Monday, May 20, 2013

PSCPets: Calming Formula for Dogs

As I've shared with you before, our dogs are hyper, completely separation anxiety breakdown, and total lap puppies (even though they're giant).

I had the opportunity to review another PSCPets product, their PSCPets Calming Formula for dogs. Of course, I jumped at the chance, especially since we'd had such luck with their PSCPets Joint Support.   

Here's what Probiotic Smart says about the PSCPets Calming Formula:
  • Support balanced behavior, promotes relaxation, and reduced hyperactivity
  • Helps animals relax and quiet down, reduces irritability and anxiety
  • Easy to use, poultry liver flavored, chewable tablet
  • Veterinarian formulated

What's in the magic  Calming formula? 
  • Lecithin: The body needs Lecithin in formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It also protects cells from oxidation, and helps make up the protective sheaths surrounding the brain. Found in high concentration in passion flower, as well as unprocessed nuts, unprocessed grains, unprocessed soy, and eggs.
  • Valerian Root: Nature's Valium. Good for relieving fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness, stress, and is known to have very few side effects. Promotes relaxation to relieve nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety. It increases the availability of GABA (another neurotransmitter) in the brain.
  • Ginger: Ginger is known to calm the stomach. My best understanding of this additive is that oftentimes with anxiety issues, an upset stomach can follow.  One source I found said that Ginger contains nine different compounds with a direct effect on serotonin receptors, which is actually known as the "happy" neurotransmitter. Most "human" traditional medications affect this neurotransmitter pathway.
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): B Vitamins help to metabolize neurotoxins that may be linked to anxiety problems. Thiamine reduces feelings of irritability, mental confusion,can help improve brain function. Natural sources of vitamin B include whole grains, brown rice, wheat germ, flaxseeds, tuna, eggs, dark meats and organ meats (liver), molasses, crimini mushrooms, spinach, kale, green peas, asparagus, cauliflower, pineapples, and oranges.
I'm not kidding, thinks he's either a
Chihuahua or a human.
So why try this natural stuff?
Let me tell you about Cody's separation anxiety. We adopted him at 7 months old, and he'd had three prior owners. They had this handout with instructions that he was an "extra special pet" and had separation anxiety. They were pretty insistent that whoever adopted him was aware of what they were getting themselves into. He was medicated on a high dosage of tricyclic medication- pretty hard core stuff that's also used on humans.  Well let me tell you- that (redacted explicative) mess DIDN'T WORK.

Since dogs are natural den animals, we daytime crate trained them. They have dog beds in our bedroom for nighttime. Crates give a safe place for them to be when we aren't home, but also gives them their "safe place" to go when they want to be left alone. I say safe place when we aren't home, because dogs can get into things theyre not supposed to and seriously get sick. It happened to a friend of mine and her dog died. 

Well, we had Jake and Cody crated in two separate crates. Bad idea. BAAAD IDEA. Cody broke out of a soldiered, top of the line metal/wire dog crate. The first night we left the house. For less than an hour. He was also a super nervous and excited pee-er, you'd open the crate, he'd start peeing before he made it to the door, and the crate? It was less than 2 feet from the door. Thinking the crate might be the issue, we tried putting both dogs into our spare bedroom, thinking that would work, since it was larger and had our spare sofa and an arm chair given to us by my in-laws. The sofa and chair? they died... my worst nightmare--- he (and I'm sure Jake joined in on the fun), complete ripped the sofa and armchair down to the wood. Seriously. And, I so wish I could find the picture of it... I spent 30 minutes digging through our archived photos for it.

We were in the process of switching to a more holistic veterinarian because we didn't feel that the current vet we were using met our needs, and they just wanted to prescribe MORE drugs onto the already hard stuff he was on for his anxiety. As I said in my post about PSCPets Joint Support, he has had a congenital spinal issue, and that vet also wanted to basically throw the hardest meds at that, as well. We're basically talking like, giving a baby fentanyl and expecting it not to become dependant on that for however long his life is... Although I hadn't started moving completely toward the green and natural healing methods, I also knew that it just didn't feel right to throw medications at something without having a solid answer to the problem.
Around the same time one of my professors told me about her vet, someone more natural, more loving and, and this vet that just opened a clinic and was accepting new patients. I called immediately to get in. We were lucky. This vet is one of the most sought out vets in the St Augustine area, and she filled up her caseload so quickly, she had to turn people down left and right- I even had to call and beg to get my in-laws new dog in, cause they were flat out denied since they stopped accepting new patients.

Her first recommendation: crate the dogs together. If Cody has severe separation anxiety, give him his brother to snuggle with to help keep him calm when we aren't home. Second, she agreed with stopping the medications if they weren't working for him. But she did suggest Valerian Root. Valerian Root wasn't new to me- I would give it to my husband to help him sleep because at the time, he was a Deputy Sheriff and shift work and those emotionally rough days would always mess with his sleep cycle. So, armed with a new (huge) dog crate for two, some behavioral key words (watch the house, we'll be back soon), and valerian root pills, we began to address Cody's separation anxiety head on. Within a month, the neighbors let us know they no longer heard the dog howling when we weren't home. But, we were having to shove a Valerian Root Capsule down his throat. Not hard, but definitely not easy, either.

Now, not only do we have separation anxiety with Cody, we have just an extremely high energy, anxious Jake. He shakes and hides when I clip my nails, he is afraid of loud noises, completely shakes when you say bath, he totally freaks out in the car, and is kind of afraid of Nugget. If she goes to sit by him and play with him, he'll immediately jump up and go to another room. 

So, we started both of the dogs on the PSCPets Calming Formula and have been using it for a month. I talked with the sponsor and they were willing to give us the additional time, so as to give it sufficient time frame to determine if there has been any true changes in their behavior. (You know us- HONEST reviews here mamas). 

Cody is much more chill, as this has basically replaced the valerian root we had been giving him. But I definitely notice he is more laid back and isn't getting as over-excited over things he used to. Jake is less anxious, doesn't freak out when Nugget goes to play with him, and even will stay in the same room when we're clipping nails- though he keeps his eye on me like a hawk! Just like the Joint Formula, they gobble this stuff up like its a treat (so much easier than shoving a pill down their throats). This is one of those supplements that just has really made our lives a lot easier.

PSCPets Calming Formula for dogs can be purchased at as well as on

What do you do for your fur-kids 
when they're anxious or super hyper???

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in consideration for this review using No additional compensation was received for this posting. The Nurse Mommy blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Links enclosed may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle from The Nurse Mommy at babagrlshell {at} gmail {dot} com

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