What is Chamomile?
Chamomile is a plant in the daisy family. For thousands of years, dried Chamomile flowers have been used in traditional medicine to make tea for calming mild anxiety and soothing unsettled stomachs in humans. More recently, Chamomile has also been found to have calming benefits for our four-legged friends, too.
Benefits of Chamomile for dogs
The benefits of Chamomile for dogs are vast including helping soothe itchy skin and eyes, being mildly anti-parasitic and helping ease mild gastro-intestinal upset. However, this article will talk directly to one of the most popular uses for Chamomile – promoting relaxation and easing symptoms of anxiety in dogs.
How does Chamomile help to calm mild dog anxiety?
To understand how Chamomile can help calm dog anxiety, we need to take a quick (but easy) science lesson. Chamomile contains a naturally occurring chemical compound called apigenin. When apigenin is ingested and reaches our brain, it is thought to bind with GABA receptors.
GABA receptors in our brains help to block signals of anxiety and fear from being sent around our bodies. With these signals somewhat blocked, this helps us to feel calmer and more relaxed, helping our brains and nervous system better process information – meaning we can more calmly deal with the event that’s making us feel uneasy.
With this in mind, Chamomile may help dogs better deal with situations where they might be nervous or anxious, like:
- If they’re home alone and experience separation anxiety
- When they’re around unfamiliar dogs or people
- If they get anxious at the vet or groomer
- Getting stressed while in the car
- Become uneasy during thunderstorms or fireworks
- If they are a breed prone to being nervous or anxious
- Have a history of stress or anxiety, like a rescue dog.
What if my dog has severe anxiety?
If your dog has severe anxiety, it’s time to visit your vet. This can be equally as distressing for you as your dog. Your vet will be able to help you set a plan to get your pet calm as soon as possible, which may include supplements, behavioural training or even medication.
Is Chamomile safe for dogs?
Chamomile is very safe for dogs, provided it’s consumed in a canine supplement or treat. Do keep in mind that some dogs can also be sensitive to Chamomile, which may cause diarrhoea, vomiting, skin reactions or allergic reactions after being ingested. For dogs allergic to plants in the daisy family, Chamomile should be avoided.
Chamomile is also not recommended for pregnant or lactating dogs, as well as puppies under 16 weeks of age.
Finally, if your dog is on any medication, be sure to run the addition of Chamomile to their diet past your vet to check that it won’t interfere with their treatment.
How to give your dog Chamomile
To ensure your pet receives a safe and effective dose of Chamomile for their bodyweight, the best approach is to use a calming supplement for dogs or Chamomile dog treats.
There are two products in the ZamiPet Relax & Calm range containing Chamomile.
ZamiPet Relax & Calm
ZamiPet Relax & Calm is a great tasting, breakable chew containing four calming ingredients to support a healthy nervous system and reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety in dogs: L-Tryptophan, Valerian Root, Chamomile and L-Theanine.
This premium health supplement is specially formulated with high levels of four calming active ingredients to support a calm pup, to be given to your dog once a day.
ZamiPet HappiTreats® Relax & Calm
ZamiPet HappiTreats® Relax & Calm are a delicious, healthy treat for dogs made from quality Australian chicken and salmon. They’re enriched with vitamins and minerals and also contain the calming benefits of L-Tryptophan and Chamomile to support a healthy nervous system.
ZamiPet HappiTreats® Relax & Calm are specially formulated to be a healthy treat, given to your dog more often during the day as a healthy snack, with added benefits of two calming active ingredients.
Can I give my dog Chamomile tea for anxiety?
While it might be tempting to brew up an extra cuppa of Chamomile tea when you’re making one for yourself, the safest and most effective way to give your dog Chamomile is via a supplement or treat specially formulated for our four-legged friends.
By using tea, the correct dosage of Chamomile is not guaranteed – they may receive not enough, or too much, which can be toxic to dogs. Chamomile tea intended for human consumption may also contain other plant extracts, which may not be tolerated well by dogs.
The information in this article was checked by ZamiPet Veterinarian and General Manager Dr Andrew McKay, BVSc, University of Melbourne, 2000. Vet Registration No: V3985
Disclaimer: This information is general advice only. Before starting any treatment or supplement with your pet, please consult your vet first for the best approach to getting your pet back to their best health.