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Why nutrition and behavior in dogs are connected

It’s not easy to correlate behavior with diet (nutrition), but this link is very clear, and it’s perfectly...

Nutrition and behavior in dogs: the links

It’s not easy to correlate behavior with nutrition, but this link is very clear, and it’s perfectly logical being that behavior is regulated by precise hormones and neurotransmitters, whose function is regulated especially by diet.

Therefore, either foods are healthy and complete, otherwise specific organic structures cannot perform correctly their functions, and whatever mechanism they superintend gets more or less seriously jammed.

Nutrition and behavior in dogs: studies and research

In this regard, the huge increase in adverse reactions to food, such as, food allergies and intolerances, is under everyone’s noses, and all the research I’ve been lucky enough to complete – with the Research and Development group for which I am responsible – clearly demonstrates a negative relationship between certain pharmacological pollutants and the exponential growth of the various inflammatory diseases of dogs and cats. These pathologies are mainly represented by conjunctivitis, keratitis, otitis, dermatitis, gingivitis and stomatitis, gastritis, enteritis and colitis, chronic and/or recurrent, but – in ways that can be considered surprising – also occur manifesting well-defined behavioral disorders, all related to anxiety.

Nutrition and behavior in dogs: reactions

The first and perhaps most serious event related to the above described mechanism is the unpredictability. This problem is unfortunately quite common in dogs that often suddenly behave aggressively and unpredictably, especially when meeting other dogs, but also with children or people in general. This explains the number of people who – not being sure of their dog’s reaction – must keep their dog on a tight leash, thus increasing, among other things, socialization difficulties, with consequent suspicious or manifestly hostile tendencies.

Other frequent manifestations are impulsivity, constant restlessness, nervousness, often unmotivated continuous barking (a “normal” dog does not bark furiously at people he knows well), separation anxiety, fear of storms or fireworks, destructiveness, attention disorders, inappropriate territory marking (inappropriate defecation and urination), sleep disorders, obsessions, phobias, obsessive exploration (of the leg, the environment and people).

As you can see, the list is surprisingly long, but what I described above is very often caused by the presence of specific toxic residues in food, and more precisely in the bone of the animals resulting from intensive farming (especially chicken meal), and this is demonstrated by the fact that a diet that eliminates it, and which is rich in plants with antioxidants and immune-modulating effects, sees frequent regressions of the previously mentioned symptoms in a very short amount of time (one, two or three weeks).

Nutrition and behavior in dogs: helpful tips

Opt for fish, organic meat or meat derived from animals that are not intensively farmed, ask for the help of your veterinarian or your canine educator to facilitate the educational paths of your puppy or re-education of your adult dog, and so that you can obtain more clarification on which specific product to use and which manufacturers of dietetic foods you can count on, this without any risk to your pet and with a good chance of improving their physical and mental balance (as well as that of all who live with them…)

Dr. Sergio Canello

Forza10 Founder and Head of SANYpet’s Research and Development Department Veterinary surgeon and international expert in food-borne diseases

Recent Posts

Urinary Tract Infections in cats, also known as “UTIs” are caused by colonized bacteria in the urinary tract. The UTI can affect the cat’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra. This type of infection can be particularly painful for your cat and symptoms can sometimes be associated with other health concerns such as kidney failure. It is very important to recognize the symptoms early as some cases of this condition can be fatal. 

 

How To Tell if Your Cat May Have a UTI

 

If you think that your cat may have a urinary tract infection it is important to find out in order to have it treated as soon as possible. We have included a list of symptoms for you to watch out for. If you recognize these symptoms you should seek veterinary assistance. While UTIs affect both male and female cats, some cats may be at higher risk than others such as cats that are older, overweight, or have diabetes. 

 

UTI Symptoms and Warning Signs for Cats:

  • Fever
  • Urinating is done in short bursts rather than a continuous stream
  • Spending more time than usual in the litter box
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Crying or whining while urinating
  • Your cat is urinating before it can get to the litter box
  • Urine with any trace of blood
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Unusual discomfort around the rear area when touched or pet
  • The cat is lethargic 
  • Urine smell is stronger than normal 

 

Why Is My Cat Having Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?

