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Valerian for dogs: How to use the natural sedative correctly

Valerian for dogs: How to use the natural sedative correctly

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A calming effect of valerian can be found not only in humans, but also in dogs. Here you can find out what you should consider when using the medicinal plant to reduce the stress level of your four-legged friend and why you should use the natural sedative with caution. In case of stress, valerian can also help dogs - Shutterstock / Lindsay Helms

Dogs can also be under stress, which in turn is not healthy for the animals. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) can help. It is considered a herbal sedative and has a stronger effect than chamomile or St. John's wort. Not only does this work for humans, but dogs can relax more easily with valerian - provided it is used correctly.

Tip: Before you use valerian supplements, try whether you can also relieve your dog's stress in other ways, for example by eliminating the causes of the stress.

Valerian for the dog: application and effects

If you take painkillers, you only act against the symptom "pain" and not against the cause. It is similar with the administration of valerian in dogs: The use of the medicinal plant only makes sense if you have tried everything to eliminate possible stress factors for your dog. Otherwise your dog may feel stressed again as soon as the effect of the valerian wears off.

Valerian does not work immediately on the same day, but with a time delay and after regular use over a certain period of time - for example, as part of a two-week cure. But valerian shouldn't be on a dog's diet for a long time! This is due to the essential oils that are present in valerian. These can lead to intolerance reactions in the long run.

How is valerian to be dosed for dogs?

Be sure to discuss the exact dosage with a veterinarian beforehand, as it depends on factors such as:
• Weight
• size
• Race
• Health status

For example, the daily intake over a period of two weeks is conceivable.

Side effects: can valerian be harmful to dogs?

If the dosage is incorrect, opposite results can be produced, even more restlessness and nervousness, or worse: low blood pressure or indigestion are other possible consequences. If your dog has stomach problems, injured mucous membranes or even an inflammation of the stomach, please refrain from giving valerian.

Emergency in the dog: immediately to the veterinarian!

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How to give valerian to the dog

Have you discussed with the vet that your dog can get valerian and received a dosage instruction? Then it is now a matter of "cheering" the sedative on your pet. The smell of the plant will initially seem strange to your dog. He doesn't know that they want to help him with that either. There are different dosage forms such as valerian drops, essential oils, tablets or dried valerian root.

Your dog should first get used to small amounts of valerian. Start by mixing only small doses into his food. Otherwise he may not eat it at all. Because dogs have an incredibly fine nose and they can smell when something is different on the food than usual.

In our guide "Dog must take medication: This is how he swallows the pill", you will find tips on how to give the medicine to your four-legged friend.

Alternative to taking valerian

You can not only give your dog valerian orally, you can not only mix it in the feed. You can also rub two to eight valerian drops on your dog's chest. In this way, your darling breathes in the vapors - this also works. Just like a valerian pillow. This is filled with valerian root and spreads the intense smell of the medicinal plant. This has a relaxing effect and your dog feels more balanced. Similar to the other valerian remedies, you should use it sparingly.

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