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Can Food Affect your Dog’s Behaviour?

Ashleigh Smith
September 10, 2021

One of the most prevalent symptoms of a medical condition is behaviour changes, including aggression, so in this case, a poor diet can be attributed to behaviour changes.  In addition, many low-quality foods also contain chemical additives to keep the food moist, animal by-products, preservatives and grain fillers. Some dogs may have an adverse reaction to these additives, causing a behaviour change.  

In general, corncereals, carbohydrates and basically anything with hidden sugars isn’t good for anybody. Humans synthesise carbohydrates for energy thus it makes up the majority of food group, in the form of rice, bread, oats, pasta etc. Whereas Dogs, rely on protein to synthesize their energy. Canines can eat some form of starches and carbohydrates but in small amountsamounts and can never be fed raw. The dangerous part about feeding your dogs too much simple carbohydrates is the risk of them developing illnesses related to being overweight. The second less obvious reason is that excess glucose (which is broken down from carbohydrates) can cause uneven moods in our dogs, especially if they don’t have any outlet to express it.  

Let’s explore these few food types that we see everyday and which ones may influence sudden reactiveness or aggressive behaviour we sometimes don’t understand. 

Foods that Influence Calmness 

When it comes to keeping your canine friend calm, we first must evaluate on whether our dog is getting the hours of physical exercise they need in a day. If you’ve done all in your power to ensure they are getting as much of a workout to exhaust their minds then maybe these healthy superfoods may help even out their moods: 

  • Blueberries 

A superfood, it is high in fiber, vitamin c and antioxidants, which are stress busters. These also make a good low-calorie treat. 

  • Oily fish 

Examples would be salmon, mackerel and sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that suppress adrenaline production, which is a major factor in cases of anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity. 

  • Sweet potatoes 

Packed with antioxidants, anxiety-reducing benefits and are rich in beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins B6 & C. Sweet potatoes should only be fed cooked. 

  • Pumpkin seeds 

This should only be fed raw. Pumpkin seeds are known to contain neurochemicals in the body and are a source of selenium, a deficiency may cause anxiety or depression. 

A good source of protein and L-tryptophan, which helps your dog produce serotonin; the feelings of happiness and euphoria 

Just like we may sip on a soothing chamomile tea, Chamomile also helps to reduce anxiety and stress in dogs. Valerian and skullcap help to support the natural relaxant pathways within the nervous system to help dogs relax. 

With all these suggestions, it’s also wise to first check with a veterinarian or a behavioural specialist before taking your own actions. Aggressive behaviour or any form of unwanted behaviour may be caused by an internal pain that can’t be seen with the naked eye. 

Ashleigh SmithCommercialisation Manager
In her role working as Benyfit Natural's project commercialisation manager. She works hard behind the scenes, on lots of different projects from packaging compliance to new product development to our imports and export.
Benyfit Natural @benyfitnatural @benyfitnatural