Your dog is overly active and excited by nature. They are wired to sniff around the yard, run around it, dig a lot, and chew on anything during their younger years. However, it is worth noting that there is a big difference between being active and being clinically hyperactive. This is something only your vet can diagnose.
Whether your dog’s behavior is normal or not, it is important to consult an expert who will give you the best advice and treatments for a hyperkinetic pet. To guide you, we have gathered all the information you need about the causes of your dog’s hyperactivity and what to give a hyper dog to calm down!
Causes of Dogs’ Hyperactivity
Dogs get hyperactive for many reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why your pup may be feeling a little over active.
Lack of Exercise
All healthy dogs have high energy levels, and without a routine that gives them an outlet they tend to become annoyingly enthusiastic. Regular daily exercise is essential to help burn off some of their excess energy. It is also great for your dog’s health and wellbeing. Not only is physical fitness lacking when your dog is not given proper exercise, but their state of mind also becomes affected.
This is also related to your dog’s lack of exercise. Bored dogs tend to entertain themselves by destroying your rugs and shoes, ruin your garden, and even waking you up with their loud barks. As well as regular daily exercise, your dog needs plenty of mental stimulation. Hyperactive dogs need to be socialized, trained, and exercised to be more obedient and healthier pups!
Dogs have mental characteristics that are similar to humans’, so ADHD is likely to occur in them as well. This can be evident in their low blood phospholipid levels, noise sensitivity, genetic factors, and social conditions.
For instance, dogs that are left alone for a long time can show hyperactive symptoms, as well as dogs who sleep alone. This is also common in male dogs that have been neutered.
High Activity Dog Breeds
Certain breeds are naturally hyperactive, such as those who are born agile and those born to be hunt. These kinds of dogs need to stimulate their bodies and minds more often through proper exercise and diet. Because they were originally bred for work, they need to stay busy all the time. Here are some of the most hyperactive dog breeds (not in order):
- Australian Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
What to Give a Hyper Dog to Calm Down
While you may think that your overly enthusiastic dog is a hopeless case, there are varieties of products available in the market a number of things you can give your dog that can help lessen or avoid hyperactivity.
Natural Foods and Herbs
Herbal remedies don’t necessarily treat your dog’s jumpiness, but they can soothe their minds in order to calm them down. That is why most vets also recommend them for treatment. Though the effect is temporary, these remedies can be quite helpful! Here are some of them:
Cooked oatmeal, when added to your dog’s food, makes an outstanding meal to calm your dog’s nerves. However, this nutritious meal is not recommended for canines with yeast infection since these fungi thrive on sugar.
Meanwhile, chamomile tea is a safe sleep-inducing drink for your dog which can also calm their anxiety. For your dog to enjoy the tea, try soaking a treat in it before giving it to your dog. This is highly recommended before bedtime or a long drive.
Lastly, hemp oil is known for its soothing properties that help people with anxiety and ADHD. HempCares Pet Hemp Oil is 100% organic and powerful enough to alleviate stress during travels, separation anxiety, and other situations. The product boasts its unique cold-pressed extraction that helps preserve all the essential nutrients that can easily blend with your dog’s treats and food.
Essential Oils and Flower Essences
Flower essences can be put in your furry friend’s drinking water or rubbed on their gums for an instant relaxing result.
Meanwhile, if you are concerned about the products given orally, you can try aromatherapy! Aromatherapy has the same calming and anxiety-reducing effect on dogs as it has on people. Remember to get 100% pure essential oils for maximum effect and better aroma. You can either spray them on your pooch’s bed or use a diffuser where your dog loves to stay.
However, take note that many essential oils can be too strong for your pets. Make sure you dilute the oil in water or
Furthermore, there are essential oils specifically formulated for dogs like My Peaceful Paws’ blend for topical application. We love how this instantly soothes dogs’ minds when they feel anxious during fireworks, thunders, and storms.
Vitamins and Supplements
Diet supplements which can aid in minimizing hyperactivity are also available for dogs. Some of these that work to calm hyperactivity include:
Thiamine affects the central nervous system to help calm your hyperactive dog. We suggest the brand VetriScience Laboratories, a supplement that also has L-theanine to support relaxation and your dog’s overall personality. Although the bite-sized chews are quite hard, they are loaded with nutrients that help avoid abnormal urine marking, excessive scratching, trembling, and aggressive behavior.
Derived from green tea, L-theanine plays an important role in the chemistry of the brain, principally the emotional aspects. A study by Pike and colleagues in Today’s Veterinary Practice Journal has shown that it can help reduce anxiety in both humans and dogs.
Taking l-theanine is as safe as the amino acids consumed by your dogs in food, despite some side effects like a minor headache and changes in thought patterns. However, they are still not alternatives for proper diet and exercise.
Lastly, decapeptide, specifically alpha-capsazepine, can aid in stress management and adaptation to change apparently because of its similarities with the GABA neurotransmitter.
Zylkene, a nutritional supplement, has decapeptide that can soothe a stressed-out dog. Additionally, it has a non-drowsy formulation that is free from lactose and is safe to take daily. The brand is available in three strengths depending on your dog’s body weight and level of anxiety.
Prescribed medicines after an examination and diagnosis should strictly be taken depending on your vet’s recommendations. Remember to select the brand and dosage that the doctor suggests for optimal healing.
These drugs are almost the same as those given for people with ADHD. In particular, the most common ones are:
Are These Remedies Enough?
No, herbs, supplements, and prescription drugs are not enough to calm a hyper dog long-term. These remedies can be more helpful when incorporated with exercise, proper training, and a balanced diet.
Remember that a holistic approach includes dealing with physical, psychological, and environmental solutions in order to treat your dog’s hyperactivity. Consider the following:
A simple walk in the park and a quick game of fetch can help your dog put their energy to good use. These can aid in strengthening the muscles and improving speed and agility. Enough quality exercise also encourages better brain function for your four-legged friend.
According to an article by Foden, Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan suggests exercising your dog to the point of exhaustion to ensure they have a more restful and relaxing sleep afterward.
Diet plays a huge role in your dog’s physical activities and behavior, as well as their mental health. Just like in children, sugar and carbs should be limited to help reduce hyperactivity. According to Whole Dog Journal, dogs don’t require dietary carbohydrates at all.
Choose all-natural dog foods over processed ones to avoid the additives, flavorings, and glutens that may affect their behavior. A number of organic meal recipes for your dog are available, and some even target your dog’s special needs.
Watch this homemade dog food recipe video to see how to make your pup a meal with only three ingredients!
Self-control is the most important training for your dog as it shapes their overall behavior. Lack of training can result in the most inconvenient and even most dangerous situations such as car chasing, unnecessary barks, and jumping up and down.
Teach your dog how to wait for their food and treats and greet you properly when you enter the room. Ignore their bad behavior and reward the good one!
An active dog is not always a healthy dog. Your pooch’s excessive energy levels can be alarming when they aren’t given proper socialization, training, and when their hormones fluctuate abnormally.
This hyperactivity, however, can be treated with proper diet, exercise, and impulse training. To make the process easier, a variety of remedies like natural foods and herbs, essential oils, and relaxants can be a big help to you and your fur baby!
P.S. Know someone else with a dog that is hyperactive? Please share or pin this article! Thanks! 🙂