Medications for Dogs to Relieve Stress

Dogs may participate in destructive behavior when under stress.
Dogs may participate in destructive behavior when under stress. (Image: Dog with Treat image by T^i^ from

As with people, some dogs are just more prone to stress than others. Some of the most common causes of stress for dogs include: separation anxiety, unfamiliar people in the house, thunder, and fireworks. A dog's sensitivity could even be tied to his or her owner's moods. In such cases, the dog becomes agitated and exhibits stress by scratching himself, doors and carpets, chewing forbidden items, or constant barking. It is important to find out the reason for your dog’s adverse behavior.

Air Diffuser

Although not a medication, an air diffuser can ease stress in your new puppy. Your puppy may fear being away from its mother and litter and this can be very stressful. Air diffusers work by emitting pheromones that are similar to those of a new mother dog. Just plug the diffuser in to an outlet near the puppy---while you are away or asleep---and the pheromones may help to calm and soothe your new addition. This item can be found on Drs. Foster and Smith website for about $25, as of 2010.

Rescue Remedy

Rescue Remedy by Bach is a liquid drop that can be administered to your dog 30 to 60 minutes before a stressful situation, such as a loud celebration, a trip to the vet or a storm. The product is administered with a dropper or spray and placed directly into the dog's mouth. This item cost $15 to $20, as of 2010.

Anti-Stress Rawhides

Most dogs seem to enjoy chewing and when stressed may chew on your furniture or shoes. Anti-stress rawhides are treats made with chamomile, vitamins A, C, and E, green tea and antioxidants. Chamomile is an herb used for sleeplessness and anxiety, among other things. To help with unwanted chewing, give one of these treats to your dog when you're around to supervise.

Prescription Drugs

One of several prescription drugs may be what finally helps soothe your dog's anxiety. Two of the more commonly prescribed medications are amitriptyline and clomipramine. These drugs are used mainly for separation anxiety and should be administered according to the instructions from your veterinarian. These drugs could take up to several weeks to work, according to About Stress Management.


Pet-Ease by Nutri-Vet is a stress reliever that comes in liquid or tablet. This product will calm your pet when he or she shows signs of anxiety or destructive behavior. Customer reviews have given this product a five-star rating on the Petsmart website. The product cost about $8, as of 2010.

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