Omega 3, 6, & 9. Why you need to supplement your pets diet
The benefits of omega fatty acids have long been recognised in people, and they can be found in many health supplements due to their wide range of uses. But did you know they can also help our dogs?
Omega 3, 6 & 9 have a huge range of roles in the body but their levels in commercial dog foods vary, so a supplement such as the Peak Pets Omega 3, 6 & 9 can be useful. Here are some of the ways that these helpful fatty acids can benefit your canine companion.
Healthy skin, glossy coat
Omega 3 is essential in keeping dogs’ skin healthy and happy. The ‘fat’ part of fatty acids is needed to keep the skin barrier healthy, which then helps to prevent common conditions such as dry, flaky skin, redness and itching. Fatty acids are also essential for the production of new hair follicles and the maintenance of the natural oils in dogs’ coats that keep them looking glossy.
Boosts the immune system
Omega fatty acids are crucial in helping our cells respond to inflammation and infection. They are hugely important in the cell membrane, which means they can alter the fluidity and properties of cells to help prevent invasion by foreign cells. They have also been shown to be ‘signalling cells’, helping to reduce inflammatory responses. Omega 3 contains alpha-linolenic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, essential across many body systems.
Joint issues, especially arthritis, are extremely common in dogs – and not just older ones. Strain on the joints, alongside the wear and tear of age, can wear out the protective cartilage layer found in all joints, causing inflammation and pain.
Your dog may be starting to struggle with their joints if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:
- Stiffness when rising after rest
- An altered gait when walking/exercising
- Reluctance to exercise or play
- Muscle wastage or swellings to joints
- Irritability, altered interaction with owner, not wanting to be touched on groomed
- Appetite loss
If you suspect your dog has any problems with their joints, a discussion with your veterinary surgeon is advised. They may suggest a supplement alongside any other treatment they discuss.
Omega fatty acids are important in joints due to their role in synthesising healthy cartilage, but also for their anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and therefore pain. They can be useful in all stages of joint disease, from prevention all the way through to severe arthritis.
Promote Good Organ Health
Omega 3 also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which plays a vital role in all sorts of internal functions – including the eyes, heart, liver and kidneys. Omega 3,6 & 9 fatty acids play a protective, anti-inflammatory response in many areas of the body, and have been shown to be beneficial in many chronic diseases such as kidney disease and even cancer.
How can I give my dog more Omega fatty acids?
Dogs cannot make Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids themselves; they are completely reliant on dietary intake. Given the varied and important role that these nutrients play, it is therefore vital that they receive enough fatty acids in their diets. Many commercial diets will contain fatty acids, but not always at very high levels. Omega 3, 6 & 9 are found in various foods, mostly oily fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel. It is safe to feed your dog fish, although you must remove any bones. Other sources of Omega 3, such as avocado, are toxic to dogs, so ensuring your dog has a safe form of dietary essential fatty acids is necessary.
Giving a supplement such as Peak Pets Omega 3,6 & 9 is a convenient way to get these essential fatty acids into their diet with all the hard work done for you, as the dose has been carefully calculated to ensure the correct amount for your pet. Many human supplements also contain omega fatty acids, but they can be formulated in ways that digs find difficult to digest, and it can be difficult to calculate the correct dose.
Most dogs will take supplements well, either hidden in food or as a treat on their own.
Should I consider an Omega fatty acid supplement for my dog?
Omega fatty acids are essential for dogs’ health, and cannot be made in the body, so a dietary source is essential. This can be gained either via their food or given as a supplement. As well as protecting your pet from joint disease and other inflammatory disorders, they keep coat and skin glossy and boost the immune system – so these helpful nutrients are definitely something for dog owners to consider!