Have you ever described your dog as ‘crazy’ or ‘hyper’? How can you tell if your exuberant pet really has a problem and is their diet the root cause?
Is your dog really hyperactive?
True hyperactivity (hyperkinesis) is relatively rare in
dogs. Dogs suffering from this condition will usually exhibit periods of
frenetic behaviour which ceases only when they are too exhausted to continue.
However, to the pet owner, it can still be difficult to differentiate between
an affected dog and one who is simply unruly.
Your vet and a qualified behaviourist will be able to help you make the
Is your dog’s diet affecting their behaviour?
Should you switch an exuberant dog a low protein diet?
of the most common pet food myths or misconceptions is that foods high in
protein cause hyperactivity in dogs. In fact, we are frequently asked whether we
manufacture a low protein diet
, by customers believing that high protein foods
cause hyperactivity. Hyperactivity in dogs has numerous potential motivators
but a link between high levels of good quality, highly digestible protein in a
dog’s diet and true hyperactivity has not been proven.
vet may suggest a lower protein diet – such as Arden Grange light
- if your dog
has been prescribed a tryptophan supplement (because certain other amino acids
compete with tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier). However, for most
dogs, it is not normally necessary to reduce protein. Look for diets with
plenty of “brain food” – Arden Grange adult salmon & rice
for example has a
higher level of Omega-3 EPA and DHA, and also more tryptophan (a precursor of
serotonin – your dog’s happy hormone). All of the Arden Grange products are
designed to promote stable blood sugar levels and slow, steady energy release
throughout the day.
Is your dog hungry, bored or in need of stimulation?
A dog with a particularly voracious appetite may also engage
in unwanted behaviours. Read our tips on how to keep your dog’s hunger at bay here
if you have chosen a high quality, nutritionally balanced
diet for your pet,
have established a beneficial exercise and feeding routine (which further helps
promote stable blood sugar and good serotonin levels), consider consulting a
qualified behaviourist before assuming that food is the cause for your zany
Sometimes medical problems can result in unusual behaviour
so do seek veterinary advice if you see a sudden change in your dog.
Excerpts from ‘Canine diet and behaviour’ by Ness Bird – Arden
Grange Nutrition Adviser and RVN CertCFVHNut ©