The Best Dog Calming Treats

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: January 23, 2023
© WilleeCole Photography/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog calming treats are the Zesty Paws Calming Bites.
  • If you worry about your dog having anxiety then calming dog treats are one way to help your pet cope.
  • Calming treats can be an effective way of helping pets cope with things such as thunderstorms or travelling in the car.
  • We’ve reviewed a selection of the best calming treats for dogs as well as provided a detailed buyer’s guide to help you make the very best choice for your pet.

Many dog parents are worried about anxiety in their pets. They frequently inquire about ways to assist their pets cope, such as dog soothing treats. Anxiety in domesticated animals can occur due to a variety of reasons. Chronic anxiety can lead to harmful behavior as well as mood disorders like depression. 

There are several things you may do if your pet is suffering from anxiety or other sorts of stress. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the top calming treats to help your four-legged friend. 

You can give your pooch calming treats for several reasons. Whether your dog is an anxious traveler or doesn’t do well with thunderstorms, our top options are sure to help them stay relaxed even in the most stressful circumstances. 

  1. Zesty Paws Calming Bites
    • Perfect for picky eaters
    • Made from effective, carefully selected ingredients
    • Free from gluten, artificial flavors, and preservatives
    • Includes suntheanine, a potent ingredient that decreases stress levels without drowsiness
    • Turkey-flavored chews are dog-approved
    Check Chewy
  2. SmartBones SmartSticks Chamomile & Lavender Flavor Chews
    • Budget-friendly
    • Made with all-natural ingredients
    • Look similar to rawhide bones
    • Will distract your dog from what's distressing it
    • Made with easy-to-digest ingredients and have a delicious chicken flavor
    Check Chewy
  3. PetHonesty Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs
    • Made with natural ingredients like chamomile, ginger, and valerian root
    • Soft chew
    • Vet tested
    • These supplements will help relax your dog's anxiety and boost brain function
    Check Chewy

The Top Picks for Dog Calming Treats

#1 Best Overall: Zesty Paws Calming Bites

In our opinion the best overall calming treats are the Zesty Paws Calming Bites. 

These treats contain suntheanine, a potent ingredient that balances your dog’s brain waves for rest and decreased stress levels without causing drowsiness. They also contain vitamin B1 to encourange a calm and balanced temperament. Plus, thiamine and organic chamomile can also help to lessen aggressive behavior.

These chewable treats are turkey flavor which is popular with most dogs. The chews are small enough that you can split them out to fit your dog’s dosage. Plus, these snacks are free of artificial flavors and preservatives as well as gluten.

The only drawback to this product is that some customers have reported that their picky eaters do not like them.

Pros and Cons of the Zesty Paws Calming Bites

ProsCons
These calming treats contain suntheanine which balances dog’s brain waves for rest and decreases stress levels without causing drowsiness.Not all dogs likes these chews.
They contain vitamin B1 which promotes a clam temperament.
They contain thiamine and organic chamomile to lessen aggressive behavior.
They are free from artificial flavors and preservatives.
Best Overall
Zesty Paws Calming Bites
  • Perfect for picky eaters
  • Made from effective, carefully selected ingredients
  • Free from gluten, artificial flavors, and preservatives
  • Includes suntheanine, a potent ingredient that decreases stress levels without drowsiness
  • Turkey-flavored chews are dog-approved
Check Chewy

2. Best Flavor: SmartBones SmartSticks Chamomile & Lavender Flavor Chews

Our selection as the best budget option are the SmartBones SmartSticks Chamomile and Lavender Flavor Chews.

One pack of these chews comes with 16 bones made with all-natural ingredients that look similar to rawhides. Because this is a bone, your dog will be distracted with a tasty treat from whatever is causing him stress. Chewing on a bone will not only calm your dog down, but it’s also beneficial for their dental health as well as it can help to remove plaque and tartar! Plus, these bones are made with easy-to-digest ingredients and have a delicious chicken flavor that your pooch will love. 

However, we do want to mention that these treats only come in one size. Also, how effective the calming effect will be can vary from one dog to another.

Pros and Cons of the SmartBones SmartSticks Chamomile & Lavender Flavor Chews

ProsCons
Each pack comes with 16 bones.They are only available in one size.
They are made from all-natural ingredients.The calming effect varies from one dog to another.
It can help to remove plaque and tartar from teeth.
They are a tasty chicken flavor.
Best on a Budget
SmartBones SmartSticks Chamomile & Lavender Flavor Chews
  • Budget-friendly
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Look similar to rawhide bones
  • Will distract your dog from what's distressing it
  • Made with easy-to-digest ingredients and have a delicious chicken flavor
Check Chewy

3. Best All-Natural: PetHonesty Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs

If you prefer an all-natural option for your pet then we recommend the Pet Honesty Calming Chews for Dogs.

These calming chews are made with natural ingredients such as chamomile, ginger, and valerian root. They have a delightful natural flavor and come in a soft chew form that your pet will love! These chews have been vet-tested and are highly recommended to help relax your dog’s anxieties, boost brain function, and maintain a tranquil temperament. Plus, these treats are completely free from wheat, corn, soy, and artificial flavors and preservatives.

