Behavioural works against stress and behavioural disorders
Effects in dogs with behavioural disorders of a commercial nutraceutical diet on stress and neuroendocrine parameters
The well-being of dogs can be affected by changes in human lifestyle, eating habits and increased stressors that lead to behavioural disorders including fear, hyperactivity and anxiety, followed by negative affective moods and poor welfare. This randomised, controlled clinical evaluation involved 69 dogs, 38 males and 31 females, of different breeds, with behavioural disorders related to anxiety and chronic stress. They were fed a control diet or a nutraceutical diet (ND group) for 45 days. Neuroendocrine (serotonin, dopamine, β-endorphins, noradrenaline and cortisol) and stress (derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolites (dROMs) and biological antioxidant potential (BAP)) parameters related to behavioural disorders were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study period. Results showed a significant increase in serotonin, dopamine and β-endorphins plasma concentrations (*P<0.05, *P<0.05 and **P<0.01, respectively) and a significant decrease in noradrenaline and cortisol plasma concentrations in the ND group (*P<0.05). dROMs significantly decreased in the ND group (*P<0.05) while BAP was not affected. This study demonstrated for the first time that a specific diet significantly and positively affected neuroendocrine parameters and dROMs. These results open significant perspectives concerning the use of diet and nutraceuticals in the treatment of behavioural disorders.