Your dog may be trying to tell you something if they are acting restless or aggressive, excessively barking, or doing other agitated behaviors: They may be feeling anxious. Just like humans, dogs can also experience uneasiness, angst, and a whole host of stressful emotions.
Calming treats recently have become more popular and more readily available for dogs who have anxiety on a regular basis. However, you may not be sure which product is trustworthy enough to give to your beloved companion.
We understand your concern, which is why we’ve put together a list of the 10 top choices for dog calming treats. We’ve thoroughly reviewed each product and summed up our findings in pros and cons lists. Be sure to also check out our buyer’s guide for important information about what to consider before purchasing calming treats for your dog.
A Quick Comparison of the 2020 Winners:
The 10 Best Dog Calming Treats:
1. Pawfectchow Calming Hemp Treats – Best Overall
For its high level of success at reducing anxiety in dogs, we chose the Pawfectchow calming hemp treats as the best overall product on our list. These calming treats work quickly and effectively to help your dog feel less anxiety and lower stress, which in turn, reduces negative behaviors.
You can feel confident that you’re giving your dog natural ingredients, including hemp seed, valerian root, chamomile, ginger root, passionflower, and l-tryptophan. There’s no added sugar, dairy, corn or soy-derived products, hormones, or artificial flavoring or preservatives.
The treats come in small enough portions that they accommodate most dog sizes and different breeds. While these treats are made with a dog’s flavor palate in mind, picky eaters may still turn up their noses.
2. Smartbones Calming Dog Chews – Best Value
Our choice for the best calming treats for dogs for the money goes to Smartbones calming dog chews. At a great price, you’ll get 16 bones that resemble rawhides but actually contain natural ingredients.
The bone shape of this calming treat gives your dog something beneficial to chew for an extended period. All that chewing has the added bonus of maintaining healthy teeth. However, the bones are one-size-fits-all, which limits proper dosing for different sized dogs.
Smartbones are made with easy-to-digest ingredients such as real chicken, a variety of vegetables, chamomile, and lavender. Most but not all dogs like the taste. Also, the level of effectiveness varies, though most dogs respond well. Keep in mind that it’s possible your dog may experience side effects, such as extreme lethargy or stomach upset.
The effective and carefully selected ingredients in Zesty Paws calming bites makes this product our premium choice. Each ingredient targets a specific anxious behavior, elevating its effectiveness. Also, these treats do not contain artificial flavors or preservatives and are gluten-free. However, be aware you will pay more for this higher level of quality.
Zesty Paws calming bites contain Suntheanine, which is a powerful supplement that regulates your dog’s brain waves for relaxation and lower stress levels without drowsiness. Additionally, thiamine and organic chamomile help reduce aggressive behaviors. Organic ginger root, l-tryptophan, and organic passionflower ease your dog’s frequent barking and hyperactive behaviors, while valerian root reduces your dog’s tendency to cause self-harm due to fear and anxiety.
Most dogs enjoy the turkey-flavored chewable supplements. The chews are small enough to be portioned to meet your dog’s dosage size. As with any supplement, your dog may not receive any benefit or worse, have an adverse reaction.
Formulated to help with a variety of anxious, hyperactive, and aggressive behaviors in your dog, Premium Care calming treats come in a bottle of 120 soft chews, so you can adjust the dosage to your dog’s size and breed. These duck-flavored treats contain only natural ingredients, with no added corn, dairy, soy, or artificial colors and ingredients.
Though as expensive as our premium choice, this product also includes organic passionflower, chamomile, valerian root, l-tryptophan, and organic ginger root, to provide your dog with much-needed relief from negative symptoms of anxiety.
As with most of the products on our list, these calming treats may not be helpful for every dog; some dogs may not like the taste, and there’s a chance these treats may cause stomach upset.
5. Petaxin Calming Treats for Dogs
Petaxin calming treats also come in a bottle of 120 bite size chews, allowing for flexible dosing for a variety of dog sizes. These treats are made with soothing herbs and amino acids, which are ideal for reducing your dog’s anxiety and stressful negative behaviors. Plus, they have a bacon flavor, which most dogs like.
