Calming Herbs for Animals

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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Calming Herbs for Animals
Ease an animal's stress from moving. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

As with humans, our animal friends are prone to anxiety and stress and sometimes require an herbal aid to help calm their nerves. Several herbs used for relieving stress in humans may be applied to cats, dogs, horses and birds. Calming herbs help cure anxiety in animals due to travelling, the introduction of a new pet, shows and races, and for breaking bad habits.

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Herbs to help ease anxiety in dogs include chamomile, which calms the nerves and induces sleep. Try soaking a treat in chamomile tea or giving your dog some tea before a long car ride. Skullcap is an effective sedative herb for nervous tension in dogs, according to Natural Dog Health Remedies, and also helps epileptic dogs. Valerian, another natural sedative, is available in capsule and tincture form and helps ease over-excitability and tension in pooches. Saint John's Wort is another herbal sedative that combines well with Valerian.


Cats suffering from anxiety and nervousness may benefit from catnip, which can be utilised as a mild sedative that promotes sleep and calms the nerves. It also helps ease stomach upsets and gas. The Bach Flower Rescue Remedy is a liquid flower essence blend that can be given to cats during periods of stress. It can be given directly or added to water. Aspen is another flower essence remedy that helps calm a cat and restore its normal breathing patterns.


Calm horses with Vervain, which is often used for calm spooked thoroughbred horses. The hops plant helps process their nerves through their heads, according to Honeyvale Herbs, as the mind of a horse is constantly buzzing and easily distracted. Passiflora helps stop ingrained bad behaviour and works well in conjunction with other calming herbs. As with dogs, Valerian and chamomile are helpful for calming horses, particularly before a show or race.


Chamomile is used to calm parrots and may also be used to kill staph and yeast infections. Kava Kava is an herb from the pepper family that has sedative effects and can be used to ease hyperactivity and feather plucking in parrots. Valerian and Saint John's Wort are used with parrots for their sedative properties as well as the Passionflower herb. The Bach Flower Rescue Remedy may be administered to birds to help calm and soothe them.

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