There are many reasons why your cat may be suffering from repeat UTIs, some may be preventable. While there is no way to guarantee your cat will not have another UTI, there may be some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In some cases the cause could simply be the age of your cat. While there is nothing that can be done about that, other variables like the cat’s diet can be modified to help. 


Other causes of UTIs in Cats:

  • Poor hygiene near the genitile area 
  • Bladder stones
  • External or Internal Injuries
  • Tumors
  • FIV, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus

 

What Can I Do To Prevent Or Reduce The Likelihood of a UTI in my Cat?

No cat owner wants to see their beloved pet suffer from a UTI. To keep your cat feeling great and reduce the chances of a UTI occurring, follow these guidelines:

  • Always provide your cat with fresh water
  • Ensure your cat’s litter trays are clean and easily accessible 
  • Keep an extra litter tray available 
  • Maintain a stress-free environment for your cat 

By following these guidelines you can do your part to help keep your cat healthy, happy, and free of urinary tract infections. If you suspect any symptoms, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet. 

 

Which Remedies or Treatments Can Be Used When Your Cat Has a UTI?

While the severity of the infection plays a key role in what treatments may be used to help your cat when it has a UTI, a minor infection may be treatable at home. 


Due to their acidity, cranberries, just like in humans, may be used to help cure a urinary tract infection. The acidity in the cranberries can be effective at lowering the pH of your cat’s urine, helping to reduce the symptoms, or beat the infection altogether. While you may be tempted to treat your cat’s UTI with cranberry juice, it may be better to use cranberry pills or powder due to the high sugar content of cranberry juice. 


Another treatment option for your cat’s UTI is apple cider vinegar. This also helps reduce the pH in your cat’s urine. Since your cat will most likely not want to eat the apple cider vinegar on its own, you can try adding a half teaspoon to their food each day or mix it with an onion-free broth. 


Before giving your cat cranberries or apple cider vinegar, test their urine for alkaline levels with an at-home kit or specialized cat litter. You can also have the test done professionally by your veterinarian. 


Here are some other products that you can use to help support urinary tract infection in your cat:



If your dog just started throwing up and refusing to eat, it may be nothing to be too concerned about, but just in case, it is good to know the warning signs for pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a condition that will need to be treated, sometimes at home but certain circumstances mean it is time to take your pet to the vet. 

The pancreas is a gland within the abdomen that helps digest food and control blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is known as pancreatitis. It is important to be aware of the two types of pancreatitis in dogs, acute and chronic pancreatitis. While acute pancreatitis can be reversed it can come on strong and lead to extreme illness. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when permanent changes have occurred in the pancreatic tissue. 

This means that while a case of pancreatitis can pass on its own after a short period of time, sometimes it can be a lingering issue.  

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever 
  • Low body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat

While some of these symptoms can pass on their own and do not necessarily mean your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, if you see them lasting for more than a day it may be time to consult your veterinarian.

Although your vet may be able to diagnose your dog based on symptoms, they will most likely need to do some testing to be sure. These tests usually consist of either bloodwork or an ultrasound which will allow the vet to see what is going on within the dog’s digestive system. 


The Potential Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

Now that we have a better understanding of the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, it is time to look at what causes it. While the cause of pancreatitis is often unknown, here are some factors that it can frequently be associated with: 

  • A high-fat diet - the likeness of this being a contributing factor is even higher in dogs who eat one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting
  • A poor or unbalanced diet
  • Excessive consumption of human food
  • Dog is overweight 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Severe blunt trauma near the abdomen
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Some medications and toxins  
  • In some instances it could simply be genetics. Some breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and small terriers may be more likely to suffer from pancreatitis than others. 

It is important to keep these potential causes in mind and to do what you can to avoid any habits that could contribute to your dog developing pancreatitis. Beyond that, veterinarians agree that a diet rich in fiber along with probiotics can be effective in reducing the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs. It may even help them recover sooner in the event that they are already dealing with it. 


Here are some additional products from Forza10 that may help your pet deal with this condition:
 

We told you why we chose Iceland as the source for the ingredients of our diets, and we explained why we established two factories in this Icelandic untouched oasis.