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Nutrition and Your Dog' Behavior

Proper nutrition is the fundamental basis for every aspect of your dog' life.

It affects their health and longevity by offering an essential balance of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates and the trace nutrients and minerals their bodies need for growth, repair and the mantainance of a sound immunne system.

Nutrition is a complex and integral part of your dog' ability to think clearly, lower stress levels and produce a calmer behavior.

Thinking takes a lot of energy. Dogs invoved in a training program, expend tremendous amounts of mental energy focusing on the tasks presented to them.  If your dog starts with minimal nutrition, they become lethargic, edgy or hyper active when asked to perform the simplest of tasks. They cannot focus and loss concentration after a short period of time or become confused.  If the dog is continually asked to do something they cannot comprehend, confusion can lead to an aggressive form of acting out.

In training dogs, the first thing I look at is the dog' diet!  I work from the inside out.  Training becomes ineffective if the underlying caiuse for the behaviors are not changed.

Hyper, unfocused and out of control dogs often eat foods with high levels of cereal compounds such as: wheat, corn and corn meal.

Aggressive dogs eat foods contain higher levels of incomplete protein which produce excessive amounts of energy.  These proteins are often incomplete chains, not offering proper building and repair or may be difficult to digest.

Shy or stressed dogs do not digest their foods well at all and can suffer from intestinal complications such as diarrhea.  Their coats are often dry, brittle and shed heavily.

One way to test the foods you are feeding is to soak the food in water for about 30 minutes. If it swells in size and becomes mushy, it is primarily cereal.

Are your dog' stool soft and loose or is the dog gassy?  If so, 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.

Life Abundance offeres the best combination of balanced nutrients for a proper diet.

The proteins are complete chains and digest easily.

The carbohydrates are complex and do not turn into simple sugars producing energy swings of high and low behaviors.

The Probiotics in the food balance the intestinal tract and make the food digest more easily, which is perfect for the nervous or shy dog and ensures all dogs are recieving the nutrients they need from the food.

Jeanne Perciaccanto is a certified Dog Trainer at and Health Educator.
Information on food can found at
Jeanne Perciaccanto has been a professional dog trainer for twenty years at, and holds a degree in Health.  She has combined both disciplines and researches diet and nutrition as it pertains to canine behavior. Visit

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It goes without saying that your dog needs suitable nutrition to remain healthy. Vets and pet food manufacturers often have differing views on appropriate nutrition for your dog. Although commercial pet food manufacturers are motivated in large part by profits, commercially prepared foods are routinely recommended as part of an adequate, or good, diet for your dog. Sometimes your vet or dog breeder may approve of commercially prepared foods as your dog’s sole diet. Many experts, however, tend to prefer a largely natural diet which for dogs is invariably comprised of meat and bones. Raw is preferable to cooked, as some of the minerals are definitely lost in the cooking process.

The reason why the commercially prepared pet food is so often fed to our dogs, is because, apart from the convenience, it can (depending upon the quality) actually contain many of the nutrients which are essential to your dog’s wellbeing. The key word here is quality. There are in fact very, very few commercial manufacturers which produce nutrient-rich food. And they're not the brands you find in your supermarket, or even in most pet stores or vetinarians.

Raw bones with a little dry food as well as occasional rice or pasta, and perhaps the odd quality food scrap from your table, will generally contain most of the nutrients which your dog needs.

All dogs must obtain reasonable nutrition from their food to maintain excellent health and performance. The main nutrients required by your dog are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Vitamin or mineral deficiency in dogs fed a commercially manufactured diet today is not widely publicised. But then again, the slosh and dried formulae which are readily available from your vet or the local supermarket are not your dog’s natural diet. If your dog was left to fend for itself in the wild (assuming it could manage to adapt, that is), would choose raw meat. And one of the reasons why meat, and especially bones, are so good, is the chewing action and the teeth cleaning function which the bones perform. Of course, there are also commercially prepared substitutes which can also effectively clean your dog‘s teeth and satisfy his/her need to chew.

A lesser known fact is that to feed your dog only meat (with no bones and no cereals or other carbohydrate source) can cause severe deficiencies: your dog is likely to become lethargic, sick, and even death has been known to occur from an all meat diet. But what about dogs in the wild, I hear you ask? Isn’t meat a dog’s natural diet? Isn’t that what you just said, Brigitte? Well, yes and no: in the wild dogs eat the whole of their prey, not simply muscle meat - they thus obtain vegetable matter from the digestive tract of their prey, and calcium from the bones. As well, wild dogs occasionally, but routinely, add to their diet with plants, fruit and berries.

