Managing pet anxiety: How L-theanine can help

Managing pet anxiety: How L-theanine can help

Many pet owners are familiar with the challenges of dealing with an anxious dog or cat. Whether it's separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, or general nervousness with visitors, going to the vet, meeting new animals or being in the car, finding a solution to help your furry friend relax is crucial for his and your's life balance. A variety of calming products are available but not all are created equally. When shopping for supplements as a natural calming solution be mindful of ingredients. Some are of poor quality and not effective while many cause drowsiness and should not be consumed long term. The source and potency of ingredients is critical. 

What is L-theanine?

L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea leaves. It is known for its calming effects on the brain and is often used to reduce stress and anxiety in both humans and animals. When given to dogs, L-theanine can help promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. 

How does L-theanine work for dogs and cats?

When ingested, L-theanine increases the production of alpha brain waves, which are associated with a state of relaxation and alertness. It also promotes the release of GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates brain dopamine and serotonin levels. This can help dogs feel more at ease in stressful situations, such as during thunderstorms, fireworks, or car rides.

Benefits of L-theanine for anxious pets

Studies have shown that L-theanine can help reduce anxiety in dogs by promoting a sense of calmness and well-being. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that dogs who were given L-theanine showed a significant decrease in anxiety-related behaviors compared to a control group.

What kind of L-theanine to look for?

In nature, L-theanine is biosynthesized in tea plant roots and then transferred to the trunk and stems through the growing shoots and leaves, and it accumulates in developing leaves.  L-theanine constitutes, on average, only 1–3% of the weight of dry tea leaves and extraction of high purity L-theanine is challenging. Producing supplements from tea extract is expensive.

Manufacturers can opt to use lower grade extracts or chemically synthesized L-theanine that generally does not contain the chemical form of L-theanine found in plant extracts. 

Choosing high quality and purity natural L-theanine is critical for supplement effect. 

How to administer L-theanine to your dog

L-theanine supplements for dogs are available in various forms, including chewable tablets, and liquid forms (oils and gels). It is important to follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian or the product manufacturer. L-theanine is generally safe for dogs at the doses recommended.

Overall, L-theanine can be a valuable tool in managing anxiety in dogs. By promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation, this natural supplement can help your furry friend feel more at ease in stressful situations. If you have a dog or cat who struggles with anxiety, consider discussing the potential benefits of L-theanine with your veterinarian.

Back to blog