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Natural anti anxiety medications

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Merlin

I will protect- you Mom!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 8:09am PST 
Does anyone have suggestion on natural anti anxiety medications for Merlin? He is a chihuahua/corgi mix and has the nerves of the chihuahua and the prey drive of the corgi. He barks a lot, is easily startled, seems scared of any new item in the house and doesn't do well in the car. He has had training and we don't coddle him, but his anxiety hasn't lessened a lot in the years that I've had him. I am thinking of trying a natural herbal slight chill out medication for him. I don't want him to be a zombie dog, just take the edge off. Does anyone have any recommendations? I have a bottle of rescue remedy drops at home. I might give them a try.

Thanks everyone!
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 8:18am PST 
Give the rescue remedy a try, look into learning TTouch, and try a Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap before considering medication (natural or not). smile

While the Thundershirt was not Rexy's cup of tea, it does work for a lot of dogs (and comes in very small sizes too).
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Fireside's- Twilight- Princess

Nick Name - Balistic Missle
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 8:47am PST 
I use a pheremone collar on my shy girl. It made a huge difference. If you don't want your dog wearing the collar all the time you can get the pheremones on a Glade plug in looking contraption.
Basically the collar or the plug in give off the same pheremones a mother dog does while nursing, the scent is calming and relaxing. They also toss in lavendar and chamomile which are also both calming.
From what I've heard they either work or they don't. That's why I tried the collar first, it was cheaper. I've stuck with it because she can take the scent with her wherever she goes. I don't worry about it getting caught on something because generally someone is always home. If we are not I take it off and leave it in the living room by the couch since that's where she lays when we are gone.
I've had friends that find a dot or two of lavender essential oil on a collar or bandana makes a big difference.
Good Luck!
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 9:01am PST 
Merlin,
I to a lesser extent have a similar problem with my Mika. We have been socializing her ever since we got her and have had some very good results dealing with most of her strange anxiety. She is now excellent with new people and places,has gotten over her fear of the car and car sickness,our last seemingly un conquerable issue seems to be new things or things that she feels are not in their proper place. An example is every Winter we take the broom off the porch and replace it with the snow shovel,and every Spring we put away the snow shovel and get out the broom. No one has ever hurt her with either of them,they have never fallen near or on her but she is very uneasy about passing them for about a week,each time the switch is made. I would love to find a behaviorist in my area to teach us how to help her overcome this but we can't even find a trainer willing to work with Akitas in this area and including Petco there are only 4 trainers total in this area,We have asked several local and our regular vet as well and none know of a behaviorist within at minimum of 100 miles from here. I wish you luck in finding something that helps your pup and will be watching this thread closely for advice. I do not want to medicate my dog naturalmeds or not and a thundershirt didn't work.wisheshug
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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 12:58pm PST 
I used Melatonin on Lily. It helpd to take the edge off of her anxiety so she could relax. When we first got her she would pace and constantly bark and hide and at night she wouldn't sleep because she was pacing or in and out of her hiding spot all night. That went on for months and months, and we tried phermon collars and natural calming pills and none worked. Melatonin helped around the house, and she actually relaxed enough to sleep at night! I used Melatonin every day for a few months because stuff I read about said not to give it for more than a few months. Now I give it when needed, which isn't very often. Outside of the house Lily was still anxious and wasn't making much progress with her anxiety, so we got a Thundershirt and it helps a lot. It's not a magic cure but it helps ease her anxiety and brig her back into herself when in the past she would just instantly panic whenever she came across the scary things.
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Merlin

I will protect- you Mom!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 1:57pm PST 
Thanks for all the great suggestions! I have used the pheremone scent plug ins in the past for my cats, and I didn't see much benefit for them, but a collar might be a better option for Merlin.

My boyfriend has a larger, very friendly and laid back dog. He gets to go places with us (the lake, Petsmart, etx). I would love to be able to take Gracie and Merlin too. Gracie would probably handle those situations ok, but I don't want to leave Merlin home alone so they don't get to go many places.

Merlin's nerves cause him to bark every time water flows into the ice maker, every time the coffee pot beeper goes off, every time someone walks down the street in front of our house. He can't stand for a box to be brought in and sat down...and forget it if someone gives me a birthday balloon. That messes with him for days. He's come a long way...when I first got him (2008) he was about 3 1/2 and I couldn't reach for him without him peeing on himself. He no longer does that thankfully. Only in the last year has he gotten to where he likes to play with toys. I can now reach for one to take it away from him without him peeing (as long as I'm sure he's peed recently). I can at least take him in the car to the vet and he doesn't drool, he just shakes now. I want to give him the best quality of life he can have.
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 4:41pm PST 
Sounds like you and Merlin and have already come a long ways. way to go

I'd consider trying most of the suggestions here and would also keep a journal to see if any of the suggestions are helping. I know that for me, I tend to miss gradual changes unless I write it down.

From your original post, it wasn't apparent just how anxious and scared your boy is. I would be considering speaking to a vet (ideally in conjunction with a behaviourist) to explore medication options (along with a behaviour modification plan) to see if there is something that would work for Merlin (and that you are comfortable giving him) in case he is still having a tough time in spite of trying Thundershirts, RR, DAP collars etc. It's gotta be really tough to not be able to relax and be so easily startled...

There are a few pups here on Dogster who have had success using medication for fear and anxiety issues (and some where it didn't work at all). Like anything else, it's not a magic bullet by any means, and it can take time for meds to take effect, and not all meds work for all dogs, but it's something to consider. smile

Edited by author Tue May 8, '12 4:44pm PST

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Lizzie, CGC

Fence Jumper
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 6:55pm PST 
I really like Happy Traveler. It's an herbal sedative. It has (I believe- I'm thinking off of the top of my head here) frankincense, valerian, and lavender. I pull the pill open, pour out the contents into some canned food, mix, and give it to the dog. It really helps Lizzie with thunderstorms.
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Kodiak

The cheese ninja
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 7:51pm PST 
I agree that it's good not to affirm his fears by getting too worked up and coddling him when he's upset, but do remember to have good quality snuggle time. Hold him in your lap, let him hide in your armpit or put his head on your chest, scratch under his collar, rub his belly, pet him in long strokes down his sides. Let him lick your face, if you don't mind. That affection tells him that he is part of the pack, which tells him that he will be fed and protected, which makes him less anxious.
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Foxxy

Pocket Wolf
 
 
Barked: Tue May 8, '12 8:37pm PST 
have you ever considered making chamomile & valerian tea for your dog? you might have to flavor it with a bit of chicken broth but it does relax a body.
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