Ingredients like chamomile, passionflower, and ginger promote calm and relieve nervousness and anxiety, while l-tryptophan reduces hyperactivity and aggressive behaviors. Best of all, Petaxin does not contain corn, grain, wheat, or artificial flavorings. However, the labeling does not indicate if it contains dairy, sugar, or soy additives.
Once again, while effective, not all dogs respond the same to these calming treats. Some dogs do not see results, while offers suffer stomach upset.
6. NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid
Melatonin is the main active ingredient in the NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid. These soft chews are formulated to help your dog achieve a relaxed state. NaturVet has received the quality seal from the National Animal Supplement Council and is cGMP compliant.
In addition to melatonin, NaturVet includes thiamine and l-tryptophan to further promote less stress and tension in your dog. These calming treats also have ginger for sensitive stomachs and motion sickness. However, we found that some dogs still suffer from an upset stomach with this product.
While these calming treats are listed as wheat free, they still may contain other additives, preservatives, and allergens. Your dog may also not care for the taste. However, some dog owners found success coating the chew in peanut butter. With the small treat size, you’ll be able to adjust the dosage for your size of dog, though you may or may not see results.
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7. GOODGROWLIES Dog Calming Hemp-Treats
If you’re looking for one treat that works well to ease anxiety for any size or dog breed, then you may want to consider Goodgrowlies Calming Chews. These calming treats have natural ingredients, including valerian root, chamomile powder, organic hemp seed oil, l-tryptophan, organic passionflower, and organic ginger root powder.
These hemp chews do not contain sugar, dairy, corn, or soy-derived products. All the ingredients are produced in FDA-registered facilities that follow GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) compliance guidelines. We found that side effects with this product are rare.
Most dogs enjoy the natural duck and chicken flavor of these calming treats. However, not every dog will care for it. Also, the success of this product’s calming effects varies from dog to dog. We learned that some dogs may become more aggressive after ingesting these treats.
8. Pet Parents Dog Calming Treats
The same active ingredient as our third-place review, Suntheanine is also used in Pet Parents dog calming treats. Also known as the amino acid l-theanine, this ingredient is safe to use, but little research supports its level of effectiveness. It claims to offer the benefit of calming without causing drowsiness.
Pet Parents also contains hemp for relaxation and stress relief, as well as valerian root, chamomile flower, passionflower, ginger, and magnesium to naturally lower your dog’s anxiety. Its inactive ingredients, including chicken, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots, offer your dog essential nutrients without fillers such as rice and oats. This product may contain allergens, additives, and preservatives, however.
We found that there were little to no side effects with this brand of calming treats. Also, most dogs responded well, with varying levels of effectiveness, and even liked the taste — aside from a significant number of picky eaters.
9. PetNC 27599 Calming Soft Chews
With chamomile and l-tryptophan, PetNC Natural Care Calming Formula soft chews are bite-sized treats that allow you to adjust the dosage to your dog’s size and breed. They’re ideal for quick, temporary relief when your dog is in a stressful situation. PetNC has received the NASC quality seal and is manufactured and packaged using current Good Manufacturing Practices.
Made with high-quality ingredients, such as chamomile flower, ginger root extract, thiamine, l-taurine, and l-tryptophan, this veterinarian formulated supplement helps reduce your dog’s anxiety. However, be aware that this product does contain dairy, soy, and other potential allergens and preservatives.
Unfortunately, this product is our second-to-last pick for several reasons. There’s the possibility that your dog may suffer from side effects, including an upset stomach. Also, we found that these chews give off an offensive smell and may cause your dog to develop an unpleasant odor as well. These chews seemed to work less effectively than similar products on our list.
10. K-10+ Supplements for Dogs
A grain- and gluten-free calming treat, K-10+ supplement for dogs has broad spectrum hemp as one of its main ingredients to promote calm and relaxation in your dog. These supplements have earned the NASC quality seal, and the small chews allow for accurate and adjustable dosing for your dog’s size and breed.
One of the reasons that this product is last on our list is cost. Unlike the products on our list that offer 120 chews at the same price point, K-10+ only provides 30 chews.
We also discovered that most dogs do not like the taste of this product. Although we didn’t find that these chews cause side effects, be aware that they may incorporate allergens, additives, and preservatives. Finally, the level of effectiveness with this supplement is much lower than similar products.
