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 acid in the brain. It plays a vital role in the development of a puppy’s central nervous system and retinal function.
To help your puppy be as smart and healthy as possible, DHA should be an essential component of your dog's diet. The DHA in IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy food helps encourage healthy brain development, which can make your puppy more trainable and help forge a stronger bond with you.
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. The puppy’s mother transfers DHA from her body tissues to her offspring during pregnancy and lactation.
After weaning, puppies can obtain DHA through their diet.
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.
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.
How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.