“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
- Mark Twain
Diet is crucially important when it comes to dog behaviour. Ingredients, protein levels and intolerances all have a part to play. The problem is that there are so many brands all telling you that this brand is “nutritionally balanced”, “nature’s finest”, etc. But behind all these marketing terms, lurk some pretty nasty surprises.
This section is pretty long and involved, and there’s plenty to remember, so try not to get too overwhelmed by it all. It’s important to know what your dog is eating, and how it affects their behaviour.
Just because something is labelled “Britain’s Favourite Dog Food”, or “Best Selling Brand” it doesn’t mean it’s a good food. The majority of people do not look at the packaging or the labels, and just assume that the contents of the dog food they feed is appropriate. On the other hand, people have become very aware of checking packets of human food, checking the ingredients, additives and any allergy advice. If it is important to do that with human food, it’s vital you do it with your dogs’ food. The effect a food can have on your dog and their health, happiness and temperament cannot be understated!
Unfortunately, not everyone is convinced. If we had a pound for every time we have had someone confidently declare that the food their dog is on isn’t the problem, we’d be rich! I’ve had people who are feeding their dog wholly inappropriate food, but refuse point blank to change it.
“It’s not the food – he’s always been on this food!”
That’s a favourite statement we hear, which completely avoids the possibility that the recipe has changed, or that the dog has developed an allergy or intolerance in the exact same way that we as humans can develop an allergy after eating a food for years with no problems.
It seems they’d rather think their dog is a nightmare than consider the possibility that food makes a huge difference to behaviour. Our view is that unless you do make the change onto a good food, how can you be sure?
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