Some of the problems for which we have helpful products:
Feline Urine Marking
Making an anxious puppy adjust nicely to a new home
Aggressive to other Pets
Herbal or Natural Products that help calm anxious Pets:
I've stopped selling herbal calming and behavioral products for two reasons. About 25% of my clients who have tried them report pretty good results... but that means 75% weren't impressed. The second reason is more practical; There's more choice and better prices online... including at our online pharmacy partner VetsFirstChoice... who promise to be competitive in both price and service with 800petMeds and other online pet pharmacies. I thank you in advance for patronizing VetsFirstChoice.
I've listed a couple of the "natural" / herbal behavioral products below that sometimes work well:
Vetricalm Chewable Tablets:
Contains chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, thiamine, ginger, and L-tryptophan. About 25% the people who try this product on their pets notice an adequate behavior improvement and calming effect.
I've also stopped selling ComposurePro mainly because it's less expensive to buy it online. Please check out our online pharmacy partner VetsFirstChoice. They promise to be price competitive with 800PetMeds etc.
Active Ingredients Per Approximately 1 Chew:
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) . . . . . . . . . . .134 mg
C3™ (Colostrum Calming Complex) . . . . . . 22 mg
L-Theanine (Suntheanine® brand) . . . . . . 21 mg
These bioactive proteins have been found to support cognitive functioning and support stress reduction. The Colostrum Calming Complex works synergistically with the L-Theanine in this formula to promote relaxation and cognition in dogs.
L-Theanine supports calming and relaxation, reduces irritability and low mood states. L-Theanine has been extensively researched for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety and unwanted behavior. L-Theanine is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in green tea that is a derivative of glutamic acid; a neurotransmitter in the brain. It helps the body to produce other calming amino acids such as Dopamine, GABA and Tryptophan and helps bring certain neurotransmitters into better balance. Studies done on L-Theanine showed that dogs reduced anxiety-related behavior without adverse effect or drowsiness; dogs were alert, playful and calmer than expected given their situations.
Thiamine helps manage stress and reduces irritability. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) has been shown to affect the central nervous system to help calm and soothe anxious animals. A lack of Thiamine can cause mental confusion, muscular weakness, muscle spasms, nervousness, and weight and appetite loss during periods of stress.
Composure does not contain any herbal ingredients (Kava Kava, Valerian, St. John’s Wort, etc.) or L-Tryptophan. Its ingredients do not cause addiction, drowsiness or impaired motor skills.
High Quality Valerian Extract
Valerian root extract is one of the most potent herbal sedatives available and has been used for centuries for separation anxiety, thunderstorm anxiety, fractious horses, over excited animals etc.
In performance horses it is now banned by many associations and routinely tested for in screening.
Valerian extract smells terrible but cats seem to love it.
When we envision having a pet in our families, most of
us want a dog as smart and well behaved as Lassie.
Of course, it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to raise a well behaved, well adjusted, and well trained pet. And a little luck too.
I can't instantly solve most pet behavior problems for you any more than I can fix your marriage or make your teenagers act sensibly.
But some problems we can help with some simple products:
Reconcile for Dogs (Prozac)
Reconcile is a chewable once a day tablet that is very likely to improve or cure your dog of separation anxiety in 2-6 months.
Reconcile is also likely to help stop or improve
- excessive barking,
- inappropriate urination or defecation
- all kinds of excessive or compulsive behaviors
- may stop compulsive over-eating
- over reactive behavior
- may reduce aggression to other pets
I really love this medication. It's safe with few exceptions, and it often solves behavioral problems that otherwise make both the dog and the owners miserable. It often keeps people from choosing euthanasia
Everybody wants a well adjusted,calm and happy dog.
If your pet is excessively depressed, anxious, vocal, or destructive when left alone, ... or has other major behavioral problems,
talk to us to see if Reconcile is appropriate for your dog. About $40-50 a month. Usually 2-5 months is enough to solve the problem.
2014 Update: Brand name Reconcile is the only form of fluoxetine (Prozac) approved for dogs and it's nice that it's in a chewable treat.
But I've pretty much stopped using it in favor of generic fluoxetine capsules now that they are available because they are so much less expensive.
