Your dog’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. If you’ve found that your best friend seems down in the doggy dumps or is exhibiting bad behavior, raw feeding may help. Although research is still in its infancy, there is promising evidence that a raw diet can drastically improve canine cognitive and mental health, leading to improved behavior and an overall higher quality of life. In this blog post from Raw K9, we answer the question of whether a raw meat diet means a happier dog.
For nutritious and delicious raw dog food, turn to Raw K9. Our bestelling raw meat meals, bundles, and treats provide your fur baby with everything they need to thrive from the inside out. Read on to learn more about how a raw diet can increase your dog’s happiness, then browse our raw dog food products today.
Behavioral Issues in Dogs
Whether you adopted your dog from a breeder or a rescue shelter, it’s likely that they may suffer from some behavioral issues. Some of the most common behavioral issues in dogs are aggression, nervousness, fear, and hyperactivity. These issues can lead to maladaptive behavior, such as howling, destructive chewing, food guarding, mounting, biting, whining, and more — all of which can seriously impact your and your dog’s quality of life. Many of our customers have confided to us that when they switched their dog to a raw diet, their dog’s behavior and mood began to improve. Below, we discuss some possible reasons why.
How a Raw Meat Diet Can Help
No one likes to see their best friend suffer. Furthermore, an unhappy, poorly behaved dog can literally destroy your home. Doggy diets that are high in proteins, such as the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) Diet or Prey Model, are associated with significantly less behavioral issues than dry diets, like kibble.
This may be the case because 90% of your dog’s serotonin is stored in their gut, along with other feel-good chemicals such as dopamines, and various hormones and neurotransmitters. If a dog’s gut lining is healthy and pH-balanced, their gut will be strong and healthy, allowing for good bacteria to flourish and boosting overall immune function, which in turn can lead to improved behavior and mood.
Another reason why raw diets are more beneficial for canine behavior than kibble is because dogs evolved to tear off huge pieces of meat and swallow them whole without much mechanical action in the mouth, leaving their stomachs to do the majority of the hard work of digestion. Canine stomachs are adapted to break down raw meat in a matter of only one to two hours, where it can take them a whopping seven to nine hours to digest carbohydrates. Kibble contains high amounts of carbs, which dog stomachs are simply not equipped to deal with. As a result of spending much of their time breaking down starchy food, your dog’s gut lining can become very thin, providing a substandard place for all those feel-good chemicals to call home.
Signs of a Happy Dog
Now that we’ve discussed some of the most common behavioral and mood issues in dogs and how a raw diet can help, it’s time to turn our attention to what exactly a happy dog looks like. Once you switch your dog to a raw meat diet, it’s likely that they will l start exhibiting some of these signs of a carefree canine:
- Body wriggle:Who doesn’t love when a doggy gives a little dance? Dogs who are happy will often wiggle their backside, and there won’t be any tension and their muscles will look relaxed.
- Smiling: A partially opened mouth, with upturned corners is a telltale sign that your dog is feeling relaxed and doing well. Some teeth may be visible, but not in an aggressive manner.
- Wagging tail: This is the sign of doggy happiness that pet parents recognize most readily, and it’s true that there’s nothing better than a thumping tail to bring a smile to your face. Bonus points for a wriggling rear!
- Relaxed ears: Floppy, relaxed ears are another sign of contentedness, as opposed to taut ears, which commonly signal alertness.
- Rolling over: Have you noticed that your dog has been asking for more belly rubs since switching to raw food? “Tummy up” time is a sure sign that your dog is letting their proverbial hair down.
- Play bow: In a play bow, a dog lowers their chest to the ground while their rear remains up in the air. It may be accompanied by a doggy grin or a little bark. As its name suggests, a play bow is an invitation to another animal or human that a dog is ready to play!
- Puppy eyes: Happy dogs have relaxed eyes and eyelids, and will blink often and maintain a soft gaze, whereas narrowed eyes and a hard gaze often signify aggression or fear.
Improve Your Dog’s Mood and Behavior With Raw K9
All pet parents dream of a healthier, happier dog. When you switch your dog to a raw meat diet with Raw K9, you can rest assured that you are giving them the best chance possible of a life full of smiles, play time, and positive behavior. Visit the Raw K9 shop now to get started with our complete beef meals, starter packs, beef bundles, recreational bones, and more.