What are Omega-3 fats and DHA?

DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, is a polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid found throughout your dog’s body. It is a major structural component of brain tissue and the retina, a key component of the heart, located in healthy joints and plays a significant role in the control of multiple cell functions like inflammation or immune response.

Healthy brains contain about 60% structural fats and 30% DHA in the grey matter. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain representing about 95% of the total Omega-3’s.

DHA Omega-3 is therefore essential for proper body function and considered the most important nutritional lipid in the diet.

Not all Omega-3’s are equal. Many pet food products claim to be a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but not all Omega-3’s are equal. While DHA provides a broad range of health benefits, shorter chain Omega-3’s are mainly a source of energy. Additionally, shorter chain Omega-3’s do not efficiently convert to long-chain DHA in the body, partly because of the presence of Omega-6 fatty acids competing for this conversion.

Therefore, the supplementation of a preformed source of DHA is the preferred nutritional strategy.

There are many ingredients that contain Omega-3 fatty acids – but many of them are not adequate sources of DHA Omega-3. For example, flax seed and vegetable oils are mainly a source of shorter chain Omega-3’s. Fish oils and fish by-products are the most common sources of DHA Omega-3 used in pet nutrition products. However, the DHA content in fish can vary significantly dependent on fish species, geographical origin and the way the raw materials are processed and stabilized.

Where do Omega-3 fats, and particularly DHA, come from?

There is misconception that fish produce their own DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid -the highly beneficial Omega-3 fat), when in fact it is the algae in their food chain that makes fish a rich source of DHA. Algae are consumed by plankton which small fish eat, larger fish in turn feed on the smaller fish, it is this food chain process that transitions the DHA from the algae to the oily fish we eat.

Growing demand for fish may soon outstrip supply

While the global population has swelled to more than 8 billion people as of late 2022, the world’s natural resources are considered nearly static.

The ever-increasing global consumption of fish, and our heavy reliance on fish material as a protein source, is bringing us to the critical point where ocean supplies will fail to meet the growing demand.

Since ocean fish is a critical food component in the aquaculture industry, farm raised fish will not alleviate the pressure.

Projections indicate that continuing to overfish our oceans will result in a shortage of commercially harvested fish and potentially lead to extinction of certain species. There is a pressing need for alternative sources of DHA Omega-3.

A factor in the recent surge in the popularity of fish products, both as a supplement and dinner staple, is our growing recognition of the important health benefits of omega-3s. Due to the uncertainty surrounding this traditional source of dietary DHA omega-3, the quest to determine a sustainable alternative is underway.

At this point modern biotechnology helps. Cultivating algae under controlled conditions provides a consistent alternative source of DHA-Omega-3 which is unaffected by seasonal fluctuations, the availability of marine sources, any geographic variability or unwanted shifts in quality.

DHAgold from algae provides a solution. Being based on algal fermentation, DHAgold bypasses the fish and goes directly to the source. Because DHAgold gets its DHA from algae and not fish, DHAgold is a consistent, sustainable, non- marine source of DHA which is free of ocean-borne contaminants.

Health benefits of DHAgold® Omega-3

DHAgold® Omega-3 provides your dog with health benefits through all their life stages.

Heart Health

Containing a natural, and highly bioavailable, source of Taurine, DHA is beneficial in dogs with cardiac disease and support anti-arrhythmic effects along with positive effects on heart rate and blood pressure.

Memory and Visual Performance

A DSM study showed that a group of 8 to 11 year old dogs fed food containing DHAgold for 6 months had significantly improved memory and visual performance.

Brain Development

Feeding dams a diet enriched with DHA during gestation and lactation has been associated with improvements in the neurologic development of their puppies.

Immune and Inflammation Response

Supplementation with Omega-3’s positively influences the cell-mediated immune response. In dogs DHA supports anti-inflammatory effects along with positive effects on immune function.

Skin and Coat Care

Dogs with canine pruritic skin disease, supplemented with DHA, showed significant improvements in skin health and coat character over time. The quality of a dog’s paw pad is also linked to its DHA nutritional status.

Mobility and Joint Care

In dogs with osteoarthritis, Omega-3’s help reducing the use of pain medication required. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can also lead to an improvement in weight bearing for dogs with osteoarthritis.

Digestion and Gut Health

Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease intestinal inflammation.

Metabolic Syndrome

Management of hyperlipidaemia in dogs can be achieved through low fat diets also providing DHA as a lipid lowering agent which may improve long-term glucose control and decrease plasma insulin concentration, reducing the risk of developing diabetes mellitus.


Puppies nourished with high levels of DHA were found to be more trainable than puppies given low levels of DHA, supporting the effect of DHA on neurological function.

With each gram of DHAgold® containing 21.8% DHA, and an inclusion rate of 9.2grams/kg of food, the level of DHA in every kg of Bonza is over 2000mg - the equivalent of a tablespoon (14ml) of Salmon Oil

DHAgold® also contains a wealth of powerful nutrients that contribute significantly your dog’s best health including minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, chlorophyll and sterols, oligosaccharides, prebiotic fibres and antioxidants

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