Calming treats are indispensable when you are traveling with your dog. Dogs can suffer from travel anxiety or motion sickness during travel. Some dogs happily hop into the backseat of the car, ready to join you in your adventure. Not all pet parents are this lucky. Even those pets that love to travel might suffer from anxiety once in a while. There are plenty of calming treats available in the market. Choosing treats for dogs might not be as easy as it looks. Many products in the market come loaded with sweeteners and additives and artificial fillers. You should be very careful about what your dog eats to prevent digestive problems in him and to make the travel more comfortable.
Remember that when your dog is calm, you would be able to drive with your focus fully on the road. Therefore you need these calming treats to soothe your anxious dog and to ensure a safe trip for you and your dog
Look for something that contains as few ingredients as possible. Presence of natural ingredients would be a healthy choice. You would also need something easy to store. These are the 5 best calming treats for dogs that I will highly recommend:
- Zesty Paws Calming Bites
- NaturVet – Quiet Moments Calming Aid
- PremiumCare Calming Treats
- Hemp Treats
- Organic Hemp Treats
Made with the very popular calming ingredient Suntheanine, Zesty Paws Calming Bites are treats that can instantly calm your pets. You can use it for pets of all age groups and all breeds. It is a prominent behavior support supplement that many parents vouch by. There are plenty of more such reasons that make this the best-selling pet treats on e-commerce sites.
It contains safe ingredients sourced from the US as well as a few that are imported from trusted sources. The best part is that the combination works by instantly helping with stress relief and travel anxiety without making the dog feel drowsy. As long as you use the treats within the recommended dosages, this one doesn’t cause any side effects. The soft, chewy texture makes it suitable even for the younger dogs. My dogs go crazy over the Turkey flavor of this one. One of my dogs gets hyperactive during our road trips, and this treatment has worked wonders in his case. Besides the primary ingredients that are known to trigger calming hormones in dogs, there is valerian root extracts and L-tryptophan. This is a great mid-range pet treat option which comes in a sturdy plastic jar for easy storage. The use of plant-based ingredients, the effectiveness of the product without causing health issues, all of these make Zesty Paws Calming Bites the most reliable calming treats for travel.
You can use these treats from NaturVet for puppies as young as 12 weeks of age to older dogs. The trigger of anxiety in dogs could be anything ranging from fireworks to grooming to travel. Mine even get hyperactive during the thunderstorms. During all such situations, this product works wonders.
It contains melatonin, which is an ingredient that makes the dog feel relaxed. Ginger is the other useful ingredient in this product. It helps with improving the digestion even in dogs that have a sensitive stomach or face frequent digestion problems. Ginger can also be particularly helpful in preventing the feeling of nausea caused in dogs while traveling. The dosage instructions are given on the label. I give these chews half an hour before my travel, and they work as promised. The fact that this one comes manufactured from a cGMP certified facility, which is also FDA audited is one aspect that grabbed my attention. All the good reviews that you will find about NaturVet can also be attributed to the fact that this versatile product comes in a value for money packaging where you get a full month’s supply at an attractive price.
This is one of the most popular choices if you are looking for a hemp-integrated pet treat. It does its job well, and I found results from the first dosage I gave my dog. Besides the primary ingredients, this one also contains several other plant-based extracts like those from passion fruit, ginger root, and so much more. All of these make this treatment suitable even for the sensitive stomach. This tallies the fatty effects that duck flavor can sometimes cause in dogs.
Besides the many other good things in this treat, I love the fact that the PremiumCare Calming Treats are free from wheat, sugar, corn, and all kinds of preservatives. This makes it one of the cleanest treats you can find in the market. The fact that there are no fillers means that the proportion of the active ingredient is high in each chew. This makes it possible to get the intended results with small doses. While one of my dogs doesn’t seem to be too fond of the duck flavor, others simply gobble up the chews in a jiffy. Therefore choose based on your dog’s flavor preferences. I found the hemp smell to be slightly strong in this one, but for the long road trips, I am yet to come by a product that is as effective as this one.
This is Amazon’s choice for calming treats for dogs who suffer from severe motion sickness. This is a very effective product that helps calm a dog with anxiety, fear, and stress. It was quite effective when I had to soothe one of my dogs who had severe separation anxiety. Being a chicken-flavored treat, most dogs accept this one readily.
The use of a clean formula that is free from any gumming agents, salts, or sugars makes this one of my favorites. It is also free from corn, soy, and wheat, which are the common allergens that can disrupt healthy digestion in dogs. It comes with a sophisticated formula comprising of Thiamine B1, organic chamomile for calming stress, valerian root, L-Tryptophan, and L-Theanine besides organic hemp protein. If you do not want hemp-based treatment, then there is also a hemp-free variant of these treatments from PlanoPaws. Like the other products from this brand, TrueLeafPet Supplement Chews is a high-quality treatment which is quite easy for the dogs to digest even while you are traveling. Therefore you do not have to worry about fillers and other additives causing indigestion and vomiting during a car ride.
Made of 100% natural ingredients, FurroLandia Hemp Calming Treats is another very popular hemp oil-based treat. One of the best features of this product is that it shows the same kind of instant results in dogs of all sizes, including the smallest ones like teacup Chihuahua. This is because of the mild nature of the treats which work on eliminating stress without causing any side effects.
This is another clean treat made of natural ingredients sans soy, corn, dairy products, and sugar. Therefore this is suitable even for the lactose intolerant dogs with sensitive digestive systems. It is a grain-free formula free from hormones. The dosages range from 1 chew to 5 chews per serving depending on the dog size. Therefore one bottle lasts for 170 days to 30 days depending on the dog breed you have. Given the safe nature of the treatments, these FurroLandia Hemp Calming Treats can also be used to coax your pets to be in their best behavior during walks in a public place or to alleviate his fears during a vet visit. It contains a blend of valerian extract, chamomile extract, passionflower, L-tryptophane and hemp seed powder besides hemp oil. In total, there are 74 organic minerals in this product, which are safe and effective in easing your dog’s stress and anxiety.
Buyer’s Guide For Choosing The Most Effective Calming Dog Treats
Whether you are at home or traveling, there are occasions where your dog might get uncontrollably hyperactive. There are times where he might seem excessively dull and withdrawn. Each dog has its way of displaying stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. When it comes to expressing the love they lick, smack their lips, wag their tail, yawn, or even make that puppy face. Being expressive by nature, most dogs are also poignant in expressing their strong emotions. Some of the difficult emotions that most dogs experience are –
- Separation anxiety
During a car ride, dogs might have a mix of emotions even if they do seem to enjoy the ride. The drive might seem stressful for the dog. He might express his emotions through-
- Restlessly moving around in the car
- Refusal to eat
- Hyperactivity or dullness
Besides all of these emotional implications, some dogs even experience motion sickness as human beings do. This is one thing that leads to vomiting and digestion problems in dogs. There are many methods that dog parents utilize to calm a dog. You can use aromatherapy. Some specialized scents are known to have a calming effect on dogs. The other most popular method, one that works with a success rate is the use of calming treats. After all, is there a dog that doesn’t love treats? If your dogs are like mine, they will go to any extent to please me and get those treats.
What Are Calming Treats?
Dog parents use different kinds of treats for rewarding different types of good behaviors in dogs. Some use them for training, and some use them for disciplining the dogs. Did you know that most of the treats might be laden with ingredients that are not good for long term consumption? This is why most treats are not recommended to be administered in large dosages. You cannot use the usual treats that you use for training, during travel. You should make sure that the treats you choose do not affect your dog’s digestion. When he might already suffer from nausea and other implications of motion sickness, you want something light and effective as an aid that helps him wind down. These can make this happen because of the special formula that contains ingredients like Valerian extracts or even hemp, which are known to be mood lifters and effective stress-busters.
What Are The Ingredients That You Might Find In These Treats?
Knowing the commonly found ingredients and the effects of each of these would help you pick one that best suits your dog. There is one major classification you should know about, and that is – hemp-based calming treats and non-hemp treats. The following are the primary ingredients which you might find as a combination in most of the bestselling calming treats. Even the ones I have listed down contain one or more of these ingredients:
The extracts from hemp plants have been popular for their medicinal benefits for ages. This is one of the ingredients that you might find in calming treats for dogs, for travel. This is one of the most popular choices in treats as well as supplements formulated for pain management.
