Everyone knows the phrase you are what you eat, well the same goes for your dog. Yes, of course if your dog is eating lots of fatty treats, he too will be high in fat. But did you know that putting the right nutrients in your dogs stomach can make the world of difference when it comes to focused behavior and overall health?
If your dog starts out with minimal nutrition, they can become lethargic, grumpy, or hyper when asked of even the easiest tasks. They are not able to focus properly and can lose concentration or become confused after a short period of time. Continually asking a dog something they cannot mentally grasp can escalate their temperament from confusion into aggression and thus lashing out.
If this sounds familiar, the first thing many trainers look at is diet. With hard-to-manage, unfocused dogs they often find they are consuming foods with extremely high levels of cereals such as wheat, corn or cornmeal. Aggressive, timid or stressed dogs are found to be eating food containing higher levels of incomplete protein which are hard on digestion and can lead to intestinal problems. Common symptoms of these higher levels of incomplete proteins are dry coats that shed heavily.
A simple way to test the food your dog is currently eating is taking a small sample and soaking it in water for approximately 10-15 minutes. If the food swells up and becomes “mushy”, it is composed of mostly cereal. Soft and loose stool, and excessive gas are your dogs way of telling you that they’re not digesting their food properly. If you think your dog is in need of a revised diet, talk to your vet, or local pet food specialist about the best choice.