This guest post was written by Jody L. Teiche, Pet Health Expert & Pet Parent Coach with over 30 years of experience using homeopathy to heal pets naturally.

Almost three-quarters of all dogs in the U.S. suffer from at least one form of anxiety. That’s right. Three-quarters. It’s less so with cats; about a quarter of all cats suffer anxiety issues. Pet mental health is real, and those pet parents affected will attest to it.

If your dog or cat has mental health challenges, it is likely impacting your life, maybe even turning it upside down. Some pet parents can’t go on vacation, out to dinner or even leave the house without fear of their dog destroying it or if confined to a crate, hurting themselves. It’s heartbreaking for the pet and the parent.

Types & Causes of Anxiety in Pets

Luckily, there are several gentle, yet powerful tools we have today to help our anxious animals. But first, let’s look at what can cause pet mental health issues, such as separation anxiety, fears and phobias of things like loud noises, lights, textures, new places, strangers, children, other animals, and even certain clothing.

Anxiety in pets can be the result of a variety of factors, such as fear of abandonment, which would tie into a fear of being home alone or separation from a pet parent. This often arises from past traumatic experiences and is seen often in dogs and cats that have been rescued. Fears and phobias can manifest in your animal as a result of past trauma, like PTSD. Perhaps your dog was nearby when a loud siren or fireworks went off, which traumatized them, making them fearful whenever they hear loud noises. Certain textures can remind some animals of bad experiences they’ve had, as can certain garments or even smells.

Pet anxiety can manifest itself in things like excessive barking, whining, trembling, cowering, howling, lip licking, obsessively licking themselves and aggressive or destructive behavior to the environment or themselves.

When I coach pet parents with anxious animals, there is one question I always ask first, and it might surprise you.

What are you feeding them?

Nutrition is Always the Foundation of the House

If the foundation is weak, eventually, something has to give and the house will fall. And, when I say foundation, I mean holistically – the whole mind/body connection we and our animals experience.

Nutrition plays a significant role in creating and managing anxiety in pets. Certain foods and supplements may have a calming effect on animals. Conversely, certain foods may instigate anxious feelings. Let’s unpack that.

A whole foods healthy diet for your dog or cat gives them all of the vitamins and minerals their body needs to do its job – maintain homeostasis or balance, and heal. A diet of highly processed food or food high in carbs/simple sugars not only robs the body of these essential nutrients, but causes sugar level spikes which, in turn, causes an increase in their feelings of stress and anxiety.

Dry food or kibble is highly processed and consists mostly of carbs. Even grain-free or low-carb dry food diets often include poor-quality proteins like lentils, legumes, and starches like potatoes, beets, and peas.

Poor quality food creates inflammation in the body. Periodic inflammation is good when needed to fight off infection or rally around an injury. But, chronic inflammation is the precursor of all dis-ease, and a catalyst for increased anxiety.

More and more, we are learning the gut microbiome is the key to good or poor health in ourselves and our pets. The goal is a balanced gut, as much as possible, and diet is the key to this.

Remember I mentioned the mind/body connection? Your animal’s gut is connected to its brain via the Vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the body. The brain and gut talk to each other all day long via this hotline. It’s the origination of the expression, “I have a gut feeling,” and happy hormones like serotonin are 90% produced in your dog or cat’s gut. So, you start to see a picture developing that what you put in their bowl has a profound effect on how they look, feel and behave.

Species-appropriate diets for dogs and cats is the key to good health. Raw feeding is how our dogs and cats ate for thousands of years, and while we’ve domesticated them, what does that really mean?

  • They live inside now vs out back or in dog houses
  • They have comfy beds to sleep on
  • They sleep with us in our comfy beds
  • They are pampered, dressed up, taken places and treated like our children

But, has their digestive tracts changed? Not really.

Dogs have learned to eat a more varied diet, living with humans for so long. But, given the choice and taking species bio-appropriate diet into consideration, they killed an animal, and feasted on every part of that animal, including skin, hair, and usually leaving the contents of the stomach, which was vegetation, alone. So, they left the vegetables behind. Perhaps, if they killed a small prey, like a rabbit, they’d eat the whole animal in one go, including the stomach, but their choice was the organs first, then muscle meat, then bones. This diet provided them with all of the essential vitamins and minerals their bodies needed to thrive and sustain them until the next kill, which could be days off. Cats, considered obligate carnivores, have historically killed and eaten their entire prey, as well.

If need be, and this isn’t always the case, you can add to the diet a well-sourced, sustainable Omega-3 fatty acids supplement, shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and that may, additionally, help reduce anxiety in pets. A good, soil-based probiotic, raw goat’s milk or a good kefir and some prebiotic foods like medicinal mushrooms (Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Maitake, Shitake, Turkey Tail and more), chicory root, garlic, dandelion greens and burdock may also help improve a pet's overall mental well-being by strengthening their gut microbiome. This will impact their levels of anxiety positively.