If you thought that chamomile is only good for your stress-busting tea recipe, think again. This is a mild ingredient which can have sedative effects when used in large dosages. In small dosages, when used in combination with other ingredients, it helps soothe your dog’s anxiety, lower his blood pressure, and make him feel calmer. This is also an ingredient used to treat gastrointestinal troubles. Therefore, using this during travel can help prevent digestion-related discomfort that dogs might experience due to motion sickness. Some pet parents use a mild decoction of chamomile tea directly for their dogs. If you do not want to risk upsetting his stomach by exceeding the dosages, you can stick with the readily available treats with chamomile extracts.
This is a root herb that helps relax dogs thanks to the anxiety-relieving nature of this herb. It doesn’t impact brain functions but simply acts as an anxiolytic. If you have a pet who is generally restless or if you need a soothing solution for your dog before car rides this one can help without causing drowsiness. It also doesn’t have sedative effects in the milder dosages and combinations that calming treats contain.
This one, on contrary to the Valerian root, helps dogs by altering the brain functions. It slows down the brain activities and reduces stress and hyperactivity, especially if you have a dog who is barking uncontrollably or whining out of fear. It then proceeds to help the dog’s brain release gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA, which is known to be one of the most effective cures against and agitated state of mind. Being quite strong in its action and being directly influential on the brain signals and hormone levels, this one is useful in extreme cases of anxiety and depression in dogs.
This is one of the most important and also the most effective ingredients that helps with curing bloating in dogs. If you look at many of the calming treats, they might contain ginger extracts in order to counterbalance any side effects caused by the other ingredients. One other reason is to make the treats work as a dependable option to help with motion sickness. If your dog happens to vomit during car drives, then choose a calming treat with ginger for better results on relieving tension while also helping him keep his food down.
This is one kind of amino acid that is present in many natural ingredients. You would find supplements containing this ingredient or even soft calming chews with it. All of these are intended to help dogs ease up when they are tensed due to some trigger.
As a mood regulator, this is one of the major contents in most of the calming treats made for dogs. Have you noticed that many dogs feel drowsy or sleep better when they have had turkey? This is because of the tryptophan it contains. You would find a lot of calming treats containing this ingredient. It helps boost the levels of serotonin and melatonin in the dog, which are hormones that reduce stress and increase a merry feeling.
The Many Benefits Of Buying Calming Treats
So, are you buying a box full of treats just for a car ride? If you are someone who travels frequently, then you might find using treats for travel to be critical. Most dog owners, however, use their calming treats more than just for travel anxiety. The versatility of the product depends on the ingredient blend in it. If you find something for travel, it should contain ingredients like ginger, which can help curb nausea and also enhance digestion. It should also be free from artificial fillers or ingredients that can meddle with the dog’s stomach and cause digestive discomfort. If your dog is prone to motion sickness, some treats contain ingredients added specifically to cure motion sickness and keep your dog in his best mood.
There are versatile treats which are suitable to be used for car rides as well as for plenty of other situations where the dog is difficult to soothe.
Some help the dog helping the dog’s brain release calming hormones. Others can be used for behavioral support. You would have a well-behaved dog when you take him out to a public place where you do not want him to bark excessively out of fear or anxiety.
Some of the ingredients in a few calming treats also contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Others help with pain management or stress removal. There are some which help promote better sleep as your dog feels calmer and more secure. Therefore you can even leave your dog’s favorite calming treats with your pet sitter. It would make the job of handling your dog easier when you are away.
What Should You Look For When You Buy Calming Treats For Your Dog?
After you have answers to all your questions about calming treats comes one other big question – What are the features that make a calming treat a good choice?
Some pet parents are hesitant about trying hemp-based products mainly because of the notorious history this herb has. Hemp products in various forms are used for dogs. There are some products which contain higher levels of hemp and can lead to dehydration or excessive drowsiness. Some dogs appear lethargic after consuming hemp based treats. If you choose one that contains pure hemp extracts in mild dosages, you might not experience all these adverse effects. The hemp-based products on my list are tried and tested by pet parents around the world and found to be free from such drawbacks.
