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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever noticed changes in the their V's behaviour depending on what it is being fed?

Merc seems more calm lately and I'm wondering if it's partly do with a change in his diet (from one "all natural" food to another.

I know I could test this theory by swapping him back and seeing if he gets all excitable again but life is peaceful at the moment and I don't really want to risk it!

Thanks for your opinions....
 

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Well, I'm glad to hear that you have no problem feeding your V. Snickers is going on two years this month and he eats to live. Food does not drive this dog, but would rather play and look out the bedroom window. Any slight distraction while eating and he's there finding out where and who it came from. The vizsla owners that I have met all have a problem when it comes to feeding time. It's nice to hear that your dog is eating :)
 

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I clicked on the topic thinking the question would be "Has anyone ever noticed changes in the their V's behaviour depending on _have they eaten their own food yet_? Penny also eats to live. She can get pretty obnoxious when we know she's hungry so we have to encourage her to actually eat. Have tried different foods, but nothing has ever captivated her. Except human food she has stolen, which I think motivates her to scavenge before giving up to eat her own food, which accentuates the obnoxiousness.
 

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I would say that the food could very well be playing a role in your V's behaviour. Thinking about myself, I know I act very differently after I've eaten a Big Mac or something versus when I've eaten something healthy. I also know I get cranky when I'm hungry. :eek:)

And because I never miss an opportunity to share my agenda: if you have concerns about you V's interest in food (I'm thinking of you jp) You should consider totally changing things up and try a raw food diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

Kathleen, Merc is 2.5 now so it is about time he grew up a little ;) and that definitely could be part of it.

The food I suspect of adding to his excitability is a dog roll from an Australian company called VIP pet food. The ingredients are listed as: Fresh chicken, fine ground chicken, natural vegetable proteins, selected cereals, liver, rice, bran, egg pulp & essential vitamins & minerals

which I thought sounded all-right as part of a diet. And it doesn't have any preservative or flavours added which I would have thought may be the problem.

I hasten to add he has a varied diet including raw food!

And yes I know I am lucky in that he eats well - the breeder warned us that he would probably be a picky eater and sometimes as a puppy he was but I reckon since 6 months old he has eaten anything (including paper balls, possum-poo and any carcass he could get to before me).

I think maybe I might just be grateful that Merc seems happy and well-behaved this week and stop worrying about why it is so.
:)
 

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FYI, in humans, the idea that diet is a major factor in behavior has been criticized as not being supported by scientific data. So, my guess would be it isn't a big factor for dogs (exceptions, of course, being when your dog gets ahold of a coffee bean off the kitchen floor...)
 

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I think diet is a major factor in all way of life, being humans, dogs and any other animal.

A good diet will increase your energy levels immensely and also the immune system.

If you want to slow your dog down sleep more and generally be sluggish, feed them a poor kibble, if you want a high energy dog (the way a viszla is meant to be) feed them a raw diet (Dr B's Barf is very good if you like the patties or diy. You can get dr b's barf diet from petbarn in Australia and boutique dog shops.

Both my dogs are on raw and are better off for it. My poodle who i got before chino has been on a few different kibbles middle range and top grade plus. on the mid range kibble she was very very sluggish, and bad poo (whippy style) top range like artemis/eagle pack, she was much better but just wont eat it.

So raw diet it is for both of them
 

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My point is just that you'd want scientific data. We all think we know things based on our everyday observations. The reason those everyday observations are often flawed is because of things like the placebo effect, other variables not being accounted for (e.g., a dog's behavior or health status changing at the same time as the food for reasons other than the change in food). I've talked with researchers directly about their personal experience being fooled by everyday observations; the researcher's immediate experience "tells" them that someone is getting placebo or active treatment because the patient "looks" worse or better to them; when the study is over and they are "unblinded," they find out they were wrong, the patient who looked "better" was getting cornstarch. You want to be careful about trusting a recommendation ONLY because it comes from someone who has a doctorate or is famous. What you should look for are controlled studies to support that doctor so-and-so's recommendations or assertions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Sarah, I was thinking about red food dye and children for the food -behaviour connection.

