Did you know your dog training efforts can suffer based on what you feed your pet?
It’s not only possible, but it’s highly likely that your pet’s diet will affect his training success. The reason for this is that your pet’s diet affects his health and a healthy dog has an increased ability to learn, pay attention and regulate his own behavior.
The Role of Nutrition in Your Dog’s Health
Good nutrition will help keep your pet from becoming obese or prevent many types of chronic disease.
Nutrition also plays a more subtle role in your pet’s well-being. An imbalance in his body can cause discomfort that manifests in Fido’s behavior, attention span and learning ability.
Specific nutrients, such as DHA and antioxidants, have been shown in the research to provide a variety of benefits for pet health, improving concentration, memory and neurocognitive development. However, a diet that isn’t nutritionally sound (as based in scientific research), a variety of negative health effects can result.
The Role of Your Pet’s Health in Dog Training
When your dog feels good, you will see that reflected in his behavior.
Good health helps your pet concentrate and focus, both of which are critical for the dog training process. He will have greater endurance and energy.
Poor health, on the other hand, can cause a variety of behaviors that you might find hard to believe are related to nutrition – and that send you running for the nearest dog trainer.
Digging and coprophagy (eating feces) may both be a signs that your pet has a nutritional deficiency. Likewise, resource-guarding, counter-surfing and trash digging may also result from a poor diet.
How Professional Dog Trainers Feel About Your Pet’s Diet
Breeders, rescue groups and others in the industry all seem to have strong opinions about how and what you should be feeding their dogs – and most won’t hesitate to be vocal about it. Dog trainers, however, typically won’t comment on what you should be feeding your pet because they know that’s a discussion you should have with your veterinarian.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself about the nutrients your pet needs to be healthy. Read labels, talk to your vet and avoid sharing human food with your pet.
Trainers will tell you that when and how you feed your pet can affect his behavior and ability to learn as much or more than what you feed. For example, feeding two or three small meals may be better for Fido’s mood than one large meal per day or free-feeding.
Professional dog trainers can help you identify and address most behavioral problems you encounter with your pet. Innovative K9 Academy offers bootcamps, group classes and individual training for puppies and adult dogs in northern Utah. Contact us today to learn more about the many benefits of dog training.