best calming treats for dogs

10 Best Calming Treats for Dogs with Anxiety (Updated 2019)

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Last Updated October 16, 2019

Whether your dog suffers from separation anxiety, is terrified of traveling, feels threatened by thunderstorms, or deals with another type of anxiety, you simply want your dog to feel more relaxed so they can enjoy a better quality of life.

Are dog calming treats the answer?

I know from experience how difficult it can be to find solutions for your dog’s anxiety. The Thundershirt works great for some, but not all dogs. Some vets recommend pheromone diffusers, but they didn’t do a thing for my dog’s anxiety. Long-term medication use can have downsides and side effects.

That’s why we’ve come up with this list of the 10 best calming treats for dogs. These natural dog treats for anxiety come with mostly positive reviews from actual dog owners. They have generally seen great results after providing the calming treats or chews to their dogs.

calming treat for dogs

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How Do I Know if my Dog Needs Calming Treats?

Not all dogs have anxiety, so not all dogs will need calming treats. How do you know if your dog struggles with anxiety?

Signs of Anxiety in Dogs

Some of the most common signs of anxiety in dogs include:

  • Panting when they haven’t been exercising
  • Shaking when they aren’t cold
  • Barking or howling excessively
  • Hiding
  • Hyperactive energy
  • Unusual aggression

What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?

Many different things can cause anxiety in dogs. Some of the most common triggers for anxiety in dogs include:

  • Loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms
  • Separation anxiety (being alone or away from their favorite person)
  • Social anxiety when around unfamiliar dogs or people
  • Car rides, especially if they get car sick
  • Trips to the vet
  • Genetic tendency (small dogs tend to have more anxiety than large breeds)
  • Fears, phobias, or past traumas
  • Some medical conditions (especially losing sight or hearing)

best dog calming treats

Things to Think About When Choosing Calming Treats for Dogs

You may realize from our top picks below that choosing a calming treat for your dog isn’t simple. There are many factors you must consider when picking calming treats for your dog.

  1. Do you want to try or avoid hemp? Hemp is an increasingly popular ingredient in calming treats and chews, so you must decide whether it’s something you want to give your dog.
  2. Is the treat grain-free? If your dog isn’t on a grain-free diet, then it doesn’t matter. However, for dogs who do better without grains in their diet, it can be tricky to find calming treats that are grain-free.
  3. Where are the treats made? Since other countries have different quality standards than the United States, it’s typically better to go with treats made in the USA.
  4. Does the company offer a refund? It’s a simple fact that no calming treat will work on every dog, and some dogs are extremely picky eaters. Since calming treats tend to be more expensive than other treats, look for companies that offer money-back guarantees.
  5. How big are the treats and packaging? If you have a large dog, then a small package of small treats may not be a good value. If you have a small dog, large treats and chews may be difficult for them to eat.

Dog Calming Treat Ingredients

What ingredients should you look for in the best calming treats for dogs? Here are some of the most common (and effective) ingredients used in treats and chews to help with anxiety.

Hemp

Don’t confuse hemp with marijuana – they’re two different cannabis plants. Hemp does not contain the high-causing THC that’s found in marijuana. Hemp oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. CBD oil is made from the leaves and stems of the hemp plant. However, the terms “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” are often used interchangeably.

Hemp oil and CBD oil affect your dog’s endocannabinoid system. It can lead to reduced anxiety, pain, or seizures.

Valerian Root

Humans have been using valerian root to calm anxiety for centuries. Now, our pets can experience these benefits, as well. In addition to helping with anxiety, valerian root may help reduce seizures.

Not all dogs react well to valerian root, though. Some dogs may not react at all, while others may have negative reactions.

Ginger Root

While ginger root doesn’t directly help with anxiety, it can help prevent upset stomachs that can come with anxiety or car travel. If your dog has anxiety about riding in the car because they get carsick, look for calming treats that contain ginger root.

Passionflower

Passionflower has a lot of calming properties and may even help dogs that struggle with aggression. It may also help prevent seizures.

Chamomile

You may sip chamomile tea before bed to help you relax. Chamomile has the same relaxing effect on your dog. In addition to its calming properties, it can also soothe upset stomachs. That makes it a great ingredient option for dogs who struggle with carsickness.