One of the reasons i asked people here if they'd noticed behavioural changes connected to food was because i was having trouble finding information i considered objective and trustworthy (as opposed to coming from pet food suppliers).

I haven't been able to find any good information that says there is a link, only anecodotal evidence so....

Thanks for the suggestion chino but i'm in tassie - no petbarn! And the BARF website doesn't have a supplier here. I do try to follow the barf philosphy but you know, life is busy and some weeks i cheat. :-\
 

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surely if there were artificial additives and colourants etc in anyones food it would effect everything...sleep, concentration, behavior even temperament??? or am I just paranoid?
BB
 

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Actually, that's--mostly, but not entirely--hearsay rather than science. It started with a doctor named Feingold who advised eliminating such things from the diet because they caused behavioral problems. What was lacking was controlled research. Most of the controlled research to date has been negative (i.e., failing to show any impact on behavior). There is one suggestive study from 2007 showing a small effect of dyes and one preservative on activity level in normal children, not diagnosed with any behavioral problem (I think what Mercutio was referencing), but it hasn't yet been replicated, and there is no theoretical (scientific) reason why this would be so. If you think about it, dyes and preservatives are not one specific chemical, but many different chemicals, both natural and artificial (remember, our body and our world is all "chemicals," those that are natural may or may not be harmful just like those that are synthesized--think of deadly nightshade, cyanide in appleseeds, radon from natural rock formations). So, you'd want to know which individual dye or preservative had the supposed effect, and why (where is it acting in the brain to influence behavior? Is it simply because it has a bright color or is made in a laboratory, or does it chemically interact with the body in a more specific way?) If there is a true effect of a specific chemical, what scientists would look for is a dose-response, i.e, that larger amounts of the substance produce a greater effect; that is what will likely be studied next. All known poisons and toxins have doses at which they produce an effect, and below which they do not cause harm (why you don't have to worry about cyanide poisoning if you accidentally swallow some apple seeds, you'd have to eat cup after cup full to get poisoned). Many people believe Feingold's contention that certain artificial food additives cause behavioral problems. For a skeptical rebuttal, see the following article (but note that this article predates that 2007 study I mentioned). http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/feingold.html

P.S. This "sense about science" website may also have some helpful information. http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/167/#what
 

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wow!!!!
I have spent the last 15 years of motherhood (fur and human ) buying only the "best" ie branded, organic, refinned, distilled, natural you get the picture in fear of "damaging" my babies in some way..After reading your post which makes total sense I just wished I'd had that sort of information back then...
Many thanks
BB
 

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Yes, many people believe that natural automatically equals safe. In fact, some of those pretty, bright colored flowers are more dangerous for us than the bright colored artificial dyes. Some artificial chemicals are indeed dangerous and not safe for food use, and some are not; the same goes for mother nature. You can be sure that all poisons are dose-related, one of the reasons why you shouldn't instantly get alarmed every time you hear a media report that trace amounts of such-and-such were found in your lipstick or water (nowadays, labs are so good they can detect really, really, really tiny quantities of things). Again, think about the little, bitty amount of cyanide in your apple cores and peach pits. The best source of information about such things is your physician and vet. They have the scientific background to know how to interpret the research.

Regardless, it's to your credit that you'd want to protect your little ones, it's just that with so much stuff in the media and the internet, you don't want to be unnecessarily alarmed until all the facts are in, so to speak.
 

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I have a friend with a Ridgeback. I hadn't seen her and her dog for nearly 9 months till yesterday.

In between, she had altered his diet to grain free. He's changed from a slightly overweight, fearful dog to an outgoing, confident and cheeky puppy. I was shocked at the behavioral change. Vastly different. :)
 
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