Gut & brain health for total behaviour transformation

Using lock-down as time for research

I’ve been reading a lot recently about the links between gut health, brain health and behaviour in dogs. How do you get a total behaviour transformation? For years I’ve been interested in human nutrition and so I was always going to extend that to dogs. It turns out, there are a lot of similarities.

There’s growing evidence that we need to look at a dog’s behaviour in a more holistic way. The right training is very important, but gut health and brain health also can have a significant impact and it’s often over-looked.

Poor gut health = poor mental health

Much like us, animal studies have shown a link between poor gut health and poor mental wellness. Quite simply – a happy gut equals a happier human or animal.

Then there are brain chemicals, like serotonin, that influence mood, calmness, energy levels, appetite and the choices made.

The brain (central nervous system) and the gut (gastrointestinal nervous system) are closely linked. And the interaction between the two influences stress-related conditions like over-excitement, fear and anxiety.

How to get a total behaviour transformation

Each of these three elements (behaviour, gut and brain) influences the other two, and it creates a cycle. The cycle can be a positive or negative one. So the right training, plus good brain health, plus good gut health is how to get a total transformation.

your training + brain wellness + gut wellness
Total transformation = your training + brain wellness + gut wellness

My dog’s struggles

We’ve had Bodie for ten months and we’ve made so much progress, especially in the last few months. He is still a bit over-excitable and what I would call a ‘busy dog’. (He is a Collie Cross after all). The doorbell and noises outside the flat will set him off barking (not good at 3am!) and he would still jump up at strangers for a ‘face wash’ if we gave him the chance.

But, the improvements are noticeable. He used to bark at birds that were just sat in the trees around our garden. Now he only barks if they start flapping – it’s important to celebrate the small improvements!

We have noticed a real difference in his ability to listen to us when we’re out in parks. His recall is now looking very reliable (but we still have the long-line on just to make sure!). But he’s not trying to taking off to go and meet other dogs. He’s so much more engaged with us.

We’re doing everything I know to help all the behaviour struggles he came with. As a rescue dog, his first eight months of training was obviously non-existent. But I also knew that training is not the whole picture. So for the last four months I’ve had him on a supplement called Calm K9, by A-OK9. And now we’re really seeing the changes in him.

Plus occasional episodes of a dodgy tummy are now a very rare event. And his black coat is absolutely gleaming.

What’s in Calm K9?

Because I’m quite the ‘dog geek’ I wanted to know about the key ingredients. Skip on if you’re not in a geeky mood!

  • Tryptophan: an essential amino acid involved in the neurotransmitter serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked with increased depression, anxiety and aggressive behaviours.
  • Passiflora: or passion flower, traditionally used for anxiety and to promote calmness.
  • Lemon balm: shown to improve negative mood, increase calmness and alertness.
  • L-glutamic acid: an amino acid that’s a source of energy for cells in the intestines and the immune system.

How do you use it?

I just mix the powder in to any of Bodie’s food – wet food or natural yoghurt/kefir – on a lick mat is the easiest way for me But there’s lots of other ways to incorporate it into Kongs, stuffed bones and chews. You can freeze them to make them longer lasting.

Bodie is a 25 kilo dog so he gets 1 teaspoon on food, twice a day. The K9 Calm lick mats are my favourite for a double hit of calming licking activity before a walk or to help him chill out in the evenings.

We’re definitely seeing progress with Bodie. I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring.

Is it right for my dog?

So if you’ve got a dog that is prone to reacting to other dogs/people, reacting to noises at home, pulling on the lead, over-excitable, generally nervous, lacks energy or enthusiasm or shows aggression, you might want to take a look at the Calm K9 supplement.

If you’ve got any questions to do with existing medication, please talk to your veterinary.

Fancy trying it with 10% off?

Because I’m a Pro Dog Trainer I have a 10% discount code if you wanted to try any of the A-OK9 products. This is the link you need and just enter the code PUPTALK in the discount code box. (They do have a ‘Subscribe & Save’ service which is already discounted so the 10% doesn’t apply there.)

There’s also an amazing free e-book to download called ‘I Am My Dog’s Health Hero’. It’s a really easy read and explains how to get a total behaviour transformation.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is I-Am-My-Dogs-Health-Hero-cover.jpg
Free e-book – click the image to download

FAQs – Frequency Asked Questions

A few questions that I’ve been asked about Calm K-9 recently:

Is it ok to give to puppies? – Yes it’s fine for dogs from 8 weeks of age.

Can you freeze it? Yes, there is no impact on the ingredients.

Will is help my dogs joints? A-OK9 makes other products and ‘Flexi’ would probably be more suitable (or in addition) to Calm K9.

What research is all of this based on? Calm K-9 has been developed by Trainers, Veterinary Behaviourists and team of Nutritionists. There are various studies on humans, dogs, cats, rodents etc. A list is of references is available in the free e-book ‘I Am My Dog’s Health Hero

Is shipping still happening with COVID-19? Yes, orders are being shipped as normal.

Are you doing training at the moment? Yes! On-line training is a great option as is easy using zoom video calls. To find out more use this contact form or just WhatsApp me on 07770 581882

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