Top 10 Best Dog Food For Anxiety
If you’ve ever wondered whether there is a best food for dogs who exhibit symptoms of anxiety, one vet has some nutritional ideas for you to consider.
Separation anxiety is quite natural for many dogs. It’s natural because it doesn’t take a genius to work out that most dogs like to spend most of their time with us. When we go away, they’re sad. The major difference between levels of separation anxiety is dependent on just how our dogs convey their sadness.
Some dogs will go to sleep and simply wait for us to return. Others, well, they get really stressed and they show it with any number of anxiety exhibiting behaviours.
This common problem – that sees stressed dogs display many anti-social behaviours in a cry for attention – is going to be even more heightened in the coming weeks due to the months of of many dog owners working from home who now have to spend more time away than they were doing.
However, one veterinary expert has come up with an innovative solution to relax anxious family pets – and it’s entirely natural.
The Best Dog Food For Anxiety
This fiber-rich carb is an ideal addition to a nervous dog’s diet because it can slow digestion right down, helping the body absorb tryptophan, which in turn is used to manufacture the mood-stabilizer serotonin. Dogs with low levels of serotonin can be more fearful, so keeping levels up could help reduce anxiety. Also, if your fur baby is suffering from a bout of tummy trouble brought on by stress, brown rice is a natural soother
Fresh blueberries are a delicious way of calming down an anxious dog. High in fiber and vitamin C, these little balls of goodness are also brimming with minerals and antioxidants that can help protect your dog from stress. Mix them in with their food, or serve them up as tasty treats
Eggs are one of the few complete food sources. They have everything in them! It is one of the most complete sources of amino acids, the building blocks for protein. Eggs are also higher in zinc, which helps the immune system and reduces anxiety. Some dogs have sensitivities to eggs, so if you feel like they are reacting (loose stool, itchy skin), then limit this food and work with a holistic veterinarian to figure out why your pet is having a reaction.
- Essential fatty acids are essential for the optimal functioning of our bodies, including our pets. Our cell membranes are made up of lipids, which are fats. Without these, we cannot live!
- Omega-3 also helps to keep cortisol from spiking. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is ramped up when the body stays in the sympathetic nervous system (the “fight or flight” state). When cortisol is chronically elevated, physical diseases can occur in the body like cancer over time.
- Salmon is also extra special, because it also contains L-tryptophan which has been shown to reduce anxiety levels and stress
The leafy, green vegetable that’s becoming a firm favorite with pet parents. Kale is a nutritional superfood packed full of vitamins and minerals, along with a cocktail of other compounds that can help keep stress levels low. Kale is low in calories so can make an ideal treat for our furry friends
Turkey is a fantastic source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid known to promote calm behavior. As well as proving beneficial to dogs experiencing anxiety, skinless, unseasoned turkey with no bones is a highly digestible protein powerhouse that can help dogs build muscle while ensuring they remain fit and healthy
- Sweet potatoes are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are packed with antioxidants and are a terrific source of vitamin E. Sweet potatoes also contain many other important nutrients, including vitamins A, B6 and C, calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, thiamine and iron. They are rich in beta carotene, which may be a significant factor in reducing the risk of certain cancers.
- They offer complex carbohydrates to help regulate blood sugar levels and even insulin resistance. The potassium in sweet potatoes helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, which is good news for maintaining healthy heart function and reducing anxiety. sweet potatoes are also a good source of dietary fiber, helping to support a healthy gastrointestinal system.
Hemp seed oil
- Hemp is a super food that eases joint pain and inflammation, supports cardiovascular health, conditions the skin and coat, and acts as a digestive aid. Overall, it is a terrific way to support your dog’s immune system and alleviate stress.
- Hemp seed oil has been recognized as the most balanced vegetable oil in the marketplace. Not only does it contain Omega-3, it also contains Omega-6 and 9. Its fatty acid profile is closer to fish oil than any other vegetable oil. It is also a valuable source of gluten-free protein, contains vitamin C and E and chlorophyll, and has an excellent amino acid profile.
- Unlike soy and other legumes, hemp seed oil does not contain trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides, the gasproducing substances found in many legumes, and it is never genetically modified.
Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan as well as glutamate, which is required in the synthesis of GABA, an anti-stress neurochemical. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which protects tissue cells from free radicals, and they also contain selenium, an antioxidant that helps support the immune system. A deficiency in selenium has been linked to increased anxiety, depression and fatigue.
We have all heard about the “fight or flight” response. Research has demonstrated that consuming Omega-3 fatty acids can help suppress the production of adrenaline that leads people and dogs to “fight or flight”. Too much adrenaline can cause anxiety and even aggression. That adrenaline rush can be slowed down simply by eating whole foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Fatty fish have something else in common. They all contain vitamins A and D, which help battle stress. Salmon is extra special because it also contains L-tryptophan
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best ingredients for fighting anxiety in dogs?
Combatting anxiety feels like an uphill battle at times, whether it’s you or your dog experiencing the stressful symptoms. When you are searching for a new type of dog food that will help your loved one feel more calm, make sure you’re looking for these ingredients in particular:
- Lamb shoulder
- Roast beef
- Chicken breast
- Turkey meat
- Uncooked oats
- Pumpkin seeds
- Whole cooked eggs
- Cooked tuna fish
All of the above foods contain L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can create a feeling of calm in the brain while reducing the effects of anxiety.
Can anti-anxiety dog food really soothe anxiety?
- A lot of pet owners are skeptical about whether or not dog food can really have that much of an affect on a dog’s anxiety. I understand this doubt, and it’s true that some brands who claim to help with anxiety don’t really end up helping much at all.
- The real formulas are designed to relieve anxiety by adding an amino acid known as L-tryptophan, which increases the levels of serotonin in the brain – immediately calming the dog down. Most animal proteins have a healthy dose of L-tryptophan.
How do I know if my dog has an allergy to a certain ingredient?
- It can be scary getting your dogs to try out a new formula for the first time, especially if you don’t know whether they have allergies. And different ingredients can affect different allergies in different ways. For example, food allergies can be caused by certain fruits or grains, whereas skin allergies can be caused by chemicals or small pests.
- Dogs with food sensitivities or allergies will display symptoms of coughing, lethargy, pain, swelling, and watery eyes. They may also vomit or have diarrhea, in which case it is important to contact an emergency vet right away.
- The best thing you can do for your furry loved one is to ensure they have a well-rounded diet each and every day. Fill their bowls with all-natural ingredients, whole proteins, and enriching materials that not only give them a better lease on life, but that also reduce the effects of anxiety and fear.
- Dogs, like humans, are emotional creatures, and sometimes those emotions are thrown out of balance – something a lot of us know too well. With the dog food brands I listed above, you’ll enjoy a great opportunity to help your dog feel better while knowing that you made the right choice by investing in one of the best dog food for anxiety.