Smart Dog

What is DHA in Dog Food?

What is DHA in dog food and how does it make dogs smart?

DHA is short for an unpronounceable acid (docosahexaenoic acid), also called omega-3 fatty acid. As a structural component of significance in Doggo’s brain, DHA is a crucial part of a Pup’s diet. Along with other benefits, DHA plays a major role in the little one’s retinal function and central nervous system development. That is also why DHA-rich foods are known to make dogs smarter and easier to train.

Momma dog’s milk starts the benefits of DHA in her pup

Pups get the necessary DHA from lactating mothers, but the need for DHA continues after they’re weaned. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, newly weaned pups benefited from a DHA-rich diet from the start. AVMA studied the development of dogs between eight and 12 months old, with DHA-rich diets in comparison with puppies whose diets were low in DHA. The study’s outcome showed that the DHA led to memory, cognitive, retinal, immunologic and psychomotor functions significantly better than the puppies without DHA-rich diets.

Why is DHA vital after pups are weaned?

The development of pups’ brains continues long after they graduate from Momma’s milk to real dog food. By the time they are six weeks old, their brain mass reaches 70% of its adult size. Going on from there, during the next six weeks, their brains reach 90% of adult size. That right there underscores the importance of proper nourishment by making sure pups get sufficient DHA after they’re weaned.

There’s more! DHA in their diets also benefits retinal development and healthy vision, healthy gums. It reduces inflammation risks and provides better digestion. It gives a shiny coat and healthy skin.

What are the sources of DHA?

Most pet food manufacturers add fish, fish oil and fish meal to provide DHA. Seafood like sardines, salmon and tuna are DHA-rich, and organ meat and eggs are also sources of DHA.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.