Most dogs relish some raw fruit and vegetables in their diet, so long as that' what they're used to. A dog who has been fed commercially prepared dog food all of its life won't be used to the taste of fresh food, so may well turn up his/her nose if you introduce such healthy food later in life. But persevere - try hand feeding pieces of carrot or apple to begin with. And if your dog is still very young, all the better. Start as you mean to go on and feed him/her some raw fruit and vegetables from time to time. Your dog' health will benefit!

(c) 2004, Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs

Brigitte Smith is a dog lover with a special interest in natural health for dogs. For your free special report, as well as weekly tips, information, strategies and resources for a healthier happier dog, go to and submit your name and email address. Take a look around the site - - while you're there - you'll find lots of useful information.

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Is Your Pet Getting Enough Nutrients?

© A. M. Wilmot
Dog Food Nutrition

In recent years, we as a nation have become more preoccupied with nutrition issues than ever before, so you would think that we should naturally have equal concern for our dogs and cats ... especially since we generally consider them to be a part of the family.

We should want the ingredients in our pet food to be human grade or at least nearly so.

If byproducts are shunned in our own food, why are they be allowed in our animals' food? Do we want them to live to their maximum lifespan?

Of course we do. Nobody enjoys seeing their beloved pet, whom they have truly formed a bond with, get sick and slowly die.

We are now seeing that our dogs and cats in fact need daily supplements the same way that people do, in order to take care of their bodies for the inevitable stresses of the aging process. In the span of an animal' life, an early start at good health ensures less vulnerability to certain degenerative diseases, joints that are less likely to creak with pain and a healthier heart.

Holistic veterinarian Dr. Jane Bicks claims that when studying dog food, one should be on the lookout for dyes, and other chemicals as much as possible.

For example, BHA, which is one of the primary synthetic antioxidant preservatives used to prevent food discoloration, has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats at some doses. In lesser doses, the preservative does not show a dangerous effect but who knows what BHA can do to their bodies in small doses over a long time span.

Dr. Jane states that the maximum life span of dogs is estimated to be between 25 to 30 years, but the average dog often lives no longer than 13 to 14 years.

And she says that this difference is caused mostly by inadequate nourishment.

She also states that protein is an overlooked but vitally importartant part of a dog or cat' natural development.

Harder working or more energetic dogs and cats need more protein as well as fat in their diets to support their stamina. A dog food that is complete and balanced and includes at least 26 percent protein and 1650 kilocalories of metabolizable energy per pound. During the seasons when dogs are not working, feed them less of the caloric-dense dog food.

For more information about dog and cat nutrition, go to:

Aaron Wilmot is an author and researcher in the fields of human and pet health. For more info. go to: Back to Top

Dogs Need Vitamins Too!

By: Brigitte Smith

Disease is a process which gradually debilitates the cells of an organism. The organism may be you, or me, or your dog (or mine!)

Debilitated cells are unable to rebuild, regenerate and repair damage which inevitably occurs just through the fact of being alive and moving day by day closer to the end of life.

Of course, much greater damage can be caused by poor nutrition or other dietary deficiencies or excesses, environmental poisons, physical and/or emotional stress or insufficient excercise. In short, anything which pushes the organism past its optimum capacity, or causes it to fall short of its optimum capacity, can and will cause damage and will debilitate the cells.

Vitamins for your dog work by feeding your dog' cells in such a way that helps debilitated cells activate their natural regenerative power. When this natural regenerative power is restored your dog ' original vitality returns. You may notice a marked improvement in your dog' appearance, and, depending upon your dog' current age now, your dog may well appear considerably younger than his/her actual age.

Naturally if your dog is still a pup, there' unlikely to be so much of a noticeable change, but your puppy will surely benefit from lifelong treatment with vitamins and live to a healthy ripe old age. Wouldn't that be great?

Yes, your dog can certainly benefit from a vitamin supplement.

You may have tried one or more vitamin supplements already and not seen any real benefits. There' one specific vitamin which seems to work wonders for dogs. It' Procaine Hydrochloride. Never heard of it? Don't worry, it' not that widely known. Procaine Hydrochloride is actually a compound of PABA and Choline, which you may be familiar with - They're both members of the B group of vitamins.

Vitamins which have Procaine Hydrochloride as the primary component can produce quite amazing results. This ingredient seems to be capable of improving or even curing everything from allergies, to cataracts, to epilepsy, to compressed discs, and everything else in between, it would seem!

Personally, I've seen some very promising results with both of my dogs.

