As pet owners, we often overlook the connection between diet and anxiety for our dogs. Just like humans, dogs that eat low-quality food often experience health issues that lead to stress and anxiety.
Symptoms of dog anxiety
Symptoms of dog anxiety can include changes in behavior, such as increased restlessness, pacing, panting, and trembling. Your dog may also have a decrease in appetite and may become more withdrawn and less interested in playing or going for walks.
Anxiety and inflammation
Inflammation is the body's way to respond to any abnormalities, injuries, or unusual changes. Inflammation, in general, is the body's natural process of identifying something abnormal and mobilizing immune cells (body defense cells) to explore and repair anything that is broken.
Chronic inflammation is when the body is in a state of constant low-grade inflammation. This type of inflammation is common in dogs and can be caused by several different things, with poor diet being one of them.
Anxiety and inflammation are related. Excessive inflammation or ongoing over-activation of the immune system can cause stress, anxiety, and behavioral abnormalities. When a dog's body is in a constant state of distress, it has a major effect on the brain, leading to stress and unwanted behavior.
Anxiety and diet
Although it might seem that diet has little impact on stress, anxiety, and certain behaviors, this is not the case. Overcooked, nutrient-poor foods consumed daily, elevated inflammation levels, and the presence of medical problems can all contribute to increased anxiety and stress levels. A better, less processed diet may help reduce these factors.
Lean meats, healthy carbohydrates, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, unsaturated fats, and plenty of vitamins and minerals are all essential components of a nutritious and balanced diet for dogs. A diet that lacks one or more of these key components may not be able to give your pet the nutrients they require to stay healthy.
Antioxidants in food can minimize inflammation by gathering and disarming inflammation-creating molecules called free radicals. Some of the best sources of antioxidants include fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, artichokes, kale, and spinach. You can feed these to your dog as snacks or mix them into their regular food.
Minerals such as selenium, manganese, zinc, and copper are also believed to decrease inflammation by scavenging free radicals. These minerals can be found in meats, seafood, nuts, and seeds.
Adding CBD oil
CBD oil is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp that can help remedy many health issues in both dogs and humans. CBD oil, according to anecdotal evidence from dog owners, has been found helpful in treating canine stress. If you've got a dog that allows it, CBD can be given directly into their mouth. If not, you can add to their food, their favorite treats, or anything they'll eat! We have two CBD oils you can use for your dog, a Full Spectrum oil and a THC-free oil.
A healthy diet can be a step toward alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and stress in your dog. If you're noticing that your dog is anxious or seems to be having health issues, it may be time to take a serious look at what they are eating.