occasional calming supplement

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by LostAndConfused, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    Hudson is perfectly fine crated at home, the problem arises when we are crating him away from home (visiting family or vacation). As long as he is crated within eye site of people (mainly me) he is OK, but the second he thinks he is being crated and we are leaving, he has a fit.

    When we are home visiting, he'll whine and bark and scratch, but seems to settle eventually. Last time we were home, he was crated in the room we stay in with the door closed (my in-laws have 3 cats). My husband's grandma came over to check her fantasy baseball team. When we asked her if he was still barking, she said that he didn't make a peep and thought he was with us.

    My biggest concern is vacation. We've only done 1 vacation with him, last summer, and I'm not sure he ever settled in his crate. He definitely never settled enough to chew on the crate treat we had given him.

    This years vacation is coming up in mid-July, and I'm trying to get a game plan in around for it. I was thinking about trying something like Rescue Remedy, or something similar.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Merlin is usually an angel in his crate. Yet, much like Hudson...in strange new places when he's alone, he used to get anxious and want to be in eye sight range of people.

    And since I travel SO MUCH and Merlin in some cases has to be alone in hotel rooms, I created kind of a crazy system. But it worked! Merlin is now really bombproof when it comes to traveling kind of crating situations.

    Here is what I use supplement wise, listed from least effective (but still calming) to most effective

    - Pet natural of Vermont Calming (http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Naturals-Vermont-Flavored-Chewables/dp/B002FZ147G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398021580&sr=8-1&keywords=dog+calming)
    - Composure chewables (http://www.amazon.com/Composure-Medium-Large-Dogs-Chews/dp/B001WOOC9S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398021497&sr=8-1&keywords=dog+anxiety)
    - Rescue remedy (3 drops)
    and finally...
    - Xanax (only had to use it once but still)
    I spoke to the vet, said it was fine to prescribe and to have on hand and use once in a while. Creates a dog that seems like he just smoked a lot of pot and for us helped ease the transition to new place.

    Our first night away of our first vacation away, we used Xanax. And then every night he got a composure (he was MUCH better after the first night) and they really like the yummy treat!

    Things that have also helped:
    - Having a crate cover and work on him sleeping with it "closed" at home. Now Merlin really doesn't care where his crate is or who's around because he's not used to seeing outside of it anyway, it has created a really safe space.
    - White noise machine. Same noise=he has no idea we aren't home/isn't listening for every little thing
    (I have this one as it's small and runs on batteries)
    http://www.amazon.com/myBaby-MYB-S200-SoundSpa-Portable/dp/B0091E31KM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1398022065&sr=8-5&keywords=white+noise+machine
    - Scented Spray of some sort. Same principle really...smells like home so we are home. I use this one (not sure about the calming qualities but it smells nice)
    http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Heart-Canine-Natural-Remedy/dp/B007CL9NWG/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1398022160&sr=1-4&keywords=dog+calming+spray

    By far the most helpful have been the crate cover and white noise machine.
    Composure treats are nice because they mean bedtime to him.
     
  3. GoingPostal

    GoingPostal Member

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    Haha I had that calming spray and my fiance hated the smell! I have tried a few things and not really noticed a huge difference in my dogs, have calming tablets from Dr Foster/Smith (this is the only one I noticed had any effect) , had some weird paste, had a pheromone collar, an adaptil plug in, rescue remedy. I think effectiveness depends on the dog so you might want a test run.
     
  4. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Fran, I've considered a crate cover for him, but I can't use one in the house all summer. No AC, so a fan gets pointed on him when he needs crated.
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Could you use a crate cover on three sides, and have the 4th side facing a boring wall and have the fan blowing? That's what we do with our dogs.

    My only personal experience with calming aids is xanex. It does a very good job on helping to ease Chloe's anxiety (she becomes more responsive to behavior modification), but not all dogs react the same, so definitely try it before actually putting him in a stressful situation.

    I've heard good things about Composure. A few clients from work would swear by it.
     
  6. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    I might be able to do that. I think the way we set the living room up during the summer has the crate facing out across the (narrow) living room and then out a doorway, but I might be able to shut that door. Just trying to remember if we get a lot of airflow through that doorway or not.
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Slightly different because it involves an intact young male and a bitch in season - but I have tried calming sprays (Payton actually hated the smell and didn't want to go in a room/his crate after I sprayed it there), two different calming pills, Rescue Remedy, and a ThunderShirt. The closest to effective is the ThunderShirt... but I actually hate the ThunderShirt because instead of "calming" Payton it actually just shuts him down, and I hate that. I basically have it for emergencies because it will at least stop him from a total freak out. I know it actually does calm/relax some dogs though. PetSmart will let you return them if it doesn't work - I returned our original one because I didn't feel like it really worked and they took it back no problems. I ended up buying one cheap off ebay like eight months later when I decided I wanted one for emergencies.

    The rest of the stuff is pretty much useless, and I have strongly considered asking a vet for something prescription strength that I can use, just for the few days when things are at their most stressful for him. Haven't done it yet though so I can't vouch for any in particular.

    I've not heard of Composure, I might give that a try if we're still living here next time a girl is in season. *sigh*
     

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