It can be hard knowing what the best dog food for anxiety is when you are faced with countless options on the market. At anxietyindogs.com, it is our job to inform you of the very best products for your precious pet.
I always choose the best products based on personal experience. I’ve noticed that my dog that struggles with some health and diet issues is also the dog who is more susceptible to anxiety than my other furry friends. There are many factors at play when trying to figure out the reason for your dog’s anxiety. In reality, there can be a lot of things that contribute to your pooch’s feelings of unease.
Dogs are emotionally complex, just like we are. While it is unfortunate that we cannot find our pets a good therapist, one thing we can do is provide them with healthy, comforting food options so they can feel more at ease while at home.
From supplements with a soothing effect to dry and wet food options made with natural ingredients, there are many different dog food options that can help avoid all signs of anxiety. When my little one is having a rough day, I pour her a bowl of her favorite calming dog food and she’s able to feel so relaxed that she can finally lay down for a nap. That’s what I call a pet parenting win!
5 Best Dog Food For Anxiety Reviews
Below, I’ve put together a list of what I believe to be the best dog food for anxiety. Take a look at my top picks and let me know which brand works best for your furry friend!
Want Answers Fast? Here’s My Favorite Choice!
1. Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition Dry Dog Food
Why this is my favorite one
- The food contains natural ingredients that are proven to help your dog calm down.
- It keeps dogs comfortable during situations where they would normally feel afraid, such as during a thunderstorm or on a car ride.
- It is affordable yet high-quality.
- The food is formulated specifically for dogs with anxiety!
A common brand and a trusted source of food, this particular recipe by Royal Canin is designed specifically with nervous doggies in mind. The formula pictured is made for large dogs weighing between 50 and 100 pounds, but there are many formulas available for any size dog who experiences nervousness.
If your dog gets stressed a lot, this is a great food to start introducing into their everyday diet. The balanced nutritional elements make for a soothing effect, calming your pet down every mealtime.
- This food contains additional ingredients such as L-carnitine, DHA, and EPA to support other healthy aspects of your dog’s life, including a shiny coat and hydrated skin.
- Depending on the bag you choose corresponding to your dog’s size, the kibbles are shaped to perfectly fit your dog’s mouth. They won’t be too big or too small, helping your furry friend chew comfortably.
- A perfect combination of flavors and nutrients for even the pickiest eaters.
- The company has a good return and customer service policy.
- The dog food bags come in different sizes depending on the size of your dog; small dog bag sizes range from 2.5 pounds to 14 pounds, while the large dog bags are 17 pounds and up.
- It is not a grain-free food option in case your dog has gluten sensitivities.
This rich and flavorful brand of dog food is specifically designed to comfort those who have a propensity towards anxiousness, making this a good food to start using on a regular basis.
2. Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Being aware of gluten sensitivities is not exclusive to the human experience. Unfortunately, dogs can also face negative health effects due to gluten and certain grains. It took me longer than I care to admit to find out that my terrier suffered from gluten sensitivities.
I was so happy to find a healthy, grain-free dog food option to invest in.
Not only is this formula by Nature’s Recipe filled with ingredients that calm anxiety, but it is also a good grain-free option that doesn’t skip out on any of the essential categories from the doggie food pyramid.
And yes, there definitely is a dog food pyramid that you should follow to ensure your little ones are getting all the nutrients they need!
- Made with real lamb and real vegetables as the main source of ingredients.
- There are absolutely no added products, including soy, wheat, grains, or animal by-product.
- Kibble is sized appropriately to fit the mouths of all dogs, regardless of size, giving them an easy time chewing.
- The product does not come in larger than a 24-pound bag size.
- Unfortunately, the package itself is not recyclable.
I like the simplicity of this brand and the transparency of its formula, which shows that it doesn’t take more than some all-natural ingredients to calm your dog’s anxiety and give them a well-rounded dose of healthy benefits!
3. Caru - Real Stew For Dogs
I usually don’t serve wet food on its own, but this natural stew served on top of a scoop of kibble will be a dream come true for your fabulous furry friends! Watch them drool as you serve them a helping of this soothing dish.
I only just started using Caru foods, and I have to say I am impressed so far. This is one of the only companies that prepares ready-to-eat food servings for dogs. It smells so good that I’ve been tempted to eat it myself!
