Anxiety in Dogs: How to keep your dog calm

katy towle 15 October 2020

Written by Veterinary Dr Linda Simon 


While bonfire night is an evening enjoyed by many, it can be utter hell for those owners with nervous pets. Frustratingly, as these owners will be well aware, the bonfires and fireworks are no longer reserved to one evening alone and can be seen and heard for many nights before and after the fifth of November.

While any dog can be adversely affected by the events on bonfire night, those who are naturally highly-strung and anxious tend to suffer the most. The whooshes, pops and bangs coupled with the flashes of bright light in the sky are simply too much for some to handle.

Those who are scared of fireworks are generally also the same dogs who quiver when placed on the vet’s consult table, nervously back away from new people and hide away at the first peal of thunder during a storm. Signs of a phobia can include yawning, trembling, panting, whining as well as destructive behavior and even clinginess and submissive urination. Some will only show mild and subtle signs while others will be visibly shaken for days after the stress-inducing incident.

Tackling a deep-seated phobia is no mean feat and we advise using a multi-pronged approach. To combat fears and build confidence, it may be necessary to work with a veterinary behaviourist over time and to utilize techniques such as desensitization and counter-conditioning.  On top of this, pheromone releasing plug-ins, collars and sprays can be useful tools in the fight against phobias. Here at Pooch & Mutt, we are proud of our Calm & Relaxed range; food and treats which can form an important part of the multi-modal treatment plan to aid anxious pets.

Importantly, nervous nellies should be fed on calming diets constantly, rather than the day of the anxiety-inducing event. They work best over time and are very safe to feed life-long. 

Our Calm & Relaxed food is packed full of natural ingredients which help to settle the nerves and reduce hyperactivity.

  • L Tryptophan is a precursor to several important chemicals such as melanin and serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which can facilitate better self-control and promote calming emotions.
  • Chamomile (yes, the same ingredient that is in your tea!) has been known for its stress reducing properties for many hundreds of years. Traditionally used to treat insomnia and more recently proven to help in the treatment of mild to moderate anxiety, this herb has some truly powerful properties.

Of course, as with all of our range, the Calm & Relaxed diet is nutritionally complete and is appropriate for long-term feeding. Made with 45% high-quality turkey and plenty of sweet potato as a source of slow-releasing carbohydrates, your excitable pooch will feel satisfied after every meal.

Calm & Relaxed Mini Bone Dog Treats are ideal to use when on the go and as rewards during basic training. 

  • A source of Valerian Root, these yummy treats offer a very mildly sedating effect, which can help to simply take the edge off.
  • The Vitamin E within these treats is a powerful antioxidant which can potentially defend against the biochemical changes associated with both stress and depression.