Can Diet Affect A Dog's Disposition?

My daughter has a dog with a nervous disposition. Is there anything we can feed him (I am not talking about drugging him) that will help to calm him down? Is there anything we might have been feeding him that contributed to this? Thanks.


Holly from Richardson, TX

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June 5, 20080 found this helpful

Too much protein can make dogs hyper. Going for walks will help with nervous energy. We play fetch with our dog whenever he gets jittery or grumpy and it seems to really help him settle down.

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By Me (Guest Post)
June 9, 20080 found this helpful

You should talk to your vet to rule out possible physical reasons. Is it a rescue dog that has a bad background. Is the breed the nervous type? Ther are many possibilities.

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, he's a rescue dog with a bad background. He probably had 1 year of abuse.

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

First off, God Bless your daughter for giving him a home! And you for trying to find out what you all can do to help him adjust. Check the food you are feeding for corn, wheat or soy of any kind. Many dogs are allergic to these products and can act almost high or hyper when they are fed them. The dog food manufacturers use those products because they are cheaper. My 1 1/2yr old 10lb Chihuahua got into a Funyun bag I left on my bed and ate 2-3 whole pieces before I heard the munching and stopped him. You should have seen him bouncing off the walls.


His eyes looked dilated like he was on crack cocaine or something! If you find out you have to switch out the food do it gradually like a little new with the old and increase the new each day for about 7-10 days to avoid the "runs".

Of course a rescue dog comes with baggage that he can't even begin to tell you about to unload. I would suggest enrolling him in a pet obedience class to try to socialize him and retrain his brain to trust people again. I went with my dog and there were 3 rescue dogs enrolled and by the end of the 8 week class they were so much more behaved and less anxious.

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

He's has obedience lessons. They helped him to calm down substantially, but he's still a nervous type.

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Pets Dogs AdviceJune 5, 2008
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