Not all dogs are calm. Not nervous. Most of the time it is external stimuli that cause the animal’s nervousness. With patience and guidance it is possible to guide the dog to a more relaxed state.
However, this process is long-term and sometimes we do not have that time. In these cases, most owners opt for tranquilizers for dogs.
The dilemma is on the table. Tranquilizers for dogs, yes or no? As an animal lover my answer is clear and concise: No. You have to identify the cause that bothers the dog and act accordingly.
As it would happen with a human being, your first reaction to calm him is not to resort to medication, but to support him and find a remedy’ more natural’.
The important thing in this case is to ensure that your dog does not suffer. And, no matter how little in favor of giving tranquilizers to dogs, I have to admit that, if the specialist indicates it, we will have to follow their orders. Actually, the decision is not yours.
The only person who can say whether or not you should give dog tranquilizers to your pet is the vet. In addition, it must make it clear to you how much to supply and when, depending on the physical conditions of the dog and its size. Forget about giving him what you consider appropriate on your own; you are putting your friend’s life at stake.
Most veterinarians only recommend the use of tranquilizers for dogs at very specific times. It may be because your pet has anxiety problems, becomes overly excited for no apparent reason or becomes agitated by novel situations (travel, moving, storms, fireworks, bathrooms).
For the rest of the occasions, they will recommend you to follow a specific behavior that helps calm your dog’s nerves.
Types of tranquilizers for dogs
Any sedative that you are going to use with your dog must be prescribed and recommended by your trusted veterinarian. Please never give your pet a dog tranquilizer on your own.
Most likely, instead of helping him regain serenity and well-being, you are putting his life in danger.
Specialists often recommend chemicals such as diazepam, xanax, acepromazine, medetomidine, and clomipramine as sedatives for dogs.
In addition, on some occasions they will prescribe a specific drug for a certain type of nervousness or anxiety, hence another fundamental aspect to depend on the veterinarian when giving a sedative to your dog.
Of course, Nature also offers a wide range of tranquilizing compounds for dogs. But, as with pharmacological compounds, the fact that they come directly from Nature does not mean that we can use them in the animal just like that.
Sedatives for dogs of natural origin
The environment that surrounds us offers a selection of herbs that will help to naturally calm your pet in case of need. Likewise, follow the advice of the specialist before giving anything to your dog. You already know, the important thing is that your dog is calm and does not suffer.
One of the herbs best known as a sedative, with a fairly widespread use for both humans and animals, is chamomile.
Chamomile-based infusions are quite tolerated by dogs and helps them alleviate their nervousness in the face of stomach pain, heavy digestion and any difficulties that their digestive system may present.
In addition, chamomile is anti-spasmodic, which will come in handy to treat a nervous dog with stomach problems.
Oatmeal has a similar effect to chamomile in dogs. It is used as a relaxing tonic and can be given to the animal both raw and cooked.
The scents of lavender relax humans and animals alike. Unlike the previous two cases, the dog will feel calmer and more relaxed simply smelling lavender.
Its intake is not necessary. Simply put a few drops of lavender essence in a place near the dog, where it can inspire the scent with each breath.
Another option is to use valerian. This herb has been scientifically proven to help you be more serene, have restful dreams, and also provides symptomatic relief from muscle aches and stress. A few drops in your dog’s food will be more than enough for the valerian to take effect.
How to Give Dog Tranquilizer?
The first step in giving your pet a dog sedative is going to the vet. The specialist will be in charge of determining which product will be most effective. It will also determine the quantity and regularity. The veterinarian is the only one with the power to issue the prescription.
Any drug tranquilizer for dogs requires a prescription. The only person who can give you such a prescription is the vet. Do not play with the health of your pet and stick to the instructions of the specialist.
As a general rule, all sedatives for dogs are sold in the form of pills or tablets. You can give the medicine with a candy, putting it directly in the mouth and wait for it to be swallowed or, mix the pills with your favorite usual food.
Non-chemical alternatives to calm the dog
Before resorting to chemistry to calm the dog, I recommend that you try to calm it with alternative techniques. Experience has shown us that an exercised dog is much calmer in stressful situations.
If you know in advance that the dog will be exposed to stress, try to walk him for at least an hour. During this time, the animal must be able to run freely, play with you and interact with other dogs. This vent will make you behave more calmly when faced with stress.
If your dog is nervous at home, allow him to burn off energy on those long walks. Let him play all he wants during that time. However, home games should be quiet. No throwing the ball at him or making fight feints with him while he’s locked up. You seek their calm, not agitation. Stroke him and show him your love so he doesn’t get stressed.
In the case of facing specific situations of high stress, such as fireworks, try to distract him. Take him to his favorite corner of the house and surround him with his toys. Try to distract him by playing with him and repeat the process every time you need to. The dog will end up associating good times with moments of stress. Despite the noise of the fireworks.
In case you are not at home and know that your dog suffers from anxiety or stress, you can always resort to the use of security cameras to check what your pet does in your absence. This way you will be able to act accordingly and avoid, as far as possible, those situations that most alter the tranquility of your dog.
I have already left you my opinion and reasons why I am not in favor of supplying tranquilizers for dogs to my pets. Now, I have to admit that each dog is different and their needs cannot always be covered with medication electives. However, I would like to know what you think about it. Would you give the dog sedatives at the first change? Would you opt for alternative solutions?
