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You've all heard the saying, "You are what you eat!" This is just as true for your four-legged family members, as well. Puppies and adult dogs need to eat the right foods to stay healthy and alert. This article by a professional dog trainer explains what to look for in a healthy diet and how good nutrition can help your dog behave...

How Nutrition Affects Your Dog's Behavior

puppy eats a nutritious breakfastCorrect nutrition is crucially important for every aspect of your dog's life. It affects their health and wellness by offering a vital balance of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates and the trace nutrients and minerals their bodies need for the growth and repair of their immune systems.

Nutrition is a vital part of your dog's ability to think clearly, lower his/her stress levels and a produce a calmer demeanor. The act of thinking takes a lot of energy. Dogs involved in a training program expend a lot of mental energy focusing on the tasks they must learn.

If your dog starts with minimal nutrition, they become lethargic, grouchy or hyper when they are asked to perform the simplest of tasks. They simply are not able to focus properly and lose concentration after a short period of time or they may become confused. If the dog is constantly being asked to do something they can't comprehend, their confusion can lead to an aggressive form of acting out.

In training dogs, the first thing I look at is the dog's diet. I work from the inside out. Training becomes less and less effective if the causes for the behaviors are not addressed.

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Hyper, unfocused and out of control dogs and puppies often are eating foods with extremely high levels of cereal foods such as wheat, corn, and/or corn meal. Aggressive dogs eat food containing higher levels of incomplete protein which do not digest well. Shy and stressed dogs do not digest their foods well at all and often suffer from intestinal complications such as diarrhea. Their coats are often extremely dry and shed heavily.

One way to test the foods you are feeding is to soak the food in water for about fifteen minutes. If it swells in size and becomes somewhat mushy, it is mostly cereal. Are you dog's stools often soft and loose or is the dog gassy? They are not digesting the food properly.

By looking at their food, you will do more to help balance their behavior, as well as contribute to their health and longevity. What is your dog eating?

About the Author...
Jeanne Perciaccanto

More facts about what to feed your dog around the Web:

Dog Owner's Guide : Food & Nutrition - Extensive information and a good read with tips on nutritional balance, homemade and holistic diets, food allergies, food related illnesses and diseases.

Dog Food Ingredients & Nutritional Requirements - A collection of informational articles including facts on food and water requirements, how to read a dog food label, foods to avoid, food allergies, nutritional needs of older dogs, and lots more.

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