How a fresh food diet helps with your dog’s behaviour

fresh dog food behaviour

You know how good you feel when you eat a healthy, balanced diet – the same goes for our puppers. A fresh food diet can help with your dog’s skin, coat, gut, energy levels and general long-term health – and it can have a positive effect on their behaviour as well.

So, how can a complete and balanced diet help with your pupper’s behaviour?

A complete and balanced diet helps to fuel your pupper by meeting their nutritional needs and nourishing them from the inside out. Ensuring your pupper is chowing down on optimal portions of protein, carbohydrates, omegas, and amino acids will ultimately assist with their overall health, with these dietary essentials the building blocks of a healthy diet and gut.

If your pup is eating an overly processed or unbalanced diet, such as kibble, the high sugar content can influence their sense of wellbeing, behaviour, and ability to concentrate. Research by Dog Risk also indicates that dogs that are fed kibble have elevated levels of metabolic stress and systemic inflammation.

When your pup has health issues they can become irritated and stressed, just like humans. Itchy skin, gut issues such as irritable bowel and pancreatitis, urinary issues and food intolerances are all classic culprits.

How fresh food can impact your pupper’s anxiety and mood

Scientists now know that gut bacteria produces chemicals that communicate with the brain via nerves and hormones. This is called the gut-brain axis. Many of the crucial chemicals and hormones used by the brain and the nervous system are produced in the gut. These include serotonin, dopamine and GABA.  So, it’s no surprise that an off balance microbiome may cause anxiety and behavioural problems.

Serotonin has been dubbed the ‘happy chemical’ because it contributes to a sense of emotional wellbeing. It is estimated that 70% of this chemical is made in the gut. Dopamine is another important feel-good chemical that supports motor function, mood, decision-making and helps to control other hormones. It is estimated that 50% of dopamine is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. GABA regulates stress, anxiety and sleep patterns and is modulated by bacteria in the gut microbiome.

A fresh, high protein, low carbohydrate diet enriched with colourful vegetables and omegas, will help to balance your dog’s gut bacteria so that these vital chemicals and hormones can work at their optimum level.

Keep reading to find out how amino acids, omegas and amino acids play a huge role in your pupper’s diet and overall health and happiness.

Amino acids

Research into amino acids, such as tryptophan and tryosine, has proven them to be essential to canine health. Tryptophan supports the modulation of mood and can influence behaviours related to anxiety, stress, fear and aggression. Animals who consume high tryptophan diets have reduced instances of aggression. Low tyrosine levels can also influence stress and aggression.

Omegas

Diets rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids like DHA are known to have positive effects on dogs, in particular their learning behaviours. If you want your pupper to be more receptive to training then it’s worth keeping this in mind.

Carbohydrates

Like humans, dogs appear to experience an energy slump after meals if their diet is heavy in high-GI carbohydrates, most notably kibble. This follows with a spike in blood sugar levels. This type of diet creates a short-term fullness followed by a sharp increase and then decrease in glucose levels. It’s just how humans feel if they have overdone it on sugary snacks!

Diets higher in protein with an emphasis on more complex low-GI carbohydrates encourage a steady flow of energy, as it takes your pup longer to digest and absorb the nutrients. Ultimately though, this creates a happier, more content and emotionally balanced pupper.

Lyka: go fresh for a happy, healthy pupper

Our fresh meals are high in protein, low GI, and will keep your pupper healthy from the inside out. Carefully formulated by our in-house vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, each of our five recipes contain a colourful mix of vegetables and superfoods, as well as optimal ratios of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to help maintain your pupper’s health and happiness.