A happy dog makes for a happy home Pets help keep our stress levels under control but what about theirs? With the pace of modern day living being what it is and stress levels continually on the rise, it’s little wonder our pets become affected as well. Pets are known for being very in tune with their owner’s state of mind. How often have you noticed your pet seeking you out to console you when you are feeling blue? They are such a comfort! While they do us a world of good, what about what we do to keep our domesticated companions happy and stress-free? Dogs can be sensitive to all the same forms of stress and anxiety that we are – whether from trauma, physical limitations, boredom, noise, change in routine or separation anxiety to name but a few. Some breeds are also prone to being more highly strung than others, so understanding your dog’s natural disposition is also key to ensuring your dog’s tail keeps wagging with the happy-go-lucky approach to life you love so much.
What is Regal’s Stress and Anxiety Remedy?
Regal Stress and Anxiety Remedy, with a delicious artificial beef flavour, has been specifically formulated with three effective herbs known for calming stressed, anxious and problem dogs. This herbal nerve tonic is beneficial for dogs prone to separation anxiety and problem behaviours (including barking, biting, aggression and hyperactivity). It can also be given to soothe nerves during stressful situations such as thunderstorms, fireworks or a car trip. A happy dog makes for a happy home!
Regal’s Stress and Anxiety Remedy is comprised of these herbal ingredients:
Chamomile Chamomilla recutita flos tincture 20%
|Well-known for its calmative properties since ancient times. Not only has it become widely documented for its sedative effects but it has become commonly known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic properties. In fact, the Anglo-Saxons chewed Chamomile flowers to relieve toothache, gingivitis and inflamed oral cavities!|
Passion Flower Passiflora incarnata herba tincture 62%
|Also known as maypop or apricot vine, Passion Flower is a very effective anti-anxiety herb that has a long history having been first discovered by Spanish explorers in 1569 in Peru. Not only does this herb contain sedative properties it is also known for its anti-spasmodic and natural pain-relieving properties, helping to support the sympathetic nervous system and soothe muscle aches and pains experienced by pets that are feeling stressed.|
Valerian Valeriana officinalis radix tincture 62%
|In the Middle Ages, Valerian was commonly referred to as the ‘all-heal’ due to its numerous medicinal properties. Studies have indicated how Valerian is beneficial in soothing symptoms of excitability induced by nervousness or fear as well as addressing overall feelings of stress and anxiety. It also contains antispasmodic properties and is a well-known sleeping aid for insomnia that is induced by fretfulness and hyperactivity.|
Other ingredients: alcohol (1.96% v/v), sorbitol, water, alcohol, citric acid, flavouring and colourant
|Sodium benzoatePotassium sorbate||0.048% m/v 0.030% m/v|
How To Use
Regal’s Stress and Anxiety Remedy has been formulated with an artificial beef flavor to ensure administration is stress-free from both you and your dog!
Directions: Administer liquid directly into the mouth or place it into a bowl. If your dog has a fussy palate then simply add some of your dog’s favourite food or snack to the liquid such as pellets, milk or yoghurt.
Small dogs (1 – 4.5kg) take 2.5ml TWO TO THREE times a day
Small-medium dogs (5kg – 10kg) take 5ml TWO TO THREE times a day
Medium dogs (11kg – 20kg) take 7.5ml TWO TO THREE times a day
Large dogs (21kg and more) take 10ml TWO TO THREE times a day
For best results use strictly as per dosage recommendation. Use until symptoms clear or continue as needed.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CATS. Do not give to pregnant or lactating dogs. Safe for dogs 6 months and older. Do not administer if your dog suffers from anemia. Consult with your vet before administering this remedy should your dog be on blood thinning medication. If in doubt please contact your veterinary surgeon before using this product.
What are the main causes of stress and anxiety in dogs?
