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John Burns' Blog

Letter to The Veterinary Record

Published: Friday, January 20, 2017

Last week I wrote a letter to The Veterinary Record.  The magazine published a paper which looked at whether diet could affect dog behaviour.  Visitors to this parish will know this is a subject dear to my heart.  The trial compared a “commercial” (whatever that means) dog food to an organic type of food supplemented with medicinal plants with a high omega 3: 6 ratio (nutraceuticals). 

The boffins (does anyone actually say that word?) found that the trial diet significantly increased positive neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine and also reduced the free radical stress factors, all of which suggest benefits to behaviour.  The trial didn’t look at actual behaviour. This is still useful in that it offers scientific evidence to back up the simple observation that diet can affect behaviour.

I wrote to say that in my experience a high quality diet without supplementation can be effective and that also we need to consider the effect of over-nutrition.  Excess energy intake especially in the form of fat and protein causes hyperactivity and barking or yapping, and also increases the toxic wastes the system has to deal with.

I doubt they’ll publish it.  I’m only a simple vet out in the sticks so what do I know?

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