L-Tryptophan for Dogs - Uses, Side Effects, and More

L-Tryptophan for Dogs

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that's necessary for many bodily functions. It's naturally found in red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

Your dog's body doesn't produce L-Tryptophan naturally, it must be consumed in their diet or in a supplement.

At Xen Pets, our Calming Chews for Dogs include L-Tryptophan as one of the main ingredients. Shop today.

L-Tryptophan For Dogs (Video)

What is L-Tryptophan for dogs?

L Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that makes proteins and brain-signaling chemicals.

The word 'essential' signifies that our dog's cannot produce this natural amino acid themselves. It must be consumed through their diet.

Once these amino acids are in your dog's body, they can be converted to serotonin.

Serotonin is commonly known as the happy hormone since it makes your dog feel more calm and relaxed.

L Tryptophan For Dogs Increases Mood

How does Serotonin affect dogs?

Serotonin is an important chemical messenger that moves messages from one nerve cell to another.

Additionally, it has a lot of influence over how your dog feels, sleeps, and digests food. It can even control immune system functions like healing wounds and controls blood pressure levels.

Overall, Serotonin affects many organs including the brain and intestines. In the brain, it influences mood, cognition, and sleep.

It may even help anxiety related behavior problems.

neurotransmitter serotonin

What Are The Benefits of L-Tryptophan?

Once your dog has converted the L-Tryptophan to serotonin, many bodily functions can occur.

In addition to what has been mentioned above, serotonin plays a key role in many more functions.

Serotonin helps to regulate your dog's sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, and blood clotting.

5 Benefits of L-Tryptophan for Dogs

5 Benefits of L-Tryptophan for Dogs

  1. Better quality sleep
  2. May relieve anxiety related behaviors
  3. Improved emotional well being
  4. Separation anxiety relief
  5. Increased pain tolerance

    How To Give Your Dog L-Tryptophan

    The safest way to administer L-Tryptophan is in a L-Tryptophan supplement or treat. Specially formulated supplements will give you instructions and the correct dosage to give your dog.

    This helps ensure your dog is getting the correct dosage for their weight.

    Xen Pets offers a supplement containing 60 milligrams of L-Tryptophan per serving.

    Further down in this post, you can find foods that are naturally high in L-Tryptophan. Although it's difficult to dose correctly - fresh food is always great for dogs!

    L-Tryptophan for dogs dosage

    The generally suggested dose for adult dogs is 6.5 milligrams per pound of body weight.

    Surprisingly, the suggested dosage for puppies is much higher at 41 milligrams per pound of body weight.

    As always, please speak with your vet before administering L-Tryptophan supplements, calming treats, or calming chews that contain active ingredients.

    L-Tryptophan foods for dogs

    L-Tryptophan can be found in many foods. It's most commonly associated with Thanksgiving and can be found in turkey.

    Let's take a look at some of the foods that have L-Tryptophan. 

    • Milk
    • Tuna
    • Turkey Meat
    • Chicken
    • Oat flour
    • Cheese
    • Peanut Butter

      turkey meat

      Is L-Tryptophan Safe For Dogs?

      L-tryptophan is widely considered safe for dogs. It's a naturally occurring amino acid that many dogs need to thrive.

      There are many studies showing L-Tryptophan is safe for dogs to consume.

      It's often considered an essential ingredient for the body to produce, so supplementation may be necessary if your pup doesn't make enough on their own.

      L-Tryptophan for dogs side effects

      One of the more serious, but rare, side effects of L-Tryptophan is serotonin syndrome.

      Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

      Serotonin syndrome is an unhealthy buildup of serotonin in the body. It can affect dogs and humans.

      Serotonin syndrome generally occurs in animals that are taking multiple medications.

      If your dog is taking additional supplements or medications, ask your vet before starting L-Tryptophan supplementation.

      4 Signs of Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

      1. Increased heart rate
      2. Confusion
      3. Increased temperature causing your dog's head to feel hot
      4. trembling and seizures

        dog and vet med assoc

        Can Dogs Overdose on L-Tryptophan?

        Your dog may experience mild digestive signs like vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, you will see increased lethargy in a tryptophan overdose.

        Contact your vet immediately if you believe your dog has overdosed on L-Tryptophan.

        Conclusion: Tryptophan for Dogs

        If you have a dog that suffers from anxiety and insomnia you can try supplementing with L-Tryptophan.

        Calming Chews may help relieve anxiety and include a low dose of L-Tryptophan along with other natural ingredients. 

        Our treats may help your dog feel more relaxed and comfortable in situations that would normally trigger their anxiety.

        Shop Today: Calming Chews for Dogs. 

        FAQs

        Does L-Tryptophan make dogs sleepy?

        L-Tryptophan is an excellent choice for pets with anxiety because it will not make them drowsy when given in the prescribed dose.

        Instead, it helps their ability to handle situations that may cause worry or stress - like heading to the vet or dog groomers.

        Does L-Tryptophan help with anxiety in dogs?

        L-Tryptophan may help with anxiety related behavior problems. Monitor your dogs improvements as you begin supplemental tryptophan, and see if it works for them.

        Back to blog

        By Tory Johnson

        Tory Johnson is a veteran dog trainer, dog behaviorist, and canine nutritionist with 10+ years experience.

        Tory has helped countless families have beautiful relationships with their canine companions.

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