September 26, 2022

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10 Best Dog Treats for Separation Anxiety and Stress 2022

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Being away from the one you love is hard for everyone—even our pets. But unlike humans, who can send a quick text, make a phone call, or find other ways to reach out to their missing friends, dogs are left with few alternatives, such as tearing up the house, barking, or cowering in the corner to send a message. Luckily for dogs, calming treats are available to help them deal with separation anxiety and stress.

Several dog treats on the market are specifically formulated to help ease this type of anxiety and help our stressed-out furry friends find a sense of calm.

With the number of pet adoptions surging during the pandemic, and an increasing number of businesses asking workers to return to the office, pet separation anxiety has been rising.

To help cater to this growing need, the market has exploded with calming treat options, but not all dog treats are equal. So we’ve whittled the field to our top 10 picks for the best calming treats for dogs.

Best Calming Treats for Dogs – Our Top 10:

Best Treats for Dogs for Stress Relief and Separation Anxiety

Keep reading to see how we chose our top picks and why these companies made our cut.

1. Honest Paws – Best Overall

Honest Paws

Pros:

  • Lab-tested
  • U.S.-sourced hemp
  • Organic
  • No artificial flavors
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Soft chews (great for both young and older dogs)

Cons:

  • Contains trace amounts of THC

With ingredients that bode particularly well for helping promote calmness, cognitive support, and curbing behavioral problems, Honest Paws makes a potent formula perfect for the specific issues most younger dogs face.

The L-Theanine involved is one of the same compounds found in green tea, which not only helps produce a feeling of serenity but can help the brain grow. Plus, with no artificial ingredients, the overall formula is gentle enough for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and the company’s patented poultry flavor makes their calming treats even more appealing.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Reviewers mentioned everything from separation anxiety to barking to general nervousness, which the product specifically helped address. Many pet parents also mentioned the calming treats’ flavor as a plus, saying the dogs loved to lap them up.

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2. Penelope’s Bloom – Runner-Up

penelopes-bloom
Penelope’s Bloom

Pros:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Different strength sizes
  • Lab-tested
  • Bundle products to save
  • Full spectrum CBD for added benefits

Cons:

  • Full-spectrum CBD includes traces amounts of THC

Penelope’s Bloom offers another stellar mixture for calming treats that would be safe and tasty for any family member, human, or pet.

The ingredient list reads like a natural food store shopping spree, with chamomile, passionflower, ginger root, and the soothing compounds of valerian root and GABA, along with sleep-promoting L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine all in the mix. The calming treats are rounded out with the best hits of the produce aisle, including an all-organic lineup of blueberries, spinach, sweet potato, brown rice flour, oats, flaxseed, and coconut oil.

On top of all that, the treats get a boost from full-spectrum CBD. And while that means there are trace amounts of THC included—which isn’t great for animals in high doses—the special ingredient is also sourced from reliable farms and lab-tested to ensure safety and quality.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Once again, people seemed to love the product’s effectiveness, with several success stories posted in the comments. Others mentioned how much their dogs enjoyed eating the treats, while many also said the soft chew made them easy to feed to their pooch.

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3. CBDfx – Best Vegan Option

cbdfx
CBDfx

Pros:

  • All-natural ingredient list
  • Broad spectrum CBD
  • Lab-tested
  • Vegan
  • 60-day guarantee

Cons:

  • Crunchy texture may not be suitable for older dogs or those with sensitive palates

CBDfx has a long history of creating top-notch CBD products for both pet parents and their fur babies. But there are a few things, in particular, we love about their crunchy dog biscuits.

CBDfx’s treats are organic, human-grade, soy-free, and vegan. And they include broad spectrum CBD, which delivers all the benefits of cannabidiol with none of the THC.

