Foods for Calming Dogs

by Stephanie Skernivitz
    The right diet can keep your dog's worries at bay, allowing him to live life to the fullest.

    The right diet can keep your dog's worries at bay, allowing him to live life to the fullest.

    Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    If your dog gives new meaning to the word "hyperactivity," is taking disobedience to new levels or could easily win hands down in the never-ending energy competition among neighborhood pets, it may be time to consider what your dog is eating. Foods may be interfering with your dog's ability to settle down. Thankfully, there are nutritious options that your dog will appreciate to calm his energetic nerves and offer you some peace of mind.

    Before launching into what to try feeding your pet to calm her down, it's important to know whether your hyper dog may have any allergies, as these can lead to hyperactivity. In this case, you'll be deciding first what to cut out of the diet, rather than what to add to it. If you find out through tests that your pet is allergic to certain foods, you may need to remove all traces of grains, soy, dairy or corn from your dog's food bowl to calm her.

    You may find success in having Fido dine on a breed-specific high-protein, low-carbohydrate eating plan to help calm his anxiety or hyperactivity. Call up your veterinarian to see if she might better explain how your dog's daily diet may be affecting his moods and behavior and whether food changes would work.

    Some dog food formulas have what is called hydrolyzed milk protein and tryptophan (amino acid) to help even out your dog's emotions and possibly calm them by limiting stress anxiety. L-tryptophan, the nutrient people blame at Thanksgiving for making them drowsy, is connected to another familiar nutrient, serotonin, a neurotransmitter that keeps anxiety at bay and helps humans and pets sleep better, while also reducing aggression. Nicotinamide, or what you might refer to as vitamin B3, also is designed to work like a charm in calming your pet.

    If your dog has been purging food lately, you may want to try a diet that is more meat-based. When talking about diet choices with your veterinarian, ask for a dog food plan that is not heavy on added preservatives, additives or food dyes. Another option would be to start by raiding your food pantry at home. If you have white rice on hand and some chicken breasts, you can cook up this meal for your dog by boiling the chicken and making rice as directed on the box. The blandness of the foods can put your dog at ease.

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    About the Author

    Stephanie is in her element editing pages for print or web-based publications. She is equally adept at writing news-oriented articles and features for a variety of publications, ranging from the automotive industry to veterinary medicine to cosmetic surgery. Stephanie has spent the past 13 years in the trade publishing field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from Ohio University.

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