Are these 5 common dietary issues causing your pup to act out? 

Think about how you feel after eating clean and nutritious food. Sure, a burger’s nice, but a Greek salad? You can’t beat it sometimes. You’re energised, satisfied, and motivated to be your best self. If you spend a whole week rinsing Deliveroo and snacking on everything unhealthy in sight, you feel pretty gross, lethargic, and grumpy, right? 

Well, it’s no different in our doggos.

While there are plenty of reasons your pup might be naughtier or more difficult than usual, it could be their diet causing the bad behaviour. Like us, dogs aren’t themselves when they’re hungry, uncomfortable, or hyped up on artificial ingredients. A Snickers won’t work on them. But by making sure they’re getting all their required nutrients, you might actually be able to curb their troublesome tantrums.

So let’s dive right in with five common dietary mistakes and how they could be causing some problematic behaviours in your pooch.

Too many carbs

Are you struggling to get your pup to focus on training? Are they stuck in a vicious cycle of hyperactivity, followed by crashing out like a toddler after too many blue smarties? Well it might be because of a starchy, high-carb diet, which is common with dogs. After all, that’s what you get with most commercial dog foods. They’ll often use starches and sugars – like refined corn and grains – to bulk out their recipes. 

But too much of these will cause your pooch’s blood sugar to spike. They’ll hit a glucose peak, get all the energy in the world, cause a whole lot of mayhem, then hit the deck like a sack of potatoes when the energy runs out. As you can imagine (and might know from experience), it’s exhausting being so up and down. And it can lead to agitation, a lack of focus, bad behaviour, and aggression. 

Instead, you want recipes that combine a healthy amount of carbs (and good carbs, while we’re at it) with a high-quality protein source. This way, their blood sugar levels will remain stable and you’ll have a much calmer, attentive pup on your hands.

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Additives

We’ve made no secret of our dislike for additives here at Swagwags. Most of the time, you’ll have no idea what they even are. So how can you know what they’ll do to your dog? Or, worse still, if they’ll trigger a reaction that’ll leave them uncomfortable for months? 

Additives influence dog behaviour in a similar way to carbs. And low-quality kibbles tend to be full of them. So if they’re struggling with hyperactivity, high reactivity, or lacking focus, it might be time to interrogate their food labels a bit closer.

Underfeeding

Not eating enough could be leading your dog to act out like a moody teenager. It could be out of discomfort, fear, or pure grumpiness, but they will engage in disruptive behaviours to get your attention. For example, they might start chewing on the skirting boards or scratching at the sofa, despite never showing any interest in these places before. They could also show heightened aggression and protectiveness over their food and treats. 

Hunger unleashes a dog’s scavenger instincts. Left to their own devices, they could start stealing from countertops, sneaking into your bins, eating non-food items, or even chowing down on their own poo like it’s a Michelin-star meal. 

Your vet will be able to recommend the right amount of food for your dog’s breed, age, and lifestyle. But if they’re exhibiting some of these signs, can’t keep up with their usual activity, or are losing weight, it might be a sign to up their intake. Proceed with caution though and increase their food gradually, so you avoid going the opposite way and overfeeding them.

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An unbalanced diet

Just like with humans, an unbalanced diet can leave a dog feeling very uncomfortable. A lack of important nutrients will put their bodies under unnecessary stress. And, as a result, they can experience pain, trouble with digestion, uncomfortable gas, or an upset tummy.  

Often, this discomfort will come out as aggressive or bad behaviour. And it makes sense. They can’t exactly walk up to you and request more protein or tell you that their kibble isn’t quite cutting the mustard.

For dogs to thrive, they need a balance of all the core nutrients. That’s protein, carbs, water, fats, minerals, and vitamins. And if they’re not getting enough of each – perhaps because their food has too many filler ingredients – they’ll be sure to let you know in some pretty inconvenient ways. Like snapping at other dogs, wreaking havoc in the house while you’re out, or leaving you smelly little presents on the carpet. 

Undiagnosed reactions

Each and every dog out there will have a different tolerance to certain foods. If certain ingredients don’t agree with your pup, it could be causing similar discomfort as we explained above. And if left undiagnosed, this discomfort could be the reason why your dog just destroyed all your flower beds for no apparent reason.

There are a lot of potential triggers out there. So your best bet will be to take a sensitivity test and uncover which ones in particular set them off. From here, you can switch up their food to avoid any problematic ingredients and hopefully see a mellowing out of their behaviour and moods. 

Pawrents aren’t mind-readers. And our doggos can’t tell us they’re feeling bloated, think they’re allergic to carrots, or wish you’d fill up their bowl just the teensiest bit more. So we have to look at their behaviour instead. There are so many ways your dog’s diet could be influencing their behaviour. But the sooner you get to the bottom of why they’re acting how they are, the sooner you get your happy, satisfied pooch back!

At Swagwags, our natural kibbles have been formulated to provide the nutrient-rich, balanced diet dogs need. Meanwhile, if you suspect an uncomfortable reaction might be behind your doggo’s behaviour, our sensitivity tests will help you identify the culprits in just 72 hours. Buy yours today.