Can diet affect a dog’s behavior?

Can diet affect a dog’s behavior?

Diet has a significant impact on overall health and behavior.  The nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the diet directly influence the brain which in turn affects behavior, mood and cognitive function.

Many of us are familiar with the phrase ‘You are what you eat’ and that goes for dog behavior too! With dogs, as with humans, the answer lies in the gut.  The most important and often forgotten about organ in our bodies.   The gut contains microbes that directly impact energy, mood, happiness and concentration. 

Let’s take a closer look at the chemicals found within the gut:

  • Opiates – responsible for happiness
  • Dopamine – responsible for motivation
  • Acetyl chloride – responsible for concentration
  • GABA – calms and relaxes

Up to 90% of your dog’s serotonin is in the gut’s protective lining known as the epithelium. Among other things, serotonin is responsible for the balance of mood.

It is now easy to see why a healthy gut is so important. A dog that is lacking in these vital chemicals will struggle with mood, excitability, stress, depression, anxiety and focus.  With the correct gut health, these chemicals will create a calm, relaxed, happy, trainable dog.  

Gut health relies on good bacteria and feeding a raw diet made up of quality meats, bones and veggies provides the correct acidic environment for these good guys to thrive. 

As kibble is highly processed, the carbohydrate is quick to digest. As well as this the kibble, being so small, doesn’t trigger the production of stomach acid in the same way as a natural, fresh meal. The PH in the gut rises (becomes less acidic) the gut wall becomes weaker and may leak and the bad bacteria are able to multiply and flourish.    The outward signs of this are a dog that is anxious, sore, irritable, unsettled and unfocused.

It is now clear to see how behavior and diet are inextricably linked. 

By feeding a raw diet you will be providing your dog with the essential nutrients it needs to have a healthy functioning gut and brain.  The essential building blocks for a well trained dog.

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