Foods for Calming Dogs

by Adrienne Farricelli, Demand Media Google
    Calming foods may contribute to a good night's sleep.

    Calming foods may contribute to a good night's sleep.

    While you won't find Scruffy fixing himself a cup of chamomile tea before going to bed, you can help soothe his nerves with some calming foods. These foods may have specific stress-reducing properties or may contain ingredients known for taking the edge off, allowing your pooch some relaxation.

    Low Carbohydrate Diet

    Just as children may get a sugar rush from living on a diet of Kool-Aid and M&M's, your dog may become hyperactive and hypersensitive from being fed a bad diet. The culprit seems to be the high carbohydrate levels found in many commercial dog foods that act like sugar, causing bouts of excessive energy lasting for about two hours after being ingested. When pet owners switch from a high-carbohydrate diet to a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet, they start noticing less anxiety-based behavior according to behavior consultant and trainer Casey Lomonaco.

    L-Tryptophan Treats

    Is your dog ready for a session of doggie Zen? L-tryptophan is an amino acid responsible for increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical responsible for generating general feelings of happiness while reducing impulsivity and aggression, according to veterinary behaviorist Nicholas Dodman. Several companies produce lines of calming treats and cookies that contain sources of tryptophan such as organic pumpkin extract and oats.

    L-Theanine Chews

    L-Theanine is an amino acid found in the leaves of green tea; it's known for producing a relaxing effect in dogs. If brewing is not your dog's cup of tea, you may be happy to learn that there are several chews and treats on the market already supplemented with this calming nutritional supplement.

    Herbal Cookies

    If you are looking for a treat with natural herbs, consider ones with chamomile. Cookies supplemented with chamomile and lavender will help sooth a reactive Rover. If your dog gets easily stressed out during such events as car drives, you can try to soak a treat in chamomile tea and give it before the long drive, according to Natural Dog Health Remedies.

    About the Author

    Adrienne Farricelli has been a writer since 2005, serving as an editor, steward and writer for several online publications. She brings expertise in canine topics, previously working with the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification as a dog trainer from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Farricelli offers reward-based training and behavior consults at Rover's Ranch Home Boarding and Training.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images