Features July 2014 Issue

Talking Turkey: Can Tryptophan Calm Your Anxious, Aggressive, or Overactive Dog?

If eating turkey makes people drowsy, should we feed a lot of this high-quality protein source, or the chemical within it that is credited for its sleep-inducing ability, to calm anxious dogs? Well, no.

Talking Turkey: Can Tryptophan Calm Your Anxious, Aggressive, or Overactive Dog?

Let’s look at the science.

I grew up with a storybook grandmother, “Nana” to my sister and me. Nana was a great cook and regularly expressed her love through sumptuous meals and comfort foods. Her home was definitely the place to be on all food-oriented holidays, including the ultimate all-American food holiday, Thanksgiving. Like many Americans on this day, my family gorged on all that Nana placed on her overloaded dining-room table – mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, warm rolls, salads, corn casserole, and, of course, the mandatory roasted turkey. Following this annual feast, my sister and I would fall into food-induced stupors, sleeping off our over-indulgence for several hours before rousting ourselves to eat one more piece of pie.

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