Anxiety in Dogs: Top Nutrients to Combat It

Anxiety in Dogs: Top Nutrients to Combat It


The peaceful look in a dog's eyes can make you think all's well, but that's not always the whole story. Underneath that quiet surface, anxiety can be churning, taking a toll on their happiness and health. This hidden battle doesn't just mess with their moods—it can change how they act and their overall condition. Knowing how much anxiety can shake up our canine friends, it's super important to check out how we can help.

Nutrition plays a big role here—a diet that's got all the essential vitamins, minerals, and extra helpful supplements can be key in calming down those nervous feelings, shining a light of hope for a more chilled-out life.
Are you ready to find out how to bring some zen to your dog's life? Let's start this journey together, looking at all the food-based ways to turn those anxious whines into happy sighs. Stick with us—finding the peace your dog needs might just be about getting their menu right.

What is Dog Anxiety?

Anxiety in dogs isn't just a moment of worry; it's a deep emotional condition that arises from a mix of causes like their genes or their surroundings that stress them out.

It's characterized by an array of signs that attentive pet parents may notice:

  • Restlessness or pacing without a clear purpose.

  • Excessive panting or salivation, even when they haven't been physically active or anticipating food.

  • Barking or howling more than usual, when it doesn't seem to make sense.

  • They could be super alert all of a sudden, or the complete opposite—really tired and uninterested.

  • Behaviors that seem repetitive or compulsive, such as tail-chasing or excessive licking.

These signs show a physical reaction to stress — a rush of hormones and brain activity that gets their body ready to handle threats. This natural response is fine sometimes, but if it keeps happening when there's no real danger, it can lead to long-term anxiety. This isn't good for their well-being and can seriously affect their health and joy.

The Role of Nutrition in Canine Anxiety

The Role of Nutrition reveals how the old saying "you are what you eat" can be linked to anxiety in our canine friends. The food a dog eats greatly affects their mood and stress. If their diet is missing key nutrients, their anxiety can get worse. But, if their diet is just right for them, it can help them feel more relaxed and happy.

To illustrate the impact of nutrition on canine behavior, consider the following table comparing dogs with and without proper nutrition:


Dogs with Nutrient-Rich Diet

Dogs with Nutrient-Deficient Diet

Energy Levels

Stable and appropriate to the activity

Often lethargic or hyperactive

Stress Response

More measured and appropriate

Exaggerated or prolonged


Normal barking and communication

Excessive barking or whining

Digestive Health

Regular and healthy

Issues like diarrhea or constipation

Overall Mood

Generally content and relaxed

More prone to anxiety and restlessness


Looking at this table, you can really see how the right food is a game-changer. It's food that doesn't just fill them up but also feeds their brain, leading to a happier and more peaceful life for our furry friends.

Essential Nutrients for Managing Anxiety in Dogs

Tackling dog nutrition might seem complex, but it's critical, especially when you're aiming to relieve anxiety in your canine companions. We're about to explore the key nutrients that are game-changers for your dog's mental health.


Magnesium: The Calming Mineral

Magnesium has a reputation for being a "calming mineral" because it keeps the nervous system working great. It's vital for your dog's mood and can be a game-changer in anxiety management. A lack of magnesium could ramp up stress levels, which in turn, heightens anxiety and its symptoms. To boost your dog's magnesium intake, you might want to add some of these foods to their bowl:
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Yogurt or kefir
  • Chard
  • Quinoa
Each one is packed with magnesium, which is just what your dog's nervous system needs to stay balanced.

The Power of L-Theanine

L-Theanine provides calmness without making your dog sleepy. It is present in green tea leaves. Studies suggest that L-theanine has a hand in lowering anxiety levels in dogs. Integrating L-Theanine into your dog's diet can be done by picking top-notch dog foods that contain this amino acid or by giving a supplement that your vet approves, to make sure your furry pal is getting the right amount.


Vitamin D: Sunshine for the Mind

Just as it does for us, vitamin D plays a key part in the mental well-being of dogs. It's vital for their brain to work right and to keep their moods steady. But dogs can't get their needed dose of this "sunshine vitamin" from just basking in the sunlight—they have to eat it. 

Here are some symptoms that show your dog isn't getting enough vitamin D:

  • Lethargy or depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone pain or fractures
  • Slow healing after injury
  • Frequent infections

When you see these symptoms, it's important to talk with your vet about how much vitamin D your dog is getting and to think about adding things like fish oil or foods packed with vitamin D to their meals.

B-Vitamins: Stress Busters

Think of B vitamins as the stress relief squad for your dog's body, playing a big role in keeping their brain healthy and their energy up. This can really help if your dog seems anxious or stressed out. If you're worried they might not be getting enough B-Vitamins, here's how to tackle it:

  1. Observe your dog for signs of deficiency, such as fatigue or behavioral changes.

  2. Consult with your vet to confirm a deficiency and its severity.

  3. Incorporate natural sources of B vitamins into your dog's diet, like liver, chicken, beef, and eggs.

  4. Re-evaluate your dog's behavior over time to monitor improvements.

  5. Adjust the diet as recommended by your vet to maintain optimal B-Vitamin levels.

By taking these steps, you can help make sure your dog's diet is helping them stay relaxed and joyful.

Natural Supplements for Anxiety in Dogs

Exploring ways to soothe our dogs' anxiety, it's worth looking at natural supplements that can lend a hand—or paw—toward peace.

Adaptogenic Herbs: Nature's Stress Relief

For ages, adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha and Holy Basil have been trusted in the world of natural wellness. Their magic lies in helping the body fight off and adjust to stress. This can mean less anxiety for your dog. If you're thinking about adding these herbs to your dog's daily routine:

  • Start with small doses and always consult with your vet.
  • Choose high-quality supplements from reputable sources.
  • Monitor your dog's reaction to the herbs closely.

Probiotics: Gut Health Equals Mental Health

There's a strong link between gut health and the brain—a straight path that affects feelings and mood. Probiotics step up to the plate here, possibly cutting down on anxiety by keeping your dog's gut bacteria balanced. For probiotics, it's important to go for types that really work for dogs, like certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.

Implementing a Stress-Reducing Diet for Your Dog

Putting together a meal plan that tackles your dog's stress isn't just about piling up the right kinds of food; it's about finding the perfect mix and sticking to a routine. You've got to switch to new food gradually, mixing it into the old food a little more each day, over a few days. Watch your dog as they switch over, and look out for good things like them chilling out more and their stomachs handling food better.



So, to sum it all up, the right vitamins, minerals, supplements, and a well-considered diet can really make a difference in how stressed our dogs feel. Getting to a place where your dog is mellow and content might take some time and trying different things, but the payoff—a peaceful pup—is totally worth it. Don't forget, having a vet or a dog pet nutritionist help you come up with a plan that's perfect for your dog is super important.



Back to blog

Leave a comment

First Image Second Image
Second Image
Third Image

Join the Everfur family

Fourth Image
First Image
Second Image

Join the Everfur family

First Image
Second Image
Second Image