What they do include are a number of natural ingredients that support your dog’s calmness and overall health, including a mixture of:

  • Nutritious mushroom powders
  • Calming chamomile extract
  • Anxiety-reducing passionflower extract
  • Tummy-soothing ginger extract
  • A long list of all-natural stress-relieving compounds

The crunchy texture makes it easy to break off smaller pieces of this calming treat to better suit your dog’s particular size, weight, and tolerance.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Dog owners love this product for the simple fact that it works.

CBDfx’s comments page is flooded with fans of their calming treats, with most people gushing over their anxious pup’s greatly-improved demeanor, quality of life, and increased peace of mind.

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4. Koi CBD – Best Calming Treats for Small Dogs

koi-cbd
Koi CBD

Pros:

  • Gluten- and dairy-free
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Flavors your pup will love

Cons:

One of the best things about Koi CBD’s calming dog treats is the product’s unfussy-but-effective all-natural ingredients list, which relies on peanut butter and applesauce for taste and texture, plus chamomile, L-Theanine, and full-spectrum hemp seed extract to bring the relaxation to the table.

Full spectrum CBD does mean there are trace amounts of THC involved in the final product. But what makes these some of the best dog treats for anxious pups is the fact that CBD is tested at three different points in the production process—for potency, purity, and quality—with results available right on the website.

And making these calming treats one of the best for smaller animals is their 5 mg size, which is just the right bite for many small dogs.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Customers find Koi CBD’s dog treats successful for several stress-inducing situations, including moving cross-country and getting through loud thunderstorms or the Fourth of July. Others marveled that the treats helped their dogs get a good night of rest, which can be particularly tricky for smaller, more energetic pups.

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5. Holistapet – Best Crunchy Treats for Dogs

holistapet
Holistapet

Pros:

  • Different strengths for different-sized dogs
  • Organic, vegan ingredients
  • Lab-tested

Cons:

  • Crunchy treats may be more challenging for older dogs to eat

With apples, peanut butter, and hemp seed powder in the mix, Holisapet makes a calming treat that would make even many humans’ mouths water. But the all-organic ingredients—along with accompanying chamomile, anxiety-reducing L-Theanine, and CBD—also work wonders to keep pups not only well-fed and healthy but calm.

The dog treats come in two different strengths to cater to smaller or larger dogs. The CBD is broad spectrum, THC-free, and each batch is tested by a third-party lab, with results available directly on Holistapet’s website.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Customers raved about Holistipet’s product, commenting on everything from its pleasant smell—a rare compliment for a dog treat—to its overall effectiveness.

Many commenters mentioned that the treat was specifically helpful and gentle enough for their elder dogs. And success stories ranged from helping with fear of lightning storms to reducing the amount of barking in anxious dogs.

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6. FOMO Bones – Best Treats for Senior Dogs

fomo-bones
FOMO Bones

Pros:

  • CBD isolate
  • Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified
  • Third-party lab tested

Cons:

While most dogs would surely benefit from Fomo Bone’s CBD soft chews for dogs, the company’s calming dog treats are especially good for older pups.

The soft consistency of the chew makes these treats easier for the fragile or more sensitive palates that commonly come with age. And the company’s use of a CBD isolate means animals can benefit from all of the compound’s calming effects without any extra terpenes or flavonoids that may cause upset stomachs.

That’s to say nothing of the quality of the product itself, which is not only third-party tested for quality and safety but made in facilities that pass federal guidelines for manufacturing dietary supplements, pharmaceutical ingredients, cosmetic products, and human food. The treats are even kosher certified!

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Many owners of older dogs wondered at this dog treat’s ability to get their dog “looking like their old self again.” A calmer, happier pup more prone to playing and engaging after getting a good night’s rest was not an uncommon description. Plus, many said their dogs preferred the taste of these treats.

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7. The Anxious Pet – Best Grain-Free Treats

the-anxious-pet
The Anxious Pet

Pros:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Soft chews are easier on older dogs
  • Also promotes healthy sleep

Cons:

  • Not as low in calories as other brands

Getting a grain-free formula from dog treats is rarer than one might think. But with the Anxious Pet’s Relax & Roll Soft Chews, you’d never know why so many people need to rely on the ingredient.

