How Dog's Behavior & Diet are Related

You know how a better diet can affect the health of your dog, but have you considered how it can affect his behavior as well? A study on the effect of diet on canine behavior shows that nutrient availability and diet composition affect precursors in the brain which influence behavior. As nutrition influences, the building blocks for each metabolic procedure and cell in the body, the brain, and the nervous system cannot function well without the right nourishment. The behavior of a dog is a direct manifestation of activity in the central nervous system. It is no wonder your beloved pooch is inactive when he will not eat healthily. Here is how food affects your dog's mood and behavior.

Unbalanced diet

Several health problems stem from feeding your pup a poorly-balanced diet. This may lead to other behavioral problems you usually won’t encounter. For example, a dog suffering from a urinary tract disorder due to his diet can become unusually stressed and irritable because of the pain and discomfort. The body is a complex place where several biochemical reactions are happening. Be sure your pup only eats well-balanced high-quality dog food to achieve and maintain better health.

Inadequate amount of food

If your dog is not receiving enough food and becomes hungry, he can have disruptive behaviors such as scavenging and eating feces. Canines who aren’t satisfied with their diet because it lacks certain nutrients can result in a condition called pica. This refers to a dog’s avid want to eat non-food items like soil and plants.

No to free feeding

Free feeding which refers to the practice of feeding a pet once a day as well as leaving food out all day is not recommended unless advised by the vet. Imagine how your dog will feel if he can only eat once a day and keep nibbling on similar high-calorie food all day. The standard feeding schedule for dogs is two to three times per day depending on his breed. Ask your veterinarian to determine how regularly you should feed your pooch. Frequently, feeding routine adjustments paired with the best exercise like playing inside a pet playpen can improve the overall behavior of a canine.

Pet food ingredients

The ingredients of the food you give your dog can affect his behavior in several ways. For example, the fatty acid DHA can increase mental alertness in puppies. Actually, according to research studies, some antioxidants are good brain food, particularly for senior dogs. Older dogs who received antioxidant-enriched diets were able to learn complicated tasks compared to those who did not. It is revealed that older dogs on a healthy diet were less likely to undergo age-related behavioral changes associated with cognitive decline. pet food ingredients

Dogs with aggression show improvement with low-protein foods.

Studies on the effect of nutrition on canine aggression focus initially on fear aggression and dominance aggression. Dogs with fear aggression have shown huge improvement with lower protein food. More essential than the amount of protein in the food of dogs is the amount of tryptophan he gets. Tryptophan is an important amino acid found in protein and is essential for the production of serotonin, which stabilizes the mood of your dog. Dogs with dominance aggression show improvement with either lower protein food and tryptophan supplementation to their high protein food, though tryptophan supplements help dogs with fear aggression as well. The Animal Medical Center of Southern California hypothesizes that dog foods too high in protein are producing an over-abundance of amino acids. The amino acids are choking out the tryptophan a similar way weeds choke out grass.

Some ingredient types can cause hyperactivity.

Hyper dogs are often fed foods that contain a disproportionate amount of cereal grains such as wheat, corn, or cornmeal compared to animal-based protein. Carbohydrates such as grains and starches create spikes in blood sugar levels of dogs. Dog food containing more than 35% carbohydrates will interfere with the amino acids' amount the dog is eating and inhibit his brain function which triggers the out-of-control hyperactivity. Since he is eating a low ratio and protein to grain, tryptophan levels are lowered and therefore less serotonin is produced to calm your dog down.

These dog-food ingredients may be problematic

The Animal Medical Center expresses concerns that other additives in dog food are affecting canine behavior, specifically aggression but there is not enough scientific research conducted to conclusively support this. Their worry is based on contact with dogs in their clinic. As per Animal Medical Center, problematic ingredients are foods using soy as a protein. Since it’s a plant-based protein and not animal-based, it’s lacking in some of the amino acids important for serotonin production. Furthermore, soy contains plant estrogen, which is believed to cause hormonal imbalances in dogs thus triggering aggression and hyperactivity. Other ingredients that are suspected to create behavioral problems are artificial preservatives and food coloring.

Artificial Additives Causing Hyperactive Behaviors

Several people feed their dog a low-quality brand of kibble laden with artificial additives. The kinds of behavior that these dogs can demonstrate range from hyperactive behavior, a lack of concentrate on anything for long, high levels of reactivity towards people, dogs, and their environment. Eliminating them from a low-quality diet and placing those dogs on food that is precisely free from any additives instantly can improve the situation and the poor behavior. 

Artificial Additives Causing Lethargic Behaviors

Also if the dog is overweight, lethargic then as a result, he can have low energy levels and a poor wish to please. This is accompanied by physical symptoms like dry skin, scurfy coat, bad breath or teeth, and loose stools. Several of these symptoms may be alleviated by ensuring that your dog is fed high-quality food, which helps restore the natural balance of dog both in terms of its behavior, and the physical symptoms mentioned above. It’s a real pleasure to see how a dog can change for the best as a result of an improved diet and to see how the relationship can improve the dog and owner.

The Benefits of Good Nutrition in Dogs

Feeding your dog, a diet with a careful balance of nutrients is a great option for canines with behavioral issues. By doing so, you are promoting stable blood sugar levels instead of glucose troughs and peaks, thereby minimizing energy surges. This has a positive effect on a serotonin of dog (the happy hormone) level which helps improve training response and concentration.


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