How DHA Can Help Your Puppy

The DHA in IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Original food helps encourage healthy brain development, which can help your puppy forge a stronger bond with you.
Our Nutritional Philosophy

What Is DHA?

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid important for neural development of puppies.

DHA is a major structural component of the brain as well as the most abundant fatty acids in the brain. It plays a vital role in the development of the central nervous system and retinal function.

 

Sources of DHA

Common dietary DHA sources include fish—such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and other seafood—eggs, and organ meat. In pet foods, sources of DHA include fish, fish meal, and fish oil.

Prior to weaning, puppies get DHA from their mothers. Mothers, both human and canine, transfer DHA from their body tissues to their offspring during pregnancy and lactation.

After weaning, puppies can obtain DHA for continuing neural development through diet.

 

Effects of DHA

One IAMS study looked at Beagle puppies whose mothers had been fed enhanced or typical dietary DHA from breeding on through weaning.* After weaning, puppies were fed the same diets as their mothers throughout the remainder of the study (up to 16 weeks of age). To evaluate the effect of diet on trainability, all puppies were taught to associate a symbol with a direction in a t-maze, with correct responses resulting in a food treat.

 

Effects of Diet on Trainability

In the 30 days of testing, puppies from the enhanced-DHA group consistently outperformed the puppies from the typical-DHA group on the maze test. Results of the study indicated that puppies nourished on high DHA levels were more trainable.

 
* Data on file. The IAMS Company.