Valerian root is a well know anxiety relief medication for dogs. But can valerian root kill dogs if they take too much of it? What are the side effects of valerian roots? Find out all this in the article below
Valerian root toxicity is quite rare, and thus the chances of Valerian root killing your dog are negligible.
The active substances of Valerian root are called valerenic acids, which bind to specific reception sites on your dog’s brain and nerve tissues to relieve him from anxiety. Valerian Roots are known to be effective in calming your hyperactive dog.
But apart from its calming effects, there is much more to know about valerian roots. Let’s dive into the facts to learn about valerian roots, their effects, and the appropriate dosage to help your dog.
What Is Valerian Root?
Valerian Roots is scientifically termed as Valeriana Officinalis. It is composed of several valerenic acids such as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and iridoid glycosides.
The valerenic acids of the root are responsible for its sedative antispasmodic property. Among the healing plants, Valerian Roots was one of the oldest noted medicine for its healing property when veterinary science evolved as a distinct study category.
This root is very useful in veterinary studies, but it is also used to treat various issues faced by humans, such as sleep disorders, and to calm the nerves, for instance.
One of the most common uses of these roots is to relieve dogs and horses suffering from stress or anxiety, which is quite normal due to their traumatic events, like accidents or ill-treatment.
Important constituents of Valerian are termed sesquiterpenes, including valerenal, valerenic acid, and valeranone. It got its nomenclature from valeranone. Substances like Bornyl acetate (Essential Oil) and glycosides are also present.
Is Valerian Root Toxic or Therapeutic?
In most cases, it is completely harmless to pets as well as humans.
Valerian has lots of healing properties, and in most cases, it is completely harmless to be administered to humans and animals such as dogs, cats, horses, etc. However, it would help if you looked for the side effects to ensure that it does not harm the one it’s given.
As Valerian is mostly used to calm and sedate dogs suffering stress and anxiety, it is important to make sure that the sedative nature of the plant doesn’t result in extreme drowsiness.
It is thus NOT advised to be given to puppies, elderly, weak dogs, or those suffering some serious health issues to avoid serious damage unless prescribed by a trained veterinarian.
In this matter, the suggested dose must be kept in mind to be on the safe side. It is recommended to administer the compound: ¼ tsp for small dogs, ½ tsp for medium dogs, 1 tsp for large dogs.
Effects of Valerian Roots in Animals?
Apart from its sedative nature, it helps relieve anxiety and can stop spasms.
Below are the few facts that are observed by various experiments and tests, thus scientifically proven :
- The most common and known property of Valerian is its sedative nature which greatly helps to calm animals that have suffered some trauma and are in a state of unease, such as dogs that their masters mistreat.
- It is anxiolytic, which is good to kick out anxiety and give relief to many such animals.
- One of its magical characteristics is that it is an anticonvulsant that helps fight against seizures which is a matter of great concern for the masters of dogs suffering from it.
- Valerian is antispasmodic, which works to stop spasms.
- It also works as a muscle relaxant that gives rest to the worn-out muscles in dogs and other animals.
- It is antiulcerogenic, which is responsible for preventing the onset of ulcers to a great extent.
- Valerian is an immunostimulant that helps to stimulate the immune system.
Thus, Valerian is proved to be useful in many instances, including its ability to stop restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, and fierceness. It takes time to effect; however, it has been seen to lessen pain immediately in rare cases.
It is yet not known as to what exactly causes the healing, and it is most likely due to a synergy effect that makes all the capabilities of Valerian possible.
Use of Valerian Root in Veterinary Medicine?
Early use of Valerian root is traced back to the Middle Ages when it is learned to be used to promote periods in women. It was also used as a calming agent for the stomach and to help with sleeping difficulties.
In the veterinary study, the root is ground and added to livestock and other salt mixtures to fulfill the nutritional needs. It’sIt’s also known to treat digestive organs-related diseases.
It is unarguably wise to choose herbal compounds as sedatives over synthetic preparations, and the side effects are negligible in almost all scenarios.
Medicinal plants such as green oats, hops, balm, passionflower, lavender are used along with Valerian roots to treat issues related to the central nervous system and be effective as anxiety relief and sleep aid.