L-Tryptophan

L-tryptophan is the ingredient in turkey that makes everybody sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an amino acid that is a precursor for serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain.

best calming chews for dogs

Best Calming Treats for Dogs

The biggest factors when considering dog calming treats are that they must be TASTY and they must be EFFECTIVE. After all, no dog treat is effective at relieving anxiety if your dog refuses to eat it, and it doesn’t matter how tasty a treat is if it isn’t helping your dog’s anxiety.

Below are 10 of the best dog treats for anxiety.

#1 – CeeBeeDoo Dog Treats with Hemp Oil for Pain Relief & Anxiety


CeeBeeDoo calming treats come in 9 tasty flavors, so you’re sure to find a flavor your pup will love. Hemp oil helps dogs relax naturally without the high-causing effects of THC. Additionally, these treats may help relieve pain from conditions like arthritis.

CeeBeeDoo treats come with a money-back guarantee and purport to have a variety of benefits in addition to relieving anxiety, including:

  • Fewer seizures
  • Increased energy in older dogs
  • Reduced nausea
  • Chronic pain relief
  • Heart health

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • 9 flavors to choose from
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Made in the USA

Owner Reviews: Nearly all of the reviews were from owners who found that the treats relieved their dog’s anxiety, pain, or both, and most dogs loved the treats. There were a few complaints about dogs not liking a particular flavor, and a couple of people didn’t see any effect on their dogs. However, most people were thrilled with everything about the product apart from the small size of the container and the high cost of the product.

Bottom Line: With 9 different flavors to choose from and tons of people praising the effectiveness of these treats, the CeeBeeDoo dog treats should be your first pick when choosing a calming treat for your dog. Chances are very good that there will be flavor your dog loves that also reduces their anxiety.

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#2 – pawlife Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs Plus Glucosamine

The duck-flavored treats from pawlife contain ingredients to relieve anxiety, stomach upset, and joint pain. That makes it a great choice for people with senior dogs. It’s made in the USA and many of the ingredients are organic. The active ingredients in these calming treats include:

  • Organic hemp seed oil and powder
  • Glucosamine
  • Organic chamomile
  • Organic passionflower
  • Valerian root
  • L-tryptophan
  • Organic ginger root

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Has ingredients that relieve anxiety, joint pain, and upset stomach
  • Many ingredients are organic

Owner Reviews: A few dogs experienced diarrhea after eating these treats, and some don’t like the taste. However, most dogs seem to benefit from these calming treats.

Bottom Line: The pawlife Hemp Calming Treats are a great option, especially if you have a senior dog who struggles with joint pain.

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#3 –  LICKS- Dog Zen- LiquiPaks- 15 Use (Braised Beef)- Calming Aid and Stress Management


Unlike most calming treats, these come in a LiquiPak. It is supposed to help cut the activation time down compared to solid treats. Unlike the other treats on our list, these are free from hemp. Instead, they contain l-theanine and Ashwagandha root to calm pets without the drowsiness that hemp oil may cause.

LICKS are made in the United States from human-grade ingredients and are up to 10 times more effective than solid treats. Unlike hemp-based treats, Dog Zen LiquiPaks only treat anxiety and don’t provide any other benefits.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Liquid works faster than solid treats
  • Hemp-free

Owner Reviews: There is only one complaint about this product not working and a couple of complaints about the cost. However, most dog owners rave about how well these LiquiPaks work and how much their dogs love the taste. That’s even when they’re already so stressed out they won’t take normal treats. The product is a little oily and can be difficult to dispense, but owners say that it’s totally worth washing your hands after dispensing it thanks to how well it works.

Bottom Line: If you want to avoid hemp oil or you have a dog who doesn’t need the added pain-relief benefits of hemp oil, these Dog Zen LiquiPaks are going to be your best bet for a product that actually works to help relieve your dog’s anxiety.

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#4 –  Moe’s Happy Hemp Calming Bites: Dog Anxiety Relief and Calming Aid for Hyperactive or Aggressive Pets


These treats combine hemp oil with other natural calming ingredients like chamomile and valerian root for the ultimate calming treat. In addition to reducing anxiety, these chicken-flavored treats also claim to help things like:

  • Calm hyperactivity
  • Reduce inflammation and stiffness
  • Promote healthy skin and coat
  • Relieve skin allergies
  • Reduce restlessness, scratching, paw licking, and chewing problems

Additionally, a portion of each purchase is donated to the National Mill Dog Rescue to help dogs in need.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Combines hemp oil with chamomile and valerian root
  • Donates part of each purchase to National Mill Dog Rescue

Owner Reviews: While these treats didn’t help relax all dogs, they did help the majority of the dogs who tried them. While there were fewer comments about improved pain levels compared to other hemp treats, even hyper dogs seemed to be calmed down by these treats. Most dogs like the taste, and with 120 treats per jar, this product is a better value than some of the other treats on our list.

