Anxiety in dogs can be difficult for both dogs and their pet owners. Sometimes, as a pet owner, it can feel like you’re alone in struggling with your dog’s anxious behavior, but it’s more common than one might think. In one online survey, owners reported signs consistent with fear or anxiety in 29% of dogs – that’s almost one-third!
Signs of anxiety in dogs may include pacing, reluctance to accept treats, excessive barking, and panting. Canine anxiety doesn’t just have behavioral effects, it also has the potential to cause physiological effects. When an anxious dog lives in a state of chronic physiological stress, it can cause gastrointestinal distress or contribute to inflammatory bowel disease. It can also suppress the immune system, cause integumentary (skin) problems such a pyoderma or pruritis (skin infections), and negatively impact the reproductive system.
There are many different options for treating canine anxiety, so we’re excited to announce that we now have another tool in our toolbox. Purina has recently conducted research into the way diet-related changes in gut-microbiota influences the brain via the gut-brain axis. In turn, diet-related changes may influence behaviors including anxiety. As a result of this research, they have developed a new probiotic supplement called Calming Care and Big Lick Vet is now carrying it!
Calming Care is a new canine supplement that contains a probiotic with 1X109 CFU of Bifidobacterium longum BL999, a probiotic strain shown to help an anxious dog maintain calm behavior. Calming Care supports a healthy immune system and in a blinded crossover design study, 90% of dogs showed an improvement in displaying anxious behaviors such as vocalization, jumping, pacing, and spinning. This supplement helps dogs cope with external stressors like separation, unfamiliar visitors, novel sounds, or changes in routine and location.
It comes in highly palatable single use packets that are sprinkled over a dog’s food once a day. Not only does it help dogs maintain positive cardiac activity during stressful events, it promotes a positive emotional state and helps blunt cortisol response to anxious events. Calming Care may take up to six weeks of administration to see results, though some pet owners have reported changes in their pet’s anxious behaviors even sooner.
In addition to Calming Care, we also carry an all natural supplement from Nutramax called Solliquin that’s intended to help support normal behavior and facilitate a calming effect. It contains a unique combination of ingredients not found in any other product: L-theanine, Magnolia, Phellodendron, and Whey Protein Concentrate. Solliquin provides the benefits of all four ingredients in a convenient, once-daily soft chew or chewable tablet.
They key ingredients found in Solliquin have been shown to help pets exhibiting nervousness and discontentment in response to environmentally-induced stress. Solliquin’s package size is aligned with initial administration recommendations by leading veterinary specialists for a behavior health supplement.