Bach flower essence can also be used to help with stress before a visit to the vet or groomer, or before any situations that may spur tension.
#4 Essential Oils
When working with essential oils for your dog, it’s important to first dilute them with water before spraying them on their bed or favorite toy. An essential oil diffuser will work as well.
There are many essential oils that help calm your dog’s feelings of nervousness, including:
- Violet leaf
- Rose Otto
- Linden Blossom
- Roman Chamomile
More specifically, a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that lavender can help dogs with a history of travel nervousness during long car rides.
When using essential oils, never apply them directly to your pet and never let your dog ingest essential oils. There are even a few essential oils that are best avoided, as they can be toxic to your pup, including but not limited to:
- Tea tree
#5 Calming Pheromones
Calming pheromones have been found to help with nervousness and stress in dogs, particularly separation nerves. Essentially, these pheromones emit the same hormone that nursing mothers emit to calm their puppies.
They can be found in the form of plug-in diffusers, sprays, wipes and collars. The smell of these pheromones is typically undetectable to humans.
Typically, dogs need about 30 minutes of continuous exercise per day. If they do not receive the exercise they’re accustomed to, due to a change in your work schedule or an especially busy week, your dog may feel nervous or uneasy.
Additionally, a change in routine may lead to your dog feeling lonely. To combat your dog’s loneliness or unease, give your pup some extra outdoors time by:
- Playing fetch
- Going on a long walk through the neighborhood
- Trying a new hiking trail
A tired dog is a happy dog. Even an older dog needs daily exercise, although the distance and time may vary depending on their current conditions.
#7 Acupuncture and Massage
Dogs have natural pressure points in their ears, feet and the top of their heads. Just 15 minutes of massage in these key points can greatly help with their stress throughout the day. Many licensed veterinary acupuncturists can also help your nervous pup.
In addition to acupuncture, you can also perform a calming massage on your dog when they start to feel stressed out. Start with their head by slowly massaging their ears and jaw in small circular motions. Then, move down their body to their belly, legs and toes.
If you notice any stiffness within your dog’s body, pay those areas special attention. However, if your dog starts to pant or is looking uncomfortable, you may want to pass over that area for the time being and try again at a later time.
#8 Mental Stimulation
Just like physical exercise, dogs need to exercise their brains, too. In fact, mental stimulation is a great stress support for dogs. By engaging with something — whether it’s a chew toy or an interactive puzzle — your dog is able to put less focus on its cause of stress.
However, mental stimulation can come in various forms, from a new walking location with plenty of fresh scents to a car ride across town (as long as car rides don’t cause your pup extra stress).
According to a study by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow, dogs also find it relaxing to listen to soft rock and reggae music (at a low volume).
Calm Your Dog With Zebra CBD
When seeking out natural calming remedies to help your dog unwind, herbs, essential oils, body treatments and both physical and mental stimulation can do wonders. CBD oil can also promote calmness and an overall sense of well-being within your nervous dog.
When it comes to CBD oil, Zebra CBD has you covered.
We offer a variety of dog CBD products, from CBD Oil For Dogs to CBD Stress & Calming Chews For Dogs made with premium, third-party-tested hemp extract that’s paired with naturally calming vitamins and nutrients.
With Zebra CBD, our natural ingredients are chosen for lifelong health and vitality. For more information on how to make your dog go to sleep, visit Zebra CBD today.
University of Glasgow. The Effect of different genres of music on the stress levels of kennelled dogs. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/135846/
AVMA. Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs. https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.229.6.964