What No One’s Saying About Calming Herbs for Dogs

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As you search for the right calming herbs for your anxious pup, many results will sing the praises of singular, popular herbs like valerian. 

And yes, there’s a good reason for it.

Herbs do have impressive potential on their own. But what’s better than one powerful herb is the capacity of herbs when they act together synergistically.

No one herb does it alone, which is why Dr. Bessent uses a different approach to ease anxiety.

With over 30 years of experience in veterinary medicine and Chinese herbology, Dr. Bessent understands it’s the combination of herbs that work for an anxious dog.

On The Agenda

Fast-Acting Calming Herbs For Occasional Anxiety

Each of the more well-known calming herbs has its own merits. 

Valerian is an herb often used for restlessness. It’s quick-acting, and the compounds in valerian root inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain. Regulating the part of the brain that processes fear and strong emotional responses to stress, the herb can encourage calmness and tranquility.  

Chamomile has long been used for relaxation and its effects on anxiety and stress. This daisy-looking flower can encourage the body to relax, reducing the symptoms of stress. The herb also has mild sedative powers and antispasmodic properties to calm an upset stomach in dogs with vomiting or diarrhea caused by anxiety.

Passionflower has similar effects to valerian. As a nervine, a group of plants that affect the nervous system, it can relax and quiet a dog with its mild sedative and calming properties.

Each of these herbs has such potential individually but are at their best when combined. 

Take passionflower– when this herb is combined with fellow nervine herbs like chamomile and valerian, they boost the herb’s calming properties and balance its effects.

That’s why Dr. Bessent utilizes the benefits of each herb in one natural, synergistic combination so that when anxiety does happen, you’re prepared with the right combination of quick-acting herbs to offer your dog relief.

Since anxiety is our pet’s way of coping – you picking up your keys and readying to leave for the next 8+ hours, big booms on the fourth of July, or the suspect mail courier– fast-acting relief like July 3rd chews may be all your pup needs to get through that occasional anxiety. 

But for some dogs, anxiety can also be chronic and lasting — and like all chronic conditions, it is an ongoing issue that a dog copes with on an everyday basis. 

If you think your dog has daily, unending anxiety, it’s a different approach– one that focuses on emotional balance.

Long-Term Herbs for Ongoing Anxiety

Anxiety and the behaviors it inspires are as complicated as your dog is, but every dog experiencing anxiety has the same overwhelming emotions of fear, stress, and worry. 

Their emotions are bubbling over out of control, so the goal is to correct that disharmony and restore an anxious dog’s emotional balance.

Like the fast-acting herbs, the key to helping dogs with ongoing anxiety is in the combination of herbs long used to calm the spirit and restore balance.

Heat-draining herbs like Rehmannia, asparagus tuber, ophiopogon, and Scrophularia help clear the excess emotions or heat and restore balance. 

Spirit-calming herbs like biota seed and polygala help calm the spirit while preserving the dog or cat’s unique personality.

Harmonizing herbs are the supporting cast and crux. They make the other herbs more effective in addressing your dog’s emotional imbalance. 

Together, the synergistic interactions of each herb work to curb the emotional highs and lows an anxious dog has. Their tail wags a bit more, they’re more in the present with you, and your anxious pup isn’t so anxious anymore.

It’s important to remember that these herbs aren’t meant to be an overnight change or a quick fix. Dr. Bessent utilizes the combination of herbs found in Calm Shen because it offers a natural solution, one that steadily moves anxious dogs towards emotional balance. 


It’s also not just about the combination of herbs but about having the right combination of tools at your disposal, especially for a dog with daily anxiety.

The Most Comprehensive Combination of Calming Herbs

Quick-acting herbal combinations like July Third offer short-term relief for occasional anxiety, but they also offer extra support for anxious dogs as the long-term calming herbs in Calm Shen strengthen over time. 

You can keep these fast-acting herbs on hand to help your dog feel more like themselves in life’s more stressful moments, too. 

Remember, anxiety is complex, and it’s no different for your dog– except you’ve got the most comprehensive combination of tools to help now– quick-acting relief and long-term support. Plus, a resource to guide you and your dog through anxiety. 

If you have questions or you’re unsure whether your anxious pup would benefit, take the quiz for a personalized recommendation.

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Dr. Chris Besent

Dr. Chris Besent

Chris Bessent, DVM, MSOM, Dipl. OM, L.Ac. has over thirty years of experience in veterinary medicine including certificates in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary chiropractic and veterinary Chinese herbology. Imbued with Eastern philosophy and the knowledge that food is the foundation of health, Dr. Bessent also received her degree in veterinary nutrition and began to formulate recipes fit for a carnivore from nothing but whole foods. Currently, she divides her time between the Simple Food Project and Herbsmith, both of which are owned and operated out of her facilities in southeastern Wisconsin.

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Kayla Behling - Editor

Kayla Behling - Editor

Kayla is the Content Editor for Herbsmith. She has a cat named Professor Cat-Faced Meowmers, who goes by Kitty, and a goof of a dog, named Duck. She stays busy biking trails, playing board games, and searching for the next best craft beer.

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