Owning an aggressive dog can be an incredibly stressful experience. With unfortunate stories in the news all the time about dogs attacking people and having to be put down, owners of dogs with aggression problems often live in constant fear that their pet will go too far and be taken away from them, or seriously hurt someone.
Like almost all dog behaviours, aggression is by no means something that is unavoidable. Proper training can be a huge help, although you may have to pay to take your dog to behaviour classes if you want the most effective results. However, one of the things you can do with ease is make sure your dog is well-fed.
This is not just a case of feeding them a lot of food. The nutrients that your dog consumes can have a huge effect on their mood, and sometimes simply changing your dog’s diet can make the difference between an aggressive, angry mood and a calm, placid one. In conjunction with training, proper diet can help cure a dog’s aggressive tendencies.
The first step is to take as much control over your dog’s diet as possible. You need to know exactly what nutrients are being consumed by your dog, and that means choosing a brand of food that can give you the most information about what they are being fed. A product such as Wellbeloved dog food will tell you exactly what you are feeding your pet.
Next, work out why your dog is being aggressive and what is causing them to become agitated and angry. This is not always important, but in some cases it can go a long way towards calming your dog down.
For example, while in most cases reducing the amount of protein that your dog eats will not have much of an effect, it can be very useful if your dog has become territorial out of fear. If your dog is noticeably anxious when it meets other dogs or people, and that triggers their aggression, then it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of protein in their diet.
In most other cases, it is a much better idea to ensure your dog gets a good supply of animal protein. This means making sure the premium dog food you are feeding them contains meat, and not meat byproducts.
Dogs are carnivores, and therefore their bodies and metabolisms are based on digesting high-quality animal protein. If dogs do not get enough of this essential nutrient, their bodies will turn to the carbohydrates in their diet to gain energy. However, this is not an efficient form of nutrition for dogs, and it causes their blood sugar levels to rise and fall.
Just like in humans, this causes mood swings. A sign of this is often that your dog seems almost bipolar with its moods, being sweet and loving sometimes but barking, growling and even snapping at you and other people.
Feeding dogs a good amount of high-quality animal protein their blood sugar to stay stable, and therefore keeps their mood consistent and also helps them to focus. You should feed your dog some carbohydrates, but they should not make up any more than 35 per cent of the animal’s diet. Also, avoid any dog foods that are based on grains rather than animal products.
Another key nutrient that your dog needs in their diet is fat. Obviously, this needs to be done with care so as not to negatively affect your dog’s health in other ways, by causing obesity. However, you should make sure your dog consumes a good amount of fat in order to keep them calm.
Fat contains a chemical called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). If a dog has low levels of this chemical in their blood, then it can cause aggression in a similar way to low blood sugar. It is important that your dog gets their supply of DHA from animal fats, not plants as dogs’ digestive systems cannot convert plant oils into DHA very well.
In addition, DHA helps dogs to focus and learn quicker. This in turn improves their mood, as they are less likely to become scared or confused by events around them. Fat also helps dogs feel fuller, and therefore less irritable. Fish is an excellent source of healthy fats rich in DHA, so feel free to add it to the diet of aggressive dogs.
These dietary tips are good ways of using your pet’s premium dog food to affect their mood for the better. Diet alone is not going to turn a dog from an aggressive and irritable animal into a sweet and loving pet. However, it will make the necessary training much easier, and help make your dog happier.
Written by: Hannah