Calming Supplement for Dogs

Loker relaxing on the patio.
Loker relaxing on the patio.

Loker relaxing on the patio.

As many of you already know, Loker is very anxious and usually goes from 0-60 in about 2 seconds. He doesn’t really have an in between. About three weeks ago I decided to start him on L-Theanine or SunTheanine as recommended by Suzanne Clothier back at the February seminar. According to Wikipedia, it can cross the brain-blood barrier and “its primary effect seems to increase the overall level of the brain inhibitory transmitter GABA. Theanine also increases brain dopamine levels and has a low affinity for AMPA, kainate, and NMDA receptors.” Basically, it helps calm and focus the body by inhibiting some neuron processes.

Two weeks into it and I’ve already seen some significant changes. One being, actually relaxing outdoors on the patio where he previously paced and barked at squirrels. He still chases squirrels, but with less intensity and returns to relaxation more quickly. Another obvious change is when he is relaxing in bed with us. He now rolls over on his back and lays there for a few minutes which, in the past two years that we’ve had him, never happened.

All in all, he is not necessarily relaxed all the time, but he is more relaxed, more often in situations where he wasn’t usually as relaxed before. I am finding myself thinking “Wow! He would never have been this relaxed before!” It’s a great feeling to see my dog actually chill out on his own and by his own choice. He was able to enjoy his surroundings instead of worry about them.

Loker fell asleep outside for the first time since I adopted him 2 years ago.

So how does this relate to “crossing over?” Well, I used to be completely against medications for dogs. I thought it was absolutely outrageous that dogs needed medication for their behavior problems. My crossing over has brought me to realize that some dogs, like some people, need medications to help them overcome emotional and psychological challenges. I believe that Loker is on the edge of needing prescription medication so I’m experimenting with natural supplements for now and I am very happy with the results!

Medication is not a quick fix or a fix in and of itself, but if your dog has high anxiety issues, it might be something you should consider. Remember, behavior modification training should accompany all medications that affect behavior. Medications themselves will not fix the issue in the long run in most cases, but they can aid in changing habits and in forming new ones. Is your dog or have you had a dog on meds to help with behavior issues? Share your story in the comments below!