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 may find surprising. Such as how dangerous they actually are. Below are an example ingredients from a popular dog food manufacturer (did not name) and will talk about some of the dangerous ingredients. Also what some of the other ingredients can cause in their behavior.
Popular food Manufacturer description of one of their dog foods and the ingredients on their website.
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: Various 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. If you know your dog 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: 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.”
There some people who suggest that all natural foods and dog treats are expensive and not in their price range. I get it. My job is to educate, not go out and buy the most expensive food and dog treats. However, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the ingredients that are in the food now, do your own research. If you can find a diet that may work better for your dog, it may be worth it.
Diets can include going 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 contact me.