Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.
Does your pup get stressed out from time to time? Are you looking for different calming remedies to help her (and you!) feel better?
Luckily, CBD can be just as helpful for managing pet anxiety as it is for curbing anxiousness in humans. And while the market is still under-regulated, allowing some less-honorable companies to sell low-quality products under false or grossly misleading claims, plenty of stand-up brands are dedicated to creating safe calming treats for dogs, cats and other non-human family members.
Sorting the good from the bad can get confusing, so we’ve whittled the search to our top 10 favorite brands making anxiety treats for dogs.
Top 10 Best Calming Pet Treats for 2023:
- Best Overall Calming Dog Treats: Penelope’s Bloom CBD Dog Treats for Stress + Anxiety
- Best Soft Calming Chews: FOMO Bones CBD Dog Treats
- Mood-Boosting Blend: CBDfx CBD Dog Treats
- Best Calming Treats for Puppies: Honest Paws Calm Soft Chews
- Best for Picky Eaters: Holistapet CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
- Best Package Deal: The Anxious Pet Calming Kit
- Most Convenient Calming Treats: Reggie Anytime Calming
- Best No-Nonsense Treats: Zatural CBD Dog Soft Chews
- Veterinarian-Formulated: Koi CBD Dog Treats
- Best for Larger Dogs: Extract Labs Organic Fetch Calming Hemp Bites
While these brands are reputable and take reasonable care to create safe and reliable pet calming treats, every animal is different and can have different reactions to these products. It’s important to always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet a CBD calming treat.
10 Best Calming Treats for Anxious Dogs and Pets
After examining a wide batch of brands under many different considerations (more on that below), we’ve narrowed the field of best calming treats for dogs to our favorite top 10.
1. Best Overall Calming Dog Treats: Penelope’s Bloom CBD Dog Treats for Stress + Anxiety
We all know that dogs are not just pets, but more like a true member of the family. Pet owners nowadays are looking for companies that really care about their pet’s well being just as much as they do. At Penelope’s Bloom, this is their philosophy—your pet’s health and wellbeing comes first. The company is named after their beloved French bulldog, Penelope, whose struggle with chronic health problems inspired the development of the CBD dog treats.
Every single CBD product is carefully created for pet parents looking for only the highest quality, preservative-free, pesticide-free, and vegan-friendly ingredients. While the company provides several different products, its CBD Dog Stress + Anxiety Bundle makes our list for Best All-Around Offering.
This bundle allows pet parents to choose from all-natural and non-GMO oils, balms, and delicious crunchy treats—all third-party lab-tested for product safety, potency, and effectiveness. As an added bonus, each product includes organic chamomile to help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and calm hyperactivity. This bundle is great for dogs in all life stages.
2. Best Soft Calming Chews: FOMO Bones CBD Dog Treats
These soft chews from FOMO Bones can be especially helpful for older dogs or cats (or animals with more sensitive palettes).
The company also loads their treats up with good stuff, including chamomile and naturally-calming plants valerian root and passionflower, as well as L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid and noted aid to help with dog anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and sleep.
That’s to say nothing of the CBD itself, which is as high-quality as the other ingredients involved. Lab-tested and manufactured in National Animal Supplement Council-approved facilities, this CBD is certifiably safe.
It’s also of the isolate variety, meaning it’s made from plants processed to exclude any THC from the mix. All to help our stressed dogs avoid the “fear of missing out” on whatever happens when their humans leave the house — and all the separation anxiety that comes with it.
3. Mood-Boosting Blend: CBDfx CBD Dog Treats
Founded in 2014, CBDfx was already one of the most trusted companies in the CBD space when they started setting their sights on creating pet calming chews. It’s just one of the reasons why their Pet Treats made this list.
Some of the soothing ingredients that make up their pet treat mix:
- Calming chamomile
- Soothing passionflower
- Stabilizing valerian root
- Mood-boosting L-Tryptophan
- Health-boosting adaptogenic mushrooms
The CBD used is broad spectrum, meaning a processed mix of the compound that extracts THC but leaves in all the other terpenes, cannabinoids, and other beneficial plant parts that help make CBD so effective.
Add to that the fact that their CBD is sourced from certified organic farms and tested for any harmful compounds before being added to the mix, and you end up with a human-grade, soy-free, vegan option perfect for relieving your dog’s anxiety.
4. Best Calming Treats for Puppies: Honest Paws
Honest Paws is another CBD company that focuses exclusively on products for canines and the other non-human members of the family. The company’s founder, Chelsea, was inspired to seek more natural methods to help her pup, Baby Rose, after she struggled with a severe health condition.
Fittingly, we picked the company’s Calm treats as Best Product for Puppies, thanks to their palatable soft-chew and the patented active ingredients.
