DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID DHA – THE HEALTHIEST OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID FOR YOUR DOG
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vitally important role for both you and your dog’s health.
Of all omega-3s, of which there are 11 types, the 3 most important are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids are classed as a good fat because of the many health benefits they offer both us and our dogs.
Unfortunately, ALA, which is the most abundant Omega-3 fatty acid found in foods, is inefficiently converted to DHA and EPA. Estimates for conversion rates are that just 1–10% of ALA is converted into EPA and 0.5–5% into DHA ( 1, 2, 3, 4)
Further complicating the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, some omega-6 fatty acids compete for the same enzymes needed for this conversion process. The high amounts of omega-6 found in both our own diets, and that of our dogs, may reduce the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA ( 5, 6)
Recent research suggests that preformed marine EPA and DHA sources (from fatty fish and seaweed and algae) are needed in dog feeds, as the dietary requirements proposed by feed industry organisations are not met with conversion from short-chain n-3 fatty acids such as ALA ( 16)
Of the three fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most important omega-3 in your and your dog’s bodies.
The richest sources of DHA are seaweed and algae, fatty, oily fish and seafood – mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, menhaden, sardines, prawns and oysters.
Interestingly these oily fish get the majority of the Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, from their diet and from seaweed and algae in particular.
Bonza’s Omega-3 comes from the original marine plant-based source – seaweed(algae) and seaweed (algal) oil extract
The health benefits for your dog of Omega-3, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, include:
- Reducing inflammation in the joints which helps your dog with conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis (9, 14, 18)
- Supporting the brain and maintaining a healthy cognitive function (10, 12)
- Promoting less irritated, supple skin and a glossy coat (9, 13, 18)
- Supporting your dog’s heart health (9, 11)
- Support for your dog’s kidney health (9, 15)
- Providing a boost to your dog’s immune system (9, 17)
- Helping to manage auto-immune conditions (18)
- Help support remission and survival time of dogs diagnosed with lymphoma (18)
Omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA in particular, are increasingly understood by vets, canine nutritionists and animal scientists to play a vital role in your dog’s health throughout their lives as much as we now know it plays in our own long-term health and wellbeing
While not considered ‘essential’ it is our belief that Omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA and EPA in particular, should be for all the preventative and curative health benefits they provide our dogs.
Bonza complete and balanced plant-based food for your dog includes DHA at a level of 0.22% and EPA at a level of 0.005% of preformed EPA and DHA to provide them with the many health benefits these fatty acids offer as outlined above.