© 2004, Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs
For further information and your special free report: "How to Improve the Health of Your Dog - Maybe Even Lengthen Your Dog' Life!" - visit

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Dog Food Secrets

By: David the Dogman

Dog foods do vary in quality. So do the companies that make the foods. To some companies quality is only a word. To others, it' a way of life.

Ultimately, the quality of a dog food is best measured by your dog. How your dog performs on the food, how he looks, feels and acts are the best measures of the quality of any food. At least 30 per cent of my clients that report behavioural problems find that a change of food changes the unwanted behaviour.

No matter what a food company claims unless your dog has bright eyes, silky hair and supple skin, and is not overweight, then the food is not right for him.

Not all dogs do well on a particular brand of food, some dogs simply do better than others.

Most foods are categorised as Economy, Regular, Premium, Super Premium and Performance. Regular and Premium foods are not formulated like a Super Premium or Performance food.

Dogs have simple stomachs and short digestive tracts for digesting meat. They also lack the saliva enzyme amylase, which is necessary for pre-digesting starch. Dogs have adapted to foods with high vegetable protein levels, however they perform better when fed foods high in meat protein and animal fats.

Checking the label of a Super Premium or Performance food an animal protein will be listed as the first or second major ingredient. These should include either chicken, or turkey meat, or poultry by products meals, meat or pork meals or other animal by products. A least two sources of fat or oil should be included for adequate energy and essential fatty acids.

Fat in food is the dog' source of energy. Animal fat contains essential and non-essential fatty acids as well as provides a highly digestible and easily metabolised energy source. Generally, poultry, turkey or chicken fat are higher in quality because they have more unsaturated fatty acids and are more digestible than animal tallow.

Vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, lecithin corn oil, wheat germ oil, sesame seed oil or linseed oil all contain high levels of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid for dogs. These should be combined with animal fats for the best long-term results of a glossy haircoat and soft pliable skin.

Carbohydrates are the third most important nutrient and ingredient class in modern Super Premium and Performance foods. Simple carbohydrates in dog food come from quality sources like rice, oatmeal, corn or wheat. These are easily digested when properly cooked.

Fibre, a complex carbohydrate is essential for proper digestion and stool formation. Beet pulp and tomato promace are both high in fibre. Other sources of fibre include rice, soy hulls, oat hulls, wheat bran and peanut hulls. All these come from the external portion of the seed coat. These sources except peanut hulls have microscopic sharp edges, which can cause small cuts in the intestine. This reduces the intestine' effectiveness in nutrient digestion. Peanut hulls on the other hand, have the potential of being contaminated with aflatoxins and should never be used in a quality dog or cat food.

Vitamin and mineral fortification is an absolute necessity in nutritionally balancing any food for dogs. While the vitamins and minerals generally, make up less than 2% of the total food by weight, they provide some of the most crucial nutrients. These include 12 to 16 vitamins and 15 to 25 minerals. Often the list of these micro nutrients is much longer than the list of major ingredients. Expect this list in all dog foods. Super Premium usually feature more than one source for each vitamin and mineral. The ingredient list will be longer compared to non-premium foods.

It is not recommended that you add anything by way of food supplement, or vitamin to Super Premium Foods.

To sum it all up lets us compare Regular/Economic foods to Regular Petrol, then compare a Premium food to a Premium petrol, and of course Super Premium food to a Super Premium petrol. That is a simple example and indication. By the way I would not put diesel in my car, it would not run, it needs super premium petrol.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at: David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behaviour and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check chains, or any form of aggression.

David The Dogman is available for private consultations in your home, for further details telephone; Tel; (95) 2883388

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Can Dog' See Color?

It is not true that dogs are completely colourblind. While dogs do not have the same color vision as humans, they are able to tell yellow from blue. Like a human with red-green colourblindness, they are unable to tell the difference between red and green.

The reason for this limited range, in both the colourblind human and the dog, is that there are only two kinds of colour receptors in the retinas of their eyes. While most humans have three kinds of colour cells, with three different receptor molecules sensitive to blue, greenish-yellow, and red, dogs only have receptors for yellow and greenish-blue.

Canine eyes also lack another human trait: the fovea, an area especially dense with detail-sensing cells. As a result, their detail vision is not as good as ours. But they make up for this by having much better night vision and greater sensitivity to movement.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

Do you have any problems with your pet? Then why not send your problem to DAVID THE DOGMAN.

David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at:

David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behaviour and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check chains, or any form of aggression.

David The Dogman is available for private consultations in your home, for further details telephone; Tel; (95) 2883388

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