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Will Feeding Raw Make My Pet Aggressive?

Truth or Myth: Raw Food Will Make My Dog Aggressive
A common question we receive is, “Will feeding a raw meat based diet cause my pet to become
aggressive?”
Let’s dive into it. A major benefit to raw is increased palatability! Nothing like putting a bowl of fresh
meats, bones and organs in front of your pet and seeing them quickly gobble it up. This palatability
makes the food tremendously high value. High value rewards and treats are foods that trigger a greater
interest from the animal. This being said, some animals may guard or become possessive over foods and
treats that they really enjoy. The raw food is not causing the dogs to become more aggressive, it is because the dogs now value their food more, and feel they need to protect it. It is a natural instinct for dogs to become defensive or possessive over food.
Having said that, depending on how food driven your dog or cat is, it could potentially happen with any diet.
A number of consumers also fear that feeding a raw meat based diet will cause their dog to become a
blood thirsty killer. It is important to remember that dogs evolved from wolves, and to this day, remain
true to their carnivorous instincts, behaviours and dietary requirements. Essentially meaning, dogs that
the predators they are, have a natural taste for meat and blood. Dogs who chase other animals, do so
because of instinct and because we have bred them to do so. Take the famous Greyhound. Through
years of breeding, we have genetically strengthened this dog to become the stream lined, chasing
machine we know today. Before its racing days, the Greyhound was originally bred to hunt, chase and
kill game animals. We have to remember that just like their ancestors, all modern day dogs were bred
with an original purpose, most often to hunt, kill or protect. This behaviour is unchanged by diet but
rather remains due to the original origins of the dog.
Bottom line is, no one likes a dog fight or aggression! However, there are several things you can take to
prevent one, no matter what you feed. Feeding a raw diet requires scheduled meals versus free feeding.
Free feeding is a method of feeding where a bowl of food is left out for a dog or cat to graze on
whenever they so choose. In most cases, raw food is readily enjoyed, so scheduled meals are a must!
You will find most veterinarians and professional trainers recommend scheduled meals for optimal
health and behaviour. Developing a feeding routine with meals makes monitoring pet health and
appetite easier. It also helps also to make any necessary food changes a breeze and prevents guarding
issues. Additionally, we strongly recommend teaching a “PLACE” command and practice the command
at meal times. Asking your dog to “PLACE” on a designated area while they wait for their food to be
prepared teaches patience and reduces excitement during feeding times. Instilling good manners is the
best preventative measure you can take. If you need assistance training your dog to be calm during
feeding times, contact a local trainer.

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