Can I give my dog Valerian tablets

Can I give my dog Valerian tablets?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Since thousands of years ago, Valerian roots have been used as nature’s Valium, and their incredible nerve-soothing properties continue to be appreciated today. Valerian roots are natural supplements that are safe for dogs, and because they are known sedatives, your dog can enjoy the effects as well.

The purpose of this article is to explain the “Can I give my dog Valerian tablets?“.

Does your dog have trouble relaxing and sleeping? Does she get nervous at night and aggressive? If your dog has trouble sleeping or seems stressed and anxious and you wonder if a Valerian supplement will help calm his nerves and induce sleep then yes it can. 

Can I give my dog Valerian tablets

The extract of valerian root has been used for centuries as a remedy for insomnia anxiety and stress reduction. The nerve-calming and sleep-inducing properties of Valerian roots are safe for both humans and dogs. 

1. What is Valerian?

Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe that is commonly used as a remedy for insomnia. Known as natures Valium valerian roots help relieve stress anxiety and calm the nerves.

Years ago the flowers of the Valerian plant were used as perfumes while extracts from the roots were used as traditional medicines mostly as sedatives. 

Even today Valerian is widely used as a food and beverage flavoring. Oils and extracts from these plants are still utilized in some manufacturing plants. There is little evidence to support the use of Valerian as a sedative but it is still widely used as a supplement for promoting calmness improving sleep and reducing stress. 

2. What forms does Valerian come in?

In addition to tablets capsules tinctures teas and more valerian root extract is available as a supplement. Most dog owners consume Valerian extract orally but some manufacturers make chewable Valerian tablets. 

Although supplements labeled as Valerian extract sometimes contain other ingredients make sure you confirm with your vet that all the ingredients in the products are safe for your dogs if you want to give this to them. 

There is no known danger associated with Valerian roots for humans or dogs and they are very effective for relieving stress and inducing sleep. Valerian root preparations are recommended by many experts despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting their use to calm dogs’ nerves improve sleep treat separation anxiety and manage a variety of other conditions. 

3. What properties does Valerian have?

The roots of Valerian contain a number of compounds and antioxidants that have sedative and sleep-enhancing properties. Valerian root extract contains compounds such as hesperidin and learns that can interact with the brain and nervous system. Lets take a look at what we know about Valerian root extract. 

The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the extract of Valerian root can help relieve anxiety and stress by regulating nerve impulses between the brain and the nervous system. According to studies lower levels of GABA are associated with heightened stress anxiety and difficulty sleeping. 

Valerenic acid appears to prevent the breakdown of GABA in the brain creating a higher level of the compound and promoting feelings of tranquility while reducing anxiety and stress. Taking Valerian supplements results in a feeling of calmness due to Valerenic acids effect on GABA transmission.

Sleep quality is improved by valerenic acid isovaleric acid and antioxidants which are also found in valerian root extract. In addition to inducing sleep Valerian supplements are also used to treat insomnia and mood disorders.

4. What are some of the side effects of Valerian?

Valerian roots can have side effects even though they are safe for consumption. Each dog is unique much like every human is unique and different. Due to this individuality Valerian supplements have different effects on different dogs. 

Despite the fact that your neighbors dog responds well to these supplements there is no guarantee that yours will. While most dogs will tolerate Valerian supplements and even respond well to them this isnot true for every dog. Larger dog breeds are more likely to suffer stomach upset and low blood pressure after taking Valerian root extract. A vet should always be consulted before giving any supplements or herbs to your pet. 

You should contact your veterinarian immediately if you gave your dog Valerian roots and you notice they have stomach problems and generally are not feeling well. There are very few side effects associated with Valerian supplements and many dogs will have no problem taking them if given the appropriate dosage. It’s also important to close is also critical to closely monitor your dog after you add a small portion of these supplements to see how they react.

5. Can a dog overdose on Valerian?

There havenot been any reports of dogs dying from Valerian root overdose and this is highly unlikely. A very high dose of Valerian roots however may cause serious health conditions including organ damage. Whenever you administer Valerian root to your dog administer the smallest dose possible and observe closely how they respond. 

Since the concentration of active ingredients in Valerian root portions varies the right dosage varies with each product. 

Due to this a universal dosage cannot be assumed for all products but each one will have its own dosing instructions. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and also ensure the product is specially made for dogs since Valerian preparations and dosages for humans differ significantly from those for dogs. 

To make sure your dog does not get harm from Valerian roots make sure you take these precautions:

  1. Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog valerian root
  2. When your dog already suffers from low blood pressure or an upset stomach do not give them Valerian root
  3. Make sure to start with the smallest dosage or follow what your veterinarian tells you to prevent over dosage
  4. If you have a large breed dog be extra cautious 
  5. Consult your veterinarian for alternative medical treatments for anxiety or sleep disorders in dogs

6. Melatonin vs Valerian vs Skullcap: how do they compare?

Skullcap and Valerian are both herbs known for their sleep-inducing and nerve-calming properties. The herb skullcap a member of the mint family was traditionally used to treat insomnia thousands of years ago. As a remedy for hysteria anxiety and high blood pressure a skullcap is also used. 

A natural sleep-inducing supplement Melatonin is derived from a hormone found in the pineal gland. Melatonin supplements aid in promoting sleep improving sleep quality relieving symptoms of jet lag and boosting immunity. 

Especially known for their effectiveness for insomnia and calming the nerves Melatonin Skullcap and Valerian are all used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. The medications listed above should never be taken together. Each has its own unique properties each should be taken separately never together. There is no harm in giving any of these to your dog but always consult your vet to ensure you do not harm your dog.

7. What other medicine can you give your dog to sleep?

In addition to Valerian roots there are a few other medications that also work to calm your dogs nerves and help them relax and sleep. The following are some options.

Melatonin supplements work great for helping your pet relax and go to sleep. Both humans and dogs take these supplements for different anxiety and sleep disorders. 

Dogs have typically prescribed acepromazine as an oral sedative. The drug inhibits dopamine receptors in the brain and suppresses certain brain functions. After taking this sedative some dogs fall asleep within minutes while others may not seem to be sedated at all. The effects vary from dog to dog.

Passionflower leaf: this leaf has been known for centuries for its calming effects and sleep-inducing properties. The Passionflower leaf is safe for dogs and can be used to calm anxiety and help them relax.

You can also give your dog a supplement that will induce sleep: Skullcap. For centuries it has been a traditional medication for insomnia because of its calming effects and ability to ease stress.

Be sure to consult your vet before giving your dog a sedative and also follow what your vet recommends.

8. Should you use valerian with dogs with epilepsy?

Valerian roots were actually the first epilepsy drug used in the 1500s to treat epilepsy. As Valerian root extract can calm the nervous system it is an excellent seizure medication. 

Dogs that suffer from seizures can be given Valerian root extract to soothe their nerves and help them relax. The extract of valerian root interacts with the central nervous system and inhibits neurotransmitters in the brain. ain. It is also believed to have antispasmodic properties though there is no solid scientific evidence to support this.

Since better epilepsy medications are available Valerian root is no longer widely used because it is an ancient epilep. You should consult your veterinarian if you have a dog that suffers seizures and whether you should use valerian roots occasionally to help your pet stay calm and relaxed and relax especially after an episode.


Since thousands of years ago Valerian roots have been used as natures Valium and their incredible nerve-soothing properties continue to be appreciated today. Valerian roots are natural supplements that are safe for dogs and because they are known sedatives your dog can enjoy the effects as well. But use them with caution because there are some side effects as well. If you decide to give your dog these supplements make sure you administer the correct dosage and talk to your vet first to determine if an alternative supplement is best.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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