Ingredient Spotlight: L-Tryptophan for Dogs

Ingredient Spotlight: L-Tryptophan for Dogs

Tryptophan, like the stuff in turkey that puts you to sleep after Thanksgiving dinner? Yup. That’s what we’re talking about. Did you know that L-tryptophan is a healthy ingredient that can be found in relaxing supplements for dogs?

Although turkey is often associated with this ingredient, it’s not the only source, as it exists in a variety of meats, vegetables, and dairy. And when paired with other supporting ingredients like full-spectrum CBD, L-tryptophan may offer positive results for a variety of canine ailments.

Let’s learn a little more about tryptophan and dogs.

What is L-Tryptophan?

L-Tryptophan is an important amino acid for dogs that helps with many bodily functions. It's especially important for puppies because it helps make proteins and certain brain-signaling chemicals. L-Tryptophan can also help calm dogs and reduce anxiety.

Tryptophan protein chemical structure diagram.

L-Tryptophan is found in many different animal and plant proteins, including chicken, tuna fish, salmon, legumes (beans), peanuts, and cheese.

Green Gruff supplements contain a great variety of ingredients that will allow your dog to get a lot of L-tryptophan into his/her diet. Green Gruff products are made with salmon, green-lipped mussels, flaxseed meal, and other high-quality ingredients.

Not every brand puts quality control first, so be sure to read the label before purchasing a product. You want to look for 100% pure sources of protein when adding supplements to your dog’s diet.

Let's take a look at what tryptophan does to canines and when to give a supplement to your dog.

Effects of L-Tryptophan on Dogs

L-Tryptophan has many benefits for dogs, including the following:

  • Provides the structure of tissue and cells
  • Helps calm your dog down and reduce anxiety
  • Helps promote a restful sleep
  • Can be used to help dogs with mild cases of epilepsy
Happy dog with tongue hanging out.

One of the ways dogs benefit from tryptophan is by converting it into serotonin (very similar to humans). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps promote good moods, lowers stress responses, and helps increase trust. For dogs prone to anxiety, adding tryptophan to their diet in combination with full-spectrum CBD may be one way to help them relax.

For dogs taking seizure medication, tryptophan can help with various neurological issues. Tryptophan may also be helpful to the aging dog who is experiencing chronic pain or discomfort, as it helps regulate sleep patterns and acts as an antidepressant.

Does L-Tryptophan Make Dogs Sleepy?

Some people believe that L-tryptophan can make dogs extremely sleepy. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these firsthand claims. Though it may not have direct sedative effects, tryptophan has been noticed to help with relaxation.

So, if your dog seems a bit hyper, you might want to try giving him/her some L-tryptophan and see if it makes a difference.

When to Give Your Dog L-Tryptophan

If your dog is experiencing any of the following problems, you may want to consider giving him/her an L-Tryptophan supplement:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity
  • Noise phobias

Let's expand on each of those reasons so you'll know if tryptophan is the right choice for your dog.

Aggression Aggressive dog snarling with teeth exposed.

L-tryptophan can have a calming effect on dogs that show signs of aggression. However, this should be considered a supportive method and not a replacement for proper training. And do not give a supplement to aggressive dogs without speaking to a veterinarian first.


Dogs who suffer from anxiety may find relief by adding this amino acid to their diet. It also helps reduce the stress response in older dogs, making it a helpful supplement for those whose pet has an anxious personality.


A lot of people ask what they can do for their hyperactive dogs who are constantly on the go. Can you relate? If it seems like your furry friend could use some downtime from running around in circles every day, talk with a vet about trying something different. Relaxing supplements that contain tryptophan and other calming ingredients might provide some relief.

Noise Phobias

Dogs with mild noise phobias may benefit from adding calming treats that contain tryptophan to their daily routine. This amino acid is known as an essential building block for making serotonin and melatonin hormones. Starting them young and staying consistent will aid their overall wellness during the next thunderstorm.

Where to Buy L-Tryptophan for Dogs

Most pet stores will carry calming options with tryptophan for dogs. Always check the label to see if the product is made of 100% pure sources of protein, such as crickets. It’s one of the most popular options for picky eaters and is less likely to cause an upset stomach.

And if you are looking for a good source of L-tryptophan for dogs that is available online, be sure to check out Green Gruff supplements. Our RELAX calming supplements are made with pure, high-quality ingredients that will help your dog get the most out of this important amino acid.

Pug looking at a sign with Green Gruff logo on it.

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