Look for treats made of natural ingredients and herbs. These are the mildest treatments which do not lead to health problems when taken in the long run. Before you look at the list of ingredients itself, check whether the product has been manufactured in a GMP certified facility. This is one tiny detail that many users often overlook. The certification ensures that clean ingredients are being used and also being processed in a hygienic facility. This helps preserve the nutrients and therefore, the benefits of the chosen natural ingredients. Some treats are made free from allergens like soy, but they might have been processed in factories that process soy and other ingredients. These might, therefore, contain traces of these ingredients. Therefore check the label and look for both primary and the other ingredients in the treats.
Administration And Acceptance
Most of the popular calming treats for dogs come in the form of bites and chews. You might have your own preferences for the form of calming aids that you choose. From my personal experience, administering drops, pills, powders, and other forms of calming aids might not be the most convenient or practical option at all times. Soft, chewy treats work perfectly with my dogs. They keep munching on them for a few seconds as the ingredients are slowly but steadily released in their body. The flavors of the treats also determine how easy it is to administer them. Chicken flavor, turkey flavor, and bacon flavor, for example, are all loved by most dogs. Some treats simply have the calming effects but come without any flavors. It might not be easy to feed fussy dogs with these treats. The presence of an irresistible flavor would make the dog look forward to the treatment and therefore, the travel as well.
The number of chews to be administered might often be printed on the label of the product you purchase. This depends on the composition of the prime ingredients, and therefore, you might have to stick with dosages as prescribed. This is often suggested based on the weight of the dog. Sticking with the dosages often prevents the occurrence of most side effects. It also determines the effectiveness of the product.
Choosing something that comes in a tightly sealed jar would be a wiser decision to make. This ensures that you do not have to hunt for any other storage container and also assures you that the product stays fresh with the flavors intact. Those that come in Ziploc pouches do not really stay that fresh from my personal experience.
Time Taken To Show Results
From the time taken for results to appear to the time taken for the results to fade, there are differences that you might notice with each product. This should help you decide when to administer the treatment. You cannot simply give your dog his treat just before he enters the car ride. You might have to give a few minutes in advance so as to allow the effects to start showing.
The price of the product and the number of chews each pack contains is one of the first budget aspects to look into. You cannot make sensible decisions without considering the dosage recommended for your dog based on the breed or weight. Putting it all together, understand how much you would be spending for one serving.
If any of the ingredients in the treats cause a negative reaction in your dog or if you happen to violate the dosage instructions here are some of the common side effects that are prone to occur-
· Changes in bowel movement
· Irritability and barking after intake of the treats
· Drowsiness or influence on sleeping patterns
· Heart rate irregularities
Keep a close eye on your dog when you give him the treats for the first time. If you notice one or more of the above symptoms reduce the dosage or stop administering the treats. If the symptoms persist, approach your vet without any delay.
Understanding The Safety Of Dog Calming Treats
Choosing cleaner ingredient blends made of plant-based natural extracts would be the safest choice for any dog. Look for suitable treats based on your dog breed so that you avoid something that is too strong for your dog. If your dog has health issues or if he is on any regular medications or supplements, make sure that you check with your vet before giving calming treats. You would need something that doesn’t interfere with the effectiveness of your dog’s essential meds. You should also look for the presence of allergens in your dog breed has specific allergies.
One other main consideration while giving calming treats is the age of the dog and a few other special cases. Most treats might not be suitable for very young puppies, but you can start with them when the puppy turns 12 weeks. Most calming treats and their effects on pregnant dogs and lactating mothers are also not very clear. If your dog has chronic conditions like joint problems or asthma, check with your vet before you choose suitable calming drugs. Most of the ingredients in calming drugs might already be present in several pain management drugs. Therefore you might not want an overdose of any of the ingredients.
With simple ingredients, but a consistent result, Zesty Paws calming bites continues to impress me every time I administer these treats to my dogs. They are realty chewy, and I have not noticed any changes in their digestion pattern when I give them these treats and take them out on a trip. For the price, you get exactly what you want. If you are still confused about which one to choose, I would definitely recommend trying this. As with most other dog treats, try a few until you find your dog’s favorite.