The Anxiolytic Effects of Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) on the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris)

Katharine Lloyd, Alison Wills, Sienna Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Anxiety-related behaviour can have detrimental effects on the welfare of animals and their relationship with humans. Anxiety can be addressed using valerian-based treatments, such as Pet Remedy, which is advertised as a natural stress relief product for mammals. Valerian has been demonstrated to have positive behavioural effects in a range of contexts and species, however the efficacy of Pet Remedy remains relatively understudied in the domestic dog. The study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Pet Remedy in reducing the frequency of owner-reported canine anxiety-related behaviours. Behavioural responses of 28 dogs were reported using a questionnaire completed by dog owners before and after exposure to a Pet RemedyTM diffuser for 30 days. After using the diffuser, 43% of owners reported that Pet Remedy improved their dogs’ behaviour although no statistical difference was found in the frequency of anxiety-related behaviours. Future research, using a larger sample size, should investigate the anxiolytic effects of valerian when ingested versus inhaled to examine whether the way in which the herb is absorbed into the system affects its efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019

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