Instead, the company utilizes pea protein and sweet potato flour to make up the bulk—and add a dose of nutritional value. Several all-natural ingredients and organic compounds round out the rest, including a proprietary blend of roots, spices, herbs, and natural compounds with long track records of promoting serenity and natural sleep.

The treats also come in two flavors: peanut butter and bacon. But veggie-friendly pet parents need not worry. Even the bacon flavor is plant-based!

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Customers wrote glowing reviews on how the chews helped their dogs achieve relaxation without seeming “drugged up.” Even owners of notoriously hyperactive Jack Russel Terriers said the treats made all the difference.

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8. Extract Labs – Best Treats for Picky Eaters

extract-labs
Extract Labs

Pros:

  • Certified vegan dog treats
  • Gluten- and cruelty-free formula

Cons:

  • 10 mg of CBD in treats may be slightly strong for some smaller dogs

Extract Labs is known for being a no-nonsense CBD line even with its human-based products. And the same rings true for the company’s hemp dog treats.

The ingredients list is simple and to the point, including little more than oats, molasses, and CBD. And the simple nature of the all-natural ingredients makes them a perfect mix for picky eaters who may otherwise be turned off by strange flavors or scents.

That’s to say nothing of the dog treats’ quality, especially when it comes to the CBD being used. Grown in America, the hemp product is vigorously tested throughout the process to ensure quality and safety, with Extract Labs offering results directly on their website.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

The quality CBD involved in these treats undoubtedly leads to calmer, happier pets, according to most reviews on the company’s website. But customers were also impressed at these dog treats’ ability to help their fur babies in other areas, including helping dogs with joint pain and helping their dogs get better rest.

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9. Reggie – Best Treats for Large Dogs

Reggie
Reggie

Pros:

  • Special large dog formula available
  • Includes immune system-boosting ingredients

Cons:

Reggie’s Anytime Calming soft chews have a unique formula of helpful herbs, roots, and natural compounds that can help even large dogs get enough of the good stuff in their system to start calming down.

Among the rarer ingredients is ashwagandha, a root that’s long been considered sacred in the Indian health system of Ayurveda and is generally renowned for its powers of relaxation. Magnolia bark, miscanthus grass, and the Chinese herb of Phellodendron amurense round out the ingredients used since ancient times to help promote calmness and sleep.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

Customers happily referred to these dog treats as a “secret formula” and a “lifesaver.” Reports were of happy pets that were calm and even more well-rested without being lethargic. One customer even had a dog diagnosed with OCD but said these calming treats helped her relax and play more.

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10. Zatural – Best Low-Calorie Treats for Dogs

zatural
Zatural

Pros:

  • CO2 extracted
  • Third-party lab tested

Cons:

Zatural pulls off a tricky balancing act with its CBD dog chews, creating a supple soft chew that’s low in fat. In fact, these healthy dog treats are just 12 calories per treat.

That’s thanks in part to the well-crafted list of ingredients, which includes brewer’s yeast and organic sweet potato powder to make up the bulk, along with beef liver and bacon to pump up the flavor. The most proactive ingredient is the CO2-extracted broad spectrum CBD oil the company adds to the mix, which offers all the benefits of CBD without any of the THC.

And to top it all off, Zatural has each batch of these healthy dog treats third-party lab tested to ensure the CBD is just as helpful as the rest of the ingredients.

Why People (and Pups) Love It:

All the heavy-hitting anxiety-inducing moments were name-checked in the comments by owners, including thunderstorms, long car trips, and separation anxiety, with Zatural’s product credited with helping each time. One customer even mentioned her dog fostering experience, saying Zatural was a natural for helping these particularly vulnerable and traumatized dogs remain calm.

