What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as “Indian Ginseng,” is an adaptogenic herb used for anxiety and stress-related issues. It is also valued for its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

The Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for hundreds of years as it contains health-boosting active ingredients (alkaloids & withanoloides). Native to India and South Asia, today, Ashwagandha for dogs is becoming popular in the pet holistic wellness space. 

What’s an Adaptogenic Herb?

Adaptogens are natural herbs that promote homeostasis (a state of balance). These nature-based remedies are considered beneficial for supporting the dog‘s overall health, physical and emotional. 

For example, adaptogens are excellent at maintaining normal blood pressure, healthy blood sugar levels, proper thyroid, and adrenal gland functions. Adaptogens can also help the body combat stress and deal with daily anxiety triggers. 

Is Ashwagandha Safe to Give to Dogs?

Yes, Ashwagandha for dogs is safe when used responsibly and following the manufacturer’s recommendations. In general, dogs tolerate Ashwagandha well, and the risk of side effects is minimal.  

However, not all herbal remedies support pet health. Before using Ashwagandha for dogs or some other natural option (CBD, turmeric, probiotics), pet parents must talk to their vets and make sure they are adding the right supplement to their dogs’ healthcare plans. 

What does Ashwagandha do for Dogs?

Adaptogens, which is the category Ashwagandha falls under, can help dogs to maintain normal emotional balance, and it may reduce the negative effects of normal environmental stress. 

This is especially helpful if a dog is prone to nervousness, hyperactivity, or discontentment from environmentally-induced stress or other changes in their normal routine like travel, hospitalization, or separation. Since adaptogens support adrenal gland function, they help to maintain a normal balance of the dog’s stress hormones (supports lower cortisol levels).

This adaptogenic ayurvedic herb is said to have been used historically by humans as a herbal remedy for enhancing brain health, promoting the normal balance of hormones (cortisol, thyroid hormones, etc.), and assisting the immune system.

As mentioned before, Ashwagandha is now also available for dogs too. The use of this adaptogen for dogs is quite new in the Western world. However, these days, pet parents are becoming more and more interested in holistic and preventative approaches for supporting the health of their dogs and cats.

Various companies now make natural herbal pet supplements for dogs.

What are the Benefits of Ashwagandha for Dogs?

There are many health benefits of Ashwagandha for dogs, but promoting stress relief is the main one. Dogs are prone to anxiety which can be caused by separation, car rides, vet visits, or hospitalization. 

Stress can be environmentally induced by loud thunderstorms, firework shows, or changes in the household. Even something simple like getting a new pet can make dogs anxious. In such cases, dog owners can turn to Ashwagandha.  

Pet owners should be happy to know that there are other benefits of Ashwagandha for dogs. Here is a list of what Ashwagandha for dogs does: 

  • Supports physical and mental well-being 
  • Helps maintain normal nervous system function
  • Boosts the dog’s immune function 
  • Supports normal cardiovascular function
  • Helps promote normal hormone levels 
  • Supports a normal metabolic rate
  • Acts as a diuretic and balances body fluids.  

What are the Side Effects of Ashwagandha for Dogs?

Stomach upset is the only side effect of Ashwagandha for dogs. However, this is rare, and even if it does happen, the effects are transient. 

According to Happy Natural Dog, stomach upset as a side effect of Ashwagandha for dogs manifests with:

The risk of side effects can be minimized by using the right dosage of the Ashwagandha for dogs supplement. 

As always, it’s best to have a dog properly examined by a vet before introducing any new changes to their healthcare regime. Talk to a veterinarian before using Ashwagandha if your dog has a chronic condition, is receiving some medications, or is pregnant. 

How can I Give My Dog Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha for dogs supplements are readily available. Powdered Ashwagandha root supplements are convenient as they can be sprinkled over the dog’s food. 

Listed below are some of the top-rated Ashwagandha for dogs products on Amazon. 

  1. Zesty Paws Calming Flavor Infusions With Ashwagandha

This grain-free chewable supplement features a smoked chicken flavor and helps dogs with nervous, tense, anxious, or aggressive behaviors. The supplement is very reasonably priced and comes in both a 10-ounce and 20-ounce pack. 

  1. Dr. Bill’s Canine Health Defense With Ashwagandha

This powder supplement not only helps dogs with feelings of stress, illness, and injury, but also promotes healthy eyes, hearts, and brains. While this product is a bit more expensive, it comes in an 8.2-ounce container that will have your dog’s health boosted for a long time. 

  1. Zesty Paws Flavored Soft Chews with Ashwagandha

This smoked chicken-flavored gravy helps dogs cope with regular stress, as well as stress-induced behaviors caused by thunderstorms, car rides, vet visits, fireworks, etc. It comes in a 16-ounce container making it the best deal of the three.

How Much Ashwagandha Should I Give My Dog Daily?

The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha for dogs is between 500 and 1500 mg twice per day. However, since different supplements contain different amounts of Ashwagandha, you need to check the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. 

As with any other natural remedy for dogs, it’s always best to start slowly. Monitor the dog to make sure it handles the supplement well. If there are any side effects or issues, you should talk with your vet. 

You can also consult with your trusted veterinarian before starting your dog on Ashwagandha supplements. The vet will be able to give dosage and usage instructions.