Pet dogs don’t need a high protein diet once they are adult, a protein level of 18% (no lower) is sufficient for their needs. Along with increased carbohydrates it can be extremely effective in helping some behaviour problems; it works like Prozac by making more serotonin available in the dog’s brain – but without the side effects! The carbohydrates actually suppress the neuro transmitters that compete with serotonin. It can reduce reactivity, improve learning and decision making, helping tremendously when combined with a training programme.
Feed your dog a good quality diet, it could be a senior diet, (it is never too soon to look after their joints). Try to pick a food free from grains, www.dogfoodanalysis.com is an excellent site for reviewing dog food (with some surprising results !).
As stress burns up ‘B’ vitamins, add Vitamin B6 to each meal. The suggested dose is 1 mg per kg of your dog’s body weight. Vitamin B6 is available in pharmacies and health food shops, and human Vitamin B6 is fine for dogs. For example, add 1 drop of BioCare ‘Vitasorb B6’ per 5kg of your dog’s body weight. Vitamin B6 is water soluble so any excess will be safely passed in the dog’s urine.
Approximately three hours after feeding a meal of easily digestible protein i.e. meat not vegetable, feed a small saucer of carbohydrate, e.g. boiled pasta. The protein needs to produce the neuro transmitters in the first place, before the carbs can suppress the one you want to limit.The amount you feed depends on the size of the dog, but approximately 2 oz is normally sufficient. If you can’t feed the extra carbs a couple of hours after meals because you are not there, you can either leave it in a Kong, or if that’s not possible, mix the extra carbohydrate with your dog’s meal.
The dog should remain on this diet for up to three months, in conjunction with a behaviour modification programme, to allow time for the diet to be fully effective and new behavioural responses to be learned.
Signs of improvement can often be seen within 7-10 days of beginning the diet.