Does your dog have behavior problems? I don’t mean the ordinary things any dog owner can expect, such as a puppy who isn’t yet housetrained, a dog who loves to jump up on you when you return home, or other things of this sort. But if your dog does things which appear to you to be abnormal, you may be concerned or even worried.
Perhaps the most common way to tackle a dog or puppy behavior problem that seems serious is to do some training targeted at the particular issue, and also some general dog training as well. You can learn how to do this from local classes or trainers, books, DVDs, or the internet. If you work at this and if you have some luck, you might solve the problem this way.
A good next step is a vet exam to rule out all sorts of common or obscure ailments that you might never think of yourself. And if the vet should find that your dog is experiencing pain somewhere in his body, taking care of that could solve the behavior problem.
Consider how much exercise your dog gets. Is it really enough? In today’s world, few dog owners give their dogs enough exercise. If you and your buddy go out for long walks together, chances are you will both benefit. You may notice significant diminishment in behavior problems if your dog is tired out in this way.
Still, all too often, none of these solutions will really take care of the original undesirable behavior the dog was showing.
One puppy I know about had been trained, examined, and exercised thoroughly, yet he continued to attack and even bite the human members of his family. The mother, who emailed me that she was at her wits ends, after some months did figure out what was going on: if there was beet pulp in whatever commercial dog food the puppy ate, he would attack. When she fed a dog food without this fairly common ingredient, his attacks ended completely. They had been caused by an allergy.
An allergy to beet pulp isn’t at all that common, but the point to keep in mind is that dog food can and often does have an effect on dog behavior. We often think this way about people; for example, it’s well known that when children eat a lot of sugar, they may be hyperactive. But most people don’t think this way regarding their dogs.
Don’t rely on your veterinarian to have the best information about dog food and behavior. Veterinary school doesn’t teach it, and the dog foods that they sell are not necessarily the best.
The good news for dogs is that some dog breeders and veterinarians have been experimenting and keeping records for many years. They have learned that dog health and behavior is enhanced by a homemade dog food diet, and you can follow their suggestions for what to do.
If you think about feeding a homemade diet to your dog, you may wonder if you will need to become an expert in nutrition. No, you won’t… you can draw on the work done by these people. For example, one well-known breeder has seen the longevity and the behavior of her dogs improve over the thirty-plus years she has been feeding a more natural diet.
Especially if your dog is showing any behavioral problems, it’s well worth your while to try out homemade dog food!
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