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How We Chose the Best Calming Hemp Treats for Anxiety and Stress Relief

There’s a reason they’re referred to as “fur babies.” Pet parents know that their dogs are more than just pets; they’re members of the family. And picking out the best calming treats to help them should be taken as seriously as choosing supplements for any human living under their roof.

A number of considerations go into picking our favorite healthy dog treats, from the presence and quality of natural ingredients to the manufacturing process to the brand’s ethos.

Quality Sourcing and Processing

For hemp, growing roots is particularly hungry work. When it comes to making a home in the soil, the plant will happily suck up any and all substances it finds there, whether healthy nutrients or noxious chemicals.

That’s why finding farms pledged to organic growing practices is particularly important when investigating CBD or any hemp-based product.

When we look for brands to promote, we look for those using hemp grown domestically, without pesticides, and preferably under organic farming practices.

Processing can be an equally tricky area for CBD products, thanks to a number of extraction processes that also involve less-than-appealing chemicals. But CO2, cold-press, and ethanol methods are generally cleaner and preferred, particularly when performed in accredited facilities by qualified personnel.

Test Results

Unfortunately, there are currently no regulations in place to ensure that CBD- and hemp-based products are tested for safety and quality. As a result, companies can essentially sell whatever they want and market it as CBD oil.

Yet, many brands will take it upon themselves to ensure what they’re selling is legitimate and safe. Obviously, the businesses that go the extra mile are the ones that stand out in the field.

We search for third-party lab test results in our top 10 companies and pay particular attention to ensuring the results are updated and accurately describe what’s inside the product and state that whatever’s being sold is free from pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and chemical fertilizers.

Efficiency

Efficiency can also be a tricky thing to judge in the world of CBD. Even if the product includes the ingredients it claims, it may work differently on different animals, depending on their physiology and how frequently they use CBD products.

Still, most people don’t like spending money on something that doesn’t work, which is why we take efficiency into account when creating our lists.

To help determine a product’s efficiency, we look at things like current test results and the inclusion of any specific supporting cannabinoids, terpenes, or other compounds. For example, compounds like chamomile, valerian root, and L-Theanine are all good signs when considering products well-suited to manage pet anxiety.

We also comb through verified online reviews to ensure that customers seemed happy with their results overall.

Ingredient Integrity

There’s hardly any point in taking herbal supplements when those natural ingredients are mixed with manufactured chemicals. To help ensure pet parents their animal is well taken care of, we ensure each product on our list utilizes only the highest quality healthy botanicals and that their CBD only receives a boost from Mother Nature.

Brand Reputation

While the CBD market has only grown in popularity over the years, it’s still widely unregulated overall, which unfortunately leaves it wide open to CBD schemers and get-rich-quick brands hoping to cash in on a trend. This makes brand reputation a critical aspect of choosing our top 10 list.

Our research found that the best calming treats for pets usually come from mission-driven brands. These people aren’t just out to make money but want to do something helpful and give back to their pets and even the earth itself.

Other Products to Help Calm Your Anxious Pup

It’s not just the best calming or training treats that can help an anxious dog relax.

CBD Oils for Dogs

CBD oil is a valuable tool for helping relieve stress and promote relaxation, working in many of the same ways as CBD-based calming dog treats. Cannabidiol is picked up by specific receptors in the pup’s body and brain, activating something called the endocannabinoid system, a bodily system capable of bringing balance to any out-of-whack areas.

This is what helps bring about those feelings of calm. Oil does use a different delivery method, however, and may kick in more quickly for most dogs than CBD treats.

Weighted Shirts

Some animals also respond well to weighted shirts, which function almost in the same way as a snuggly weighted blanket. Calming collars are also available, which are sprayed with certain scents—including soothing lavender or even the pheromones of a nursing mother dog. And things like “licking mats” or rubber treat dispensers can help most dogs learn to slow down.

