Monthly Behaviour Tip
Nutrition has an enormous impact on the health of your pets. But have you considered how it may affect their behaviour as well?
Firstly the feeding times and method in which food is delivered, can impact the way your pet behaves around food (dog or human food). When even small amounts of food is given while you are eating or snacking yourself, your pet will learn to be close by during these times so to not miss out. This may lead to begging behaviours when around food, especially when the food is withheld from your pet. Similarly when your pet is only fed once a day, he/she may gain hunger prior to feed time, leading to scavenging between feed times or protective behaviours when food is present.
What you feed can also have a huge influence on your pet’s behaviour in various ways. High quality foods containing the fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been shown to increase the mental acuity in puppies and kittens. Meaning your new family member will be more trainable. Similarly, certain antioxidants found in high quality foods, are also considered ‘brain food’ for senior dogs and cats. Meaning your old family member may be less likely to suffer age-related behavioural changes associated with cognitive decline, such as excessive licking, patterned pacing and inability to complete complex tasks.
An unbalanced diet can lead to health issues which can cause your pet to be irritable, stressed or show aggressive or self-protective behaviours from pain or discomfort. High calorie foods, like some human foods and dog treats can lead to obesity in your pet. Obesity has a direct impact on how your pet feels and therefore how he/she behaves. Overweight pets tire easily and can be grumpy due to fatigue or aches and pains. Joint pain is common in obese pets and can lead to pain induced aggression.
The best way to keep your pet both happy and healthy is to go to your veterinarian for regular examinations and routinely discuss dietary needs with them. Any sudden mood change in your pet may indicate an underlying nutritional, behavioural, or health issue that must be addressed.
Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.
Archived previous tips:
June 2020 blog article - Diet
February 2020 blog article - Heart Disease
January 2020 blog article - Summer parasites
December 2019 blog article - Christmas and NYE Festivities
November 2019 blog article - Parasite Control
October 2019 blog article - Toilet training
September 2019 blog article - Skin & allergies
August 2019 blog article - Lets talk muzzles
July 2019 blog article - How diet and obesity affects behaviour
June 2019 blog article - Teaching old dogs new tricks
May 2019 blog article - Arthritis
April 2019 blog article - Behaviour
March 2019 blog article – Behaviour
February 2019 blog article – Separation anxiety
January 2019 blog article – Summer Survival / Ears
December 2018 blog article – Christmas and holiday safety
November 2018 blog article - Vaccinations & Parasite Control
October 2018 blog article - Cat behaviour
September 2018 blog article - Skin & allergies
August 2018 blog article - Dental Month
July 2018 blog article - Cat Obesity
June 2018 blog article - Winter time
May 2018 - Senior Pets / Eye Care
April 2018 - Endocrine Disease
March 2018 blog article - Easter camping
February 2018 blog article - Heart health