The stress and nervousness in dogs should be treated on several fronts. One of them are the natural tranquilizers for dogs that, under the supervision of the veterinarian, help fight disorders such as anxiety, insomnia or epilepsy.
Natural tranquilizers for dogs
We must say that the first measure to take to combat the restlessness of the dog is to find out what is the cause that originates it.
If it is something temporary, such as a trip, a move or the arrival of the holidays and with them the firecrackers, these natural remedies are great to alleviate your excitement and help you regain your spirits.
If, on the other hand, the cause is in a pathology, a phobia or a bad imprinting, we will have to approach the problem with a long-term perspective; although these remedies will help us during the process.
Physical exercise is also essential. A dog that walks, runs and plays will get rid of stress much earlier and sleep better.
Some breeds are a bit more restless and sensitive to stressors. Such is the case of the Beagle, the Poodle or the Border Collie. In any case, the race is not decisive. Proper imprinting is essential for the good psychological health of the animal.
We start with the list of natural tranquilizers for dogs:
Oatmeal is a natural relaxant that not only remarkably calms the nerves, but is also an excellent restorative for dogs that have suffered from abuse or a poor diet.
In addition, its minerals help to strengthen the dog’s nervous system as it recovers more quickly in cases of weakness and convalescence.
It can be mixed with feed, in powder form or as an infusion.
One teaspoon of oatmeal for every 250 ml is enough of water. Boil it for a few minutes and then let it cool.
If the dog likes it, we can leave it during the day to drink when it feels like it.
If not, we can mix it with the feed or even supply it orally by syringe.
We can give it between 2 and 3 daily intakes, divided into doses of between 60 and 100 ml, of infusion, depending on the size of the animal.
St. John’s wort or St. John’s wort
The hypericum or St. John’s wort, besides being one of the best natural tranquilizer for dogs, is a natural antidepressant containing analgesic properties. These relax and improve your mood. It is also used to treat obsessive disorder phobias.
However, its effect is not immediate and takes 2 to 3 weeks to be appreciated. It will not be of much use if we want to calm you in the short term or administer it on the occasion of a specific event.
Despite its beneficial long-term effects, it can produce photosensitivity and, in people, some cases of cataracts have been recorded after long exposures to sunlight.
It is best to consult with our veterinarian, who will advise us if it may be suitable for our particular case.
It is sold in herbal stores in capsule form.
Lavender is another of the best natural tranquilizers for dogs.
It has substances such as linalool, camphor, which contain relaxing and analgesic properties.
Its effect occurs only with inhalation, so it is usually used in the form of drops of lavender essence.
You can put a couple of drops of lavender essence in the areas where the dog cannot lick itself (neck, back or chest). In this way, you inhale its aroma for a long time.
It can also be used in the form of a tincture, in which case, we will dissolve a few drops in half a glass of water, to wet a cloth in it and rub the areas where the dog usually lies down.
Chamomile is, without a doubt, one of the most infallible natural tranquilizers for dogs that we can turn to.
In addition to its highly sedative effect, it has apigenin, a component that helps eliminate cells that are susceptible to becoming cancerous.
This substance is also found in celery and parsley.
In addition, it helps the digestive tract to overcome vomiting and diarrhea, so its use has a double benefit.
A teaspoon of chamomile is enough for every 250 ml of water, which we will boil for 10 min.
It is allowed to cool and is served for you to drink or mix with your food. We can also provide it with a syringe orally.
Again, we recommend resorting to the advice of the veterinarian who will give us the appropriate indications on the convenience of its administration and the recommended dose.
Who has not taken a linden at some time before an exam or some important event or situation is imminent?
Its relaxing and antispasmodic effect is no different in dogs. With the exception that these are more sensitive to its action.
Contains phenolic acids and flavonoids that help overcome stress.
They can be purchased as tablets or as an infusion.
Its administration and dosage should be consulted with the veterinarian, given the sensitivity of dogs to its effects. There is a risk of overshooting the quantity, since it depends a lot on the size, weight and particular conditions of the animal.
There are compounds on the market for dogs that contain linden extracts, although they are usually mixed with other plants and vitamins for the nervous system.
Valerian is a plant with great medicinal properties. It contains a series of alkaloids, flavonoids and essential oils that make it one of the most effective tranquilizers for dogs.
It helps to combat epilepsy, stress and anxiety, so that it can be used as an adjunct in the treatment of phobia in dogs.
It also acts as a natural anti- inflammatory and appetite stimulant.
Combat hypertension and help you fall asleep.
It can be supplied as a tablet or as an infusion.
Dogs are very sensitive to its effects so, again, we recommend consulting your vet for dosages.
As a guide, we can say that between 10 and 60 drops of tincture are usually prescribed depending on the size of the animal. They are mixed in the water or in the feed:
- Miniature dogs: 10 drops
- Small: Between 11 and 20 drops
- Medium: 21 to 40 drops
- Large and giant: From 41 to 60 drops
It is usually advisable to supply the drops divided into 3 or 4 daily doses, for a period between one week and ten days and rest for 15 to 21 days before continuing the treatment.
You can also put a few drops of valerian essence in the parts where it cannot be licked, as we explained with lavender, since its inhalation also has sedative effects.
We want to emphasize the need to consult with our veterinarian before administering any treatment to our dog.
There are specific situations, such as pregnancy, lactation or some pathologies, in which the use of these plants can be counterproductive.
This article is for informational purposes and is not intended to prescribe any treatment. We just expose some tools and options that we have at our fingertips to help us improve the life of our furry friend.