Alternative Anxiety Treatment for Dogs

Alternative anxiety treatments may mean no side effects and no behavioral changes in your pet. Anxiety in canines can be managed with drugs, but often, these will cause a change in the dog’s personality. Alternative anxiety treatments may include aromatherapy, pheromone therapy, acupuncture or herbal ingredients. Before choosing a treatment, you should identify the causes that lead to anxiety in your dog.

Anxiety in Dogs

Anxiety in dogs may manifest through aggressiveness or unwanted behavior, hiding or whining. Anxiety may be triggered by various factors such as loud noises, other animals or the absence of the owner. While noise anxiety will pass within minutes after the noise is gone, separation anxiety may become a chronic condition and affect your pet’s overall health in the long run.

Vets may choose to administer sedative drugs to dogs that are affected by chronic anxiety. However, these drugs will have to be administered for a longer period of time and often come with side effects and behavior changes. Alternative anxiety treatments can be tested in your pet and if effective, they will have no side effects.

Alternative Anxiety Treatments

There are several alternative anxiety treatments for canines including:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Pheromone therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • The use of herbal ingredients

These treatments will aim at soothing the pet and relieving stress and anxiety.

Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Aromatherapy is a type of treatment that involves exposing the dog to various scents that should have a calming effect. Aromatherapy uses various tinctures which are placed into a liquid and placed under a source of fire. The liquid will evaporate and spread a pleasant aroma. Alternatively, scented candles can be used. The tinctures or candles that have soothing effects contain ingredients such as:

  • Valerian root
  • Chamomile
  • Mint
  • Jasmine

Acupuncture Treatment for Dogs

Acupuncture is a therapy that uses small needles, which are inserted in various pressure points on the dog’s body. This type of therapy may address issues such as anxiety and stress, but some dogs may not be fully cooperative during the acupuncture sessions.

Pheromone Therapy

Pheromone therapy is a newly developed type of treatment that may be applied in dogs that suffer from anxiety or display aggressive behavior. The therapy employs synthetic hormones that have a similar scent to the pheromones secreted by new canine mothers and will have a comforting effect. Some natural ingredients that may be used in recreating canine pheromones include the valerian root.

Herbal Ingredients for Dog Treatments

Herbal ingredients may be used in pets with anxiety. The most commonly used ingredients include:

  • Valerian root, which is known to have similar effects as valium, a prescription sedative
  • Cherry plum, which may be given to dogs that have anxiety due to noises
  • Dried kava is an herb that may be administered to dogs that fear fireworks or ambulance noises
  • Rock rose
  • Star of Bethlehem

Some dogs respond well to some alternative anxiety treatments, but if your dog doesn’t show signs of improvement after 2 weeks of a certain treatment, you should consult your vet and find other means to treat your dog’s anxiety.