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Calming dog biscuits? I’ll take two


There’s an unusual energy in my house these days.

Her name is Darcy.

That bouncing bundle of Boston terrier, who has graced both my home and the pages of ohmidog! before, is back with me for another week as her parents get hitched in Hawaii. That’s fine with Ace, who enjoys periodically frolicking with her, followed by long periods of rest. Ace rests, anyway. Darcy rarely does. 

zendogLabelSo it seemed the perfect time to test — with her owner’s permission, of course — the new “Zendog Calming Biscuits” that were sent to me by Cranimals, makers of organic cranberry dog treats and supplements.

There were a limited number of the ring-shaped treats in the sample package, and I debated whether it would be best to give them to Darcy, or myself. Going the latter route had the potential advantages of (A.) Me being so calm that Darcy would pick up my calm vibe and be calm herself, and (B) Me being so calm that I really wouldn’t care if she was bouncing off the walls.

Seeing as Darcy — who possesses both an overactive mind and an overactive bladder — doesn’t seem to absorb any of Ace’s calmness,  and seeing as I just rent the walls she’d be bouncing off, I opted to try the biscuits on her.

First, we tried one in the morning. Darcy scarfed it down, then continued running around the house like a maniac, before settling down and gnawing on a long-since-spent marrow bone like there was no tomorrow. After about 30 minutes, she hopped into my chair, positioned herself behind me and fell asleep.

Was it the treat, or just her natural cycle? There’s really no way of knowing.

The next day we tried one in the afternoon, and it failed to slow her down at all. We tried one in the evening, but that’s when she usually quiets down anyway — apparently accustomed to an early bedtime. This morning I gave her another. She played all out with Ace for about an hour, which was enough to send Ace upstairs for a nap. Darcy kept going, like a pinball, for another hour — moving blankets around the house, gnawing the marrow bone, and looking for Miley the cat, who generally stays upstairs to avoid her.DSC08051

Finally she laid down at my feet, farted a few times (not necessarily from the Zen biscuit, it’s just what she does), looked around, got up, sniffed around, licked the kitchen floor, ran some more, acted like she needed to pee, went outside, didn’t, came back in, went outside again, peed, came back in and eventually dozed off. Again, there’s no way of knowing if the biscuit played a role in that, or if she just played enough to get tired.

I was probably overcautious with the biscuits, not giving her more than one a day, but I didn’t want her to OD and get stuck in a permanent state of Zen. (Cranimals say there is no danger of that.)

The biscuits are formulated with organic pumpkin extract, a natural source of tryptophan. Tryptophan — the same thing that makes us humans doze off after a big turkey dinner — helps induce calm by promoting the synthesis of sseratonin and melatonin, which Cranimals describes as the Zen hormones of the body.

Cranimals says the biscuits calm nerves and stomachs and are made with all natural, healthy, human-grade ingredients. Sources tell us that the inventor of the treats, Dr. Wilma Pretorius, the managing director of Cranimals, enjoys them with cream cheese.

As for my experiment, it’s inconclusive. Darcy was a dervish for a good two hours after her most recent Zendog Calming Biscuit. Then again, praise Buddha, she is sleeping now. As for the last biscuit in my sample, I’m thinking I’ll save it for myself.


Comment from bluhawkk
Time February 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

Little sleek fireball Darcey continues her saucy ways.

How old is she and is her energy level typical of her breed?

Hmmm…… Dr. Pretorius, eh…… The original Dr. S. Pretorius was obsessed with bringing the dead to life.

Comment from Gus and Wally
Time February 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Bulldoggy type faces (with pushed in nose) strangely enough lead to certain noxious gas emissions from the alternate end. No matter how charming, entertaining and comical are the Bostons (and obviously this one in particular) I have to say, you have more tolerance for certain canine bodily functions than I would have. And further to that, if there is cranberry in that treat, well, cranberry makes mammals pee more. Not that that is a bad thing esp. for little dogs as UT problems are among the top 10 complaints small animal vets see in daily practice.

Comment from Victoria
Time February 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Hey John, your writing style cracks me up! I think that Darcy – even with the help of Zendog- is just naturally an energetic creature. There’s no way that Zendog can change the predisposed attitude of an energetic breed – but it can make them a little more relaxed, depending on what they’ve eaten before, how many biscuits they eat, etc.

Thanks so much for reviewing our biscuits! And to the other commenter – I don’t think Wilma (Dr. W Pretorius) is related to Dr. Frankenstein 🙂

Comment from Gus and Wally
Time February 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

So, Victoria and John, where can our Dog-Ma buy these cranberry biscuits for us two wild ‘n crazee Jack Russells??? We live waaaaaaay out west, so website info with where-to-shop link would be most appreciated.

Gus, Wally, If you click on the highlighted word “Cranimals” in the original entry, it takes you to the website, where another click or two will lead you here — http://www.cranimal.com/purchaseUSA.html.
Then if you click on your state, it will list retailers for you. John at ohmidog!