The company says the ingredients in their hemp calming treats are fine-tuned to help frazzled and anxious dogs, including those that may be struggling not just with pet anxiety but particularly unruly bouts of puppy energy.
We also liked that Honest Paws’ CBD itself is third-party lab tested, non-GMO, and made from hemp grown in America, which typically has more stringent policies regarding how the crops can be managed.
5. Best Dog Calming Treats for Picky Eaters: Holistapet CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
Holisapet goes out of its way to live up to the “holistic” half of its name, coming up with dog calming treats to help with dog anxiety (e.g., separation anxiety) while keeping their physical wellness in mind. Plus, it’s flavored with Green Apple and Peanut Butter to be super tasty.
The formula and natural ingredients found in their calming bites read more like a grocery list, including:
- Peanut butter
- Coconut oil
For their stressed dog-specific batches, Holistapet also adds chamomile and the amino acid L-Theanine, an anxiety-fighting compound found naturally in some mushrooms and teas.
The company prides itself on sourcing top-notch CBD, which is third-party lab tested, broad spectrum — and so, THC-free — and non-GMO.
6. Best Package Deal: The Anxious Pet Calming Kit
The Anxious Pet is a boutique CBD company started by a pair of anxious pet owners who realized that anxiety in dogs wasn’t just bad for the animals themselves but also problematic for their humans.
With the “happy dog, happy human” mantra in mind, the couple paired up with experienced veterinarians to develop some pet-friendly formulations for their CBD, including their Relax & Roll calming chews and supplement bars.
Both products offer all the benefits of lab-tested CBD combined with chamomile, sleep-aid melatonin, and anxiety-reducing amino acid Acetyl-L carnitine.
Tummy-soothing ginger, joint-soothing turmeric, and gut-supporting flaxseed powder are also in this calming chew. The company sells both products together, helping the Anxious Pet gain our pick for Best Package Deal.
7. Most Convenient Calming Chews: Reggie Anytime Calming
Reggie wins our spot for Best Product for Convenience with its well-thought-out philosophy behind CBD routines. Their supplements for stressed dogs, cats and other pets are color-coded and meant to be taken at mealtimes to help incorporate them into both your and your animal’s regular schedule. This makes managing feeding more convenient for dog owners.
We also love that their Anytime Calming soft chews include the Ayurvedic favorite, ashwagandha, an ancient root long associated with natural anxiety and stress management.
Aside from the herbal supplement, the treats include relaxation-inducing L-Theanine and a line-up of inactive — but still helpful — organic ingredients like kale, coconut oil, and rosemary extract.
And while the treats are formulated to help dogs suffering from anxiety and stress, they’re balanced enough to ensure they don’t put them to sleep, making them a perfect additive to morning or evening meals.
8. Best No-Nonsense Calming Treats: Zatural CBD Soft Chews
Sourcing several ingredients that tick nearly every box, Zatural’s CBD Dog Soft Chews takes our spot as Best No-Nonsense Product.
It starts with the company’s CBD, which is grown in the United States and sourced from organic-certified farmers. The formula used in the calming chews is broad spectrum, which includes all the benefits of CBD without the THC attached to it. And the oil is tested to ensure it’s free of nasty products, including:
- Chemical fertilizers
Zatural’s CBD is also CO2-extracted, the preferred process in the industry. It’s a method that uses pure pressure, rather than less-appealing leeching agents, to separate the compound from the plant.
The soft chew texture of the dog calming treats makes them suitable for pets with sensitive pallets.
9. Most Tested Calming Treats: Koi CBD Dog Treats
Koi CBD sends samples of its products to the lab several times throughout the manufacturing process, utilizing International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-verified facilities to run its tests. And each result along the way is logged online and available for buyers to search through.
Thanks, in part, to its rigorous testing, the company promises guaranteed amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture in every batch of their CBD Dog Treats for Calming Support. That result can also be partly attributed to the all-natural ingredients in the calming treats, including organic peanut butter, organic applesauce, and brown rice flour.
Pet owners should note that the CBD used in these products is full-spectrum, meaning it includes trace — though still safe and regulated — levels of THC.
10. Best Calming Treats for Large Dogs: Extract Labs Organic Fetch Calming Hemp Bites
With a slightly higher dosage of CBD than many pet-friendly products — weighing in around 10 mg per treat, compared to the 5mg of many other brands — Extract Labs’ CBD Dog Treats takes our spot for Best Product for Larger Dogs.
As the company’s name suggests, Extract Labs also has all of their CBD third-party tested before putting it into their products.
It should be noted that the full-spectrum variety they use leaves the entire hemp extract intact, including trace amounts of THC that may be in the mix.
