Importance of High DHA for Puppies

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Importance of High DHA for Puppies

Postby Doc E » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:48 am

As many of you know, I am a big proponent of Fish Oil (Complete Omega-3 Essentials).
But particularly Tuna Oil for puppies (as well as geriatric dogs).


A new study in the JAVMA continues to show the importance of a Fish Oil that is high in DHA (Tuna Oil).
The goal of the study was to evaluate the effect of food with added DHA from fish oil on the cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, retinal function and other developmental measures in healthy puppies.


Throughout the trial, researchers evaluated the puppies’ visual discrimination learning abilities (their capacity to recognize and identify visual shapes, forms, and patterns), memory function, and psychomotor performance (the coordination of a sensory or cognitive process with a motor activity).


Physiologic tests were also conducted, including blood and serum analysis, electroretinography (a test that measures the electrical response of the eye's light-sensitive cells, called rods and cones), and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (measures bone mineral density).
In addition, rabies antibody titer tests were taken at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after vaccination at 16 weeks.


Following are a couple paragraphs from the article :
"Dietary fortification with fish oils rich in DHA and possibly other nutrients implicated in neurocognitive development following weaning improved cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in growing dogs".


CONCLUSION : "Following weaning, dietary fortification with fish oils rich in DHA and possibly other nutrients implicated in neurocognitive development improves cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic and retinal functions in growing dogs".


Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is an omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) found in high concentrations in fish body oils. Tuna Oil has the highest ratio of DHA to EPA.


Studies show DHA and EPA (another omega-3 fatty acid) from fish body oils are more beneficial than those provided by nut or flaxseed oils, because fish body oils provide greater tissue levels of EFAs than oils from other sources. This is especially important for cats and dogs, because they can’t convert omega-3 from vegetable sources into DHA.


CAVEAT : The Beagle puppy study was done by Hill’s Pet Nutrition (makers of Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diets) and their goal, I’m sure, is to develop commercial pet food formulas containing added nutrients like DHA. The problem is that omega-3 fats are very vulnerable to damage from heat and oxygen. So even if these healthy fats are added to commercial pet food, they often lose their bioavailability during the kibbling or canning process.


Here's the link : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22916855
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