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Calming Treats for Dogs: A Simple Addition To Help Your Pup

Three Minutes Aug 19, 2022

Dogs don’t have the benefit of talking about a stressful week out over a cup of coffee with us. Instead, your dog may get into all sorts of mischief like marking curtains, scratching door frames, and destroying pillows. Calming treats for dogs are affordable options that can help you and your family manage puppy stress. Here’s what you should know about calming treats and how to curb your dog’s anxious behavior.

Reasons Why Your Dog Might Need Calming Treats

Are you distressed when your pup follows you around whining on the way to the bathroom? Are they howling when you leave for work in the morning? These could be signs of separation anxiety and stress.

You should chat with your vet immediately if these behaviors persist to rule out physical ailments. Sometimes other misbehaviors, specifically nipping or biting, are a sign your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort.³ If this isn’t the case, your veterinarian will discuss lifestyle issues like diet, exercise, and environment. There are a few instances where a calming treat may help your dog handle their feelings, especially if it’s creating added stress on your life.

Your dog is hyperactive (or bored)  

True hyperactivity in dogs is rare; it’s more likely that your dog has nowhere to get their energy out. A dog’s play time needs vary drastically based on age, size, and breed so if your pup is stuck in the house all day, a walk once a day may not be enough. If you’re wondering how to calm a hyper dog, consider more intentional training and diet changes.⁴ Adding calming chews into your dog’s regimen to supplement other lifestyle changes can help your friend mellow out, but make sure to talk with your vet for a proper diagnosis if more exercise and diet changes don’t work. Your veterinarian may prescribe calming medicine for dogs to help treat their hyperactivity.

Your dog is experiencing anxiety

A dog’s environment is key to their happiness. It can be easy to figure out when your dog is anxious if it’s during events like birthday parties and firework celebrations. But when they’re doing something like suddenly biting their legs over and over or sulking, the reasons may not be as obvious. According to Merck’s Veterinary Manual, there are three primary sources of anxiety in dogs,⁶:

  1. Fear-related: If your dog is an anxious ball of fur, this one is easy to figure out. The source of their fear may be loud noises or people.
  2. Separation: Your pal may just miss you too much. Separation anxiety often looks like barking insistently, destroying furniture, urinating and defecating in the house, or scratching at the door when you leave.
  3. Age-related: Dogs experience health issues when they get older, just like us. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome impacts a dog’s memory, learning, perception, and awareness (think of it like Alzheimer’s for old puppies).⁷ The anxiety they are experiencing may be a sign their mind is on the decline.

Work closely with your vet care team to determine the source of the anxiety. They will guide you through critical lifestyle changes and point you toward the anxiety treats that could bring relief.

Woman playing with Labrador in a park on summer day

What Types of Calming Treats Will My Dog Need?

There’s a huge variety of calming treats on the market. In general, these treats come in five forms: soft chews, hard chews, powders, tinctures, and capsules. Chews may be the most relatively available and easiest to feed your dog, so shop around for one you can afford that your dog loves.

Tinctures, on the other hand, may cost a bit more but offer flexibility. You can drop the calming drops into your pup’s water bowl or their mouths directly. If you have a dog that’s a picky eater, tinctures may be the way to go. Capsules may cost about the same as the chews, but your dog may resist swallowing the pills. And powders, like capsules, can be added to your pet's food for them to eat without a fuss.

Finding Calming Dog Treats From Brands You Can Trust

Finding the best calming chews for dogs is easier than it was a decade ago. Supplements for pets are largely unregulated despite there being thousands of them on the market. However, there are organizations like the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) that offer a quality seal that “identifies products from that are committed to quality, vigilance, and continuous improvement to promote the well-being of companion animals.”⁸ This organization is trusted by veterinarians and pet specialists, granting pet parents some peace of mind. Look out for the NASC seal before you purchase products. Do your research carefully while shopping to make sure you aren’t supporting a company that doesn’t have your pup’s best interest in mind.

Adding treats to a dog’s diet can get pretty expensive so here are some NASC-approved brands that may fit into your budget:

Less than $20:

  • Zesty Paws
  • ElleVet Sciences
  • NaturVet

Over $30:

  • Everroot by Purina
  • Finn
  • Kradle

$40 and up:

  • FidoProbiotics
  • VetriScience
  • PetHonesty

Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety (And Yours) With Pet Insurance

Taking care of a hyperactive, anxious dog can be nerve-wracking, but you have options. Shop around for quality calming chews for dogs that are recommended by vets or carry quality monitoring seals, like the NASC. Be sure to schedule a physical with your veterinarian to rule out mental or physical illnesses that may be causing your dog to act out.

This can get very expensive, very quickly so consider getting a dog insurance policy. MetLife’s staff has over 100 years of experience serving family’s furriest members by providing flexible, affordable coverage options.¹,² Give yourself some peace of mind by knowing your expenses will be reimbursed while you care for your mischievous best friend.

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¹ Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

² Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

³ “10 Common Dog Behavior Problems and Solutions,” The Spruce Pets

“How to Calm a High Energy Dog,” PetMD

“Behavioral Problems of Dogs,” Merck Veterinary Manual

“Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Dog Anxiety,” American Kennel Club

⁷ “Can Senior Dogs Get Alzheimer’s?,” American Kennel Club

8 “NASC Quality Seal,” NASC.cc

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