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10 Best Calming Aids for Dogs in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

Calm Dog

Watching your dog go through stress and anxiety can give you your own stress and anxiety. Dogs can undergo stress from loud noises, new situations, and separation anxiety, and we can try our best to help them. But sometimes, we need a little help ourselves, and that can come in the form of calming aids. But locating the right product can take a while.

So, we reviewed 10 of the best calming aids that have proven to work for most dogs. These reviews cover a variety of different forms of calming aids, so hopefully, one (or more) will help your dog get through stressful events a little easier.

divider-pawA Quick Look at Our 2022 Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews
  • Chicken-flavored soft chews
  • Contains hemp, ginger, chamomile, and valerian root
  • Doesn’t contain preservatives, soy, corn, grains, or GMOs
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix
  • Uses hemp, Suntheanine, melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile
  • Has peppermint oil, kelp, and rosemary extract for teeth and gums
  • Makes your dog’s breath fresher
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites
  • Great for senior dogs
  • Supports relaxation, memory, cognition, and nervous system issues
  • Contains Sensoril to help relieve stress from environmental stressors
  • Helopssa Hemp Calming Chews Helopssa Hemp Calming Chews
  • Duck flavored, with hemp as the main calming ingredient
  • Contains ginger, chamomile, turmeric, valerian, l-tryptophan
  • Don’t include wheat, soy, or corn
  • Zesty Paws Ancient Elements Calming Bites Zesty Paws Ancient Elements Calming Bites
  • Contains Sensoril and Suntheanine to calm your dog
  • Can last 4–8 hours
  • Has valerian root and melatonin to relax your dog
  • The 10 Best Calming Aids for Dogs

    1. PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews — Best Overall

    PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Chicken
    Sizes: 90 or 180 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    The best overall calming aid for dogs is the PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews. You can get them in containers with 90 or 180 soft chews that are in a delicious chicken flavor. The main calming ingredient is hemp, but these also contain ginger, chamomile, and valerian root, which all work to calm your dog. They don’t have any preservatives, corn, soy, wheat, or GMOs, and they work for hyperactivity, nervousness, stress, and anxiety.

    The biggest flaw with these chews is that not every dog will want to eat them, particularly if your dog doesn’t like chicken or has a food sensitivity to it.

    Pros
    • Chicken-flavored soft chews
    • Contains hemp, ginger, chamomile, and valerian root
    • Doesn’t contain preservatives, soy, corn, grains, or GMOs
    • Works for hyperactivity, nervousness, stress, and anxiety
    Cons
    • Not all dogs will want to eat them

    2. Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix — Best Value

    Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix (1)

    Type: Soft sticks
    Flavor: Peppermint
    Sizes: 12- or 25-oz. bags
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    The best calming aid for dogs for the money is the Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix. These soft sticks primarily use hemp, along with Suntheanine, melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile, all for calming support. It also has rosemary extract, kelp, and peppermint oil for healthy gums and teeth. The peppermint has the added advantage of making your pup’s breath a little fresher.

    One of the unfortunate side effects is that these sticks can sometimes make hyperactive dogs more, not less, hyper.

    Pros
    • Uses hemp, Suntheanine, melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile
    • Has peppermint oil, kelp, and rosemary extract for teeth and gums
    • Makes your dog’s breath fresher
    Cons
    • Might make some dogs more hyper

    3. Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites — Premium Choice

    Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Chicken
    Sizes: 90 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Sensoril

    The Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites are great for dogs of all ages but are specially designed for senior dogs. They not only calm your dog but also contain several ingredients, including omega-3 DHA fatty acids, that help with the nervous system, cognition, and memory issues. These chews contain Sensoril, which is a form of Ashwagandha that helps ease anxiety from environmental stresses.

    The disadvantage here is that it is rather expensive, and it might be almost too effective and will make your dog sleepy. This isn’t a bad thing in some cases, but it does depend on what you’re using it for.

    Pros
    • Great for senior dogs
    • Supports relaxation, memory, cognition, and nervous system issues
    • Contains Sensoril to help relieve stress from environmental stressors
    • Uses several ingredients, including omega-3 DHA
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might make your dog sleepy

    Do you have an anxious dog? A high-quality, pet-safe CBD oil may be able to help. We like CBDfx's Pet Tincture, which comes in four different strength levels and is made from human-grade, organic hemp. Even better, your dog will love the natural bacon flavor!


