TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:
Seeing our canine companions deal with anxiety because of
thunderstorms, fireworks, trips to the vet, or being alone, is difficult.
Finding ways to ease their fears is a must.
One of the best botanicals I’ve discovered for dogs is the
same one that is effective for humans – a specialized extract of Echinacea
angustifolia. I recommend it for many reasons:
- Effective at low dosage levels
- Results in about 30 minutes
- Helps dogs become noticeably calmer
- An excellent adjunct to training dogs away from being
- Doesn’t cause drowsiness or other side effects
Canines and humans have probably been together for about
14,000 years or so. Some years ago, there was an article in National Geographic
magazine regarding animal intelligence. It mentioned a border collie named
“Betsy”, who at the time, understood 340 words (and was learning more) and
could link photographs of objects with the actual thing that they represented.
Maybe not every dog is as smart as Betsy, but I’m willing to bet that most
humans think that their dogs are pretty close. When they’re in our lives, dogs
can seem to know exactly what we’re thinking, too.
I can tell you that is certainly how it seems with my two
canine companions, Bella and Buddy. I’m sure it’s probably the same for you as
well. That’s understandable, because the way a canine mind works isn’t that
much different than the way ours works. We want the same things – shelter,
food, affection, and reassurance.
Canine anxiety is like that, too.
When it comes to anxiety, many of the things that make us
nervous or fearful – loud noises that we can’t explain (or are worried that we
can explain), health checkups, or being separated from the ones we love and
count on – affect dogs the same way. You may have witnessed that loud noises
like thunder or fireworks – sounds that may be painful to their ears and unable
to control – can make your own dog panic. Or, when your canine companion
notices that you’re getting ready for work, or packing for a trip, he or she
may start panting or seem agitated while never letting you out of his sight.
Training and Patience is Key
Of course, helping your dog overcome anxiety is also a
matter of training. And like many things regarding canines and learning, the
training is in many ways, almost more for the human than the dog. Consistency
and patience yield the best results.
Most veterinarian and animal behaviorists – and I think most
dog owners – find that the more exercise their companion gets, the more relaxed
In fact, one veterinary article reported that a majority of
canine anxiety around noise and separation was in proportion to how much
exercise a dog had each day. And what surprised them was that being anxious
about noise was even more of an issue than separation.
It makes sense that exercise would be key: the more time
that a dog gets to be outside in the fresh air with their human companion, the
more serotonin and other neural connections they make. Over time, that
typically translates into more resilience when things change – or, in this
case, when a thunderstorm swoops in, someone unexpected comes to the door, or
another dog trots by on the sidewalk. If anxieties are left unaddressed, older
dogs can actually develop more noise anxiety with age. So spending some quality
time with your dog out in the world each day will yield positive results, right
from the beginning.
Using echinacea doesn’t mean that all problems will
evaporate the first week of increased walks, but it does mean that anxieties
over thunderstorms, fireworks, you leaving the house, or trips to the vet
aren’t permanent conditions.
In conventional practice, it is not unusual for dogs to be
prescribed fluoxetine, which is also prescribed as an antidepressant for
humans. But fluoxetine can cause a number of nasty side effects: including
diarrhea, sluggishness, loss of appetite and sometimes, even more anxiety.
Fortunately, you can choose another option, and bolster your dog’s positive
training with a specialized extract of Echinacea angustifolia. The one I
recommend has shown remarkable results in human clinical studies and can help
your canine best friend, too.
While many echinacea species are well known for bolstering
the immune system, this specific extract from a specially cultivated plant calms
nerves and relieves anxiety.
The path to its discovery came about when researchers at the
Hungarian Academy of Sciences were analyzing different species of echinacea.
They found that some of the plants contained compounds called alkamides that
were known to influence brain chemistry, including cannabinoid receptors.
It turned out that a specific Echinacea angustifolia showed
the most effective levels of alkamides in the right ratios to trigger receptors
on the brain that relieve anxiety.
Clinical research in humans has found that very effective
for reducing anxiety and that the effects remained stable for the duration of
the clinical trial and even for two weeks following treatment – all without
As it turns out, this botanical has the same effects for
animals, too. Animals that received the extract were calmer and able to ignore
events that would normally induce stressful behavior.
Help Relieve Your Dog’s Anxiety with Love, Patience,
Training – and Specialized Echinacea
Our canine companions are incredibly important to us. They
show us unconditional love and want us to be happy. And we feel the same.
That’s why it’s so tough when they are stressed and we feel like there is
nothing we can do about it.
But there is. Enjoy as much time with your dog as possible –
none of it is wasted time. Slowly allow your dog to get used to stimuli that
may otherwise cause them anxiety, but also be there to reassure them.
I think along with love, patience, and training, this
echinacea extract is perfect for dogs that have a hard time being home alone,
that don’t like riding in the car, or are terrified of fireworks. I suggest a
20 mg dosage for all dogs, given at least 30 minutes before the event that your
dog finds stressful. Along with patience and exercise, I think you’ll find that
it is indispensable to helping your canine companion live their best life with
I would recommend using 20 mg of Narrow-leaved Coneflower
(Echinacea angustifolia) Root Extract (EP107™) standardized for echinacoside
and a unique, proprietary alkamide profile.