With so many pet food brands and options available on the market, not all are treated equally. Certain products are formulated with whole foods and natural ingredients, while others missing critical components, or worse, contain chemical additives that cause health problems. Have you ever wondered ‘if I buy the wrong products, can pet food contribute to behavioral problems?’ The answer is 100% yes, and here’s why.
There are as many food options as there are opinions to go with them. Every pet parent who has done a bit of research on the topic of food has something to say – all taking the higher ground. With such a heated approach to pet food, how do you make a great decision to ensure your pet is getting everything they need, regardless of outside opinion? The answer is not so straightforward and requires your dedication to trial and error.
Every pet is different. Even so, the anatomy and physiology of each breed are quite similar and require the same basic factors to be healthful. Some dogs will eat anything you put in front of them and display nearly zero stomach sensitivity. Others are as fussy as could be and cannot keep certain foods down for long. Determining healthy food choices cannot always be gleaned from pet behavior alone. A more personal approach is required.
This being so, the first step in determining a healthy pet diet is pruning the low hanging issues. To put things into context, if a human diet were to consist of 80% processed foods, sugary drinks, and chemical-laden snacks, they would quickly develop health problems. This was made abundantly clear in a documentary about fast food consumption released a few years ago.
The same rings true for your pet. The first step in determining a great diet will be getting rid of all the ‘junk’ in their food options. This can be a tough journey at first. Leading national pet food brands may not offer you this level of scrutiny, and you may have to opt into a more expensive, local brand using human-grade ingredients. After all, it’s not possible to buy a $20 15kg bag of food that has the same levels of human-quality ingredients as a bag costing $45+. As a general rule of thumb (although not always the case) the more costly the food, the healthier for your pet.
Food sensitivities are a major reason for behavioral issues in pets. But it’s not often the ‘food’ in the pet food that causes the issue. It’s often the quality of the ingredient itself (did they use rotting roadkill or fresh chicken?), the chemical additives, or the fillers. Some trainers even say they can tell the kinds of food a dog eats by the behavior they display. The reason behind these behavioral differences is due in large part to junk ingredients that cause systemic health issues in pets.
Don’t buy into the argument that pets are meant to eat different foods than humans are (in the case of pet food ingredients). When the ingredient profile of your pet food has things like ‘byproduct meal’ or others such as ‘permitted additives’ you’re already in bad shape. In this case, the ‘different food’ these ingredients are suggesting contain more than 4000 different ‘permitted additives’ (some of which are known carcinogens), and byproduct meal is full of the lowest quality and potentially toxic meat available. Certainly not the same conversation as suggesting a dog eats wild game and humans eat eggs benedict.
When you can avoid feeding these kinds of toxic ‘foods’ to your pet, you will be able to see a marked increase in good behavior, among many other health benefits like coat, eye, and oral health. Eliminating toxins and chemical additives should be a top priority.
Being able to provide human-grade ingredients to your pet during meal times is a sure way to give them the best chance at a healthy life. Plenty of brands, although more rare and costly, can offer you everything you need to make sure your pet has the best food available. The cost is always worth it. After all, the wrong pet foods can contribute to behavioral problems, or worse, long-term health problems that will decrease the quality of life of your pet. If you have any questions about what you can feed your pet, let us know, and we will be glad to assist you.