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Food for Thought - Literally

HOLISTIC /hə(ʊ)ˈlɪstɪk,hɒˈlɪstɪk/

adjective

characterised by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole.

"the solution demands a holistic approach and a strategic vision of what can be achieved"


Genetics, environment, family, behaviour, experience, nutrition, temperament & socialisation are all interconnecting factors that directly impact our dog's behaviour. Training is the language we use to shape and guide behaviour, however it is not the only tool at our disposal when analysing our dogs and how they can develop. K9 Anytime believes that in order to impact our dogs on the whole, we address all of the working parts as necessary. K9 Anytime employs a holistic approach to your journey with your dog, uniting all factors of their life to create a balanced and clear canvas and harness their optimal health and happiness.


According to recent studies, up to 80 percent of undesirable behavioural issues in dogs are attributable to some form of anxiety. Although abuse and neglect certainly contribute to anxiety, and behavioural problems in dogs as they do in humans, other sources of canine stress can be more subtle and insidious; lack of socialisation, confusing, aversive training techniques, prolonged alone time, lack of exercise and poor diet.


Modern science, especially as it relates to canines, is exploring how the bacteria that live in your dog's gut may affect their mood, and therefore their behaviour. Evidence suggests that the gut influences the brain, and these two are constantly communicating with each other. We, as humans, have all experienced the connection through nerve-racking experiences that leave us feeling sick to our stomach or, worse, dashing to the bathroom. The chemicals and hormones produced in the gut depend on which bacteria are present, as different bacteria produce different chemicals. Certain bacteria manufacture chemicals that have a calming effect, while others may promote anxiety or hyperactivity. How a dog's gut-brain axis works is very similar to ours.


The new science helps explain how these tiny organisms influence the emotions of dogs, possibly causing anxiety that may lead to aggressive or other undesirable behaviours. The idea that the characteristics of the dog's gut can reflect anxiety levels and behaviour is gaining lots of traction in canine research circles, as scientists map out which species correlate with which outcomes. In turn, scientists are learning which diets support which microbial profiles.


If a dog’s diet supports a healthy gut, then which diet supports a healthy gut and its beneficial downstream effects? Raw diets have been shown to foster a much richer, more diversified gut community of organisms, however, most dogs are given ultra processed foods (kibble / canned) their entire lives. From recent studies, [there is little] worse for the microbiome than feeding high-starch, highly processed, non diverse foods to dogs for sustained periods of time, thus negatively affecting their health and behaviour.



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