Dogs extricated from killing stations, ones traumatized by any other events, can be administered with a proper dose of Valerian which is helpful to treat them. It can be used as a catalyst to increase the process of anxiety release along with proper training or behavioral therapies.
It is also used for many other factors since as early as the ancient greeks. A dog suffering from seizures is a serious problem that brings countless sleepless nights to both the pet suffering from it and its owner.
Not much is known about the cure to such a disease. Valerian, having sedative characteristics, can be used to stabilize the nervous system, which in turn reduces the frequency of such seizures.
Anxiety In Dogs And Valerian Roots To The Rescue
Dog anxiety is a common issue that most dog parents have to deal with. Dog anxiety could be due to various reasons. Most dogs suffer from separation anxiety, where they feel uneasy whenever their owners are away, even for a few minutes.
If you bring a new pet to your house, your doh might suffer anxiety. Few dogs like to be alone in your life, and any new person intruding on his personal space would trouble him. To avoid such anxiety, it would help if you train him from the puppy stage and socialize him with as many people and pets as possible.
You can give Valerian Root extract to your dog before leaving to help it cope with anxiousness when you are away. The active substances in the roots, such as various terpenes and iridoid glycosides, bind to specific receptors in the nervous system.
Active substances of Valerian bind to beta subunits of GABA-A receptors on the central nervous system. Through this mechanism, Valerian blocks the pathway of anxiety by suppressing the nervous system of your dog.
Other calming aids such as phenyl hydramine hydrochloride, cannabidiol from hemp seed, and others act through a similar mechanism.
As all these calming aids suppress the central nervous system, higher concentrations of these drugs could be fatal. Valerian overdose could cause severe chest pain, cramps, nausea, and tremors. These are mild symptoms that last for a day.
Overdosing on Valerian is quite rare, but it is always better to consult a veterinary specialist before giving Valerian or any other anxiety relief medication to your dog. The primary reason is your dog would not be able to communicate his symptoms to you, which could lead to worsening of the symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Valerian help dogs with anxiety?
Yes, it does.
It is a scientifically proven fact that Valerian root has properties that help calm the nerves of humans and other animals. When a dog enjoys a comfortable sleep with mysterious dreams, a sudden noise or a tire blast can cause it to show uncontrolled anxiety and stress.
At such a time, Valerian root powder can help reduce those symptoms to a great extent, and appropriate use for the right amount of time can prove to be immensely helpful to cure various other problems.
Can a dog overdose on valerian root?
No, it is highly unlikely. At best it can cause confusion and fatigue to the dog.
Certainly, it is preferred most of the time not to administer Valerian root to your dog unless you have a decent knowledge of its doses and side effects. A high amount of valerian root for a prolonged time can cause drowsiness, fatigue, and confusion in a dog.
How much is Valerian safe for dogs?
It is recommended to administer the compound: ¼ tsp for small dogs, ½ tsp for medium dogs, 1 tsp for large dogs.
How long does Valerian take to work with dogs?
It takes time to take effect on dogs. However, in rare cases, it has been seen to lessen pain immediately, and in most cases, it’sit’s 2 or 3 days.
What is the best calming aid for dogs?
The best way to treat anxiety in dogs is to attack the root cause rather than medications.
It would be best to avoid any medications as a calming aid. Although herbal medicines such as valerian roots or cannabidiol oil are mostly safe, overdosing is common for worried pet parents.
Toxicity of CBD (Cannabidiol), Valerian roots, or other herbal medicines could be pretty dangerous, and your dog might need immediate medical help. The best calming aid could be music or anxiety relief massage.
You should train your puppy to be anxiety-free from the beginning. As per medicines, herbal medicines like valerian roots are preferred over chemical drugs such as phenyl hydramine hydrochloride containing- Benadryl.
A Few Final Words
Anxiety in dogs could be the result of fear or underlying health issues. If your dog shows hyperactivity that stays for a long time, he might need a proper diagnosis rather than some over-the-counter calming drugs.
Valerian Roots are mild and are considered safe for dogs. Still, as discussed, it suppresses major portions of the brain, mainly the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, responsible for thinking and memory.
Suppression of brain activity is serious, so it is always better to consult a vet before administering such drugs to your loved pet. Thank you for reading the article, you might also like to read: Best CBD Treats For Aggressive Dogs and Where To Buy CBD Dog Treats