5 Ways Diet Can Affect A Dog’s Behaviour

5 Ways Diet Can Affect A Dog’s Behaviour

Dogs are among the most popular pet choices for humans. They’re human-friendly, polite, and can be the most loyal companions you could ever have. They may not be able to speak the language of their parents, but their actions certainly say a lot about their loyalty and care towards their owners. They’re willing to protect you at any cost and keep you safe from any danger. In return, as a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to give back to them by taking care of them the way they deserve it.  

It’s your responsibility to give them a comfortable shelter and complete vaccines, as well as ensure that they have proper hygiene and they’re consuming a healthy diet that’s tailored for their specific needs.

Dogs differ when it comes to their nutritional needs. These can be affected by several factors, such as breed, size, age, weight, level of activity, and other special needs. That’s why before purchasing any dog food, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian first and hear their recommendations.   

Whatever you decide to feed your dog can influence your pet’s behaviour. The whole selection process can be complex as specific knowledge and expertise are needed for you to better understand your dog’s needs. It’s also best if, as a dog owner, you know enough information about your dog’s diet and how it affects their health and behaviour.  Read on to learn more.

1. Hyperactive Behaviours

Have you noticed your dog suddenly becoming too hyperactive?  That may have to do with all the disproportionate servings of cereal grain you’re mostly feeding them instead of animal-based protein. Dogs aren’t recommended to eat too many carbohydrates as it can spike up their blood sugar levels, leading to hyperactivity. Carbohydrates for dogs are mostly found in cornmeal or wheatmeal.  

However, there are also dog food products sold in the market that contain over 35% of carbohydrates, which is already enough to wreck your dog’s amino acids and trigger an out-of-control hyperactivity. Since your dog lacks protein, their tryptophan levels are also reduced, making it hard for them to calm down.

Thus, it’s important that you consult your vet about the right foods for your pooch, or you can visit Native Pet and other similar sites and check out organic dog food loaded with protein instead of the usual carbohydrates. 

Make sure to avoid feeding your dog with low-quality dog food filled with too much sugar, salt, and carbohydrates. Doing so can further help your pet to become a calmer, and a more peaceful and focused dog.

2. Stressed Behaviours

Perhaps, you’ve been feeding your dog with too many treats, which have very little nutritional value. You either feed them with goodies that are too sweet or too salty for your dog. Eventually, such poor habit will lead your dog to suffer from a urinary tract disorder, which could affect their mood and behaviour. Your dog can become easily stressed and irritable due to the biochemical reactions happening in their body, as well as the discomfort brought by the disease.

As the pain subsides, your dog’s mood may soon return to normal, but that doesn’t mean you should be contented. Once your dog shows signs of mood and behavioural changes, and loss of appetite, it’s a big indicator that there’s something wrong with the diet you’re giving them.

3. Aggressive Behaviours

Like humans, dogs differ in personality. For instance, dog breeds like German Shepherds, Pitbulls, and Doberman Pinschers are known to be naturally aggressive, especially when they feel threatened, scared, or in danger. Meanwhile, there are also dog species who are calm and don’t show aggressiveness easily unless they’re hurt. Some of the calmer breeds include the Greyhounds, St. Bernards, Great Danes, Pugs, and Labrador Retrievers. Such breeds are often preferred by families and children due to their peaceful nature. 

As for the aggressive dogs, such behaviour may not be entirely changed, but it can be lessened if you feed them with low-protein food. Tryptophan is a vital amino acid that’s primarily found in protein and is helpful for your dog’s serotonin production, which can help stabilize their mood and aggressiveness. There are also aggressive dogs who are given tryptophan supplements instead of only depending on the low-protein food.  

4. Lethargic Behaviours

Have you noticed your dog suddenly becoming overweight and sluggish?  You may think that your dog is only naturally tired, but the truth is that it has to do with the food you’re feeding them. Dogs that are overweight and are always sleepy may be caused by all the artificial additives you’re feeding him. You can find these additives in food that are filled with colouring, preservatives, and flavouring. As a result, your dog has lesser energy to be physically active, and you’ll mostly find them sleeping or sitting in a corner for long periods. 

Furthermore, their sedentary and lethargic behaviour may also be accompanied by symptoms such as scurfy coat, bad breath, loose stools, and dry skin. But, the good news is that your dog’s lethargic behaviour can still be treated as long as you start feeding them with high-quality, healthy food that’s rich in protein and less in artificial additives.

5. Disruptive Behaviours

Most experts recommend that dogs must be fed at least twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening. There are also dogs who are fed only once a day, but that only depends on whether your vet has recommended it. However, if you keep on feeding your dog an inadequate amount of food, it’ll start affecting their behaviour, too.  

If your dog isn’t getting enough food and is left to feel hungry for long periods, they may start showing disruptive behaviours, such as eating faeces, scavenging, and wrecking all garbage bags they find to search for food. Some dogs who aren’t satisfied with their diet due to the lack of nutrients can also resort to disruptive behaviours. They’ll start eating non-food items, like plants, soil, and plastic.

To prevent this from happening, it’s your responsibility to feed your pet with proper nutrients and follow the eating schedule your vet has advised you.

Bottom Line

If your dog exhibits signs of behavioural problems, like any of the ones mentioned above, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian before switching up anything in their diet. Nutrition and food quality can significantly affect your dog’s behaviour, alongside other contributing factors, such as lifestyle and the living environment. Now that you know how massive nutrition’s impact is on your pet, make sure you start feeding them with a well-balanced diet to keep them both happy and healthy.