Safety of a novel feed ingredient, Algal Oil containing EPA and DHA, in a gestation-lactation-growth feeding study in Beagle dogs

PLoS One. 2019 Jun 3;14(6):e0217794. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217794. eCollection 2019.


An Algal Oil Containing EPA and DHA (AOCED) at ~50% was developed as a sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acids. AOCED was incorporated into extruded dry foods for dogs at 0, 0.75%, 1.5% and 3.0% levels (equivalent to 0, 7.5, 15 and 30 g/kg diet) on dry matter basis at the expense of chicken fat and fed to healthy female Beagle dogs starting at mating and throughout gestation and lactation. The offspring were fed their maternal corresponding diets for 26 weeks after weaning. AOCED-enriched diets were well tolerated by dogs in both generations and did not affect their overall health, physiological parameters, food consumption, body weights and body weight gains. There were no changes in hematology, clinical chemistry, and coagulation parameters in both generations of dogs fed the AOCED diets when compared to those in the control group. Plasma levels of DHA and EPA increased significantly and generally dose-dependently in both generations. The study demonstrated the safety of AOCED in dogs during gestation, lactation, and growth periods at dietary levels up to 3.0wt%, equivalent to 30 g/kg diet. AOCED's bioavailability as a source of DHA and EPA in dogs was demonstrated by the increased plasma concentrations of these nutritional lipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Body Weight
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / adverse effects*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Dogs
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Lactation*
  • Male
  • Oils
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction


  • Oils
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Grants and funding

The funder (DSM) provided support in the form of salaries for authors [ID, EBH, ES, SY, AK, FR, and JW]. The funder also provided support in the form of research materials and contract payments to the lab which conducted the study. AP is employed by the lab as a study director. The funder did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section.