“Raw meat makes dogs aggressive and ruthless!”
Myth or Fact?
Naturally, as a pet parent, you will get scared about the safety of your dog, friends, family, and other people around him.
But is it true? Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive? Let us find out.
In this post, we will cover:
- Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?
- Low Tryptophan Diet May Cause Aggression In Dogs
- 6 Signs Of Food Aggression In Dogs
- What To Do If My Dog Is Aggressive Around Raw Meat?
- And more…
Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?
Raw meat does not make dogs aggressive or bloodthirsty. Some dogs show signs of resource guarding (food aggression) when it comes to their food which can increase when being fed raw meat as dogs value raw meat more highly than other dry food. In addition, a lack of socialization can also lead to dogs behaving aggressively around food.
The American Kennel Club states that resource guarding or “possessive aggression” occurs when dogs growl, stiffen, thrust, or even bite when you try to take their food or toy away from them.
Sometimes, they even bare their teeth and give you a hard stare when you step close to their food. All these signs are an indication that your dog finds that item extremely valuable.
Although it is a survival instinct for wild dogs as they have to live their life with limited resources, such a trait should not be encouraged in domestic dogs. Once you start seeing these symptoms, start training them so it does not develop further.
Therefore, aggression in dogs is not specifically due to raw meat. Raw meat just makes the signs more obvious and visible to the pet parents. It is more of a problem that they had even before raw meat was introduced in their diet.
On top of that, dogs won’t go chasing animals and killing them for their meat as raw meat and living animals do not smell the same. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about regarding your dog’s behavior when feeding raw meat.
Low Tryptophan Diet May Cause Aggression In Dogs
In a study conducted several years ago, it was shown that deficiency of L-Tryptophan can cause depression, aggression, and stress among dogs. How?
L- Tryptophan is a natural amino acid found in proteins. It is known for the production of serotonin hormone in dogs. This serotonin hormone is responsible for sleep and mood among dogs. Thus, an adequate amount of L-Tryptophan in a dog’s diet can prevent aggression in pet dogs.
Today, a large number of L-Tryptophan supplements have come up in the market to ease the dogs and reduce aggression and anxiety among them. However, there are a few natural sources as well where you can find L-Tryptophan. These include foods rich in protein like milk, chicken, and fish.
While adding tryptophan to your dog’s diet, it is crucial to know how much tryptophan you can feed them. So, The minimum quantity of tryptophan that is required by adult dogs is 6.5 mg per pound (13 mg/kg/day) on a daily basis. However, in puppies, the requirement is higher, around 41 mg per pound (82 mg/kg).
If you are feeding your dog fatty meats like 70% lean beef meat, it might not even meet half of the required tryptophan levels. A 70% lean beef meat just provides 0.22gm of tryptophan per 1000 kcal while the minimum requirement for puppies is 0.5 gm according to AAFCO.
Moreover, these 70% lean beef meats have higher levels of fat than required. It can elevate the behavioral issues and aggression among dogs as they have a great impact on memory and learning as the dog reaches adulthood.
6 Signs of Food Aggression In Dogs
Food aggression or resource guarding in dogs is something you will never know about unless they start exhibiting some signs. These signs also suggest the degree of food aggression in dogs – mild, moderate, or severe. So, watch out for these 6 signs when you give them their favorite meal or toy:
When you give your pet dog food or try to take their bowl away, at times your dog starts growling or making aggressive sounds. This means that they are trying to show their superiority over yours. This is also an indicator of mild food aggression in dogs.
2. Baring Of Teeth
Often, in case of mild food aggression dogs curl their lips and start showing you their teeth. It is a warning sign from them to you to stay away from their food. So, try not to go near their stuff.
3. Whale Eyes
Whale eyes are described as the sign when dogs show the whites of their eyes to the owners. Also called the half-moon eyes, the dogs generally tilt their head slightly and keep looking at the pet parents till the time they don’t back off from their food.
4. Raise Their Hackles
In mild food aggression, the dog raises the hair of the back and neck to show their dominance over the owner. Hackles are again a sign that your pet dog doesn’t like you touching their food or eyeing their stuff.
5. Lower Their Tails
Although the tail position varies across different breeds, if you see that your dog’s tail is stiff and tucked down, it means they are trying to guard their food from you!
In cases of extreme food aggression, pet dogs bite their owners if they are irritated by their presence. If your dog does not bite you at all but did so after you tried to go near their food, you must consult a vet and start proper training for food guarding.
What To Do If My Dog Is Aggressive Around Raw Meat?
If you see any of the above signs in your dog, monitor them closely. If these signs extend beyond food, let us say to their toys, people, clothes, and other things, then it is general resource guarding. In this case, hire a dog trainer who will give suggestions to you regarding what can be done.
It is advisable that you solve the resource guarding problem before switching their diet to raw meat-based diet.
However, if you witness these signs specifically when you feed them raw meat, it is the case of food aggression. So, here are a few tips and tricks you can follow if your dog is aggressive around raw meat.
1. Be A Pack Leader
If your pet dog is asserting its dominance over you, you need to tell him calmly and patiently that you are the leader here. How?
This can be done by teaching basic obedience skills to your pet dog. Train your dog to respect your command. These basic commands include sit, stand, come, wait, drop, and leave.
If your dog follows these commands perfectly, it means they have learnt self-control and respect you as their owner. It is less likely now that they will show any kind of resource guarding in front of you.
2. Try Hand Feeding Raw Meat
Hand feeding should be encouraged to your pet dogs. Just go near your dog, take the dog food out of their bowl in your hands and engage in a talk with them. Ask them to eat the food from your hands.
Slowly, your pet dog will become familiar with your scent. Later, when you try to take their food or move their food bowl, they will not behave aggressively.
3. Add Treats In Dog’s Bowl When Feeding Raw Meat
When your dog is eating raw meat, toss some treats into the bowl and step back. It is a way to tell them that having you near them is not a bad thing.
Even when it is not eating, adding treats to your dog’s bowl will make them realize that you are a good person and there is nothing to worry about.
Follow it for the next ten meals and if you are successful, it is a win-win situation for both your dog and you!
4. Teach Value To Your Dog
Do not give everything to your dog as and when they want it. This is very important to tame aggressive and dominant dogs.
Make them learn that everything is valuable whether it is the raw meat or their walk time.
You can do this by commanding them to wait for a few minutes before they begin to eat.
5. Feed The Food in Crates
In case you are parents to multiple dogs and the dogs show aggression to each other, it is advisable that you buy a crate for each of them and feed them raw meat in their own crates.
It is because aggressive dogs snatch each other’s food, so it is the best way to keep everyone safe.
If you are looking for a crate, Midwest I Crate is our recommendation for your canines. So, check them out.
6. Repeat The Process With Family
In addition to you, all the other family members must also learn to tackle the pet dog in case they are present at home during the meal time.
So, once you have tried all the methods, ask each of your family members to do the same so that your dog understands that they are not a threat to its food.
Always remember that training and teaching your dog is a gradual process. Nothing will change overnight. So, have patience and consistency, we are sure you will see the desired results soon!