    4. Helopssa Hemp Calming Chews

    Helopssa Hemp Calming Chews (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Duck
    Sizes: 180 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    Helopssa Hemp Calming Chews are duck-flavored soft chews that contain various natural ingredients, with hemp as the primary calming ingredient. These also include turmeric, ginger, passionflower, valerian, chamomile, and l-tryptophan. They don’t contain corn, wheat, or soy and are effective at calming most dogs.

    However, they are a little pricey, and they contain yucca, which is known to be toxic to dogs. The amount in these chews isn’t enough to harm your dog, but it’s just something to keep in mind.

    Pros
    • Duck flavored, with hemp as the main calming ingredient
    • Contains ginger, chamomile, turmeric, valerian, l-tryptophan
    • Don’t include wheat, soy, or corn
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Contains yucca

    5. Zesty Paws Ancient Elements Calming Bites

    Zesty Paws Ancient Elements Calming Bites (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Bison
    Sizes: 90 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    Zesty Paw’s Ancient Elements Calming Bites has hemp, Sensoril, and Suntheanine, all designed to calm your dog. These can last as long as 4 to 8 hours because they also contain melatonin and valerian root and are effective at relaxing your dog. They don’t contain artificial preservatives or flavors and were made without heat to help preserve the ingredients.

    The main problem with these treats is that they are expensive, and sometimes, the treats seem to be a little dried out.

    Pros
    • Contains Sensoril and Suntheanine to calm your dog
    • Can last 4–8 hours
    • Has valerian root and melatonin to relax your dog
    • Doesn’t contain artificial preservatives or flavors
    • Created without heat to preserve ingredients
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • They can sometimes be dried out

    6. Bach Rescue Remedy

    bach rescue remedy

    Type: Drops
    Flavor: N/A
    Sizes: 10 or 20 ml bottle
    Main Calming Ingredients: Five flowers

    The Bach Rescue Remedy is alcohol-free and contains drops that you can add to your dog’s water, food, (soft) treats, or straight into their mouth. It contains five flower essences: rock rose, impatiens, clematis, star of Bethlehem, and cherry plum. It has no real side effects and is entirely natural/homeopathic. It’s also tasteless and has no scent, so it’s easier to sneak to your dog if they are picky about treats.

    However, it isn’t always effective for all dogs. The effects of this calming aid are subtler than what you see with most others, so if you’re looking for a strong effect, you might want to look elsewhere.

    Pros
    • Drops can be added directly to water or food
    • Contains five flower essences
    • Alcohol-free
    • Completely natural-homeopathic
    Cons
    • Not always effective
    • Calming effects are subtle

    7. ThunderShirt Classic Vest for Dogs

    ThunderShirt Classic Vest for Dogs (1)

    Type: Vest
    Flavor: N/A
    Sizes: XX-small to XX-large
    Main Calming Ingredients: Weighted vest

    The ThunderShirt Classic Vest for Dogs is a great way to go if you prefer not to give your dog any treats or drops. The ThunderShirt is available in seven sizes — XX-small up to XX-large. It works by using consistent gentle pressure that is quite effective at calming dogs and has worked on over 80% of dogs, which showed improvement after donning the vest. It is as effective for hyperactivity and for relaxing. It’s easy to get off and on and is made with a breathable and washable fabric.

    Unfortunately, the main problem with the ThunderShirt is that in some cases, the sizing can be off, so double-check the measurements before ordering. While it might work for some dogs, others might not experience the same calming effects, particularly if your dog suffers from very high anxiety.

    Pros
    • Available in seven sizes
    • Uses gentle pressure for calming dogs
    • Has worked on over 80% of dogs
    • Easy to get on and off
    • Made with washable and breathable fabric
    Cons
    • Sizing can sometimes be off
    • Not effective for all dogs

    8. PetHonesty Calming Hemp Max-Strength Soft Chews

    PetHonesty Calming Hemp Max-Strength Soft Chews (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Duck
    Sizes: 90 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    PetHonesty’s Calming Hemp Max-Strength Soft Chews are duck-flavored soft chews that contain many of the ingredients of standard calming aids, including valerian root, Suntheanine, chamomile, ginger, and melatonin in combination with hemp. It’s designed to work well for hyperactivity or calm your nervous and stressed dog, and it doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn, GMOs, or preservatives.

    The disadvantages are that it is fairly expensive, and you might find that the chews smell kind of bad.