High-Tech Options

If you’re away a lot and your pet suffers from separation anxiety, there are a few higher-tech solutions, as well. Heartbeat pads are pet beds or blankets that are not only fuzzy like your puppy’s dog mom but have a ticking sound meant to mimic a mama dog’s heart. Electric diffusers can also work to spray certain soothing scents into the air at particular intervals.

Exercise

Not every great solution has to be bought from the store. Exercise has long been one of the best and most consistent channels for stress in both dogs and humans.

If your animal is showing signs of anxiety, physical activities like walking, running, or even playing a game of fetch can help them get rid of the excess energy that otherwise has them stressing out.

Types of Dog Treats and How to Choose

Researching dog treats means researching the best treats for every dog. While most dogs will respond in specific ways to certain treats, every animal is different.

Generally, there are several types of treats on the market, which all carry their own benefits, including:

  • Crunchy dog treats: Crunchy as they sound, and easy to break into pieces for smaller rewards, but potentially crumbly and messy, plus harder for dogs to chew.
  • Soft and chewy: Easier for dogs of all ages and health conditions to chew and easy to break into smaller pieces, but generally more strongly scented than other types of dog treats.
  • Dehydrated/freeze-dried: Typically free from additives, made from real meat, fruits, or vegetables, and sporting fewer calories per treat, but potentially tricky for some dogs to chew.
  • Long-lasting chews: Similar to bones but softer, generally safer and easy to digest, and sometimes even plant-based. Still, these can be hard for older dogs or those with more sensitive palates.

Aside from their different textures and consistencies, dog treats offer several other potential benefits. When deciding what makes the best treat for your dog—or cat, or another fluffy friend—you should also consider whether you want to use the treat for:

  • Training
  • Bonding
  • Cleaning teeth
  • Occupying time
  • Supplementing health

Start researching companies that excel in those categories once you’ve figured out why you want the treats and your preferred texture. For example, training treats usually don’t contain CBD but are usually packed full of flavor.

FAQs

Are CBD treats safe for dogs?

There are currently no formal studies investigating how CBD impacts dogs specifically. Still, there are numerous studies on how the compound interacts with other living things—like humans and rats—and a wide collection of anecdotal evidence on the topic.

Out of more than 23,000 tests on how CBD impacts humans and lab animals, the results have been overwhelmingly positive or neutral.

Still, that’s not to say CBD is without potential side effects, including dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. And the American Kennel Club warns that CBD could potentially become toxic if an animal is given too high a dose.

What are the healthiest dog treats?

Dog training treats are an excellent way to help train your pet, bond with your pet, or keep your pet from feeling too anxious, but not every treat is created equally.

Pet parents should look out for treats with high fat levels (25% or higher), chemical preservatives, or other unhealthy additives. Instead, look for treats with single-source ingredients, including real proteins, grains, fruits, or vegetables.

The best dog treat for your dog may also be specialized, depending on their stage of life or particular needs. Asking your veterinarian for advice or recommendations is always a good way to narrow the field of healthy dog treats.

How long do CBD treats take to work?

How quickly calming treats take to kick in depends on several factors, including:

  • The variety of CBD being used (isolate vs. full-spectrum vs. broad spectrum)
  • How much CBD is in the treat
  • Other ingredients that may be involved
  • The size of the dog taking the treat

Many companies say that their product will start to work between 30-60 minutes. However, each brand is different.

What is known for sure is that dogs have a faster metabolism than humans, making the CBD run through their system more quickly. Studies have also shown that CBD can stay in an animal’s system for anywhere from 4 to 9 hours.

Will calming treats give my dog an upset stomach?

Once again, every animal is unique and may even experience different side effects from the same product on different days.

Still, most dogs will not get an upset stomach from calming treats alone. One 2018 study called CBD—the primary ingredient in most calming dog treats—a “well-tolerated supplement,” with that conclusion being confirmed in a separate 2019 study.

Consult your veterinarian before starting your dog, cat, or other pet on a new calming treat regimen or supplement.

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