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Will raw dog food make my dog bloodthirsty?

Greg Van Praagh
October 27, 2020

Will raw dog food make my dog bloodthirsty? 

We’ve all seen first-hand how a dog’s diet can affect their behaviour and that some treats and dinner plates get them wired with excitement. However, a question we often get asked is if a raw dog food diet will make your dog bloodthirsty or aggressive. The short answer is no. This myth is a harmful stereotype that stops pawrents from giving their pets a much-needed healthy diet that can improve their behaviour.

The bloodthirsty rumour comes from the notion that a raw diet will increase protein intake and therefore trigger an ancient carnal instinct in your dog to kill and chase down wildlife. A dog’s desire to run after wildlife and hunt is sparked simply when they see the movement of an animal. Through domestication of dogs, hunting and killing are no longer needed, but the prey drive remains - which is why dogs still play with and chase balls and toys. Some breeds of dogs do have a higher prey-drive, such as hounds or terriers, which can make training against this instinct a lot harder. A raw diet, however, is not the cause of aggression. 

In fact, it’s the opposite…

A raw diet can actually help to stabilise your dog’s temperament. It is made up of natural, fresh ingredients that provide more nutrients proven to improve your woof’s general health and wellbeing.  Kibble and processed dog food can be full of processed meat, additives and chemicals that are not a healthy part of your fluff’s diet. Protein is needed as the natural building blocks in every mammal’s body, for optimal function, to build and repair organs, muscles, hair, nails, skin and blood. 

It’s much more likely to be the excessive amounts of sugars in the carbohydrates from processed dog food, as well as additives and preservatives, that can cause hyperactivity which can lead to aggression. Many pawrents have noted a considerable increase in calm behaviour once switching to a more natural diet, as well as better-smelling breath and a softer and cleaner coat. Raw dog food contains all of the goodness of source-to-bowl meaty bones that means your pet won’t have the desire to go out and hunt for meat.  

Our raw recipes are designed to mimic what dogs and their ancestors would have eaten in the wild and what they were evolved to eat!

This includes our complete range, which follows the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) principles: a high proportion of different types of fresh, raw meat, such as is found in the wild, and some fresh vegetables and fruit. Our 80*10*10 range contains just meat, bone and offal and is based on the prey model of feeding: 100 animal product. Find out more about the BARF and prey feeding models here.

Importantly, our food contains no grains, cereals or fillers, and no added synthetic vitamins and minerals. Just nutrient-dense meat in its raw state.

Will raw dog food make my dog aggressive


Why else could my dog be aggressive?

If your pup is still displaying aggressive behaviour despite having their nutritional needs met, it could be for a variety of reasons:

  • Medical conditions - if your dog suddenly exhibits aggressive behaviour, they should be examined by a veterinarian. An examination will rule out the following possible conditions: chronic pain, hypothyroidism, seizures and neurological disorders.
  • Deficiencies - a raw diet lacking in essential amino acids can cause aggression. The main trigger is tryptophan, an amino acid needed for normal growth and nitrogen balance. Tryptophan is found in lean muscle meat, which a raw diet abundantly supplies. 
  • Resource Guarding – if your woof fiercely protects their food bowl, it could be due to past experiences of food being taken away from them, which promotes a possessiveness. They may also have had to fight for their dinner, been starved of food or not given enough. Make sure you step away and allow your pup personal space to eat so that they won’t feel that you’re taking food away from them.

Whilst it is entirely normal for a dog - a carnivorous animal - to chase and hunt, it is a behaviour that can be discouraged during the upbringing and training of your pets. The most important thing to note is that a raw diet will not make your dog bloodthirsty. 

If you would like any advice on transitioning your dog to a raw food diet, or help with choosing the best recipes for your woof, our Customer Services team will be delighted to assist. Please give us a call on 01892 770188. Check out our full range of tasty raw recipes here.

Does raw dog food increase aggression

Greg Van Praagh
Benyfit Natural @benyfitnatural @benyfitnatural