Other Natural Ways To Address Anxiety in Pets

We have many natural options available to us today that more and more pet parents are learning about and trying with their animals. I’ll cover a few of them here.

  • Exercise & The Happiness Protocol:  Regular, vigorous exercise is important to take the edge off of an animal’s anxiety. Science has shown that when our pets are doing what they love, and their happy hormone levels increase, so does their immune system strengthen. More happy hormones equal less anxiety; a stronger immune system also means less anxiety and an all-around healthier pet.
  • Homeopathic Remedies: Homeopathy is tailored to your individual dog, but there is a list of common remedies for anxiety in dogs, in this blog post.  It’s always best to do an individual case taking of that particular dog and its specific symptoms to be most accurate in choosing a remedy
  • Herbs: As herbs contain active ingredients, unlike homeopathy, it’s always best to consult with an expert. Here is a list of herbs recommended by pet herbal expert, Dr. Chris Bessent.
  • Essential Oils: Essential oils are a wonderful tool in your natural healing kit and, again, contain active ingredients, so follow the guidance of someone who is an expert in this area. Balance, Peace, Console and Adaptiv are some go-to’s for anxious animals.
  • CBD Oil: Not all CBD oil is created equal, and after much research, trying this on my own pets and an interview with the CCO and co-founder of this company, I am recommending ElleVet Sciences as my go-to CBD product. Learn more about why here, and you can check out my interview with Amanda Howland of ElleVet here.
  • LovingTouch™ or Intentional Touch Healing Therapy: This hands-on calming practice is based on Temple Grandin’s squeeze box, which comforted her autism-associated anxiety, and is practiced by holistic veterinarian, Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte. Learn more about LovingTouch™ through booking a free consult with me.
  • Frequency Scanning: Tesla and Einstein discovered it back in the 1940’s and it’s been greatly perfected technologically over the decades. As Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” We are all made up of energy and everything around us is, too. And, each cell, organ, muscle, and tissue vibrates on its own frequency. So, when you have access to a handheld technology that has over 150,000 optimal frequencies in its database, you have the power to scan your body or your pet’s body, the machine reads the frequencies, identifies those that are out of balance and then optimizes those back into balance. The result? Your pet feels better, emotionally and physically. Learn more about frequency scanning.

To summarize, pet anxiety is a prevalent issue. It’s painful for the animal and painful for the pet parent. There are many types of pet anxiety and many different causes of it. Nutrition is the cornerstone of good or poor health and feeding a fresh food diet is step one in creating a healthier gut microbiome, which has been scientifically shown to affect stress and anxiety levels in our dogs and cats. Many parents opt for pharmaceutical medications and, sometimes, as a bridge, that may be necessary. I like to try natural options first. From homeopathy, CBD oil, essential oils and frequency scanning, these options all have their place in the tool kit for pet parents to help their animals. Each pet is unique in their expression of their anxiety and it’s through knowing your animal better than anyone and trial and error where you’ll find the best combination of natural modalities that work for them. And remember, the one question I ask first…start with nutrition. It will impact everything else.

Click here for more information or to book a free 30-minute health consult with Jody L. Teiche, C.P.H.E.:

How to Train Your Dog When Feeding a Raw Diet

If you're feeding your dog a raw diet, you invest too much in keeping them healthy to feed them junk food, even for the sake of training them… and with our creative tips, you won't have to!

Lifestyle Habits

Being professional dog trainers, we look at it as not only an activity but a way of life.  There are so many different ways that we each interact and live with our dogs that can either help or hinder our goals… it is in what we do (or don't do) in our day-to-day life that predicts how successful we are in training our dog to be well-behaved.

It's best to start with a plan.  Pay attention to what your current daily routine is and audit it to see where you have room to improve.   If you're feeding a raw diet, be sure you know what time to start thawing their food for the following day or how long it takes to rehydrate a meal.

Make sure that the frequency, amounts, and times are agreed upon and understood among all members of the household.  Develop a system for communicating your dog's intake that works for everyone to keep track and avoid under or overfeeding.

using steves real food for training

Activities & Exercises

Since training is always happening, it's important to know what things can be implemented into our routine to reach our training goals so that we're not left asking where we're going to find all this extra time!

Instead of feeding them all their meals in a bowl, use one or both mealtimes as a training opportunity.  We'd be using food/treats to train them anyway; you might as well do double duty.

The wonderful thing about feeding Steve's Real Food is that we have plenty of options to use as a stand-in for training treats… and the formulations are similar enough to be unlikely to cause tummy upset:

  • NEW! Protein Bites (Fermented and Freeze-dried treats to boost gut health)
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets
  • Quest Cat Food (Bite-Sized, Prey Model Diet Nuggets)
  • Cut up Frozen Raw Patty

If you don't have time to actively work their brains, let them do it themselves!  You can squish their food into a lick mat, a food-dispensing toy, or a safe bone and they can learn some independence as well (which is equally important to teach them).  And you can buy yourself even more time if you freeze it first!

