L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is important for the normal functioning of the body. It is found in a variety of foods, including meat, dairy products, legumes and seeds. Often taken as a dietary supplement, L-tryptophan assists in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is involved in mood regulation and sleep.
There is a growing body of research indicating that, when used as a pet supplement, L-tryptophan can help with insomnia, anxiety, depression and behavioural problems. Some studies have shown that L-tryptophan may have a calming effect on dogs. For example, a study published in the journal "Psychopharmacology" found that L-tryptophan improved behaviour in dogs with separation anxiety when it was given in combination with a behaviour modification program. Another study published in the "Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association" found that L-tryptophan may be helpful in the treatment of fear and aggression in dogs.
In addition to its potential use in treating anxiety and other behavioural problems, L-tryptophan may also have other benefits for dogs. For example, some research suggests that L-tryptophan may help to improve appetite and weight gain in dogs with certain medical conditions. It may also have a positive effect on skin and coat health, and it may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
As our understanding improves, the potential uses and benefits of L-tryptophan for dogs continues to grow. Whilst important to note that L-tryptophan is not a substitute for proper training, the demonstrated calming benefits makke it a supplement worth investigating particularly for pet owners whose dogs may exhibit anxious behaviours.
As with any dietary supplement, should you be unsure it is important to consult with a veterinarian.