Can Your Dog’s Diet Affect the Dog’s Behavior?

November 30, 2021

Man’s best friend. Sometimes your only friend, dogs provide companionship and comfort, helps you stay healthier and happier, and even reduce stress. They are good in a crisis. This is why owning a pet dog is important to people, at least as far as shelter and/or rescue dogs go. If you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy a fancy purebred even as thousands of dogs grow old in nine-foot cages or are put down when they become unadoptable, then your benefit is pure vanity.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), 38.4%, or 48,255,413 households own dogs. The average number of dogs owned by households is 1.6. The total number of dogs in the U.S. stands at 76,811,305, resulting in 2.4 veterinary visits per household per year.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of a dog attack, first be sure you’re not at least partially to blame. Dogs who are tortured in their own fenced-in yards do not like being teased, and if you are teasing a dog, it will bite you if it gets the chance, and you’ll deserve it. Next, call an experienced Allentown dog bite lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for help with your insurance and legal claims.

Does a Dog’s Diet Affect Their Behavior?

While studies of dogs are not a hard science and do not come to an indisputable answer to this question, there have been studies that suggest the answer is “yes;” diet has been found to help correct some difficult aggression issues in dogs.

The Tuft Studies

Two of these studies were conducted by Tufts University Veterinary School. The first study was subsequently published in the “Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association” in 1996. The study concluded that reducing dietary protein resulted in substantial improvements in dogs that were displaying fear-based territorial aggression. The second Tufts study in 2000 concluded that low-protein diets helped reduce dominance aggression as well as fear-based territorial aggression.

The South African Studies

In 1997, a study (PDF) in South Africa focused on overall nutritional diets, and ninety-eight percent of dog owners reported that dietary adjustments resulted in dramatic improvements in aggression and other behavioral problems. The researchers hypothesized that physical hunger motivates behavior problems when dogs don’t get enough food appropriate to their needs.

An Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer Can Handle Your Claims if You’ve Been Attacked

Studies regarding methods for reducing aggression and other types of negative behavior in your dog are still in their infancy. As studies progress, it is likely that an ideal diet will become available, likely in the form of a variety of recommended diets based on your dog’s particular type or types of behavior. Until that time, dog attacks will continue to be an ongoing problem. If you’ve been the victim of a dog attack, an Allentown dog bite lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis can help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.