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As dogs age, their cognitive functions tend to deteriorate significantly. Some dogs even suffer from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), which in so many ways, is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
The dog becomes forgetful and cannot do some things. They may start barking without any cause, become restless, wake up at night, or start to have accidents around the house.
Whether your dog loses memory because of CDS or old age, you can prevent or at least slow down the condition and keep your dog’s brain sharp. The best way to boost your dog’s recall is by adding brain foods to your pet’s homemade treats.
What you eat has a big impact on your behavior—that’s why you will feel lazy after eating a big meal or a bit hyperactive following a sugary treat. This applies to dogs as well. In fact, dog experts believe that you can change the physical and neurological aspects of a dog’s brain through nutrition.
Without further ado, let me take you through 7 ingredients to include in your homemade treats to boost your dog’s recall.
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are highly beneficial to your dog’s brain health. The brain’s cerebral cortex is made up of DHA, which is also vital in supporting the neurons. Adding ingredients like salmon oil that have omega 3 fatty acids in your dog’s homemade treat will help supplement the DHA in the brain, which improves the dog’s cognitive health.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is scientifically proven to assist with the improvement of brain functions, especially in older dogs. The brain requires lots of energy which it derives after the body breaks down glucose from food.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) like those contained in coconut oil are usually a good source of energy for the brain as they can be broken down easily and absorbed rapidly to provide energy for the brain.
MCGs can easily cross the blood-brain barrier hence they are a good source of brain energy. Additionally, they help in the production of Ketones, which are good sources of brain foods.
A study conducted on 24 beagles showed that the dogs portrayed significant improvements in learning-related activities after consuming MCT.
Adding Luteolin to your DIY dog treat can help tame inflammation of the brain. You can find Luteolin in carrots and celery.
According to research conducted by Rodney Johnson at the University of Illinois on mice, aged mice experienced a reduction in brain inflammation after feeding on Luteolin. The study also concluded that the Luteolin restored the aged mice’s memory to levels similar to the younger rats.
4. Vitamin B6 and B12
Vitamin B6 assists with the formation of neurotransmitters and helps with brain development. On the other hand, Vitamin B12 is essential for brain function. Studies have shown that adding these two vitamins in your dog’s diet can help enhance memory performance.
Some of the ingredients rich in Vitamin B6 and B12 that you can use in your dog treats include seafood, chickpeas, and meat.
5. Fruits and Vegetables
Research has shown that adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet can help improve learning and attention. Holistic health practitioners also maintain that root vegetables provide potent stabilizing energy that focuses the dog’s brain and strengthens his will. It is, therefore, advisable to add colorful fruits and vegetables to your dog’s homemade treat to get the most benefits. Some of the fruits and veggies you can use include spinach, blueberries, and carrots. Be sure to add them in small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s intestines.
Antioxidants are essential for the cognitive health of aged dogs. A good source of antioxidants is anthocyanins, which are found in most berries. The anthocyanins can help in enhancing recall and reverse the reduction in cognitive function that may result from age-related stress. Therefore, adding raspberries, kales, broccoli, and blueberries to your dog treats can go a long way in boosting recall.
Curcumin is an active ingredient present in Tumeric. Many studies have suggested that curcumin can help slow decay in the functioning of the brain. So, adding Tumeric to your dog’s treat can play a significant role in enhancing recall.
Whether your pup is young or old, adequate nutrition coupled with mental stimulation will help his brain functioning at its peak, allowing him to develop and maintain high levels of fluid intelligence.
In particular, adding brain foods to your homemade dog treats will improve their cognitive functions significantly.
The above-highlighted are excellent ingredients you can add to your DIY treats if you want to make your canine friend smarter and boost recall.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.