Fish Oil… Good for you, even BETTER for your Brood bitch.
By Sandra Jones:
Your doctor has told you to take fish oil for your heart health but let me tell you the importance of fish oil to your brood bitch and your entire breeding program.
The life and potential of a show dog begins shortly after the mating and the zygotes are forming into tiny little super stars. For the entire life of this dog, it will never use as much energy as in the first 8 weeks of growth inside the brood bitch. We have the ability to unlock the potential in each and every puppy by supplementing the bitch with DHA – docosahexaenoic acid . It is part of the Omega 3 fatty acids that are the building blocks for neural development in puppies before they are even born.
Research is extensive on DHA and has shown that DHA is a major structure and the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. More than 60% of the brain is composed of fats of which 25% is DHA. It has been shown that in the first week of the zygotes development the brain cell division is the most active as well as the last trimester when the DHA content of the puppy’s brain increases 3-5 fold.
DHA is setting up the puppy for its total life function of mental development and visual acuity as well as building cell membranes that regulate all energy and sources of reproduction throughout the life of the dog.
The brood bitch will give as much DHA to the puppies during gestation as they are able but, unless supplemented, they themselves may never regain their full potential and will consequently produce smaller litters in order to save themselves. Adding DHA to the diet during pregnancy lowers the incident of low birth weight and produces stronger puppies at birth who are ready to nurse vigorously.
There are not many foods that are a good source of DHA (omega 3 fatty acids), but, the best density of DHA is found in salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring and mackerel. The next best source is organ meat such as kidney, heart, liver. In order to get the proper amount of DHA, the dogs diet would need to be 10% organ meat.
When buying DHA, make certain its source is not flax seed. It is just not as effective as fish oil. I think the “real deal” is better that a pill – a sardine a day will keep the vet away. If at first your dog turns the fish away, keep trying. I have yet to find a dog that will not eat canned salmon, mackerel or sardines.
In comparison to travel expenses, show equipment and grooming products, adding a good source of DHA to make you dog a Super Star is the cheapest thing that you can do.