A Thought that Deserves 5 More Minutes; A Dog’s Diet and His Behavior

Please Note: I am not a pet nutritionist nor a veterinarian. I am however a mother, a dog mom, pet enthusiast and a professional trainer with common sense, observational skills, and a sense of humor (thought I’d add the last for good measure). Please seek a holistic vet for specific dietary questions.

It seems like an epiphany to many pet guardians; a dog’s diet and his behavior are related. One of the first questions I ask when I walk into someone’s home for a training job is, “What are you feeding your dog?”

Poor diet means that the dog could be on polar opposite sides with his behavior from completely lethargic to bouncing off the walls with so much energy the dog is unable to concentrate.  This has happened time and time again. In addition, I have seen dogs not take training treats because they are on such a poor diet their stomach is upset.

A dog’s diet is reflected in his behavior and it affects training.

Here’s the common sense and mom part: we all know as adults that if we feed sugar to children they will be hyper and then crash. I have seen adults drink gallons of coffee (okay maybe not gallons, but sure seems to be a staple in the diet) every morning in hopes that it will keep them awake. Food is magical and powerful. It is not any different for animals.

So what’s a pet guardian to do?

What is the best diet for you? Deep greens, whole cooked and raw foods, and healthful oils like coconut. Having all this balanced beautifully will promote energy, a sharp mind, and prevent illnesses including cancer. This is not any different for your pet. There is a big difference between opening a box of cereal and making yourself steel cut oats for breakfast, but I am sure you already knew that from a Dr. Oz episode.

Dog kibble is so highly processed it’s missing many nutritional elements.

Many dog foods (unknowingly to pet guardians) are filled with sugar, chemicals, and poor quality ingredients. Going into details about this is not my goal today, but it is worth mentioning. There are companies that do strive for quality ingredients and avoidance of chemicals in their kibble products, but still in my opinion the best food for any pet is a whole food diet.

Feed my dog HUMAN food??

Gasp! Here’s a little history for you. Surprise surprise kibble hasn’t always been around. It wasn’t until the World War II that we started packaging dog food. Before that dogs ate whole foods; scraps from our table. With that being said, please don’t start feeding your dog anything and everything because that is not healthy either. It’s important that his nutritional needs are met in a balanced way. Lucky for us there are companies that know we are busy with our kids, work, social life and hopefully the gym a few hours a week. These companies put together a whole foods balanced diet for our furry kids.

Dr. Harvey’s is Boy’s Favorite

Boy and I have been checking out pet food since I owned a holistic pet food shop in Iowa in 2007. Boy gave me the paws up or down on every product. My part was to research all the foods, quality and source of its ingredients. We were a great team. His favorite? Dr. Harvey’s. Since our time in Iowa, Dr. Harvey’s has come out with an additional line called Oracle.  It’s a complete diet whole food diet.


It’s pretty easy. You measure the serving, add warm water, stir and wait 15 minutes. Voila! A beautiful meal.

A dog’s diet will be reflected in his behavior and his ability to train. Important thoughts to consider. I will be blogging more this next month. Stay tuned!


Blog written by Michelle Huntting


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