Natural Holistic Ways to Help Dog Anxiety – Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals – What are they?
Veterinary nutraceuticals are becoming more and more popular. The term combines the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical.” They are non-drug supplements that provide pets with ingredients to promote normal body structure and function. Nutraceuticals rely on nutrients to address health issues. They are used to improve (and maintain) the health and well-being of our pets. This article addresses anxiety in dogs.
Nutraceuticals don’t have side effects that pharmaceuticals like Prozac, Benadryl and the newest, Sileo. All those meds wreak havoc on the health and well-being of dogs. Furthermore, the use of nutraceuticals doesn’t result in long-term health issues. There are many nutraceutical products contain garbage like artificial or “natural” flavoring, and additives to make them chewy and more appetizing. Below I have listed three products that don’t contain so much garbage. Remember that you should make sure that supplements are safe for your dog before using (especially for dogs with liver issues).
Some ingredients that are helpful to calm anxious dogs & reduce stress include:
L-Theanine: An amino acid that comes from green tea
L-tryptophan: An amino acid that can be found in turkey and other sources
Valerian root: An herb that promotes sleep and to reduce restlessness
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) A vitamin that has been shown to affect the central nervous system and manages stress and reduces irritability nervous system to help calm and soothe anxious animals
Casein: A refined protein found in milk that acts on brain receptors
Magnesium: A mineral that relaxes muscles and nerves. A deficiency can make a dog more susceptible to anxiousness (i.e., upset stomach, lack of appetite, fatigue)
Catnip: An herb that contains vitamins, minerals, and essential oils that helps with digestive issues like diarrhea and has a sedating effect
Kava-kava: An herbal anti-anxiety agent. *Do NOT use for dogs with liver issues.
Ashwaganda: An herbal remedy that treats the central nervous system and promotes balance during stressful events
Three Nutraceuticals I Would Recommend:
I am VERY picky about the products I recommend. These products have no ingredients that are “proprietary” so all ingredients are disclosed to consumers. The ingredients do not include a litany of bad stuff either.
Zylkene: The ingredients include casein and magnesium. My vet, Dr. Jennifer Lenarz (from the famous Dr. Marty Goldstein’s office) recommended it to me. I gave it a try and it seemed to work. The back of the label is difficult to read so I used a magnifier. Here are the ingredients: maltodextrin, dried hydrolyses casein, and magnesium stearate
Serenin Vet: The ingredients include ashwaganda, L-Theanine, L-tryptophan, B vitamins, and kava-kava.
NutriCalm: The ingredients include L-Theanine, L-tryptophan, magnesium, and several herbs including valerian root, catnip, and ashwaganda.
Dr. Jones’ Natural Animal Care Course. Web. 20 Jan. 2016. Lecture: Noise Anxiety. Section 8 Lecture 103.
Feinman, Jeffrey. “Anxiety, Stress, Pet Boarding & Pet Sitting, Homeopathic Calming Remedies.” Ask the Vet. Dogs Naturally Magazine, 2014. <http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/anxiety-stress-pet-boarding-pet-sitting-homeopathic-calming-remedies/>.
Emily Deans. “Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill.” Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 12 June 2011. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill>.