Anxiety is one of the most common behavioral issues our furry friends face. It can affect all breeds, at all ages, and is expressed in a variety of ways.
Common symptoms include constant pacing up and down, incessant whining, running away and hiding, and shivering.
Stress and anxiety might also wreak havoc on our four-legged friends’ tummies. No pet parent wants to see their little fur baby vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, so how do we calm our pups down? Regular exercise is always a good starting point, while ensuring they have a set routine can also reduce a lot of doggy distress.
An often overlooked factor when addressing the behavior of a nervous dog is nutrition. A healthy diet has the ability to extend a dog’s life expectancy, reducing the risk of illness, weight issues, and stomach problems. It can also significantly reduce feelings of anxiety. A diet for anxious dogs is one that comes packed full of vitamins and minerals; free from colors, artificial flavors and preservatives.
This article will explore the foods that can be used to help calm a nervous dog down. If your furry friend is still struggling with stress or anxiety, or you think the root cause may be something physical, contact your vet and let them conduct a thorough examination.
What type of foods will calm my nervous dog down?
● Brown rice. 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.
● Blueberries. 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.
● Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are another stress-reducing food you may consider adding to a dog’s diet. Starchy vegetables packed with goodness, sweet potatoes boast those body-calming antioxidants as well as beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins B-6 and C, all beneficial for a dog’s digestive system. Never feed your dog a raw sweet potato, always ensure they are cooked.
● Turkey. 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.
● Kale. 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.
● Spinach. Staying with the leafy, green vegetable family, and spinach possesses a lot of the same nutritional characteristics kale does. Supplementing your dog’s diet with small quantities of spinach will see your pup benefiting from a calming cocktail of nutrients such vitamins A, C and K, folic acid, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
● Beef. Protein-rich beef is a welcome addition to any dog’s diet with essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins all helping contribute to healthy coats, skin, and muscles. It can also act as an effective antidepressant for our pets thanks to the vitamins B6 and B5, which can be known to reduce anxiety.
Sticking to a healthy diet for your dog
Serving our pets food filled with wholesome goodness is vital not just for keeping them stress free, but also happy and healthy in all aspects of their life.
Every mealtime menu should contain a balance of proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. We recommend feeding dogs a mix of dry and wet foods for a complete and well-balanced diet that covers all the bases.
Applaws Taste Toppers were created to add a little something extra to these dishes. Our yummy recipes focus on stimulating nutrients – not nasty additives – with natural ingredients ranging from beef and broccoli to sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Topping up their bowls with tasty mix-ins brings variety and flavor to mealtime, and can make it a whole lot easier when attempting to maintain a dog’s healthy diet. From broths to pouches, discover a whole new side of a healthy diet for your dog.
Changing a diet too quickly, or adding new foods, can create tummy problems for our furry friends so take your time. We suggest trying one tin or pouch per day to begin with, ensuring your pup is happy with the taste before adding more.