Bottom Line: If you’re hesitant to try some of the more expensive treats on our list, Moe’s Happy Hemp Calming Bites are a great product to start with. You get many more treats per jar than some of the other treats. Most people report seeing their dogs calm down significantly within about an hour of eating one (or more, based on the dog’s size) of these treats.

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#5 – Plano Paws Hemp Treats – Safe Calming Treats for Dogs


The Plano Paws Hemp treats combine 6 natural ingredients – organic hemp protein powder, thiamine, organic chamomile, valerian root, l-tryptophan, and l-theanine – for the ultimate calming treat. Unlike some of the other treats on our list, these are grain-free. They’re made in the USA and have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

These treats are non-GMO and contain no corn, wheat, or soy. They also don’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. Better than that, for every product sold, they donate 1 pound of dog food to a shelter in need.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Grain-free
  • Contains 6 calming ingredients

Owner Reviews: There were more complaints from owners about their dogs not liking the taste of these treats compared to the others on our list. There were also more complaints that the product didn’t help their dog’s anxiety. However, there were still more than enough people raving about how much these treats helped relieve their dog’s anxiety to make up for the complaints.

Bottom Line: There is a chance that your dog won’t like the taste of these treats or that they won’t work. However, if you’re looking for a grain-free, affordable option, these might be the best place to start. A word of caution, though – there are a few reports of it making dogs paranoid or even more hyper. You should give these treats when you’ll be home to watch your dog the first time.

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#6 – Zesty Paws Calming Bites for Dogs

In addition to calming anxious dogs, Zesty Paws treats claims to “reduce jumping, biting, and barking from dogs that display aggressive or hyperactive tendencies.” The valerian root is also supposed to help reduce behaviors like scratching and paw-licking.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Contains natural and organic ingredients
  • Has a special form of L-Theanine (Suntheanine) that helps stimulate brain waves to promote relaxation with no drowsy effect
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Owner Reviews: Like any treat, some dogs didn’t like the taste, and others got diarrhea after as little as one treat. However, there are a lot of “miracle” stories of dogs whose quality of life has significantly improved after starting these calming bites.

Bottom Line: There is a risk that these bites may upset your dog’s stomach, but they could also be the one thing that calms your dog’s anxiety when nothing else works.

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#7 – NEXPAW Calming Treats for Dogs with Melatonin

This is one of the top-rated dog calming chews you can find that doesn’t contain any hemp. Instead, it has melatonin and other natural ingredients to help calm dogs. These chews contain no wheat or fillers.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Calms dogs without using hemp oil

Owner Reviews: There are few reviews about these treats making dogs sick. Some dogs don’t like to eat them, but many dogs experience significant improvement in their anxiety symptoms.

Bottom Line: If you don’t want to use hemp or CBD oil on your dog, these may be the best calming chews on the market. Even if they don’t work, there’s less chance of stomach upset than with other calming treats.

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#8 – NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid for Dogs Plus Melatonin 

These treats claim to promote normal nervous system function and reduce stress and tension. They’re wheat-free, made in the USA, and don’t contain hemp.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Safe for puppies 12 weeks and older
  • Made in the USA
  • Wheat-free

Owner Reviews: There are a few reports of a paradoxical effect with this product, where dogs became even more hyper. Despite that, these treats work well on most dogs.

Bottom Line: These treats are safe for puppies and have few reports of making dogs sick. While there’s a chance they won’t work, they’re still a good choice.

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#9 – VetriScience Laboratories Composure, Calming Behavior Support Supplement for Dogs 

These calming treats were formulated by veterinarians. They come in 3 treat flavors as well as a flavorless liquid. They’re made in the USA and are safe for long-term daily use.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Composure calming formula includes colostrum, l-theanine, and thiamine; all recognized ingredients to support calmer behavior and relaxation.
  • Works within 30 minutes and lasts for up to 4 hours
  • Made in the USA

Owner Reviews: Most dogs love the taste of these treats, and many dogs experience great relief from their anxiety. However, some dogs don’t see any results, even after eating the whole package when unsupervised.

