Could my dog’s anxiety be linked to gut health?
If you have a stressed-out dog, you may have tried every remedy under the sun to help support them. Dog trainers, anxiety wraps, pheromone sprays, anti-bark collars, essential oils, even medication. But I am guessing you haven’t thought to try improving your dogs gut bacteria!
As strange as it sounds, the bacteria that live in your dog’s gut can affect their mood and behaviour.
The gut communicates with the brain via a bi-directional highway. We call this pathway the gut-brain axis.
Bacteria in the gut make chemicals that transmit to the brain via this highway. The chemical messages that land can have a big impact. Whether the effects are positive or negative depends on which bacteria are in the gut. Different bacteria make different chemicals - some calming, some triggering.
Certain gut bacteria are present in higher levels in aggressive or anxious dogs. Manipulating the microbiome can reduce anxious behaviours and cortisol (stress hormone) levels! We can positively impact our dogs’ moods and behaviours by restoring gut balance.
Dogs with severe behavioural challenges should visit their vet. Restoring gut balance will no doubt have a positive impact. And may be helpful in managing your pet’s anxiety or aggression.
Thank you to Sdf Rahbar for the use of this photo .