The other ingredients are simple, vegan, and gluten-free, making the pet calming treats an excellent choice for anxious animals on all types of diets.
Plus, Extract Labs donates 10% of proceeds to companies researching CBD’s effects on canine cancer cells, making it not just an excellent product for supporting large dogs but for supporting big hearts.
How We Chose Our Top 10 Calming Treats for Dogs
Our dogs, cats and other animals are just as much family members as their human counterparts — and picking out products for their health should be taken just as seriously.
Several considerations go into choosing our top 10, from different aspects of the manufacturing process to the ethos and intentions of the brand itself.
Quality Sourcing and Processing
Hemp is a particularly greedy plant when it comes to growing. Its roots will happily suck up any and all things it finds in the soil, be it helpful nutrients or harmful chemicals.
That’s why finding farms pledged to organic growing practices is particularly important when investigating CBD or any hemp-based products. For our methods, quality sourced means hemp grown domestically, without pesticides, and preferably under organic farming practices.
Processing can be an equally tricky area for CBD products. Many extraction processes also involve harmful chemicals or otherwise less-than-appealing extraction agents. That’s why CO2, cold-press, and ethanol methods are preferred, particularly when taken place in accredited facilities and performed by qualified personnel.
At this point, testing batches of CBD oil is still a voluntary step for companies. Obviously, the businesses that go the extra mile are the ones that stand out in the field. And posting those results online shows even more commitment to quality.
We search for third-party lab test results in our top 10 companies. We pay particular attention to ensuring the results are updated and accurately describe what’s inside the product and state that whatever’s being sold is free from pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and chemical fertilizers.
Most people don’t like spending money on something that doesn’t work. That’s why we take the effectiveness of these products into account when creating our lists.
To help determine the effectiveness of calming treats for dogs, we look at things like current test results and the inclusion of any specific supporting cannabinoids, terpenes, or other compounds.
Compounds like chamomile, valerian root, and L-Theanine are all good signs when considering products well-suited to treat an anxious dog.
We also comb through verified online reviews to ensure that customers seemed happy with their results overall.
There’s hardly any point in taking herbal supplements when those natural health aids are mixed with artificial chemicals. We ensure each product on our list utilizes all-natural products and healthy botanicals, giving their CBD a quality boost from Mother Nature.
The landscape of the CBD market is still widely unregulated—and left wide-open to schemers and get-rich-quick brands hoping to cash in on a trend.
In our research, we’ve found that the best CBD hemp oil usually comes from mission-driven brands, showing that the people selling the product aren’t just out to make money but to do something helpful, giving back to the people, pets, and even the earth itself that supports them.
When You Should Use Dog Calming Treats
When considering how and when to use calming treats for dogs, cats, and other animals, there are generally two prevailing methods: The treats can be administered as part of a regular regimen or given to animals on an as-needed basis. Both approaches have their benefits.
CBD can take some time to build up in the body before reaching levels that offer the desired effects of the product. And once a certain baseline has been reached, it can become even more impactful, making the body more responsive to CBD and other cannabinoids.
Using a regular CBD regiment can help build—and maintain—the presence of CBD in an animal’s system. This can be a beneficial method for animals with chronic stress or other health issues, giving them the best chance of receiving all the best benefits of the best calming treats for dogs.
Again, you should always consult with your veterinarian about the specifics of your animal before starting them on a CBD regimen.
Offering CBD treats as needed is also an excellent option for many pets and pet owners.
This type of treatment is beneficial if you know your dog has particular stress triggers, such as:
- Having company over
- Going for rides in the car
- Hearing loud noises
If you know one of these situations is coming up, offering your up calming treats for dogs can be an effective and proactive way to help them get through the experience.
How quickly the calming treat takes to kick in depends on the strength of the CBD, the ingestion method, and the size of the dog, cat, or animal, among other factors. However, many companies claim their products start to work between 30-60 minutes.
What is known is that dogs have a faster metabolism than humans, making the CBD run through their system more quickly, with studies finding CBD staying in an animal’s system for anywhere from 4 to 9 hours.
Many people wonder whether they can give their dogs calming treats every day.
While a regular CBD regimen can undoubtedly benefit pets, many experts are wary of recommending dosing as a daily routine.
CBD has proven itself safe in many studies on humans and lab animals, though studies focusing on dogs, in particular, are still very rare, making some vets hesitant to suggest it.
Still, while falling short of making a full endorsement for daily use, the American Kennel Club has noted that evidence for the benefits of CBD on dogs is “compelling.”
As always, the best recommendation for how and when to use calming treats for dogs will come from your veterinarian.
