These are notes taken during a time when we had a severely thunderphobic dog who also suffered from separation anxiety (December 2011 – May 2015). We hope you take a look at the various calming methods available and decide for yourself which remedies you’d like to try.
Over the months we have tried a variety of supplements. We found that the psychotropic drugs did not work at all, in fact, they had an opposite reaction. So we explore supplements. There is not an easy solution; I consider this an education for myself and an investment in my own knowledge. If any of this information can help others, it is worth the investment.
Here are some of the supplements we have researched:
1-Dr. Harvey’s “Relax” – this is a powder that you put into their regular food using a small provided scooper. All the dogs seem to like it.
2-Liquid Health Pet’s K9 and Kitty Calmer [this product contains a balanced combination of practically all of the components that I have researched, all in one bottle.]
3-Quiet Moments Herbal Calming Spray AND Quiet Moments Calming Aid chewable tablets from https://www.naturvet.com [the tablets contain L-tryptophan which is not found in the K9 and Kitty Calmer above. The new formulation also contains melatonin.]
4-Calming Collar – https://www.calmingcollars.com/
5-Calmigem Calmigem is a gemmotherapy product. I only put one squirt in her mouth.
6-Thunder Shirt – available at many stores now.
7-Rescue Remedy found at most health food and pet stores. This is a flower essence, and works on the emotional level of the animal or person or plant. It does not interfere with any medications already being given. Rescue Remedy is a combination of 5 flowers: Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem — it was developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s through his own practice and observation. It can be known by two names: Rescue Remedy or Five-Flower-Formula. It works on humans and animals very well – fish and plants, too. I order from Flower Essence Society (USA).
8-Nervousness-Fear Formula by Newton’s Homeopathics
9-Calming music: I have the 3 CDs for calming, and have just ordered the new one for mature dogs. I have an mp3 player, and when it gets to the end of these CDs, the dogs let me know, and I must turn it back on. It really helps. iCalmPet|Calming Music
10-Berte’s Immune Blend, started this for one of our other dogs who had a cancerous tumor removed from his leg. So giving it to all the dogs now. It is a very good immune blend for prevention and so far the tumor has not grown back.
11-Calm Shen by Herbsmith Inc – It is a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) herbal and contains things I have never heard of. I’m not sure if it will interfere with the above Western herbs. I am listing it because I discovered it at a raw food store.
12-From EntirelyPets.com : 1 – HomeoPet Anxiety; 2 – TranQuil Tabs for Dogs; 3 – RESOURCES Canine Anti-Anxiety & Calming and 4 – ProQuiet.
13-From PetAlive I tried PetCalm. , which was donated by Mike, a board member with GBGRR. This works during mild conditions, but I have not found it to work during loud scary thunderstorms.
Some or all the above may be found at your local pet store or raw dog food store as well. It is doubtful that any one store will carry all the above.
Colleen Flanagan has been very helpful to me regarding our dogs’ emotional conditions. Her web site is at https://www.emorescue.com/
Enzymes – don’t underestimate the importance of enzymes. You might want to check out the following site: Nzymes
Food – Dog Aware is a fabulous resource site. Do yourself a favor and check it out. http://dogaware.com/index.html
Everything below this line was written prior to May of 2012.
I am not underestimating the possibility that there may be a physical connection to fears. We are supplementing with several items, all containing vitamin B, which I understand is a vitamin that is greatly diminished during times of stress.
A Good Diet: Trauma and fear really wears down the body! Every Sunday I go to the Farmer’s Market and get vegetables from the dollar table. This I make into a soup and add a small amount of meat that I get from the food coop. The meat contains no steroids, hormones, or antibiotics. I also add dried beans. This soup lasts the humans and dogs here about 4 days. I pour it over high quality kibble for the dogs. This is a really cheap meal and it lasts a long time. I alternate this with raw, which I get from www.bones2go.com. I also refer to recipes and suggestions at www.dogaware.com. We use enzymes and probiotics from www.nzymes.com.
Flower Essences: aspen, self heal, impatiens, red chestnut, mimulus. More remedies have been suggested, and I haven’t gotten them yet. They are given daily by mouth. I am ordering flower essences from FES (mentioned above). Local friends – if you need help with flower essences and/or homeopathics, let me know. I have a stash here and am always glad to help out. Update: Since the last really bad storm, I have neglected to continue daily flower essences, and I must resume, because she’s having short panic attacks at 2:30 am, even without the presence of a storm or any weather conditions. Administering the flower essences calms her down immediately.
Update Feb. 23: I have put together a combination of Splendid Mariposa Lily, Green Rose, Glassy Hyacinth and Chamomile. Will take notes and report after the next storm.
Washing Machine & other Noise: if I’m running the washing machine, the dogs really calm down. Having the TV on also helps, because my husband can’t even hear the thunder with the TV on. Course he can’t hear well in the first place…
Essential Oils: Lavendar is calming, and oregano gives a feeling of security. We are diffusing the lavender and applying on the skin. Oregano goes on the back pads. I’m only using Young Living Oils because I know there are no additives that can be harmful. I have valerian on order! I have learned an emotional release technique using Young Living Essential Oils, and am practicing on the dogs, who seem to like it. A lot. It is as if they are just drinking it all in and can’t get enough. They love being “anointed”.
Chew Chips: security is having something to chew on
Raw Bones: I get raw bones from www.bones2go.com and also I have raw beef bones from a friend who has a ranch. I think these raw bones satisfy dogs in a big way. Our dogs get raw bones twice weekly and they really enjoy.
Intuitive Massage: I have been told to just massage her and go where I feel it will do the best. It’s kinda fun. Try it.
Reiki & Prayer: I am an advanced Reiki practitioner, and belong to an animal Reiki group on yahoo groups. I asked the members to send Reiki to our dogs during storms. I believe in asking for help from the sources that feed one spiritually.
Energy Healing: My friend, Candace Wingo, does Emotion Code healing. I’m not really sure how it works, but the emotions of rejection and terror have come up and been released.
Animal Communicators: When I don’t have a clue, I go to a source with less emotional ties.
Salt Lamps: I read that dogs with thunder anxiety hide out in the bathroom or laundry room because the air contains negative ions. Probably because they are water rooms. So then I looked up negative ions, and found that Salt Lamps create negative ions. We bought some and had very high hopes. They are really beautiful, and work in very mild conditions, but in a full blown loud thunderstorm, they didn’t do the trick. However, we really love them – they make great night lights and create a really peaceful look and feeling throughout the house. We have a friend who visits often, who coughs all the time says she feels that she can breathe better with the salt lamps on. Truthfully she’s not coughing as much as she used to.
Kava Kava – this supplement is supposed to take the edge off. I tried it for myself and it didn’t do much for me. I bought some at HEB in the health food section.
Homeopathics: Recently we tried going off all supplements, and dispensed just a few doses of phosphorus. Everything helps slightly at the very least.
Anxiety attacks can be calmed by using EFT – (emotional freedom technique.) EFT has been highly effective for our dogs.
This page is not intended to provide medical advice or physician instruction on the appropriate use of products mentioned above. Information provided should not be used for diagnostic or training purposes. The supplements listed above, nor any statements about them, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the products above are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I do not diagnose or treat any type of dis-ease. The energy work I do is not a substitute for medical treatment. Please go to your vet if your pet has a medical condition that persists. The work that I do is supportive, and should not be your only form of self-care. There is no substitute for an exam, evaluation and diagnosis from a good veterinarian.