Whether it’s caused by separation, traveling, loud noises or anxiety caused by changes in your pet’s everyday routine, or behavioral difficulties like aggressiveness, barking, or hyperactivity, these natural chews assist dogs to maintain a normal and peaceful demeanor.

Although these chews have a lot going for them, a small number of customers have reported that they caused their pups to have an upset stomach.

Pros and Cons of the PetHonesty Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs

ProsCons
These calming treats are made with natural ingredients such as chamomile, ginger, and valerian root. They can give some dogs an upset stomach.
They have a tasty natural flavor.
They are vet-tested and recommended.
These treats are free from wheat, corn, soy, and artificial colors and preservatives.
Best All-Natural
PetHonesty Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs
  • Made with natural ingredients like chamomile, ginger, and valerian root
  • Soft chew
  • Vet tested
  • These supplements will help relax your dog's anxiety and boost brain function
Check Chewy

What Is Anxiety in Dogs?

Even though dogs can’t talk in a language that we humans can understand, they still show us signs that they’re stressed out. Just like people, when a dog is continuously in a state of nervousness, it can affect the rest of its health. 

Dogs are most commonly stressed by loud noises such as fireworks or thunder, as well as separation from their owner. Canines will show anxiety and stress by:

  • Having diarrhea
  • Hiding
  • Shaking
  • Urinating inside
  • Scratching
  • Whimpering
  • Acting aggressive
  • Shaking
  • Digging in place
  • Prolonged yawning
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trying to get out of the area
  • Barking a lot 

Using a safe and healthy treat during anxious times will help your pet feel much more relaxed and calm. Let’s get started with our top choice that your furry friend will surely love the taste of! 

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Even the most relaxed and laid-back dogs can become tense at times. While positive rewards can help with some dog behaviors, soothing treats are meant to help a dog relax and remain calm. 

Dogs will feel secure and animal owners will have comfort if some planning is done. Fears, anxieties, and worry can cause tension in both dogs and their owners, so here’s what to look for when selecting a calming treat for your canine companion.

Ingredients

We’re looking for high-quality components that include chamomile, L-tryptophan, magnolia, passionflower, and hemp to help with anxiety. Most natural soothing therapies for dogs incorporate them. 

We don’t advocate products with artificial colors or a lot of fillers because they aren’t good for your dog. The best thing you can do for your dog is to keep it all-natural.

Flavor

If your dog is going to consume a treat, it must have a good taste. We’ve seen a few picky eaters before, so we’re familiar with the problem. Any relaxing products for dogs that have a meaty flavor are a good choice. 

Dogs are carnivores, therefore such delicacies will pique their interest in eating them. Peanut butter, on the other hand, is a popular choice among dogs that don’t enjoy meat flavors. 

Side Effects 

Several dog owners wonder why they can’t just give their dogs anything to put them to sleep. However, this is quite risky. Your pooch should be able to protect itself and flee if necessary in an emergency. When it comes to sleepy medications, we need also to consider breathing. Giving your dog sleeping pills if they have any form of breathing problem is very risky.

Cause of Anxiety 

When looking for calming treats, it’s also important to figure out what kind of anxiety your dog has and then tailor your search accordingly. Your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety if she becomes anxious when left alone. Fear-related anxiety may be to fault if your dog trembles, shivers, or hides when exposed to loud noises. 

Is your dog exhibiting any additional anxiety-related symptoms? Anxiety in dogs can also be caused by illness or sickness. Calming treats aren’t a solution for everything, and it’s preferable to address the source of your dog’s nervousness or fear before offering him a treat to relax.

The Different Types of Calming Methods: Pros and Cons Compared

As you’ll read below, the main type of calming treats for dogs are chews and sticks. In addition, there are several other calming methods available for man’s best friend! Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each! 

Chews and Sticks

We prefer chews and bones since they come in a variety of textures, tastes, and natural ingredients. Some are meant to be used on a regular basis for chronic anxiety, while others are meant to be taken only when stressful events arise. 

They can also be highly quick-acting, which is useful in emergency situations. However, some will take action after roughly 30 days of everyday consumption.

Aromatherapy

Most people think this is strange, but we did some research and discovered that aromatherapy isn’t only for our Sunday evening soak. It involves the application of particular oils to the skin or the use of a diffuser. A hyperactive dog will be instantly calmed by the fragrance. 

Finding relaxing treats for diabetic dogs, for example, might be difficult, so we suggest trying this option. Lavender, citrus, and peppermint are all popular smells. Please remember that essential oils can be hazardous if consumed, so use caution while using them near your dog.

Distractions 

This is where a dog and its owner can have a good time. Dog puzzles and toys are excellent for diverting your dog’s attention away from the scenario. In the same way, that distraction works for humans when we have an increase in anxiety, the same can be said for pups! Grab their favorite toy or stuffed animal, or just give them some extra cuddles. 

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

The Best Dog Calming Treats FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long until dog calming treats start to work?

The benefits of fast-acting treats are usually seen in 20 to 30 minutes, however, this might vary.

What happens if your dog takes too many calming treats? 

If consumed in excess, calming treats might cause changes in salt levels in the blood. If your dog’s salt levels are excessively high, they may have symptoms like increased thirst or more serious nervous system symptoms including restlessness, trembling, and even seizures.

How long do dog calming treats last?

While all dogs are different, it’s most common that the effects last for 8 to 10 hours.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.