    Pros
    • Contains chamomile, melatonin, valerian root, Suntheanine, ginger, and hemp
    • Works for hyperactive and stressed nervous dogs
    • Doesn’t contain GMOs, corn, soy, wheat, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Smells bad

    9. Billion Pets Hemp Oil for Dogs

    Billion Pets Hemp Oil for Dogs and Cats (1)

    Type: Drops
    Flavor: None
    Sizes: 1 oz.
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    The Billion Pets Hemp Oil for Dogs is hemp oil that comes in a dropper and contains vitamins C and E. It not only calms your dog but also provides support for healthy joints, coats, and skin and aids in digestion. It contains antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and flavonoids that all support your dog’s joints. It can be added to your dog’s food, directly into their mouth, or rubbed into their skin if there are any skin issues.

    However, some dogs might not like the taste of this oil, and it can give some dogs gastrointestinal upset, primarily diarrhea.

    Pros
    • Hemp oil that also contains vitamins E and C
    • Supports healthy joints, skin, and coat and a calming effect
    • Also contains flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids
    • Aids in digestion and can be applied to the skin or in the mouth
    Cons
    • Can cause some dogs GI upset
    • Some dogs might not like the flavor

    10. Zesty Paws Core Elements Calming Supplement

    Zesty Paws Core Elements Calming Supplement (1)

    Type: Soft chews
    Flavor: Peanut butter
    Sizes: 90 chews
    Main Calming Ingredients: Hemp

    Zesty Paw’s Core Elements Calming Supplement contains soft chews, in peanut butter flavor. They contain hemp, valerian root, chamomile, l-tryptophan, Suntheanine, and the usual hemp to act as an effective calming aid. They don’t have corn, soy, or wheat and will help with your hyperactive dog or relaxing your dog over stressful events.

    The disadvantages are the price, and in some cases, the dog might be more sleepy rather than less nervous, so the chews might not always work the way that you want.

    Pros
    • Peanut butter flavor
    • Contains hemp, chamomile, valerian root, Suntheanine, l-tryptophan, and ginger
    • Doesn’t include soy, wheat, or corn
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Might make dogs sleepy

    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Best Calming Aid

    Before you decide on what calming aid you should choose for your dog, check out this guide. We included information that might help you make a more informed decision and better understand how to support your dog.

    Flavor

    If your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy a specific soft chew, you might need to try another flavor. If your dog loves peanut butter, try a peanut butter-flavored one. However, if your dog turns up their nose at a chew that they would typically enjoy, just try out a new one. You can also try crumbling the treats in with their meal if it turns into a pickiness problem.

    Timing

    Before selecting your calming aid, particularly if you’re opting for something oral (soft chews or oil), you need to factor in how long it takes for it to start working. Many treats take about 30 to 45 minutes to take effect. Of course, a pressure vest is immediate, but you should still double-check these things before purchasing.

    dog medicine_Shutterstock_LightField Studios
    Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

    The Right Amount

    You’ll also need to figure out how much is the right amount for your dog. Obviously, the bigger your dog, the more that you’ll need to give them. Many dog owners find that they need to experiment with how much is just right. This might include needing to cut treats in half. Conversely, if the recommended amount isn’t doing the trick, you might need to give a little extra in tiny amounts until you start to notice a difference.

    Give It Time

    If you give your dog the calming aid and don’t notice any real difference, this doesn’t always mean it doesn’t work. In many cases, you’ll need to give your dog the product over an extended period before it starts working. Some treats need to be given every day for up to a month before you’ll start to see the effects. Always read the instructions and be patient. You might need to use several different products at the same time (ThunderShirt combined with a soft chew, for example).

    Extreme Anxiety

    Keep in mind that if your dog suffers from extreme forms of stress and anxiety, none of these calming aids might help. It’s possible that you’ll notice a bit of a difference, but it’s not likely to cure the problem. You should speak to your vet and even consider an animal behaviorist. In some cases, medicine might be the best option, and a behaviorist might be able to teach you specific tactics that will help your dog after an extended period of time.

    divider-pawConclusion

    The PetHonesty Calming Hemp Soft Chews are our overall favs because these chews are quite effective and use a combination of hemp, ginger, chamomile, and valerian root, which all work to calm your dog. Zesty Paws Hemp Elements Calming OraStix is a great price and uses peppermint to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and make their breath fresher. Lastly, Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Cognition Bites are specially designed for senior dogs and work to calm your dog and support their cognition, nervous system, and memory issues.

    We hope that these reviews of 10 of the best calming aids will help you find the right product for your anxious dog. It’s a tough thing to watch your dog feel less than comfortable, and maybe one or more of these products will make your dog happier and more relaxed in the long run.


    Featured Image Credit: torstensimon, pixabay

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