Bottom Line: With few complaints about stomach trouble or picky dogs, these are a great choice to try to reduce your dog’s anxiety.

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#10 – PETIPET Calming Bars Dog Treats

These treats contain non-GMO, human-grade ingredients. Unlike the other treats on our list, these treats also contain healthy food ingredients like carrots, apples, strawberries, mangoes, and ginger. The small size of the treats means it’s easier to customize the dose, which is especially handy for small dogs.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Human-grade, non-GMO ingredients
  • Uncooked, so hemp and chamomile calming agents don’t lose any potency from the heat
  • Made in an otherwise “human only” FDA certified food facility

Owner Reviews: Dogs either love or hate the taste of these treats. Assuming you can get your dog to eat them, they seem to be effective on most dogs.

Bottom Line: It’s a tossup whether your dog will like the taste, but there is a reasonable chance these treats will reduce their anxiety if they eat them.

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Why is Hemp Oil so Popular in Calming Treats?

You may have noticed that many of the dog calming treats on our list contain hemp oil. Hemp and CBD oil are becoming increasingly popular for treating conditions like anxiety, pain, and seizures in both people and pets.

Marijuana is one strain of the cannabis plant, and it is illegal under federal law since it contains the high-causing compound of THC. Hemp is a different strain of cannabis plant that is legal because it contains trace levels of THC. Rather, it contains CBD, a compound that seems to affect the endocannabinoid system without the high of THC.

Technically, hemp oil is only made from the seeds of the hemp plant, while CBD oil is made from the stalks, buds, and leaves of the hemp plant. However, the terms “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” are often used interchangeably.

Very little research has been done yet on how effective CBD oil is for pets. However, human research has shown that CBD oil may help improve anxiety and other problems in people. There are plenty of anecdotal stories of how effective CBD and hemp oil are for dogs, however.

The simple fact of the matter is that people are giving hemp-infused calming treats better reviews than calming treats that don’t contain hemp. Without any scientific studies yet, that’s the best evidence we can find that hemp oil truly helps relieve anxiety in dogs.

dog calming treats

Frequently Asked Questions about Calming Treats for Dogs

Do Calming Dog Treats Work?

While not all dogs benefit from calming treats, many dogs do get significant relief from their anxiety symptoms. There’s no good way to know if they’ll help your dog until you try.

How Long Does it Take for Dog Calming Treats to Work?

Most calming treats take half an hour to an hour to take effect. That means you need to try to plan ahead and give the treats before something you know will trigger their anxiety. 

How Long Do the Effects of Calming Treats Last?

The effects of dog calming treats may last anywhere from a few hours to a whole day. It depends on what ingredients are included in what doses and how your dog reacts.

How Many Calming Dog Treats Should I Give my Dog?

Each type of dog calming treat will have different dosing instructions, usually based on your dog’s weight. Follow the instructions on the packaging. It’s also a good idea to start with a low dose to see if your dog has a negative reaction. Common dosing seems to be one treat for dogs up to 25 pounds, 2 treats for dogs 25-50 pounds, 3 treats for dogs 50-75 pounds, and 4 treats for dogs more than 75 pounds.

Can I Give Calming Treats to My Puppy?

Calming treats may be safe for puppies as young as 4 months old. However, it’s always best to talk to your vet before giving calming treats to your puppy.

What About Benadryl or other Over-the-Counter Medications?

While it is safe to give Benadryl to dogs, it can be tricky to give the right dose. That’s especially true for small dogs. Benadryl causes drowsiness as a side effect of treating allergies. While it isn’t designed specifically for anxiety, some dogs do experience reduced anxiety when given Benadryl.

Wrapping Up: The Best Dog Calming Treats

There are a ton of calming treats for dogs on the market these days, but we’ve done our research to recommend the best of the best to help reduce your dog’s anxiety and help them lead a better quality of life.

If one type of calming treat doesn’t work for your dog, don’t be afraid to try another. You owe it to your dog to help them find relief for thunderstorms, traveling, being alone, or anything else that causes them unnecessary anxiety.

Have you had great success with a dog calming treat not mentioned here? Be sure to leave a comment down below to help out our other readers!

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Sedatives for Dogs: Using Medications for Dog Anxiety

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