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Stress does not only have a negative impact on human health. Dogs also suffer from the effects of tension, nervousness, and anxiety. Valerian is a tried and tested medicinal herb that can help dogs relax more. But despite its positive properties – plant-based, calming, and natural – there are many things to consider when taking it.

What is valerian?

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Valerian (= Valeriana officinalis) is a natural medicinal plant that grows in Europe, Africa, America, and Asia. People turn to valerian for sleep problems and inner restlessness. The valerian root owes its nickname “stinky root” to its strong smell. The well-tried natural product consists, among other things, of essential oils and has a stronger effect than St. John’s wort, lavender, or chamomile.

Valerian for dogs: important information at a glance

  • Valerian does not work immediately but is time-shifted.
  • Even if it is a natural product, side effects can occur. It is therefore advisable to discuss the application and dosage with the veterinarian beforehand.
  • Too high a dosage can actually make the nervousness worse.
  • If a dog has inflammation of the mucous membranes of stomach problems, valerian should not be given.
  • The smell is intense and not every dog will enjoy valerian. If the four-legged friend absolutely refuses, the owner should resort to homeopathic alternatives.

Be careful if cats also live in the household

Does the dog share home with a hangover? Caution is advised here: If your velvet paw accidentally eats large doses of valerian, this can damage the liver. If, on the other hand, a tomcat sniffs valerian, don’t be surprised that the scent of valerian turns it up or even looks intoxicated. The fragrances remind the hangover of a cat in heat.

When can I use valerian for dogs?

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Before restlessness, nervousness and tension are treated with valerian, the reasons and triggers for it should be found out. Valerian should never be given long-term in order to calm a frightened dog over the long term. It can help with short-term treatment, for example in the following situations:

  • New Year’s Eve
  • relocation
  • New family member
  • Long car journeys
  • Visit the vet or groomer

Valerian for dogs: application

In specialist shops or in pharmacies, dog owners can choose between different application forms.

Valerian drops

The dog owner can mix the drops into the food. Please be careful with the dosage: initially only dose in small amounts. Valerian drops have a strong odor. If the dog gets the whole amount right away, it can refuse to eat thanks to its sensitive nose. Of course, the valerian drops should be alcohol-free.

Valerian tablets

Attention, sham packaging! Wrapped in a treat, the dog owner can throw the tablet under the dog. But not every fur nose can be tricked so easily. With this type of administration, a dog can even spurn its absolute favorite treat.

Dried valerian root

Dried and cut, the herbal sedative can be mixed with the feed. The addition works best with wet food.

Valerian pillow or collar

Valerian applications are practical in which the dog does not have to take the medicinal herb orally. In specialist shops, there are pillows or collars filled with valerian. The fragrances that are secreted have a calming effect on the fur nose.

Valerian for dogs: conclusion

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Does your dog seem restless and stressed? Then, for the sake of the four-legged friend, the dog owner should always pay attention to how he can alternatively ensure more rest. With a structured daily rhythm and a confident dog owner at his side, one or the other dog can become more relaxed.

Valerian for dogs is by no means a miracle cure that combats fear. The herbal sedative can – if used correctly – alleviate the symptoms of an anxiety state. Clarification with the veterinarian should always take place before use.

Ultimately, the acceptance of the four-legged friend is important: Is the strong smell not a problem or can the dog not stand the fragrances? Dog owners can find an answer to this through slow experimentation and careful observation.