What to Look for in Soothing Dog Treats
As with any calming treatment for dogs, not every type of treat will be the right one for your dog. You need to do your research to pick the right one for your canine friend. Some things to take into consideration when choosing the right dog calming treats include:
- The size and breed of your dog
- What you’re trying to treat (e.g., anxiety, stress, other health issues, excessive barking, aggressive behavior)
- Whether your dog would prefer soft chews
- If your dog is prone to an upset stomach (look for ingredients like organic ginger root to help calm their tummies)
- Ingredients (choose calming treats that have high-quality ingredients)
- Whether your dog is a picky eater (most dogs may prefer peanut butter or bacon flavor)
Benefits of Using Calming Treats for Pets
There are many potential benefits of using calming treats for dogs, cats, and other pets.
First and foremost is the stress relief such a routine can offer your animal. Stress is equally as uncomfortable for pets as it is for pet parents—and perhaps even more so, without the same ability to understand why certain situations are happening.
Also, like in humans, stress can go on to manifest physically in dogs, leading to:
- Pacing and shaking
- An increased heart rate
- Compulsive licking or chewing
- Diarrhea and other digestive issues
- Destructive behavior (e.g., tearing apart couch cushions, biting)
Keeping pets calm can help combat all those physical ailments that come with anxiety.
A calmer pet is also typically better at socializing, which can be hugely beneficial for both animals and humans.
Positive socialization is a crucial step for puppies, helping them build a happy and healthy foundation, and rescue animals who may be struggling with challenging issues like PTSD.
Other Ways to De-Stress Your Pets
Of course, natural supplements aren’t the only calming aids for dogs.
Exercise has long been one of the best and most consistent channels for stress in both dogs and humans. If your animal is showing signs of anxiety, physical activities like walking, running, or even playing a game of fetch can help them utilize the excess energy that would otherwise be spent on stressing them out.
While it may sound counterintuitive, having your dog sit and respond to routine commands can also help.
Just as with people, a routine can be hugely comforting for dogs, and having them run through their known set of tricks can both distract them from whatever is making them anxious and help provide a sense of normalcy.
Removing the Stressor
Understandably, if a particular situation seems to be stressing your dog out, removing them from that situation is the best and most immediate way to deal with their anxiety. Though, experts warn against the instinct to pamper them too much in these instances. If you want to give them a treat, it’s better to ask them to sit, stay, or shake first.
The worlds of CBD and better pet health can both be confounding. Combine them, and things can get even more complicated.
Naturally, there are many questions people might have about using calming treats for dogs.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
As there are currently no formal studies examining the health effects of CBD on dogs, it can be difficult to understand whether or not CBD is in fact safe for dogs.
However, more than 23,000 tests on humans and lab animals have been performed, with most of the results yielding positive or neutral effects. In a 2017 World Health Organization report, it was noted that CBD in its pure state appeared “safe” and “well-tolerated” by animals.
Though, the compound is not without its potential side-effects, including:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
The American Kennel Club warns that CBD could become toxic if an animal is given too high a dose.
Do CBD treats work for dogs?
Again, official test results are lacking, though a wide variety of anecdotal evidence points to CBD’s effectiveness in dogs, cats, and other animals, particularly for treating physical pain and helping curb anxiety (including separation anxiety in dogs).
The compound also shows particular promise for aiding or abetting:
CBD is even believed to help prevent certain forms of cancer.
What other pets can take CBD calming treats?
Pet calming treats are most commonly associated with dogs and cats, but all types of animals can potentially benefit from CBD.
The compound works by interacting with a part of the body called the endocannabinoid system (EDC), a network of sensors in charge of keeping the body’s internal systems in balance, among other responsibilities. So long as an animal has an endocannabinoid system, it can potentially benefit from CBD.
And mammals aren’t the only types of animals with an EDC. A recent study found that fish, reptiles, and birds all have the same kind of system. However, finding treats more appropriate for these types of animals may be very difficult.
Are CBD treats safe for puppies and kittens?
Depending on the dosage, calming pet treats can be safe for puppies or kittens. It is vital to dose your animal correctly and always start on the lower end. You never know how any compound may affect any given animal.
THC may also prove to be more toxic at lower levels for puppies and kittens, making a broad spectrum or isolate an ideal choice for younger pets.
As always, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before giving your puppy, kitten, or any animal a pet calming treat.
Looking for more wellness and lifestyle picks? Check out more of our recommendations:
- Our Picks: Best Detox Cleanses, Teas and Supplements for Weight Loss in 2022
- Stop Slouching Today with These Posture Correctors for Women
- Comfortable Face Masks for All-Day Use — From Tory Burch to Amazon
Check out more of our picks and deals here!
This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as wedding-guest outfits, purses, plus-size swimsuits, women's sneakers, bridal shapewear, and perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.
The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from the advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!