We are grateful to our friend Susan for sending this research piece below about the benefits of dietary DHA in puppy development that she discovered online. Chapel Farm Puppy/Junior is rich in DHA which is an Omega 3 Fatty Acid component of salmon oil. It has long been thought that Omega 3 increases intelligence and the research indicating increased learning and trainability would suggest that belief to be correct.
Kelley (2005) demonstrated that despite their level of immaturity, pups fed a diet enhanced with DHA showed significant increases in their levels of learning. Hoffman, Kelley, and Waltz, (2004) demonstrated that new-born puppies are susceptible to different levels of dietary DHA which affect their brain and eyes. Their study involved three colonies of bitches (a, ab, b) dietary DHA from proestrus until the puppies were weaned. Post-weaned puppies were fed the same diet as their dams. Using an experimental and control group, testing began at nine weeks of age. As shown in Figure 1, those fed the enhanced diet with DHA (group b) fed were found to be significantly more trainable than the control group (a). Similar findings have been reported in other species. Hamazaki, (1999) using mice, found that by varying the DHA dietary supplementation, stress-related behaviour responses (anxiety index) were lowered.
Cited: Administration of docosahexaenoic acid influences behaviour and plasma catecholamine levels at time of psychological stress. Lipids, 34, Suppl: S33-7. Hoffman, L., Kelley, R., Waltz, D., 2004. For smarter more trainable puppies: effect of docosahexaenoic acid on puppy trainability.