This blog is fast becoming a dog blog, given the amount of posts I write about Rum, my 4-year-old Jack Russell, and I make no apologies. He is a valued member of our family and we treat him accordingly. Luke calls him his brother. Alex’s chest puffs proudly whenever anyone compliments Rum and as for me, well, I started up an Instagram account for him. That’s right. I am one of those dog owners. I thought it might be a good idea to include the dog products we buy in some of the reviews that I’m writing, so today I am reviewing Beaphar Calming Spot On, a product for anxious dogs.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid for review. I bought this product off my own back, with my own money from Amazon, so I haven’t been sponsored. There are affiliate links in the review though, so if you make a purchase after clicking on the links in this review, I make a small amount of commission. Please note that all prices I’ve quoted and information provided is based on my location in the UK. I’ve included a link to the product in the international Amazon store at the bottom of this post.
Rum’s politically correct job title is “Emotional Support Animal.” That means that although we refer to him as a therapy dog, he isn’t qualified through training or accreditation from a professional body, but one of the main reasons we decided to get a dog was so that he could support our family emotionally. Isn’t the same true for many pet owners? Luke’s speech skills increased dramatically after Rum joined us. That’s why it is important to us that Rum is as emotionally stable as possible. We can’t have Luke being emotionally supported by an animal who needs support himself. He’s always been quite the tough guy, until recently when like many dogs, he suffered a traumatic experience with another member of his species. There’s not a lot I can say about the incident and I would like to focus on what we can do to help Rum now and part of his recovery and healing process is getting his confidence back. Anxious dog training sounds expensive and time consuming and it’s better to deal with any fears he might have right away.
There are lots of other reasons why someone would need anxiety medication for dogs though. Thunderstorms were a problem for our old dog, as was travelling in the car and bringing a new person into the house. She hated me to begin with and she never warmed to Luke either. Rum gets a bit scared visiting kennels. He’s more of a people-dog than a dog-dog, if you know what I mean? He thinks he’s one of us and he gets scared by other animals.
I was looking for a product that would help Rum get back to his old self and enjoy walks and going outdoors again. I had heard you can buy dog anxiety medication over the counter and read about herbal products that can calm animals. Every time I Googled “How to calm an anxious dog” the same advice about trying something herbal first came up. It’s just like the way we humans might use aromatherapy oils, so I headed to Amazon to do some research into what was available.
The product I chose was Beaphar Calming Spot On. I picked this because firstly, it was the cheapest product of its type. Also, it was available for next day delivery and was covered by Prime, so I wouldn’t have to pay postage. We really care about Rum and want to get the best products possible for him, but we’re also on a budget. It’s January and like many people, Christmas has cleaned out the bank account. I also liked the fact that the box of Beaphar Calming Spot On we bought contains a three week supply of the product. I decided to take a chance.
So, I had expected that it would be like the instant anxiety relief treatments I use myself that I take on my tongue. But of course, this is a treatment for dogs and it’s much easier to have something that you can put onto their skin and fur. Beaphar Calming Spot On comes with three pipettes of 0.7ml and is composed of natural Valerian extract. If you use a spot on flea treatment, you have to be careful that you put this in a different place. The box recommends that you put this between the ears once a week. The valerian extract activates within one hour and if the dog gets wet, you have to re-apply it. This is because they won’t get the full effect.
Firstly, I like the fact that you only have to apply this once per week. There are times of the year, for example Bonfire Night, when dogs get jittery. And, of course, people like to have fireworks parties on different days leading up to and after the event, don’t they? It’s a pain having to deal with the problem every day in October, just in case somebody’s celebrating early. So, you could start this treatment in the middle of October and you’d have enough to keep you going until a few days after 5th November when, you would hope, people stop spending their money on fireworks and start spending it on Christmas shopping. For the record, I love fireworks and Bonfire Night and I am fully in favour of fireworks but as a responsible dog owner, I think it’s a good idea to only sell only low volume fireworks to the public, like sparklers, Catherine Wheels, fountains etc. and keep the bigger, louder ones for organised displays. It’s not just dogs who get frightened by them. My elderly neighbour does and I know it’s a problem for some autistic people too.
The next thing I like is that this is a completely natural dog anxiety product. I don’t want to have to seek out expensive medicines from the vet. I like the convenience of buying something like this over the counter. I also like that it is a non-invasive anxiety treatment. Getting dogs to eat things can be tricky. For example, Rum really needs his painkillers at the moment, but he isn’t eating them in his bowl. We have to go to stupid lengths to get him to eat the medicine. This is just a dot on his head. It’s happened before he even knows it and it won’t taste unpleasant or be painful.
Beaphar Calming Spot On is a product that reduces the symptoms of anxiety. Note that it won’t stop your dog feeling anxious or make them love things that usually frighten them. It’s not a magic potion. But it will alleviate some of the symptoms like excessive barking, shaking, inappropriate marking and destructive behaviour. One of Rum’s anxiety symptoms is barking. He gets vocal when he’s scared. He also shakes and sometimes, cuddles just don’t cut it. He needs something more.
Although Jack Russells are not typically one of the anxious dog breeds, we’ve now had two of them and our first dog, Bidean, ended up on dog anxiety medication when she was in her teens. She had suffered a few seizures, was going deaf and wasn’t herself. There wasn’t much that could be done for her but we don’t believe in putting down an anxious dog. We nursed her through it with products from the vet which were much stronger than Beaphar Calming Spot On. Ultimately, when her seizures and incontinence became so bad that there was no quality of life for her, she had to cross the rainbow bridge. We still miss her. It was heartbreaking watching her go through that, being so fearful. We don’t want Rum to become the same, certainly not at such a young age. I’m going to keep a box of this in the house at all times now because I’ve come to realise that although he’s our source of emotional support, we live in a world that isn’t kind and some days, he is going to need more than just hugs to get through it.