Can you make my puppy smarter?

Omega 3 fatty acids and skin diseaseI realize that you probably have a very smart dog. You might even believe you have smart kids! (At least I do, smart kids that is. Our dogs have not been overly endowed in the canine intelligence department. – Sorry Jake)

What if it could be shown that nutritional intervention might make your dog smarter, have a healthier immune system and be more coordinated?  Sounds too good to be true, right?

A recent article referenced in Pubmed concluded that puppies randomly assigned to three feeding groups and fed diets fortified with three different levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from 8 weeks of age to one year of age, showed some interesting differences many areas.

Immune response to vaccination –

Puppies in the high-DHA group initially had significantly higher immune responses to their rabies vaccine than the others. (This difference seemed to be less significant after several weeks)

Eye development –

Puppies fed the enriched food had better vision in low-light situations and improved activity in the inner cell layer of the retina.

Coordination –

Finally, the puppies in the group fed the enriched diets were better able to navigate obstacle courses than those in the other two groups.

 

What does this all mean to you?

The development of the nervous system as well as physical development is influenced by many things including the genetic makeup of the parents, the environment, disease and nutrition. This study is interesting because it points to one possible intervention we can make to assure healthier and smarter pets.

Please share your questions and thoughts with us. If you are interested in a copy of the original article (quite technical in nature), you can request that as well.

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