Perhaps it’s the taste, the smell, the texture, or the combination of the right ingredients, but this food can really calm a dog down. They will be so excited for their meal that they will forget about their anxious behaviors for a little while.
- Every single ingredient in this stew is made with human-grade ingredients, meaning it really is safe enough to eat - so you know it will be delicious and healthy for your dogs!
- Despite the plethora of flavors and health benefits in this stew, it is actually very simply made, only using top-quality ingredients that have proven to show health benefits in dogs.
- You can choose between flavors and ingredients that include poultry, beef, duck, veggies, and more.
- Guaranteed to be one of the best tasting foods your dog will every try.
- It is on the costlier side of things because of its ingredients and freshness.
- The packaging can be difficult to open as the stew contains liquids.
This stew is something a little different from the norm, and it is best served alongside dry food. Use it as a whole meal or as a supplement depending on your dog’s needs.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
I trust reliable brands that have a reputation for creating formulas with healthy ingredients and can boast a variety of health benefits. This Hill’s Science Diet dog food for sensitive stomachs and skin is the perfect example of a health-conscious food choice for your pup.
If your dog struggles with anxiety and it shows itself with physical symptoms like scratching, itching, or vomiting, then this is the perfect food for him.
Anxiety can often lead to symptoms of an upset stomach, along with itchy skin that can cause a myriad of health issues.
Therefore, I like to look for brands that tick all the health boxes.
This dog food bag does just that; plus, it comes in a number of different flavors and sizes so you can customize your purchases.
- There are extra ingredients to boost your dog’s health, such as: Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and fiber.
- This is a grain-free option in case your dog is sensitive to gluten.
- This formula uses nothing but natural ingredients to create a calming and healthy food option that your dogs can eat every day.
- There are not very many sizes of dog food bags available.
- The price is high compared with other trusted brands that provide all-natural food options.
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Last (but certainly not least) on my list is this all-natural and grain-free product by Blue Buffalo. I love formulas that contain a lot of healthy and natural ingredients that meet all the daily nutritional requirements your furry friend needs.
This food, in particular, is great for dog anxiety, especially if your dog prefers a more active lifestyle. With different vitamins, nutrients, and minerals combined, this is a great natural addition to your doggie’s diet.
The main reason I use this food is to help my dogs with their anxiety, but it’s nice that this formula also comes with immune-strengthening ingredients and nutrition to build up their strength.
- This is one of the rare dog food brands that actually has 100% natural ingredients, including your choice of proteins between duck, chicken, and salmon.
- This is a grain-free formula so any gluten-sensitive doggies are sure to have a happy time eating their meals.
- The food contains an extra blend of antioxidants and amino acids that can boost the immune system.
- You can choose between a small, medium, or large-size bag.
- Some dogs may have skin reactions to certain vegetable ingredients found in this food, but it is important to get your dog allergy tested at the vet.
I will ever only recommend foods that have all-natural ingredients and that have been tested and approved by professionals! Blue Buffalo is a reputable brand that offers different formulas based on the dietary complexities of our loyal canine friends.
Why Grain-Free & Gluten-Free Diets Are Important For Dogs
Every dog is different and unique, just like people are. And this includes physical health, wellness, and dietary needs. Just like with human foods, dog foods have become too saturated with grains and wheat substances that may not be the best thing for a doggie’s digestive tract.
While some dogs don’t express any issues with a gluten-based diet, others might be more sensitive to the food you’re putting in front of them. This is why I think it is important to assess whether or not your dog could benefit from a grain-free diet.
The Problem with Grains and Gluten
Gluten is a substance found in wheat that contributes to many baked products. Both dogs and humans can contract an allergy to gluten and any substances that contain it.
Grains cover a wider range of products. Grains, such as oats, seeds, and rice, can provide a lot of health benefits - but can also be damaging to dogs who may have a more sensitive stomach.
Many experts believe that grains are an unnatural source of nutrients for your dog’s diet, and these substances cannot be easily digested. While there is a running argument about that, where some experts say modern-day dogs are perfectly equipped to digest grains, some owners still prefer to invest in a grain-free diet for their furry children.
Dealing with Allergies
According to Purina, it is important to take your precious loved one to the vet to obtain an official allergy diagnosis. Depending on your dog’s allergies, it may be a good idea to switch to a grain-free option.
