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Can Your Pet’s Diet Affect Their Current Behavior?

Domestic cats eat pet food on the floor from bowls

We all know that a proper diet is essential for our pet’s overall health. But did you know that your pet’s diet can also affect the way they behave?

Indeed, your pet’s diet has a significant impact on their behavior. Their overall diet has an impact on the precursors in their brain, which happens to affect their behavior. It’s also a given fact that if our body doesn’t have a proper diet and doesn’t receive enough nutrients, our brain and nervous system will not function really well.

The same goes for our pets as well. You might notice that your pet becomes inactive when he doesn’t eat well. Here’s how your pet’s diet can affect their behavior.

1. Not Enough Amount Of Food

If your pet is not eating enough food and becomes hungry, he may develop disruptive behaviors such as eating out of the garbage or also known as scavenging. Pets, especially dogs, who are not satisfied with what they eat because it lacks nutrition can develop into a more serious condition called pica.

Pica is an eating disorder where they eat non-food items such as clay, soil, dirt, and plants. Just like how training affects your dog, the amount of food they eat every day will affect their mental, physical, and their behaviour.

2. Poor Diet 

You have to know that a poorly-balanced diet can lead to multiple health issues on your pet. Aside from that, it will also cause your pet to develop certain behavioral issues that you may not have seen before. For example, your pet has developed a urinary tract disorder after eating some food and becomes easily stressed and irritable because of pain and discomfort he suffers from.

A healthy overall well-being relies on a proper-balanced diet to keep them going on. So, make sure your pet only eats a balanced and proper diet to ensure that they are healthy at all times. Remember, even though Garfield enjoyed lasagna, it isn’t a good choice for your pet.

3. Free Feeding

Free feeding is the practice of making food available for pets all day. This is definitely very convenient for pet owners as they no longer have to stick to a time schedule when to feed their pets. However, free feeding is not an ideal way of looking after your pet’s diet and it can also lead to stress and sometimes, aggressive behavior.

Free feeding is also not recommended for households who have multiple types of pets. This can create a hostile pet environment without the owners realizing it. Some of your more assertive pets such as big dogs may intimidate your smaller pets into surrendering their food.

Food diet for pets

You have to know the right number of feeding times for your pet in a day. Most pets eat 2-3 times a day. There are also pets that can feel hungry all the time or develop a lack of appetite because their diet probably contains little nutritional value.

4. Food Ingredients

The effect on their behavior of the ingredients of the food you give your pets can vary. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) as known as the fatty acid, which is usually found on most pet foods, has shown the ability to increase their mental sharpness. Pet foods that are rich in DHA can help you train your pets easily.

Some antioxidants are considered to be excellent brain stimulants, especially for older pets. An antioxidant-rich diet can also help reduce the risk of olders pets suffering from behavioral changes associated with cognitive dysfunction such as disorientation and decreased interest in social interaction. Pets who have an antioxidant-enriched diet have also shown to have better memories. They are able to recognize their family members more easily than those pets who have an unbalanced diet. Read the label for your pet’s food and if there are ingredients you’re not sure about, ask your veterinarian.

5. Good Diet Stimulates Good Behavior

Feeding your dogs or cats with a diet that has a good balance of nutrients is perfect for pets that have behavioral problems. If you keep on giving your pets a well-balanced diet, it will also help improve their blood sugar levels to back to normal which will then minimize their sudden energy surges or hyperactivity. This can also have a positive effect on your pet’s serotonin (so-called happy hormone) levels which will help improve their concentration and response during training.

Aside from stimulating good behavior and mood, a well-balanced diet can also help keep your pet’s immune system and metabolism function normally. The nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your pets get from a healthy diet will also help promote normal cellular function to make them healthy at all times.

6. Good Diet Sets Up Your Pet Towards A Good And Healthy Life

Many of the animals from shelters have poor feeding histories. Some of them have been eating from scraps and garbage just to survive. There’s a saying that goes “we are what we eat” and the same goes also for animals.

Bad diet can affect not just our pet’s health and energy levels, but also their outlook on life and their behavior. This is why when we get our pets from a shelter, we must do our best to always feed them with a healthy diet. This is your chance to set them up towards a good and healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

Summing It All Up

Choosing to be a pet owner means doing what’s always best for them. This also means that you must never take for granted the food that you give to your pet. Because what you feed them now will definitely affect or completely change their behavior. The best way to ensure that you give the proper balanced diet that your pet needs is to go to a veterinarian for regular examinations and to discuss their dietary needs.

Any sudden behavioral change may indicate that your pet is currently experiencing a nutritional or health issue that must be addressed immediately. Be wary of the signs and symptoms of these behavioral changes such as lack of appetite, aggressiveness, hyperactive or being inactive, stressed out, etc. Once you notice these signs, get an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so your pet can be examined.

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