L-theanine for dogs is a safe, natural solution for anxiety disorders, a prevalent problem among our pets. Most canines exhibit at least one anxiety-related behavior due to separation anxiety, noise phobia, and generalized anxiety. You may notice panting, pacing, aggression, excessive barking, urinating in the house, tail between legs, and aggression if your dog experiences stress. In these instances, looking at diet and nutrition can help.
Experts have shown L-theanine to have calming effects in dogs, attenuating the above signs of anxiety. Owing to the low risk of side effects, many pet parents are turning to it instead of more serious medication. So let’s take a closer look at L-theanine for dogs and how to use it.
What is L-theanine for Dogs?
L-theanine is an amino acid with relaxing and neuroprotective effects in both humans and animals like dogs. The amino acid is an ingredient in green tea, black tea, and certain types of mushrooms. The amount of L-theanine in green tea is about 25 mg, but supplements can contain more than 200mg of the nutraceutical.
L-theanine closely resembles L-glutamic acid structurally, so its action mechanism might be mediated through the glutamate receptors. The ingredient influences dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter function, making it an effective, natural calming agent.
If you want to read more about how to naturally improve serotonin levels in dogs, you can read this article here that discusses the benefits of L-tryptophan. Another great supplement you can try for your anxious dog is ashwagandha.
Does L-theanine for Dogs Work?
Using L-theanine for dog anxiety effectively mitigates stress-related symptoms in dogs. It has gained massive popularity in the pet community, and with good reason. The fact that L-theanine is nature-based approves it for pets’ long-term use, allowing them to reap benefits without side effects.
Scientifically, L-theanine works by increasing GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), serotonin, and dopamine to healthy levels. Serotonin stabilizes mood, and dopamine promotes feelings of reward and motivation in your dog. The positive changes in the brain’s chemical structure make L-theanine fantastic for lightening your dog’s stressed mood.
As effective as this nutraceutical is for dogs, diet plays a massive role in your dog’s emotional state. Supplements such as L-theanine work best when you use them along with a proper diet for dog anxiety. In addition to quality nutrition, dogs ought to receive plenty of physical and mental exercise to remain anxiety-free.
When Should I Give My Dog L-theanine?
It would help if you gave your dog L-theanine when they display signs of fear and anxiety. Whining, panting, following you around, drooling, pacing, and destructive behavior are signs of a fearful dog. Research has shown L-theanine’s ability to diminish clinical signs of stress in dogs, such as hiding.
L-theanine is typically used on anxious dogs, but the supplement has numerous other benefits. With the fast-paced lives we lead with our pets today, numerous everyday circumstances can trigger fear in dogs. It may be the sound of a revving engine that reminds your dog of an unpleasant vet visit or a noise phobia during thunder storms.
L-theanine gets into the bloodstream and then to the brain, where it increases relaxing alpha brain waves. Consequently, L-theanine promotes feelings of calm in anxious dogs without making them drowsy or sedating them. The following high-stress situations for dogs are excellent examples of when you should give your dog L-theanine.
L-theanine for Dogs with Noise Phobias
Canine noise aversion is another name for noise phobias in dogs. Victims have a fearful response to unexpected sounds that don’t come in a pattern, such as thunder, fireworks, and gunshots. Over a third of all dogs suffer from noise phobia in the US alone, most of whom go most of their lives undiagnosed.
The dread these pups feel is, in many ways, similar to a panic attack in humans. You might see your dog trying to jump through windows and other dangerous places to escape from the noise. Thunder is particularly scary to dogs because they can hear the rumbling sound of the storm before you can. They can also feel some of the static electricity on their fur.
L-theanine for dogs with noise phobias reduces the time dogs with storm sensitivity take to return to their normal emotional states. Dogs that take the supplement show a significant decline in clinical signs of fear after the storm or sudden noises pass.
L-theanine for Dogs with Separation Anxiety
Leaving your dog alone at home could lead to loneliness and anxiety. Dogs can deal with the frustration in destructive ways, like chewing on shoes and furniture and barking excessively. Pups with separation anxiety have adverse responses to separation from their guardians or people they’re attached to.
Your dog can be perfectly calm when you’re with them. The dog suddenly shows anxiety symptoms when they recognize signs associated with your departure, such as picking up keys and wearing shoes. In contrast, dogs without separation anxiety are passive in their owners’ absence, despite having emotional attachments.
L-theanine for dogs with separation anxiety supplements behavioral therapy effectively. The behavioral modification includes desensitization, where the owners leave dogs for short periods and reward calm behavior and counterconditioning. Quality foods and daily exercise keep dogs relaxed even when you’re away, and L-theanine seals the deal.
L-theanine for Dogs Who Are Traveling
Traveling with your fur babies is a pleasant experience for many dogs and their owners, but some pups dread journeying. Dog traveling anxiety is common among dogs because some canines associate car rides with unpleasant encounters like that scary vet visit.