Your dog’s anxiety is of the utmost importance to you because it affects not only your dog’s quality of life but also that of yourself and your family. As such, you may be considering calming dog treats as a possible solution.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go more in-depth about the behaviors exhibited when your dog is suffering from anxiety and stress. Then, we’ll list which factors and ingredients make a high-quality dog calming treat, as well as what to avoid when buying this kind of supplement.
Your Stressed-Out Pooch
Dog anxiety reveals itself in several ways, and one way may appear differently in another dog. Generally speaking, your dog may be suffering from anxiety if they exhibit aggression, destructive behavior, excessive barking, pacing, and/or restlessness and frequently urinate or defecate in the house. Your dog’s symptoms may emerge in more subtle ways as well, such as drooling, panting, depression, or repetitive and compulsive actions. If you notice one or many of these characteristics in your dog, you may want to seek relief.
Why Should I Give My Dog Calming Treats?
Although calming treats are not your only option for easing your dog’s anxious symptoms, they can offer your dog much-needed relaxation and lower their stress levels. However, with so many products flooding the market, be sure to read the reviews. While some of the products on our list received certifications, there’s no formal or official research on the effectiveness of calming treats. However, anecdotal evidence offers multiple stories of success. With certain products seemingly causing little to no side effects, the reward may be worth the risk.
Are Calming Treats Really Safe for My Dog?
There’s limited research on the long-term use of calming treats and their potential for side effects. As with any ingestible supplement, the risk of stomach upset or more severe reactions is a possibility. To limit the risk of your dog getting sick, look for products that include only natural ingredients and no allergens, additives, or preservatives. Still, keep in mind that even natural ingredients, such as ginger or chamomile, aren’t on your dog’s typical dietary list of foods. Dogs in the wild wouldn’t voluntarily eat many of the active and natural ingredients in these calming treats.
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Ingredients in a High-Quality Dog Calming Treat
Before you make a purchase, make sure to read through the list of ingredients of the calming supplement you’re considering buying. As mentioned, try to avoid treats that are full of fillers and other unnecessary inactive ingredients. The most effective dog calming treats tend to contain the amino acid l-theanine, also listed as Suntheanine. It works by increasing the serotonin and dopamine levels in your dog’s brain. Additionally, look for products that feature l-tryptophan and melatonin, which both have documented calming effects.
Our choice for the best overall dog calming treats goes to Pawfectchow 01 Calming Hemp Treats for its high success rate for reducing a dog’s stress and anxiety. With this product, you’ll also notice a reduction in negative behaviors. Made with all-natural ingredients, Pawfectchow doesn’t contain allergens or additives, and its dosage is adaptable for most sizes and breeds of dogs.
For the best value, we recommend Smartbones SBFC-02034 Calming Dog Chews. These calming treats resemble rawhide bones but don’t actually contain potentially harmful rawhide. The size and shape of these bones allow for an extended chewing time to further release stress. Made with real ingredients, most dogs seem to like the taste of this product.
Finally, Zesty Paws Calming Bites took the third spot as our premium choice due to its carefully selected, high-quality ingredients. These calming bites achieve a high level of effectiveness for reducing stress, anxiety, and hyperactive behaviors in a dog. As an added benefit, they don’t cause drowsiness. We found that most dogs seem to enjoy the flavor.
After reading through our reviews, pros and cons lists, and buyer’s guide, we hope that you’re able to find a helpful and safe calming treat for your anxious dog. We understand the difficulties and challenges of dealing with a stressed-out companion. However, with a recently booming market for calming treats, you and your dog no longer need to suffer through seemingly endless episodes of anxiety. With the right supplement, relief and relaxation can be achieved for your dog.
Featured image credit: MrLebies, Pixabay
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of the 2020 Winners:
- The 10 Best Dog Calming Treats:
- 1. Pawfectchow Calming Hemp Treats – Best Overall
- 2. Smartbones Calming Dog Chews – Best Value
- 3. Zesty Paws Calming Dog Bites – Premium Choice
- 4. PREMIUM CARE Calming Dog Treats
- 5. Petaxin Calming Treats for Dogs
- 6. NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid
- 7. GOODGROWLIES Dog Calming Hemp-Treats
- 8. Pet Parents Dog Calming Treats
- 9. PetNC 27599 Calming Soft Chews
- 10. K-10+ Supplements for Dogs
- Buyer’s Guide