When I was first approached by PetNaturals of Vermont about their new Calming treats for stress reduction, I had to wonder who’s stress was being reduced: mine or my dog’s? I also had to laugh at their ambition. Shiva’s insanity is pretty infamous, at least in my tiny world. Any company willing to test their relaxation product on her, is a company that truly believes in what it is selling.
I’ll be honest. I am not a huge believer in supplements. There have been very few, if any, studies that have shown they perform better than placebo. But for the right price I am willing to try anything. From what I read on the company’s website, the product sounded completely safe. Recommended for times of stress – such as visits to the vet or thunderstorms – Calming treats can also be used daily. The information sheet was very clear in stating that the treats do not contain herbal ingredients that may be harmful, nor do they cause any side effects. Made up of boring sounding items like milk proteins and vitamin B1, I figured the worst thing that could happen was nothing.
So I said, sure. We’ll give them a go. I kinda wished I’d heard from them two and a half years ago, back when Shiva was feasting on our house on a daily basis. Where were these free offers when Shiva was barking at plastic bags? Huh? Huh?
When the treats arrived in their neat little packages, I felt hopeful. Shiva seemed uninterested in the envelope. A first for her. Is she calming down already?
I opened the first package and then hesitated. The cute little bones didn’t smell like normal treats. They almost smelled like medicine. Like the little Flinstone vitamins my parents used to shove down my throat as a child. I looked at the treat and then looked back at Shiva. Will she even eat it?
If you aren’t already laughing at such a stupid question, you can start now. Is the grass green? Do I drink too much? Does my cat plot against me while I sleep?
Of course she ate them. Within a millisecond the first little bone had vanished. However, Shiva still didn’t seem all that excited. Normally the scent of new food that she might get to eat/steal/slobber on sends her into a crazy dance around the room. This time? Nothing. She ate it and then laid her head back down on the floor. Didn’t even try to beg for more.
In fact, it was a little too creepy for me. Since that first day, I have only given her a few more, with much the same results. They haven’t seemed to calm her down – though with a wacko dog like her that’s kind of subjective. At the same time, she doesn’t go Loco for Cocoa Puffs when I give one to her. It weirds me out. Food obsession makes Shiva a Shiva. This is the dog that does hand stands for kibble. I can hold up a piece of dirt and she will act like it’s the yummiest thing she has ever smelled. If she isn’t performing death-defying leaps when I pull out an actual dog treat there is either something wrong or this dog is an imposter.
Given all this, I have decided to turn down the company’s very generous offer to give us a full year’s supply. A calm Shiva is not one I am comfortable with after all. Who knew?
Instead, I think these treats might be put to better use by one of my readers. If you are curious enough to try them out for yourself, let me know in a comment below. I will perform a random draw a week from now with all the interested comments.
Even if you aren’t so sure, I’d love to read about your experiences with supplements like these. Have you given your dogs vitamins? Did you notice a difference?
Many thanks to Pet Naturals of Vermont for giving us this opportunity!