Sometimes the stars align…
A month or so ago, John and I were out for a jog, and Cooper suffered a smidge of a meltdown. We started talking about his overall anxiety.
Yes, it’s gotten better. No, it’s not “better.”
Our management has improved, and Cooper’s threshold has expanded. Combined, we do better overall.
We started to talk next steps: specifically, could supplementation of some kind take the edge off so we could continue to make improvements and he could feel calmer day-to-day?
I committed to researching options, reaching out to industry folks, and figuring out a starting point.
Literally that afternoon I received an email with the subject line: Has Cooper calmed down?
Perfect timing and an attention-grabbing subject line, so of course I opened!
The email was from Herbsmith, a company I already knew, though I hadn’t ever used their products. Here’s what she told me in that first email: “I read all about Cooper’s allergies (poor guy) and it’s great that he’s responsive to all that you’ve done! I also keyed in on the part where you talked about him flipping out if you leave him or if he sees anything threatening. I have a doggie like that (a rescue from a South Korean dog meat farm) and I think that some Herbsmith supplements, July Third and Calm Shen, may be really helpful. This isn’t just something I’m saying to get you to try our products. I say it because I’ve seen it work and you wouldn’t believe the changes unless you tried it yourself. My dog went from cowering in a corner, constant pacing and demolishing my living room on a daily basis, to watching tv with me and looking out the window with the cats in a matter of weeks.”
OK, so here’s where I need to jump in with a disclaimer: I’m not a vet. I’m not a medical professional. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not anything useful other than a writer who obsessively researches and approaches everything with some solid objectivity. This is for informational purposes only. Herbsmith kindly provided me and Coop with the products we’re going to trial.
Anyway, I was intrigued.
The timing was perfect–we had JUST been trying to figure out our next move toward helping Coop–and after some research, I felt like it was a brand I could get behind. So, I replied to let her know that I’d be interested, and I outlined some thoughts and questions I had.
And I know so many of you guys have dogs with anxiety.
Whether it’s acute stress during things like fireworks or it’s a daily battle with anxiety, none of us want to see our dogs suffer. I know so many of you guys have gone to great lengths to help your dogs, too, just like we have with Coop.
I’ve hesitated to try pharmaceuticals for many reasons, chief of which is that he reacts strongly and usually not well to many medications. It’s a personal call, of course, but I’m someone who prefers to try supplements first. I kind of feel like, with supplements, you sometimes have to wait longer to see a result, which turns people off or leads them to think that it’s not working if there isn’t an instant change.
In this case, she totally outlined what I should expect in terms of timeline: “We’d recommend July Third and Calm Shen used in conjunction. July Third is our fast-acting calming solution. While it’s normally only used during stressful situations, Dr. Bessent would recommend using it for Cooper on a regular basis for two weeks, until the Calm Shen begins to kick in. Calm Shen is more of a gentle persuasion for your dog’s anxieties. Calming herbs would build up in Cooper’s system over a matter of weeks. At around two weeks, you’ll start to notice little changes. By about four weeks you’ll get that “yup things are changing” moment. Around six weeks is when you’re starting to see the real effects. The great thing about Calm Shen is that it can be given for a dog’s entire life if necessary! There aren’t any harmful effects that would make it for short term use.”
So, you know what?
We’re giving it a whirl!
And y’all know I share our honest experiences, so I wanted to take today–July Third, I couldn’t help myself–to outline what we’re doing and why.
We started with the first dose yesterday, July 2, and I’m keeping careful notes to see how this impacts my baby bean and his stress levels. I’ll report back!
In the meantime, I’d love to know from you: Does this protocol leave you with any questions? Have you tried supplements–these or others–for your dogs with anxiety? What was the outcome? Or, if you haven’t, are you interested or considering it? I’d LOVE to know where we’re all starting from as this regimen trial kicks off!
Herbsmith was founded by holistic veterinarian Dr. Chris Bessent because she wanted to help more pets than she could possibly work with on a daily basis.
- Our supplements work alongside traditional pet care to fill in the gaps your pet may have in their nutrition.
- We provide proactive care, keeping your pet healthy rather than trying to get rid of symptoms or ailments.
- Education and inspiration are part of our process. The more you know, the better you can help your pet be their best!
- A healthy alternative to the market standard, our treats are something your pet will crave and it’s good for them!
From supplements to treats, we’re striving to be part of the changing conversation on our pets’ health and offer a simple solution!