ST. LOUIS — Purina released on May 22 a probiotic supplement for dogs under its Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements line. The probiotic, Calming Care, delivers a strain of bacteria known to help dogs prone to anxious behavior stay calm and cope with external triggers, such as separation, unfamiliar visitors, certain sounds and changes in routine.

Calming Care also promotes a positive emotional state in dogs by helping to maintain positive cardiac activity during times of stress.

Purina commissioned a survey of dog owners to back up the new product, in which 62% of dog owners surveyed said they regularly witness anxious behavior in their pets and 35% of them attribute these behaviors to their dog’s individual personality.

Overall, Purina’s survey showed 57% of dog owners worry about situations that could cause their pet to act anxiously. One quarter of respondents said these behaviors have caused them to change their routine or have affected their lifestyle, including avoiding certain spaces or activities with their dog, staying home to be with their dog to avoid leaving them home alone, losing sleep because their dog is waking them up throughout the night, and avoiding travel to reduce adverse effects of separation.

"It's important to talk to your veterinarian if your dog is displaying undesirable behaviors," said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVN, director of veterinary technical communication for Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. "What might be perceived as just a characteristic of a particular breed or part of a dog's personality could really be an anxious behavior that needs attention."

Purina’s survey was conducted in August 2018 by Relevation Research and consisted of 826 dog owners across the US.

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