Using a Tryptophan Supplement for Dogs

If your dog suffers from unusual bouts of aggressive and problematic behavior, it may be a good idea to consider giving him a tryptophan supplement. Tryptophan is commonly prescribed by vets as a way of reducing aggression and other problem behaviors and actions in dogs. it can help to improve your pet's mood and make him less inclined to bite or bark, as well as several other behaviors that many people find intolerable as well. For more information about using a tryptophan supplement to help control your pet's problem behavior, read on.

Tryptophan Forms and Background

Tryptophan supplements have been banned in the United States for human consumption, as there was a massive batch of bad tryptophan that resulted in many human sicknesses in the mid 1980s. However, tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid in both cat and dog systems, and this supplement is still available in various forms for pets. For human use, the close relatives of tryptophan are used instead. The most common brand name of tryptophan supplement that is provided for use amongst cats and dogs is called Nutricalm, although there are several different generic types of supplements as well.


Tryptophan is most commonly used to reduce impulsive behavior and aggression in both cats and dogs. It can also be used amongst dogs who display obsessive compulsive behavioral tendencies in order to calm them and refocus their energies.

Adverse Reactions

The side effects for tryptophan supplement use amongst dogs are generally rare and mild. As with all other supplements and drugs, however, there is a small chance that your pet will experience some sort of allergic reaction to the drug. In this case, it's always best to consult with a veterinary emergency hospital service immediately, so as to ensure that your pet keeps all of his health in check properly.

The commonly occurring side effects of tryptophan supplement use are vomiting and diarrhea. Monitor your pet for signs of any additional problems and to make sure that any gastrointestinal reactions he displays go away after a short period of time.

Obtaining and Using Tryptophan

Tryptophan is available through a veterinarian's prescription only. You'll need to visit a vet and have your pet's behavior analyzed before you can get a prescription for this supplement. Be sure to consult with your vet about any and all other drug supplements and medicines that your pet is prescribed at the time that you obtain the prescription for tryptophan, as this medicine can interact badly with certain other types of medicine and supplements. Tryptophan is most commonly given as an oral supplement that can be added to your pet's meal approximately once per day. The exact dosage depends upon the size of your dog, his behavioral and medical history, and other factors that your vet will take into account.

For additional information about tryptophan, or to see if this supplement is right for your dog, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible.