This is the third of three posts telling the story of Marley, a puppy who has had numerous behavior problems which turned out to be directly related to his diet. He was very sensitive to what dog food he ate, and he became hyperactive — with biting episodes involving children and adults — on a number of occasions. The mystery seems to be finally solved in an email which I just received lately. Here is Marley:
A beauty, isn’t he? But I’m sure he could be a handful when hyperactive. Here’s the latest from his owner Karen:
There has been a further development that I would like to tell you about.
During our annual holiday in July, Marley was sent to the kennel to stay for a couple of weeks. When we came back I went to fetch him and he didn’t seem himself. Within a couple of days however he seemed to bounce back and thereafter reverted back to his old hyper self. Over the next week he became worse than ever and started to bark and bite again. I rang the kennel and spoke to them about his behaviour and asked if he could have eaten anything that may have triggered this episode. To cut a long story short, it turned out that they had not been feeding him with the food I had provided but had been giving him the one that was included in the price. This was a super premium food that is one of the better ones sold in the UK. They had been giving him a large breed puppy food that was 32% protein. As you can imagine I was not pleased but the damage was done and I set about trying to put it right.
Throughout the summer holidays Marley was a totally uncontrollable terror. The food that worked before didn’t have as quick an effect as the first time. I was again at my wits end with him. I started to keep a record of what foods he had eaten and when and also what effects they appeared to have on his behaviour. During this period I was simply fishing around for information, comparing ingredients, protein and carbohydrate content, etc., I suddenly realised that all of the foods he had reacted to had just one common ingredient – BEET PULP. The food that he was okay on didn’t contain this ingredient. I could find only one other food that does not contain beet pulp and decided to try him on this to see what would happen. Marley had no reaction to the second food that did not contain beet. I took my findings to the vet who at the beginning of September confirmed that Marley has allergic reactions to Beet.
Breakthrough!!!! Marley has been on a completely Beet free diet now for 2 months and is again a wonderful and lovely dog. He is still a willful puppy but with firm handling he is controllable. I have read quite a few documents and it appears that the subject of the use of beet in dog food is quite controversial. There are a few who say that the sugar content in the beet pulp is so low not to have an effect. I for one will never feed anything to my dog, ever again, that contains beet. He has only his dried food three times a day, he receives no scraps or other treats of any kind. People accuse me of being cruel when I refuse to let them give my dog a biscuit or some such thing. But hey I can live with that and better still, so can Marley.