Dogs feel anxiety and stress, too. They can be triggered by a variety of factors, and most dogs are able to recover easily and become calm and relaxed through simple strategies. But there are dogs who suffer from chronic anxiety and stress and require more focused treatment or even more creative solutions. Ashwagandha for dogs is a holistic approach that is worth exploring.
What is ashwagandha and how does it work?
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the nightshade family and endemic to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It is also known as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry.
Ashwagandha has been used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years, and has also recently become popular as a holistic remedy for animals. It’s main purpose is as a restorative for people who suffer from anxiety and stress.
Ashwagandha is classified as an “adaptogenic herb.” This group of botanicals is used to restore balance in the body; more specifically, ashwagandha and other adaptogenic herbs help mitigate the effects of physical, emotional, and mental stress.
In dogs and other animals, some adaptogens work by helping them cope with external stresses, while others have properties that help maintain healthy fluid balance in the body or support normal endocrine, enzyme, and hormonal functions.
Ashwagandha for dogs is a natural, safe, and effective way to alleviate symptoms of environmentally-induced stress, such as agitation, destructive behavior, hyperactivity, mild aggression, nervousness, and other behavioral problems caused by their stress trigger. It is best to use ashwagandha alongside other adaptogens so that your pet can benefit from their combined calmative effects.
Giving your dog ashwagandha
Holistic remedies for dogs and other animals are becoming more and more popular among pet parents. Ashwagandha helps provide stress relief by normalizing levels of stress hormones. It is also known to enhance cognitive function and support immune health. This makes sense as stress often adversely affects mental clarity and lowers immunity.
If your dog experiences stress during car rides, every time you leave him at home, during thunderstorms or fireworks, or when he is placed in a new environment, ashwagandha can effectively help him cope and feel more calm.
Ashwagandha for dogs is available as supplements or in powder form; these products are specially formulated with lower doses than those that are produced for human consumption.
It is always best to ask your vet for guidance on the proper use of ashwagandha to treat your dog’s stress. But ashwagandha products should also include dosage instructions, which are normally determined based on the dog’s weight.
If it’s your pet’s first time taking ashwagandha, start him off with the lowest recommended dosage. Observe how he responds to the supplement; keep an eye out for side effects. You can gradually up the dosage until you see the results you’re looking for.
Since it’s supposed to relieve stress, it is best to give your canine buddy the supplement at least half an hour before his exposure to his stress trigger, e.g. before the car ride or before the fireworks start.
You can also consult a holistic practitioner if you’re not sure how to use ashwagandha for your dog.
Other benefits of ashwagandha for dogs include:
- Providing support for physical and mental wellness
- Maintaining normal function of the nervous system and cardiovascular system
- Enhancing the body’s resistance to pathogens
- Restoring healthy hormone balance
- Promoting normal metabolic rate
Although uncommon, large doses may cause diarrhea or vomiting. Ashwagandha should also not be given to pregnant animals. If your dog is taking other medications for anxiety or other mood disorders, adding ashwagandha to his treatment may increase his sedation. Always talk to your vet before giving your pet any herbal supplements if he’s taking other medications or has other underlying conditions.
Buying ashwagandha for dogs
Whether you’re buying ashwagandha supplements or powder online or from a holistic wellness store or a vet clinic, there are several things you should check to make sure you’re getting a good quality product.
- The extraction method used preserves the full spectrum of alkaloids that make ashwagandha work and so that your pet will be able to maximize the herb’s potency.
- Some products contain other ingredients. Spend some time doing additional research on each of these ingredients to ascertain that they will also benefit your dog’s health by enhancing the effects of ashwagandha and/or delivering other advantages.
- The instructions for dosage, use, and safety should be clear and complete.
- There should be customer feedback available for your review.
Alternatively, you should also consider CBD products for dogs. CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from the hemp plant and its use as an alternative remedy for animals is backed by science. Among the many benefits of CBD is its ability to promote calmness. There is a wide range of CBD products available in the market, and many veterinarians recommend CBD to help treat a variety of ailments.
Ashwagandha for Dogs – Final Thoughts
For your pet’s holistic wellness, or if you simply need help keeping him calm during stressful situations, you should add ashwagandha to your herbal arsenal. As a natural remedy that has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for many centuries now, ashwagandha is safe and effective. It also delivers many other benefits aside from promoting calmness.
A stress-free dog is a healthier dog. So give ashwagandha a try. While you’re at it, try other calmative herbs to enhance the effects of ashwagandha.