ICAN partners with Breakthrough dog food to discover ‘power of diet’

ICAN logo International Companion Animal Network

A Breakthrough for the International Companion Animal Network (ICAN)


The newly-formed International Companion Animal Network (ICAN) is delighted to announce that they will be working with Breakthrough dog food in order to help their members discover the power of diet when working in canine behaviour modification, and help them share this knowledge to the benefits of dogs and their owners.

The link between diet and behaviour is one that is so often overlooked in canine behaviour modification work, and the Breakthrough team are pleased to be able to link their work with ICAN to help educate their members through education and continued professional development in this important area that can so often help bring success to a behaviour modification programme.

Breakthrough is the brainchild of Val Strong MSc. Val trained originally as a Medical Scientist studying all aspects of human health – including the effects of nutrition on behaviour. Val discovered that it was possible to change the way that the key neurotransmitters that modulate mood (largely dopamine and serotonin) were made available in the brain. Dopamine is involved in learning, attention and reaction time, whereas serotonin is involved in the regulation of mood, the control of sleep and arousal, and regulation of pain and sensitivity. Low serotonin levels have been linked to (among other things) aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity, over-excitability, anxiety, and learning problems and so making sure these neurotransmitters were available in sufficient quantities in the brain became key to positively modulating a dog’s mood state.

This knowledge led to what became known as Val’s Diet, and it worked really well for those that were able to follow it – but it required dedication and owners to be able to feed their dogs specific ingredients four times a day at regular intervals. For most this was impossible – and so Breakthrough was developed.

Val however is still deeply passionate about training behaviour professionals in how diet plays a part in behaviour work, and so is pleased to be able to bring her knowledge to ICAN members.

ICAN is a newly-formed umbrella group of modern force-free professionals working in the world of companion animals. Their goal is to work together in a field that is so often confrontational and lacking in cohesion to give support, share resources and educational opportunities, and work together to positively support both professionals and companion animal guardians alike.

As part of their new collaboration, Breakthrough will be sponsoring a serious of Diet and Behaviour CPD opportunities for ICAN members, will be welcoming trained individuals as part of their Referrer Scheme so their clients can discover the behaviour-changing benefits of feeding Breakthrough as part of a behaviour modification programme, and providing speakers for ICAN’s late summer 2018 conference.


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