New Approaches to Treating Anxiety in Dogs

Brittany Randolph

Are you looking to support your dog’s health with natural or alternative remedies for common maladies? Sure, your vet has pharmaceutical treatment options for everything dogs often experience like flea and tick bites, separation anxiety, and skin infections, but alternative therapies are on the rise.

If you’re curious about alternative medicine for your dog, this blog is for you. We’ve collected some information to get you started, but we strongly recommend always working together with your dog’s vet to make sure that any supporting therapies you’re trying are safe for your pet. 

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Unless you live under a rock (and no offense if you do), you’ve probably heard all the buzz about the benefits and applications of CBD oil in humans. But did you know that many people are also seeing benefits for their dogs? If you’re curious about whether this magic elixir can benefit your pup, here’s what you need to know:

  • CBD will not make your dog stoned or prone to eating a bag of chips on the couch. CBD is a compound found in cannabis but it does not contain THC, which is the compound that has psychoactive properties.
  • While there are no formal studies to-date, the feedback from dog owners is that CBD oil can help with pain, seizures, nausea relief, appetite stimulation, anxiety relief and more.
  • Side effects are possible but seemingly benign including: dry mouth, drowsiness or lowered blood pressure.
  • Overall safety is still a question mark so if you’re a stickler, you might want to skip CBD oil. However, if you’re reading this article, chances are you’re looking for an alternative, so take this information to your veterinarian and get some well-schooled guidance on dosages, brands and more.


Herbs & Plants

Herbs and plants are perhaps one of the oldest resources for treating human maladies. Pets can also benefit from herbs in everyday life, if you know what to use, and how. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate herbs into your dog’s life to help treat anxiety and other common and minor ailments:

Aloe Vera

Treat your dog’s minor cuts, scrapes, burns or bites with the cool gel of the aloe leaf as long as you use a cone collar or apply to a spot that your dog can’t reach to lick off. Ears, neck, back are all safe, but aloe can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.


Just like humans, dogs can find relief from an upset stomach from ginger root, made into a tincture or a tea.

Milk Thistle

If your dog is taking any medication that negatively impacts the liver, ask your veterinarian about supporting liver function with milk thistle.

Valerian, Chamomile and California Poppy

Together, these three herbs are natural calming agents that can help balance the energy of an overly excitable dog.


Essential Oils

Essential oils are derived from nature - plants, fruits, herbs, flowers, roots - and while this does make them “natural” it doesn’t mean they’re all safe for dogs (or humans)! There are a few, however, that are known to be effective at helping with anxiety, skin conditions and even flea and tick prevention.

  • Tick prevention: Geranium, Myrrh, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus
  • Anxiety: Green mandarin, Neroli, Valerian, Sweet Orange, Rose, Vetiver, Lavender, Frankincense, Violet Leaf, Linden Blossom, Roman Chamomile, Hemp.
  • Motion Sickness: Ginger, Peppermint
  • Skin irritation or Itching: lavender, peppermint, rose

Try something new with your dog and you never know, it might just help! And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we must repeat: please check with your veterinarian before starting a new remedy to be clear about dosages, brands and applications.

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