Herbs to help calm a barking dog

Written by michaelyn erickson
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Herbs to help calm a barking dog
Excessive barking is sometimes caused by anxiety, which is treatable with herbs. (barking brown dog image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)

Dogs bark to communicate with us and others within audible range. Sometimes this can cause a problem if the barking cannot be controlled. Dogs also bark, according to the Natrual Remedies website, because of separation anxiety. When its owner is not home, an anxious dog will bark. This can become particularly annoying to neighbours. Fortunately, there are safe, natural remedies to ease anxiety in dogs and quiet the excessive barking.


Skullcap or Scutellaria laterifolia is a purple-flowered herb in the mint family. According to the Natural Dog Health Remedies website, it is an excellent supplement to calm excitable or nervous animals. They suggest using it to help your dog or cat through a traumatic experience such as a big move. This herb does not cause drowsiness or interfere with motor functions. It is a safe and natural treatment for dogs prone to excessive barking. Make sure your animal is getting appropriate doses of skullcap, overuse can lead to liver damage. It is not recommended for use with pregnant animals.

St. John's Wort

St. Johns Wort contains between 1 per cent and 6 per cent hyperforin, according to Glen Brook Farm. It acts as an antidepressant and emotional stabiliser. Glen Brook Farm also points out that St. John's Wort is one of the best documented herbal remedies on the market today. Its scientific record is extensive, like that of many prescription medications. This herb raises levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain and helps support mental and emotional stability both in humans and animals. This herb is recommended by Glen Brook Farms for symptoms of depression, separation anxiety and some forms of aggression in pets.


Belladonna is a powerful natural sedative. Holistic Pet Info lists it as an herbal remedy for aggression in pets. Small doses can calm highly strung animals. Belladonna contains atropine, which, according to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, can ease pain and act as a muscle relaxant. Belladonna is also referred to as deadly nightshade. The Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine warns that if too much is ingested, the plant is toxic and can kill an adult human with as little as 100 mg. Follow dosage recommendations on any herbal tincture, supplement or remedy.


Cantharis is an irritant produced by a live beetle in southern France and Spain. According to Herbs 2000.com, it is caustic and can cause blistering on the skin. In diluted amounts, this natural substance can treat severe anxiety. Native Remedies.com lists cantharis as an effective additive to a natural tonic for excessive barking in dogs along with Belladonna, St. John's Wort and Skullcap.

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