Updated: Sep 21
Cats and dogs seem to lead a carefree existence. Munching on cat food or dog food, lying in the sun or a favourite spot, and playing with toys all day long seems like quite a lovely way to live. However, pets can fall prey to anxiety, like humans. Like us, pets handle stressors in different ways, some of which can be maladaptive.
Canine or feline anxiety, when left untreated, can interfere with your pet's life and lead to behavioural or health problems. Incessant barking, destructive chewing and over-grooming can be the result of untreated anxiety. In the long run, your pet might even become depressed or develop digestive problems.
What anxiety looks like inside the body
A body experiences anxiety when it believes that it is in danger of getting hurt in some way. It prepares for this danger by releasing hormones to "fight" or to "flee." This situation also means increased blood flow to the heart and lungs, accompanied by a decrease in areas deemed "non-essential" at the moment like digestion.
When pets are in a prolonged state of anxiety, the digestive tissue in their gut could be starved of nourishment, leading to chronic digestive disorders.
Though maintaining a healthy gut is not going to cure a pet's anxiety magically, it can contribute to long-term rebuilding and is likely a significant part of how to keep them calm and stress-free. There are many ways you can restore gut health, some of which we will look at below.
Avoid feeding your pets grains
Dogs and cats can process grains just fine. Corn, for one, is a good source of protein for dogs. However, it isn’t necessarily a better source than meat. The fact that cats and dogs can digest grains does not mean that they should—especially when there are better alternatives out there.
What's more, grains can cause inflammation. Cutting out the starch in a dog's diet will improve their immune system.
Add herbal supplements to their diet
Aside from getting them on a raw food diet, you can help improve your dog's gut health by enhancing their diet with herbal compounds. There are different types of supplements addressing various issues. Some of these help dogs cope with anxiety and keep them calm.
Valerian Compound, for example, is made of concentrated herbal extracts. It relaxes the nervous system of pets and helps them come down from agitated states brought by things like thunderstorms and the sound of explosions.
You can use this in tandem with Scullcap & Valerian tablets. This mixture helps prevent drowsiness while retaining the calming effects of the tincture. Before using these for pets, please consult your veterinarian about how much to include in their diet. These, along with other herbal supplements, are available at our store.
Feed them pre- and probiotics
Probiotics are "good bacteria" and are responsible for keeping gut health. Inflammations kill probiotics, which means digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea and constipation.
If your pet is on a raw food diet, you can add raw goat milk or organic kefir to their food so they can get their probiotics. You can also include Tree Barks Powder in your dog's raw food diet. This is a digestive supplement for pets with irritable bowel syndrome.
Restoring your dog's gut health will take time. It’s wise to prioritise adjusting your pets' diet and building a system that promotes the regeneration of good bacteria. You must also consult with a veterinarian about possible supplements you can include in their meals.