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no-brainer: boosting brain function with foods



Wish your kitty was more clever or your canine more canny? Feed their minds! One of the keys to boosting brain function and maintaining mental acuity is to provide pets with healthy foods that reduce inflammation.


Genius Munchies

When it comes to brilliance-boosting morsels, try whole food sources. Offer your pets nutrient-rich wild-caught salmon, sardines or anchovies as a nibble instead of processed treats. Most dogs love raw veggies and fruits; brain-boosting treats such as carrots, blueberries, watermelon and broccoli are wise snack choices. At least once a week, feed a home-prepared meal rich in healthy organic whole foods.


Smart Supplements

Supplementing your pet’s diet can help keep your best friend’s grey matter great well into their golden years. Some of my must-give supplements for senior pets include a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as Nordic Naturals Pets or Welactin. Omega-3’s, especially DHA, reduce inflammation and have been shown to enhance brain power in both the young and old. Coenzyme Q10 is another potent anti-inflammatory that should be part of your senior pet’s daily diet.


An exciting new nutraceutical that shows tremendous promise for aging pets experiencing early signs of mental decline is apoaequorin, first discovered in jellyfish. This compound that has been shown to improve cognitive function in dogs and cats, and helps reduce brain cell death – always a good thing. SAM-e and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) are also excellent additions for aging pets. Because the brain is undoubtedly the most complex organ in the body, a multi-modal approach is best. Talk to your veterinarian about which supplements are best for your pet.


Brain Gains

The benefits of daily exercise on brain health are well known. Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation and reset vital brain chemicals. Stimulate your pet with puzzle toys, games and by teaching him new tricks. For your pet to stay functional and healthy in his teens, improve his lifestyle when when he's young. The daily habits you choose for your pet are perhaps the single biggest factor in keeping brain diseases at bay.

Keeping pets fit from the start and feeding them wisely will help them age gracefully. The lifestyle you choose and sustain for your pet is perhaps the single biggest factor in keeping brain diseases at bay. Talk to your vet about food and supplements that will benefit your individual pet, so he will be sharp as a tack for years to come!   

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Dr. Jules BensonChief Veterinary Medical Officer of Petplan
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Visit your vet at least once a year to keep your pet protected from preventable diseases.