The Big Picture: Nutrition + Medical + Environment

Successfully living with a dog requires a "big picture" approach... We need to address all aspects of wellness, not just obvious behaviors. Major factors influencing behavior:

  1. Nutrition

  2. Medical

  3. Environment

✅ Nutrition

  • What you eat definitely affects how you feel. The same applies for dogs.

  • If your dog struggles digestively, consider alternatives to dry kibble, or try different brands, or try different protein sources.

  • Some of my favorite food and treat products are listed here.

  • Feeding raw or freeze-dried food is incredible. Here are a couple popular companies: Texas Tripe, My Pet Carnivore, Hare Today, Vital Essentials, and Volhard Pet Nutrition.

  • Learn more about your dog's food here.

✅ Medical

  • Imagine how irritable you can be when you aren't feeling well, when your joints hurt, and when you don't get enough rest. A reactive and/or stressed dog may be extremely irritable in other aspects of health, too.

  • Consider joint pain, dental health, chiropractic work, acupuncture, etc.

  • Attempt to eliminate allergens instead of forever medicating the itch.

  • Reflect on your dog's exposure to toxins and topical pesticides.

✅ Environment The #1 influence in a dog's environment is the dog's human. However, dogs speak an entirely different language than humans... To begin behavioral training, I focus on:

  1. creating a system of communication that's valuable for the dog

  2. normalizing things and events in the dog’s environment

  3. teaching relaxation

  4. creating boundaries on-leash and in the house

If your dog is stressed, adrenalized, over-stimulated, impulsive, and unable to relax, then behavioral training will most definitely help. In addition to training [both the dog and the human 😉], consider nutrition or medical aspects of life, because they can, and will, affect the "big picture". All for now! Kate