It is ultimately up to you to decide what kind of diet is best for your dog. But make sure she is getting a well-rounded daily dose of all the proteins, vitamins, and nutrients she needs to stay strong, and, most importantly, to avoid any overwhelming feelings of anxiety!
The Dry Dog Food Selection Process
Most dog food brands advertise their products by highlighting how natural the ingredients are. Words like “all-natural”, “grain-free”, and “part of a balanced meal” are common phrases printed in big letters on a score of dog food bags. But how do you know that these brands are actually telling the truth?
The search for the perfect dog food can be made even more difficult when your dog has certain allergies that need to be avoided. It can be exhausting reading entire labels on the back of dog food bags to make sure that one specific ingredient isn’t in there.
What if there were an easier way to search for the perfect dog food? What are some ways you can tell whether a bag of food is of good quality, or if the brand is just faking it?
Top 5 things to Look For in the Best Dog Food for Anxiety
Here’s what to look for next time you are searching for a real, quality product:
1. Proteins Clearly Named and Listed
Any dog food brand that claims to provide “animal protein” or “real animal protein”, but doesn’t actually disclose what kind of protein it is, is a brand that cannot be trusted. If there is a generic description such as “meat”, this indicates that the protein is of such low-quality that it won’t provide as many health benefits as it claims to provide.
2. A far-off “best used by” date
One of the first things you should look for when buying dog food products (and this is something you should be doing with your own groceries, for that matter) is looking for the expiration date. Make sure that the dog food you want to buy is at least 6 months away from expiring, if not longer.
However, it should also be noted that food with an expiration date of years in the future is synthetic and also not recommended. No natural food lasts forever, so an expiration date of 1-2 years or even longer can indicate that the bag is full of nothing but preservatives. Yuck!
3. Animal Protein at the Front of the List
The first thing you see on the list of ingredients should be a lot of animal proteins. Chicken, lamb, turkey, and beef are the most common animal proteins you will see in healthy dog food formulas.
But if the food lists a different ingredient first, it means that there is not enough fresh protein source and the food may not be ay good. The best dog food for anxiety is one that has enough natural ingredients to combat any deficiencies that may lead to stress and anxiety in dogs.
4. More Than One Kind of Protein
You may have noticed that protein is mentioned a lot. There’s a good reason for that! Protein is by far the most important nutrient you can feed your dogs, and they need a lot of it if they’re going to stay active, fit, healthy, and full of energy with a wagging tail. That is why it is so crucial that the food you buy has not just one, but many sources of protein.
5. Whole Ingredients
Another box you need to check off in your search for the perfect anxiety-curing dog food is whether or not the food contains whole ingredients. This means whole fruits, whole veggies, and whole grains if you don’t want to go grain-free.
It’s all-too-common for a dog food package to be labeled with fractions of ingredients, meaning that they only use by-products and not the whole ingredient itself. Wouldn’t you rather your sweet canine enjoy real, human-quality food than something pressed and squeezed by a machine?
Best Dog Food Brands To Choose From
Reading the labels on the back of each dog food package is an essential step to finding the highest-quality dinners for your pet, but it’s not the only step. The brand name plays a huge part as well, as a company’s logo can speak volumes about a formula’s quality and healthiness.
I wanted to take the time to list some of my favorite dog food brands that I believe are very trustworthy. Many of these brands you will find on my top 5 best dog food choices above, and I have also thrown in some lesser-known brands in case you wanted to go off the beaten path in your quest for the best dog food.
It is very likely that you have heard the name Blue Buffalo before. As a recognizable store brand, you can find different formulas of Blue Buffalo dog food in most big box pet stores. This company wants to feed pets like the family members they are, which is why its experts always put in the best ingredients into each scoop of food.
There are different dog food formulas categorized by your pet’s life stage, health status, or allergy conditions. With Blue Buffalo, there is something for everyone.
To “nourish with love” is the slogan of Caru, a family-owned pet food store specializing in formulas for picky dogs. This company makes its food products in the USA, using the family’s own pets as willing testers for each new food item. If you have a dog with a lot of sensitivities or a picky palette, the unique and flavorful dog food items by Caru may be a good place to start your search.
Science Diet is officially known as Hill's Science Diet, a very reputable and well-known brand across the globe. Specializing in science-based diets for dogs and cats, each formula serves a specific function. For example, if you have an aging pet, there are food formulas designed to relieve the symptoms of aging and add more strength to bones and joints. There are grain-free and allergy-free diet options available through Science Diet as well.