Learn What and How to Train

Even more important than what we use for training, is when we are training… and because we believe it's a lifestyle, we encourage pet parents to use the things your dog wants throughout the day to teach them the things that you want from your dog.

Don't just give them a treat because they're cute… have them do something for it!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have them sit before giving them anything
  • Make them wait to be released for their food
  • Call your dog to you for a treat
  • Give them a piece of their food every time they go into their crate
  • They have to stop jumping up to get the ball before you throw it
  • The fun stops if teeth are felt on your skin
raw dog food for training

No matter what you're doing, whether it be socializing your puppy during that stage in their development (8-16 weeks), teaching them obedience, or reinforcing good manners, nothing will help you reach your goals faster than being consistent with them.

If you're interested in learning more about consistency, we welcome you to check out our free webinar:
"The 3 components of Training your Dog to be Well-Behaved through consistency"

  • Gaining the confidence to know What to Do AND When
  • The #1 way to get your dog to Listen to You
  • How to continue consistency around Other People

We wish you all the training success and congratulate you for doing what's best for your dog's health... You really don't have to sacrifice your principles to train your dog to be well-behaved.


~ By: Jenny Schneider, OnDog Training Academy

{Side Note: Our dog is an intact male Belgian Malinois turning 7 years old on March 1st, 2023, named, “Luda”… short for Ludacris, with AKC registered name of “Mohawk's Southern Hospitality”}


Benefits of White Fish Food for Dogs

Have you ever considered adding fish to your dog’s diet? If not, maybe it’s time to consider the many benefits of feeding a dog food with fish in it.

 Fish is a Novel Protein for Dogs with Food Allergies or Sensitivities

Many pets have not had exposure to white fish, making it a novel protein. Fish-based dog food may be recommended for dogs that don’t tolerate common proteins, like chicken or beef. Because white fish is naturally low in saturated fats, this diet is easy to digest, taking some pressure off the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it’s a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders

We have incorporated fenugreek in this recipe. Fenugreek is a vitamin-packed herb that has long been used in eastern medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.  It has also been used as an appetite stimulant, so the white fish formula will likely appeal to picky or sensitive eaters. 

White Fish Dog Food Provides a Diverse Nutrient Profile

Steve’s Real Food is excited to introduce our newest protein - white fish! This new formula is made from pacific cod, pollock, rockfish, and salmon - this will surely get your pet excited for dinner! A rotational diet has many benefits including reducing the potential for developing food sensitivities, ensuring a diverse nutrient profile in your pet’s diet, and, of course, keeping mealtime exciting for your pet

Benefits of a rotational diet: 

Fish is Packed with Healthy Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that the diet must provide and cannot be synthesized by the body without proper supplementation. Heavily-processed dry foods are typically lacking in healthy fats and are highly inflammatory. Our white fish diet is rich in omega-3s thanks to the variety of white fish and the New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels, making this formula excellent for skin and coat support. It may help bring relief from dry, flaky skin and itchiness.

Additional Benefits of Omega-3s: 

  • High in EPA and DHA 
  • Support the brain and immune system
  • Helps to prevent and relieve the effects of arthritis
  • Supports heart health

 For more information on the importance of Omega Fatty Acids, see our blog post Why Omega Fatty Acids Are Necessary For Pets

White Fish for Senior Dogs

 An older pet on a raw diet barely acts like a “senior” to begin with! That’s one of the amazing benefits of the raw lifestyle. However, a day may come when your pet starts to slow down. While each Steve’s formula meets the requirements of all life stages, as our pets age we will want to incorporate foods that complement their retirement-style way of life into their diet. During this period, some dogs may eventually need a diet lower in fat. Every senior can benefit from extra support for their aging joints and cognitive function. When it’s time to start looking for a senior dog food that will provide those benefits, our White Fish formula is a great addition to their rotation. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it can also be a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders

Benefits of our White Fish formula: 

  • Exciting new protein for your pets to enjoy
  • Low in sodium
  • High in Omega-3 for joint support, heart health, skin and coat, and cognitive function
  • Low in fat
  • Easy to Digest
  • A great option for food sensitivities and allergies
  • Fantastic for senior pets

Ask Your Local Retailer About the NEW White Fish Diet from Steve's Real Food

To say we at Steve’s are excited about this new formula is an understatement. Our pets are our family! Continuing to provide them with the best nutrition possible is our main goal. We are proud to present this new White Fish food for dogs and cats to you, and we hope your pet loves it as much as ours do! 

To find a local retailer of Steve's Real Food, visit our store locator.


Haneet Kaur, Ankita Singla, Snehdeep Singh, Sandip Shilwant and Ravneet Kaur. 2020. Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Canine Health: A Review. Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 9(03): 283-2293. Doi: