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How Pet Food Can Affect Pet Behavior


As pet owners, we want our pets to live long and healthy lives. Give a pet poor quality food and it can lead to poor health, demonstration of unusual behavioral issues and more veterinary visits. Spending a few more dollars to feed a pet well easily pays owners back. But this is not the bottom line… No one wants their beloved companion animal to suffer needlessly or not have vibrant health. Poor behavior may be related to an inadequate diet. Good quality pet food provides all of the essential proteins, minerals, and nutrients required at the various stages of a pet’s life. Pets with an inadequate diet may demonstrate undesirable behaviors to get additional sustenance, such as rummaging through garbage or stealing food from counters. Give pets a high-quality diet to thrive. Learn more about the relationship between pet food and pet behavior today.

Increase Mental Acuity with the Right Food

Do you want to make it easier to train your pet and learn complex tasks? Certain pet food ingredients, like docosahexaenoic acid or fatty acid DHA, may help with training puppies and kittens. This ingredient has shown positive results with participants in studies, as puppies receiving DHA as part of their diet seemed to quickly pick up desired behaviors compared to the control group. In addition, some antioxidants can serve as “brain food” for senior pets. Research revealed that older dogs on a diet rich with antioxidants were more successful in learning complex tasks. This may lead one to consider those pet foods with DHA or antioxidants can support the mental abilities of dogs throughout various stages of their lives.




Cognitive decline often occurs in older dogs. Certain behaviors may accompany this situation and patterned pacing and excessive licking can accompany cognitive decline. Older dogs in one study who consumed an antioxidant-enriched diet appeared to reduce their likelihood of developing such age-related behavioral changes. Antioxidants may also have helped to participate older dogs display more agility and better recognize family members. According to such research, there may be a positive link showing that an antioxidant-rich diet may decrease the development of certain unusual behaviors as pets age.

Poor Behavior Due to Discomfort

Pets may act out when irritable from a urinary tract disorder. Pet owners may not realize that a poor diet can lead to a urinary condition or digestive issues. As with people, an animal’s systems are complex and require certain key nutrients to function well and ward off preventable health conditions. A sudden change in mood may be due to a health condition or less than optimal diet. You may want to speak to your trusted veterinarian to learn more about which pet foods can best support the needs of your dog or cat. The majority of animal nutritionists suggest high-quality ingredients to ensure a balanced diet and may recommend choosing pet foods without chemical preservatives, unspecified animal by-products or food coloring. Animal-based proteins are complete proteins and offer the full range of essential amino acids needed for good health.

The Right Foods Can Improve Pet Behavior

What are some unwanted conditions or behaviors that may result from an unbalanced diet? Separation anxiety or discomfort may be demonstrated in a dog with a poor diet. A dog who needs more high-quality protein or has an inadequate diet may:

  • Show aggression over food or treats;
  • Steal food from table tops or other surfaces;
  • Escape to find additional sources of food;
  • Consume soil, feces, wood or other substances; and
  • Become hyperactive or difficult to train from a diet too high in corn, corn meal or wheat.