A popular dog food company that makes specialized formulas and health plans, Royal Canin is known for always having high-quality products. I invest in dog food from this company often because the ingredients are healthy and my dogs love the flavors. On the company’s website, you can even browse for the best food by breed, age, size, or ailment, giving you a good idea of what kind of food you should be giving your furry friend.
The experts and formula creators at Wellness are focused equally on health and on flavor. Although the company is almost 100 years old, its dog formulas have only recently gained popularity across the globe. There are good dog food options for both dogs and cats, as well as some anxiety-reduction formulas that are worth looking into.
With lots of different recipes to choose from, Nature's Recipe is a simple brand with purposeful products. Each formula is designed with 100% all-natural ingredients to ensure that your dog is getting all of the protein he needs in every mouthful. The website has helpful information about ingredients and dog diet preferences.
Instinct Pet Food is a subsidiary of Nature’s Variety, with years of expert-led research going into each formula. The company mostly specializes in raw foods and ingredients, believing that kibbles take away some of the nutritional value of the natural ingredients. If you want your dog to eat like a wolf, this company offers healthy ways to do so.
Best Dog Food For Anxiety FAQs
Even when you know what to look for and what ingredients you want, it can still be hard choosing the best dog food for your loved on. Below, I’m answering some of the most common questions that dog owners have about getting the best dog food for anxiety.
1. Is there any dog food that actually causes anxiety?
Yes! Now that you’ve read this article, it is no secret that there are certain dog foods that can help relieve your pup’s symptoms of anxiety. But did you know that there are certain foods and diet plans that can actually exacerbate the symptoms instead?
Feeding your dog an unhealthy diet can lead to that dog gaining weight and becoming obese, which severely affects his ability to remain healthy and happy. Just like with humans, eating too much caffeine, gluten, and processed foods can actually contribute to poor mental health.
Overeating, or eating the wrong thing, can make anxiety so much worse. Your dog will feel more stressed, grumpy, and confused, and these feelings are heightened at mealtime. It might be a good idea to pair a new healthy diet with some home remedies to keep your dog stress-free.
2. How do I know if my dog has an allergy to a certain ingredient?
It can be scary getting your dogs to try out a new formula for the first time, especially if you don’t know whether they have allergies. And different ingredients can affect different allergies in different ways. For example, food allergies can be caused by certain fruits or grains, whereas skin allergies can be caused by chemicals or small pests.
Dogs with food sensitivities or allergies will display symptoms of coughing, lethargy, pain, swelling, and watery eyes. They may also vomit or have diarrhea, in which case it is important to contact an emergency vet right away.
3. Can anti-anxiety dog food really soothe anxiety?
A lot of pet owners are skeptical about whether or not dog food can really have that much of an affect on a dog’s anxiety. I understand this doubt, and it’s true that some brands who claim to help with anxiety don’t really end up helping much at all.
The real formulas are designed to relieve anxiety by adding an amino acid known as L-tryptophan, which increases the levels of serotonin in the brain - immediately calming the dog down. Most animal proteins have a healthy dose of L-tryptophan.
4. What are the best ingredients for fighting anxiety in dogs?/strong>
Combatting anxiety feels like an uphill battle at times, whether it’s you or your dog experiencing the stressful symptoms. When you are searching for a new type of dog food that will help your loved one feel more calm, make sure you’re looking for these ingredients in particular:
- Chicken breast
- Turkey meat
- Lamb shoulder
- Roast beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Whole cooked eggs
- Uncooked oats
- Cooked tuna fish
All of the above foods contain L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can create a feeling of calm in the brain while reducing the effects of anxiety.
Give Your Dog the Opportunity for A Healthy and Happy Life!
The best thing you can do for your furry loved one is to ensure they have a well-rounded diet each and every day. Fill their bowls with all-natural ingredients, whole proteins, and enriching materials that not only give them a better lease on life, but that also reduce the effects of anxiety and fear.
Dogs, like humans, are emotional creatures, and sometimes those emotions are thrown out of balance - something a lot of us know too well. With the dog food brands I listed above, you’ll enjoy a great opportunity to help your dog feel better while knowing that you made the right choice by investing in one of the best dog food for anxiety.
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