L-theanine can serve as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) supplement for your road-fearing pooch. Along with the nutraceutical, you can implement counterconditioning where you change your dog’s reaction to stimuli. L-theanine keeps your dog calm during the journey when you give it to them prior to the ride or to a stressful time on a plane.
In the case of traveling, you can associate the action with positive experiences in your dog with the high-value treats and praises as soon as your dog calmly enters the vehicle. Additionally, visit fun places for your dog, like parks, and get a travel buddy for your dog if possible.
Dogs in the Middle of Big Changes
Changes in human lifestyle can affect the well-being of dogs. Recent moves to a new neighborhood and the loss of an owner or another household pet can all result in hyperactivity and anxiety in dogs. If you notice emotional changes in your dog after substantial life changes, they’re likely confused and fearful.
To help your dogs cope with the new routine, you can opt to include the use of L-theanine. Be patient with your dogs as they adapt to the new environment, and shower them with plenty of attention when possible. Major changes can be scary for dogs, but your canine friend will get the hang of it over time.
Dogs that Stay in Kennels
Dogs stay in kennels for various reasons, and the measures to take to ease the process depend on the cause. Some canines stay in boarding kennels when their owners travel, while kennels are a form of crate training for others. If you take your dog to a boarding kennel, ensure their vaccinations are up to fate.
Some dog owners opt to keep their dogs outdoors in kennels long-term. This matter is subject to fierce controversy, with many dog parents fervently disagreeing with the practice. However, if you must keep your dogs in kennels outside, ensure the kennels are large enough, waterproof, and well insulated.
L-theanine can help anxious dogs relax while in the kennels by promoting a feeling of overall well-being. Be sure to check on your kennel dog when temperatures exceed 90°F to avoid heat stroke and below 32°F to avoid hypothermia. Reward your dog with treats every time they stay in the kennel calmly to promote this good behavior.
How Much L-Theanine Can I Give My Dog?
L-theanine dosage in dogs varies based on breed size. Most L-theanine-containing tablets, such as Anxitane, have instructions on how much of the supplement to give your dog. It’s best to talk to your vet before using L-theanine supplements on your dog, who will provide you with precise usage instructions.
Even though there aren’t specific guidelines for L-theanine dosages, most users have a general practice. Generally, dogs under 22 pounds take 100mg of L-theanine or 1/2 small Anxitane pill up to twice a day.
22-40 pounds, take 200mg or 1/2 Medium-large pill
41to 60 - 300mg
60 to 80 - 400mg
dogs above 80 pounds take up to 500mg
Dogs weighing 22 to 50 pounds can take 1/2 a tablet of Anxitane, and those above 50 can take a whole medium-large pill. If you are ever in doubt about how much L-theanine to give your dog, consult your vet, even if the manufacturers provide instructions on the pack.
Is L-Theanine Safe for Dogs?
The naturally-occurring L-theanine is safe for different sizes and breeds of dogs. This nutraceutical is suitable for long-term use in pups with a long history of anxiety. Caution is necessary when using L-theanine. Monitor your dog’s behavior while on the supplement and report unusual behaviors to the vet.
Most dogs have had little to no incidences of adverse reactions to using L-theanine. This makes the extract a safe, natural remedy to nervousness in dogs. Avoid going beyond the recommended dose for L-theanine supplements based on your dog’s weight to be on the safe side.
Note: Dogs with extreme phobias and anxiety don’t fully benefit from L-theanine use. While the supplement can offer temporal relief, it’s better to address the matter at the root. Behavioral therapy is the best solution for dogs with extreme aggression and behavior problems, with L-theanine complementing it.
Most common calming tablets with L-theanine for dogs:
- Anxitane- Contains the neurologically effective ingredient L-theanine to promote relaxation in dogs.
- Solliquin- This natural blend contains L-theanine along with other relaxing natural ingredients for dogs.
- Commercial calming treats and supplements that list L-theanine as part of the ingredients.
- Harmony from Front of the Pack Supplements contains both L-theanine and ashwagandha to help soothe anxious and stressed dogs.
Anxiety is a pervasive condition in many dogs, although it occurs in varying degrees. Treatment of phobias and anxieties in dogs comprises behavioral therapy and the use of anti-anxiety supplements like L-theanine. Safe desensitization and counterconditioning are components of behavioral therapy in dogs with extreme anxiety and aggression issues.
The green or black tea extract has relaxing properties, resulting in a decline in clinical signs of fear and anxiety in dogs. It’s a safe alternative medicine for dogs exhibiting signs like panting, pacing, excessive whining and barking, and tucking tails behind legs, all signs of stress in dogs.
It’s best to consult your vet before using L-theanine supplements like Anxitane. Manufacturers provide dosage instructions for L-theanine on the front of the pack. Your dog may have separation anxiety, noise phobia, or is scared of people. L-theanine relaxes dogs with different types of fears after regular consumption.