Stress and anxiety can result due to many factors, which include:
- Boredom/no stimulation or attention
- Confinement, not getting enough exercise
- Physical limitations – e.g. a leg injury, arthritis
- Trauma – whether through an accident or from being mistreated
- Undesirable interactions – e.g. coming in contact with aggressive dogs or people
Signs of stress and anxiety can also be attributed to one of the following;
Social anxiety usually develops as a result of a puppy not receiving adequate training on how to socialize with other animals and people. Typically, pups who are separated from their mothers too early are more prone to exhibiting signs of social anxiety later on. The first three months of a pups’ life are crucial and if during this stage of their development they don’t learn how to socialize then this can turn into emotional and behavourial problems down the line. Typical behavioural problems include aggression, fear as well as signs of anxiety.
Noise anxiety refers to dogs that are sensitive to loud noises such as thunderstorms, fireworks and even vacuum cleaners. If your dog reacts to such noises by running away, whimpering and/or generally acting skittish it could be that he or she suffers from noise anxiety. Causes include a traumatic experience, breed and genetic factors, e.g. herding breeds such as Border Collies and German Shepherds commonly suffer from noise anxiety.
Separation anxiety is the most common form of stress and anxiety in dogs. A dog that may have a very gentle nature normally but is prone to experiencing separation anxiety can easily become highly strung and destructive. In these cases, dogs typically show signs of clinginess and whimpering, whining, howling, scratching, digging, barking and/or pacing when left alone, which often leads to destructive behaviour. Carpets and sofas beware! Separation anxiety can result from many factors including;
- An unstable home environment,
- Fear of abandonment,
- Jealously towards a new member in the family,
- Sudden change in their environment,
- Poor nutrition
- Physical problems
- Dominant relationship – dog owners that have allowed their dog to be the dominant ‘pack-leader’ in the family will often find they become upset, i.e. display signs of separation anxiety, when the owners (i.e. in the dog’s view – the sub-ordinates) leave without permission.
How can I tell if my dog is feeling stressed and anxious?
It is normal for dogs to experience occasional stress, just as we do, but when stress and feelings of anxiety become more consistent and severe this can lead to long-term emotional and physical problems. By being vigilant and looking out for any signs of abnormal behaviour in your dog you will be able to pinpoint what the problem is, enabling you to take steps sooner rather than later to relieve your dog’s stress and anxiety. Signs to look out for include:
- Repetitive behaviours
- Aggression – barking, biting, growling, snarling
- Loss of appetite or over-eating
- Dilated pupils
- Constant licking of lips
- Lack of bowel or bladder control
- Behaviours that appear unusual or uncharacteristic – e.g. the eating of feces
Which breeds are more prone to stress and anxiety?
It is common knowledge that some dog breeds are more sensitive to feelings of insecurity than others. These include:
- Herding dogs such as German Shepherds, Border Collies and Shelties
- Springer Spaniels
- Labrador Retrievers
While some breeds might be predisposed to feelings of insecurity this is not to say that they are guaranteed to become anxious. All dogs can be prone to suffer from stress and anxiety depending on their circumstances and upbringing as well as their predisposition.
Addressing stressed and anxious dogs the holistic way
While a happy dog makes for a happy home, a happy home makes for a happy dog! Laying the right foundation at home and understanding what your pet really needs is the key to helping him/her feel less stressed. An animal behaviourist can help you understand how your dog perceives and reacts to stimuli around him/her and will teach you how to lay down the right ground rules from the beginning. That said there is a lot you can do in your own home. A good place to start for example, is not over-reacting or fussing too much over your dog’s feelings of fear and insecurity as this may be teaching your dog that it’s a way to gain attention. For example, a pet owner that cuddles a fearful dog during a thunderstorm may also inadvertently teach the dog there is something to be fearful about and can elevate rather than lessen the anxiety. A better approach is to remain calm yourself and teach your dog how to cope on his/her own. One example of this is making up an area that becomes their sanctuary together with a blanket and some of their favourite toys where they can feel safe and keep an eye out for what they consider to be a threat. Adequate training during the first three months is essential to help dogs feel secure both at home (especially when you are not around) and in a social environment as they grow older. Always be aware of your own feelings as your dog will easily pick up on your energies. Take stock of how you are both for your own as well as your dog’s sake.