Prozac for Cats: Prozac is an off label drug for cats but seems to be very safe and frequently effective for urine marking and for cats that are not getting along with other cats in the house.
Sometimes Amazing DAP PHEROMONES*
DAP stands for Dog Appeasement Pheromones. I say sometimes because this product works really well about 25% of the time, fair about 25% of the time, and not that helpful about 50% of the time.
Nursing female dogs secrete a pheromone that comforts and reassures their puppies. It turns out that this same pheromone has a calming effect on adult dogs too.
DAP is available as a collar similar to a flea collar or in diffusers that plug into your wall emitting the pheromone into your home or kennel.
- Reduces or eliminates stress and anxiety in dogs of all ages which in turn reduces or prevents stress related bad behavior
- Calms dogs during thunderstorms, fireworks, visits by strangers or moving to a new home
- Helps older dogs adapt to new puppies, babies, and boyfriends
- Helps puppies adapt to new environments
Feliway Pheromone Spray or Room Diffuser*
(similar to DAP pheromone but for cats with about the same success rate)
Feliway has been proven effective for:
- controlling urine spraying
- getting cats to use their litter boxes again
- calming multi cat households
- ending or lessening fighting
- reducing cat's anxiety, stress, fear, anger
- speeding up introducing a new cat to the home
- soothing to ill or geriatric cats
- absolutely a must for every progressive cat shelter in America
- deters scratching of furniture
- loss of appetite due to stress
- calming during travel
- great for acclimating cats to a new home or multi-cat household
- calming during hospitalization or boarding
Clinically proven to end urine-marking and scratching within 30 days with a 95% success rate. *
Available as a spray you apply to your cats lower back or as a wall plug in diffuser.
* I'm dubious about this 95% claim of success. Feliway IS often successful in calming nervous cats and stopping urine marking .... and canine DAP phermone CAN be amazing.... but from what my clients tell me about their success rate, I think the chance that these phermone products will solve your cat's problem are more like 50%
Xanex for thunderstorm and other anxieties:
If you have a pet with a more serious anxiety problem we may offer to provide your pet with generic Xanex. It often works great, it's generally safe and not expensive, but it's one of those medications that people tend to abuse so it is a controlled medication closely monitored by our government. Note: Valium and Xanex can be very useful anti-anxiety medications and can solve a lot of social behavior problems but note that both these similar medications reduce inhibitions; in people in can make a "mean drunk" meaner and it sometimes makes an aggressive dog or cat more aggressive; not less.
2020 Update. Due to ever more complicated regulations on dispensing controlled medications like valium and Xanex, we are no longer dispensing controlled drugs from our pharmacy. Rather we are writing prescriptions which are easily and inexpensively filled at any human pharmacy... but there are strict rules to include dispensing only 30 days supply at a time and I have to justify in your pet records why your pet needs a controlled medication.
A comment about Thundershirts for thunderstorm anxiety:
Thundershirts might help with mild cases of anxiety, but I'm skeptical. What I keep hearing from people is something like this: "My dog is TERRIFIED of thunderstorms and firecrackers. I've tried playing music, I've tried keeping the television on, I've tried giving Benadryl, I've bought a "Thundershirt"; NONE OF IT IS WORKING" ....
Cerenia For Motion Sickness
the most successful medication available for nausea and motion sickness
Much better than Dramamine and much better than Reglan
This stuff works. Make your next trip pleasant for both you and your pet, no matter who’s driving.
Acepromazine tranquillizer for motion sickness, long car rides, airplanes trips, and severe thunderstorm anxiety
Usually very effective but meant for occasional use as it makes your pet zombie like for at half a day.
Forbid: Stopping Dogs from eating stool
Feeding Forbid to your dogs for a few days will often stop stool eating forever. $4-16 depending on the size of your dog
Trazodone for canine aggression
Treating dogs that are overly aggressive to other dogs or humans is challenging. I've had to euthanize a fair number of dogs in my career for this behavior problem and it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I wish this problem were easier to treat. But there are treatments that often work.... or at least help a lot... and one of the medications likely to help is Trazadone. This is a medication that is used to treat severe depression in people. Trazodone can be used alone or in combination with other behavioral medications.