Behavioural Tip of the Month

Monthly Behaviour Tip

Diets

Nutrition has an enormous impact on the health of your pets. But have you considered how it may affect their behaviour as well?

 
Firstly the feeding times and method in which food is delivered, can impact the way your pet behaves around food (dog or human food). When even small amounts of food is given while you are eating or snacking yourself, your pet will learn to be close by during these times so to not miss out. This may lead to begging behaviours when around food, especially when the food is withheld from your pet. Similarly when your pet is only fed once a day, he/she may gain hunger prior to feed time, leading to scavenging between feed times or protective behaviours when food is present. 


What you feed can also have a huge influence on your pet’s behaviour in various ways. High quality foods containing the fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have been shown to increase the mental acuity in puppies and kittens. Meaning your new family member will be more trainable. Similarly, certain antioxidants found in high quality foods, are also considered ‘brain food’ for senior dogs and cats. Meaning your old family member may be less likely to suffer age-related behavioural changes associated with cognitive decline, such as excessive licking, patterned pacing and inability to complete complex tasks. 


An unbalanced diet can lead to health issues which can cause your pet to be irritable, stressed or show aggressive or self-protective behaviours from pain or discomfort. High calorie foods, like some human foods and dog treats can lead to obesity in your pet. Obesity has a direct impact on how your pet feels and therefore how he/she behaves. Overweight pets tire easily and can be grumpy due to fatigue or aches and pains. Joint pain is common in obese pets and can lead to pain induced aggression.  


The best way to keep your pet both happy and healthy is to go to your veterinarian for regular examinations and routinely discuss dietary needs with them. Any sudden mood change in your pet may indicate an underlying nutritional, behavioural, or health issue that must be addressed.

 

Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.

Archived previous tips:

June 2020 blog article -  Diet

February 2020 blog article -  Heart Disease

January 2020 blog article - Summer parasites

December 2019 blog article - Christmas and NYE Festivities 

November 2019 blog article - Parasite Control 

October 2019 blog article - Toilet training 

September 2019 blog article - Skin & allergies

August 2019 blog article - Lets talk muzzles

July 2019 blog article - How diet and obesity affects behaviour

June 2019 blog article - Teaching old dogs new tricks

May 2019 blog article - Arthritis

April 2019 blog article - Behaviour

March 2019 blog article – Behaviour

February 2019 blog article – Separation anxiety

January 2019 blog article – Summer Survival / Ears

December 2018 blog article – Christmas and holiday safety

November 2018 blog article - Vaccinations & Parasite Control

October 2018 blog article - Cat behaviour

September 2018 blog article - Skin & allergies

August 2018 blog article - Dental Month

July 2018 blog article - Cat Obesity

June 2018 blog article - Winter time

May 2018 - Senior Pets / Eye Care

April 2018 - Endocrine Disease

March 2018 blog article - Easter camping

February 2018 blog article - Heart health

Pet care at Murray Bridge Veterinary Clinic for dogs and cats

 After Hours & Emergencies  08 8531 4000

Our emergency service offers a veterinarian on call : telephone 0885 314 000 when the clinic is closed to hear a recorded message and directions to speak to a staff member.

Always phone first before rushing to the clinic with an injured animal or other emergency. An additional fee is charged outside normal clinic hours.