How is Dog Behavior Linked to Nutrition?
There have been many debates around questions like: “Can dog food affect the behavior of the dogs?” and “Can dog food make dogs more aggressive?” The simple answer to these important questions is that it’s not the food itself that really affects the behavior of the dogs but the nutrients that are contained within it.
In short, if you want to improve the behavior of your dogs, you shouldn’t really be looking for specific dog food brands. You have to focus on the specific nutrients they contain and the proportions of each nutrient in the food instead.
How are dog nutrition and behavior connected?
The nutrients your pup eats affects the brain function of your dog, which determines its behavior. If there aren’t enough nutrients in your dog’s body, the brain might not be able to control the neuro system causing your dog to be erratic, hyperactive and potentially aggressive.
How will a bad diet affect my dog’s behavior?
- The most common dog behaviors caused by poor diet are:
- Excessive barking
- Uncontrollable biting
The last behavior is perhaps the most precarious and worrying of all, as it may directly endanger the people around your dog as well as other dogs, pets and animals and especially children.
The benefits of a good diet for dogs
A dog with a proper, healthy and nutritious diet, containing the right amount of nutrients tends to be calmer, more relaxed and a lot more pleasant to be around. This is particularly important when children will be around. This doesn’t just remove the aforementioned erratic behaviors, but it also makes a dog more focused and attentive, thus making it more trainable and safer to be around.
However, it is worth noting that proper nutrition is not a replacement for proper training for your dog. Rather, it is something to be run alongside good training and habits. The healthiest dogs however, can still sometimes be the most unruly ones as they will have more energy to use. Nutrition and training should always go hand and hand.
What are the necessary nutrients to ensure good behavior?
The first nutrient that you should supply your dog is a probiotic. While it may not directly affect the behavior of dogs, it helps them digest their food properly. It will aid their metabolism, making sure that all nutrients needed by the body are properly and efficiently absorbed.
Aside from this, fatty acids can be really beneficial for dogs. Omega 3 and 6 are proven to improve brain development for dogs. They don’t just provide them the energy to be active, but they help them be more alert and focused
Omega 3 and 6 also enhance the dogs’ skin and coat condition while boosting their immunity. Since they are less vulnerable to diseases and infections, they are less susceptible to lethargy and irritability.
Protein is one of the essential nutrients among animals as it helps muscle development. Not only does it make dogs stronger and bigger, but it also improves the development of body organs such as kidneys, liver, and heart.
But not all proteins work the same way. In order to see its health benefits to your dogs, you should look for the kind of protein that has the essential amino acids needed by the body. These protein-based amino acids can be found in multivitamins for dogs.
Some of the other nutrients that you should look for to ensure good health and proper behavior of your dogs are glucosamine for mobility, yucca for bone strength, Vitamin C for immunity, and Vitamin E for cell regeneration.
So the next time your dog becomes unruly, you might want to consider a vitamin for him instead of a leash!
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard