Let’s talk about how the food that you give your dogs affects their behavior which in turn affects training. Many of the dog foods out there have ingredients that you would be surprised at, how dangerous they actually are. I took an example ingredients from a popular dog food manufacturer (did not name) and will talk about some of the dangerous ingredients and also what the other ingredients can cause in their behavior.
Chicken Meal: Well when it says meal after meat. This could be anything from the animal, not to be gross but in reality it’s leftovers rendered, cooked down to remove the fat and well that’s what it is. Sorry to be gross but that’s what it is.
Soybean Meal and other Soy ingredients: Soy ingredients are listed 3 times. While soy may be healthy for people, understanding exactly where the soybean meal comes from is where the investigation needs to happen. There has been a lot of controversy with soybeans and in the US a lot of it is GMO. “The soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or ‘antinutrients.’ They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.” (Cinderella’s Dark Side, Sally Fallon & Mary G Enig, PhD)
Corn: So Corn ingredients are listed here 3 times – Corn Gluten meal, Corn germ Meal, Ground Yellow Corn. Why is Corn troubling. Well Corn can cause itchy skin but also hyperactive behavior. So you know your dog that is acting hyperactive all day and you can’t figure out why? How much corn are they getting? It is not conducive to a calm state of mind for your dog.
Caramel Color: Why do you need caramel color in your dog food or any coloring? They don’t care what color is. Really it should just turn out brown if it has meat ingredients but with all the corn and soy it seems that they make up the most of this food.
Copper Sulfate: While dogs need copper, it has been very controversial using copper sulfate in dog food. Copper sulfate is used typically used to kill fungus and bacteria in crops. While it has been around for many years, there has been debate about the usage in foods especially in pet foods. Some pet food companies have started using other safer copper supplements. Per the National Pesticide Information Center “Signs reported in cats and dogs after ingestion of copper pennies include diminished appetite, depression, vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain.20,21 Some breeds of dogs are particularly sensitive to copper poisoning due to a genetic defect. These include dalmatians, bedlington, west highland white, and skye terriers, in which ingestion of copper results in weakness, anorexia and vomiting.22 Older dogs may develop liver damage and excess fluid in the peritoneal cavity.”
Now some people may say, those all natural foods and dog treats are expensive and not in my price range. I get it. I have been there. I am not telling you to go out and buy the most expensive food and dog treats. What I am saying, is take a look at the ingredients that are in the food now, do your own research and if you want to go raw, make your own meals (sometimes my dogs eat better than I do), or do subtle changes in brands that is up to you. The first step is understand that the ingredients are affecting your dogs behavior whether it is hyperactive or fear related and how you can help your pets. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.