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If the first crack of thunder, the 'booms' of a fireworks show, or the mere mention of the word "vet" causes your otherwise easy-going pup to start whimpering, panting, trembling, and attempting to hide under the bed, it's time to tackle their anxiety.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer with anxiety that is both acute and chronic, according to Peter Bratis, DVM, a Fear-Free certified veterinarian with the San Diego Humane Society.
"Anxiety, over time, has a cumulative effect and it can reduce their quality of life," he adds. "It's best to intervene early."
Whether it's a specific situation or event that causes doggie distress or your pooch is perpetually anxious, it's important to find a solution. "Pet parents may be more inclined to try something other than a prescription medication to start," Bratis says.
RELATED: 7 Ways to Relieve Your Dog's Anxiety
Over-the-Counter Dog Anxiety Medication
Over-the-counter options, including products made with cannabidiol, also abound. Bratis cautions that CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and studies proving its effectiveness are lacking. He says there is, however, anecdotal evidence that these over-the-counter dog anxiety medications work.
If you do want to try an over-the-counter option, run it past your vet to get their opinion. This is especially important if your dog is taking any other medications; these over-the-counter options could harmfully interact with the prescribed medications.
What About Prescription Dog Anxiety Medication?
If you find that over-the-counter meds, in combination with desensitization and counterconditioning training, aren't working for your pup, your vet may prescribe an anxiety medication for dogs such as Xanax, gabapentin, trazodone, or Prozac. Talk with your vet about your specific pet so you can work together to find a treatment to help give your pup relief.
8 Dog Anxiety Medications to Give Your Dog Relief
PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews
A combination of herbs such as chamomile, ginger, and valerian root plus organic hemp powder turn these tasty treats into calming chews. The bite-sized, chicken-flavored chews are made in an FDA-registered facility and may help with anxiety.
Shop now: PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews, $26; chewy.com
Only Natural Pet Hemp Chews
Hemp seed, chamomile, and magnesium are the main active ingredients in these calming chews, which were designed to help dogs feel less anxious during stressful events like thunderstorms or riding in the car. A holistic veterinarian developed the product, and each bite-size calming chew contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners.
Shop now: Only Natural Pet Hemp Chews, $18; petsmart.com
Premium Care Calming Treats for Dogs
The best-selling, vet-recommended calming chews from Premium Care have a mild sedative effect thanks to calming ingredients like ginger root, chamomile, and valerian root. As with any new addition to their diet, be sure to check with your vet before giving to your pup!
Shop now: Premium Care Calming Treats for Dogs $30; amazon.com
NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Chews
These melatonin calming dog treats are designed to help nervous dogs feel more relaxed. The ingredients-thiamine, L-tryptophan, and melatonin-were chosen to promote relaxation and instill a deep sense of calm. The dose is based on your pup's weight, and instructions indicate that the chews should be given at least 30 minutes before a stressful event (so it might not work best for those passing thunderstorms, but could help when planning ahead is possible).
Shop now: NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Chews, $22; chewy.com
ThunderWunders Calming Chews
The reviews from pet parents rave about these calming chews, which are made with ingredients such as chamomile, passion flower, ginger, and melatonin. Some do say that their dogs don't love the original flavor, so you may need to hide the calming chews in something tasty (hello, peanut butter!) to encourage your pooch to gobble it up.
Shop now: ThunderWunders Calming Chews, $30; petco.com
Zesty Paws Advanced Calming Bites
The Zesty Paws treats are made with organic ingredients like chamomile, L-theanine, melatonin, and thiamine. The bites are designed to help dogs feel calm and comfortable, not anxious and stressed. A combination of turkey and sweet potatoes make them taste great, too.
Shop now: Zesty Paws Advanced Calming Bites, $17; target.com
Purina EverRoot Calming Dog Supplements
These chewable tablets for anxious dogs are made by Purina, which means they're easy to find at Target (win!). Active ingredients meant to help calm your pooch include ginger root, chamomile, and organic green tea extract-which may help reduce stress without inducing drowsiness. This option is USDA-certified organic and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Shop now: Purina EverRoot Calming Dog Supplements, $25; target.com
Well & Good Calming Aid Dog Tablets
At just $13, we love the price tag on these Well & Good calming dog treats. Recommended for daily use, these chews contain thiamine, hops, passion flower, and L-tryptophan to help dogs feel calm in stressful situations. Each bottle contains 30 chews, and dosing is based on weight.
Shop now: Well & Good Calming Aid Dog Tablets, $13; petco.com