Just like you, your dog needs nutrition to be its best. And if you love your dog the way we love ours, you're happy to provide whatever they need. Dog owners tend to lavish their pups with toys, treats, and stylish dog clothing, but you can't forget the less trendy things like their essential nourishment.
One such essential to their nutrition is Omega 3 fatty acids. Research has shown how important this is for humans, but now it's shown how vital it is for your dog as well.
What is Omega 3 for Dogs?
Omega 3 is a group of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that benefit humans and animals. Among other things, they can significantly decrease the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Here is a little help understanding what Omega 3 is:
- Polyunsaturated means that it's a good kind of fat.
- They are essential, which means your dog's body can't make it. Omega 3 must be provided in their food or supplements.
- Finally, they are fatty acids. This means they store energy, help control hormones, and assist the body in absorbing specific vitamins.
How Omega 3 Benefits Your Dog
For younger dogs, omega 3 supports:
- Their developing immune systems aid them in fighting off infections.
- It might also help your pup's mental development by improving its learning ability, memory, and cognitive functions.
In more mature dogs, as degenerative diseases begin to develop that are associated with inflammation, omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory supplement that does good things:
- It enhances your dog's skin and coat
- It improves mobility by relieving stiff joints
- It can minimize inflammation and the related symptoms
- It boosts healing
Are you looking for high-quality supplements for your dog? We can help your pet to find the optimal balance they deserve with our natural, holistic supplements. Learn more at Rogue Pet Science.
What Foods Provide Your Dog with Omega 3
As already mentioned, omega 3 is not produced by your dog internally. It has to be provided in the food they eat or in supplements.
The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA can be found in plants, like nuts and seeds. Your dog's body must convert this type of omega 3 into two fatty acids. This takes a little longer to process, so this isn't the best type for them if your dog is sick, injured, or old.
The two other types are the fastest way to take in omega 3 - EPA and DHA. These are found in fatty fish oil in cold-water fish like sardines, salmon, and anchovies and in warm-water fish like menhaden and pollock - and their oils.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has an Omega 3 Deficiency
When you consider supplementing your dog's diet with omega 3, you may want to know if they're deficient. Here are a few ways to tell if your dog is lacking omega 3:
- Their coat is dull or dry
- They are suffering from hair loss
- Their wounds or injuries take a long time to heal
- They are obese
- They have muscle weakness - trouble walking, running, etc.
- They have poor eyesight
Before you make any significant changes to your dog's diet, we recommend you have a conversation with your vet.
5 Reasons to Make Omega 3 a Priority for Your Dog
Here are 5 reasons to make sure your dog is getting plenty of omega 3:
1 Joint Health
Your dog's joints can become stiff and painful, even if they don't have arthritis. You may notice this if they become slow to move about or get up with difficulty from lying down. Omega 3 can significantly reduce inflammation-causing stiffness, and it is indicated for arthritis.
2 Heart Health
Heart disease in dogs is associated with chronic, high inflammation. Omega 3 can reduce this inflammation and be a factor in preventing and alleviating heart disease.
3 Skin and Coat Health
Of course, you want your dog to look good, but skin and coat health aren't just about aesthetics. Omega 3 has the following effect on your dog's skin and coat:
- It keeps their skin moisturized
- It reduces shedding
- It prevents dandruff and dryness that leads to itchiness
4 Brain Health
The type of omega 3 that is the most beneficial for your dog's brain is DHA. It aids your pup's brain development and helps to prevent brain deterioration as they age.
5 Mental and Emotional Stability
If your dog is hyperactive, anxious, or depressed, it can benefit from omega 3. It affects their neurotransmitters and neuroplasticity. Research has found that omega 3 uses the same pathways as anti-anxiety medications. In 2016, a study showed that omega 3 had a calming effect on participating dogs and relieved the depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity of other study subjects (which may prove true for dogs as well).
How Much Omega 3 Does Your Dog Need
The recommended daily dose of omega 3 depends on the weight of your dog - 75 to 100 mg per kg total of EPA/DHA. Take care not to give them too much. If your dog exceeds the recommended daily dose, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, reduced immune function, and other issues.
To convert their weight in lbs, divide it by 2.2 to get their weight in kgs. For instance, 50 lbs divided by 2.2 means your dog weighs 22.7 kg.
The average 50lb dog would be in the 1,702mg to 2,270mg target range for EPA/DHA diet inclusion if using a standard liquid fish oil supplement.
It seems clear that omega 3 has plenty of benefits for your dog. Their heart, joints, mental well-being, and even their appearance can all be improved by taking more omega-3 fatty acids. These are not produced in their bodies, so you will have to enhance their diet or provide supplements. You may have to do a small calculation to determine how much to give them, but be careful not to exceed it.
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