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Can Valerian Root Help Dogs With Anxiety?

Dog Health

Valerian Root for the treatment of anxiety in dogs is gaining popularity according to published editorials. More and more citations are popping up from dog owners and indeed dog experts who have deployed the herb as part of a balanced treatment plan for dogs who suffer with anxiety issues.

Dogs and Valerian Root: Overview

Herbalists describe valerian as a dry, cool, bitter, and pungent herbal remedy. The substances that are in Valerian include alkaloids, volatile oils (including borneol and isovalerianic), and inridoids. Valerian is used for many different ailments, including as an expectorant, tranquilizer, diuretic, lowering blood pressure, antispasmodic, carminative, and as a mild anodyne.

What Is Valerian Root Used For?

The root is the commonly used part of the plant in the making of a herbal remedy. It is normally used for relieving nervous tension. It is also known for treating insomnia, anxiety, and strengthening the heart. It is sometimes used for treating ulcers and wounds as well. This herb is normally harvested in the autumn/fall season.

What Does Valerian Root Do?

Often sold as a nutritional supplement, Valerian root is commonly used for insomnia and other disorders related to anxiety. It is a natural product. Basically, Valerian root is used as a natural sedative – increasingly as an alternative to drugs.

Interesting note: Valerian root can be quite pungent and actually smells quite similar to dog ear wax!

There has been some recorded usage of Valerian root being used in a management program to help dogs with seizures. As with all canine medical issues you should always seek the advice and opinion of a qualified vet before you give your dog any kind of medication, natural or otherwise. Particularly if they are currently on meds as unwanted drug interactions can be very serious indeed.

Summary: Valerian Root and Dog Anxiety

Some dog experts have recommended Valerian root for calming a dog during times of high stress and anxiety. What causes anxiety in dogs can vary from animal to animal. Some dogs hate fireworks, some hate being separated from their owners (separation anxiety) – some dogs even hate bath times.

For those who have successfully used Valerian root in these circumstances, it has proven to be an effective herbal supplement – but it must be noted, it’s not a replacement for sound dog training and positive association behavior modification.

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