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Fish oil, fish oil, fish oil; we all know it’s meant to be great for us! Omega 3, 6 & 9! It’s one of the most popular and well-touted supplements for both humans and dogs, but why is omega for dogs so good? What is it and what does it do to serve your pup and their health?
Omega 3, 6, and 9 are essential fatty acids derived from oily, cold-water fish, shellfish, plants, nuts, and seeds (like linseed and flaxseed). They’re described as essential because the body cannot make them, but needs them in order to survive and thrive. This means they must be ingested from the diet.
There are four types of dietary fats: trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Omega fatty acids are found in polyunsaturated fats and create important hormones that can regulate blood flow and reduce inflammation.
And, what fatty acids do Omega 3, 6 & 9 contain? Omega-6 fats include Linoleic acid and Arachidonic acid. Omega-3 fats include Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-9 fats include Oleic Acid.
Foods that are rich in Omega 3 naturally help promote skin health in dogs, and thus, support their coat. Its immune-boosting properties help reduce the risks associated with parasitic infestation, skin infections, allergic conditions, dandruff, and dry, itchy skin developing. Because it’s a fat, it helps lock in the moisture of the skin too which hydrates and soothes, and keeps their coat silky and shiny!
As with humans, joint pain can be considered part and parcel when dogs grow old. However, all breeds, sizes, and ages can be susceptible. Joint pain occurs when the natural wear and tear of the cartilage in them breaks down between the bones. Cartilage stops the bones from rubbing together which can cause pain. When the cartilage is worn though, this can cause your dog a lot of discomfort.
Cartilage can’t grow back, but Omega oils are natural anti-inflammatories so can relieve and soothe joint pain and help get your dog moving discomfort-free again. That’s why, when choosing any joint care supplement for your dog, you should look for the inclusion of fish oils in the formula.
Salmon oil is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids and works to help maintain healthy joints, controlling stiffness, tenderness, and discomfort. With its Omega-3 wealth, salmon oil can increase blood flow too, which has a range of other unique health benefits but namely getting nutrients and oxygen around the body and to the places that need them most.
The immune-boosting properties of Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) – a fatty acid found in Omega 3 – can reduce the regularity and severity of allergic reactions (which is when the immune system attacks a suspected threat). It can also help reduce inflammation which lightens the risk of severe infections forming and in turn aids lowering your pup’s vulnerability to illness, disease, and overbearing symptoms caused by inflammatory conditions. Omega 3, 6 & 9 also create the building blocks of cell preservation and maintenance which is essential for preserving the overall health of your pooch.
As well as the immune system, Omega fatty acids – in particular, Omega 3’s Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – directly contribute to the welfare of your pup’s organs too, namely the kidneys, eyes, liver, and heart. It’s also thought to help your pup’s positive bodily response to vaccinations!
For example, this study found that dogs with kidney disease had the progression of their condition slowed as a direct result of them taking an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement!
They’ve even seen an improvement in dogs with cancer! 32 dogs with lymphoma in this study were given either soybean oil or a fish oil supplement alongside their chemotherapy. The study found that the dogs taking the fish oil supplement entered remission more rapidly than the soybean group, and stayed in remission for longer too!
"The anti-inflammatory effects of EPA and DHA are used to help many conditions including kidney disease, cardiovascular disorders, osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), skin atopy and allergies. Knowledge about supplementation for these kinds of diseases as an adjunct therapy is so important because, for example, skin diseases account for as much as 25% of the small animal cases seen by vets these days. It must be noted that including EPA and DHA in the diet may be beneficial in some disease states but it should be discussed with your vet first to ensure the correct therapeutic dose is met, especially if their current food is high in added omega oils."
Most commercial dog foods don’t provide enough essential fatty acids like the omegas or don’t contain a good enough ratio of the three, which is why some pet parents choose to opt for supplements. Simply try adding a squirt of salmon oil to your pet's food! This beneficial addition to all of your pet's daily meals can support their overall health and leave their skin and coat in tip-top condition.
Salmon Oil is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, meaning this liquid can help support immunity, cognitive function, coat, skin, and heart health.
So, now you know why omega for dogs is so essential!