Does travel make your dog anxious? Is a trip to the vet or the groomer leaving Fido tugging in the opposite direction? Are firecrackers outside sending your pooch running for cover and whimpering? Is aggression or hyperactivity from Fido leaving you concerned or weary?
If you have already tried various training methods and other measures to deal with these behaviors but failed, maybe it is time you look for a different solution to this problem. Try dog sedatives. They might be able to help manage these distressing behaviors in your dog.
Sedatives belong to a class of medication that reduces anxiety, irritability, and excitement, allowing your pooch to calm down and relax. They can sometimes also cause Fido some drowsiness and a temporary lack of coordination.
With various options advocated in the management of anxiety and excitement in pets, it can be a difficult and sometimes confusing decision for you to make. We will help you look at the common sedatives available for dogs and how they work. We will help you decide when you should consider sedatives as a mode of treatment for anxiety. We will also list out some of the best sedatives that you can consider for your pup’s anxiety management.
When should you sedate your dog?
Your dog is your favorite companion. Having him in your life makes everything more meaningful and fun. However, when Fido becomes overexcited and hyperactive, he can become difficult to manage. Similarly, sudden aggression from him can be challenging and risky to cope with. Another common problem that you might have seen is fear or anxiety in unexpected situations.
Sometimes a change in surroundings or the presence of people or objects that Fido has a negative association with can lead him to react differently. Some of the most common causes that lead to anxious or aggressive behavior in pets are:
- Large crowds
- Unknown people or dogs
- Loud noises like that of construction, car alarms, fireworks, thunderstorms etc.
- Vet visits
- Grooming like bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning etc.
- Car or plane travel
- Separation-related anxiety
These problems resulting from anxiety, aggression or over-excitement can become a serious long-term concern if you do not deal with them immediately. You need to overcome the issues before they prevent Fido and you from having a normal and fulfilled life together.
There are various methods that can be used in relieving anxiety and stress. These can be as simple as physical exercise or even just removing Fido from a stressful environment. Other times more elaborate and long-term methods are needed. Of these, the most common and successful means is behavior modification and training. However, in some cases, all of these methods do not lead to desired results.
When Fido fails to adequately respond to these commonly used anxiety management measures, you need to consider medicating him. Sedatives are a medical means for anxiety management. They are a class of drugs that slow down brain function and help your dog to relax.
Some of these sedatives can be obtained over the counter directly. In some severe cases, however, you would be better served by taking your pup to a veterinarian for a more thorough and long-term treatment plan.
Products with tranquilizing effects available in the market fall under the following broad categories.
- Nutritional supplements are products meant to provide dietary support. Some of these supplements have the additional quality of sedation that can help Fido relax and reduce his anxiety.
- Pheromones are chemical substances that animals release into the environment that affect behavior or physiology of others of the same species. Synthetic pheromones products are a variant of the chemicals released by mother dogs during nursing which help calm puppies down. These can help Fido stay calm in situations of mild anxiety.
- Calming coats and anxiety wraps are a form of drug-free stress relievers. They provide constant pressure around your dog’s body, calming them and relieving the nervous edge from their behavior.
You must understand the stress-inducing stimuli for Fido and the effects of the individual products to make an informed decision on what product best suits your dog’s needs.
Best Sedative for Dogs
Sedatives are a proven means to help your dog live a calm, relaxed and stress-free life. They can be used as a temporary resolution while you look for a permanent solution to overcome Fido’s fearful behavior, or they can be used to supplement the results from other methods.
There are a number of sedative products available that are safe and easy to administer to your pet. They will help overcome nervousness and anxiety and keep Fido calm through distressing situations.
The options available vary from treats that can be fed to your dog, to drops that can be added to their food. Such products are however suitable to be administered at home to Fido only in cases of mild anxiety or hyperactivity. In severe conditions, it is best to take Fido to the veterinarian for a more long-term solution and management.
We have listed some effective means of sedation for your dog. You can evaluate the products and choose the best option for your pup.
Bach Rescue Remedy is a common solution advocated by veterinarians for helping calm your pets in a variety of anxiety causing situations. The mix of natural sedative ingredients available in Rescue Remedy helps deal with a host of anxiety causes in your pet. A few drops of the product can be administered to your pet’s food, treats or even water.
Another mode of administration is applying a few drops behind your dog’s ears. The product does not contain alcohol, making it a safe and non-habit forming option helps Fido in stressful situations. While not a long-term solution, Rescue Remedy can definitely help control unwanted stress and anxiety for Fido.
Zesty Paws Calming Treats is an all-natural option for treating your dog’s anxiety. Available in a variety of flavors like peanut butter and turkey, these treats help relax Fido, preventing the excited, stressful or aggressive behavior. The active ingredient in this product is Suntheanine, which causes relaxation in the brain, without resulting in drowsiness, thus being a great option for keeping Fido calm, yet alert, during his car ride to the dog park or vets. The presence of chamomile further calms your dog, and organic ginger root helps soothe the stomach. The additional products in the treats help overcome issues of aggression, restlessness, scratching, jumping, barking etc.
Isle of Dog 100% Natural Dog Treats is another great stress and anxiety relieving product for Fido. These baked treats are made from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and do not contain any synthetic additives. They comprise a blend of lemon balm, vanilla, and lavender extract. Lemon balm is the main sedative ingredient in these treats that help the central nervous system ease mental tension and anxiety.
VetriScience Laboratories Composure, Calming Support for Dogs is a popular and clinically proven dog sedative product. It comprises of colostrum, l-theanine, and thiamine, which are all products that are recognized for their calming and relaxing effects. The product can be used in emergency situations and is known to show effects in as little as 30 minutes with effects lasting for a period of about 4 hours. It comes in a tasty chicken liver flavor that will make its administration to your dog an easy task. The product has been tested for prolonged use and has been found to be safe for your pooch.
We would recommend that once you have made your final choice on the best sedative for helping your dog with his anxiety issues, you consult your veterinarian to get the right dosage and understand the possible side effects of the chosen product.
It is also important to keep in mind that although safe, these sedatives are meant only as a means to deal with individual situations or manage emergency situations. They are not intended for long-term use and have the potential to become addictive for your dog.
Make an informed and safe choice and help Fido enjoy a happy, relaxed and fulfilled life with you!
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