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Omega fatty acids derived from fish oils and other healthy fats are an important part of your dog’s balanced diet. They provide energy, modulate inflammation, help absorb vitamins, process hormones, and promote brain and heart health.
Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids can all be considered healthy fats under the right conditions. By understanding the benefits these good fats provide and how you can integrate them into a dog’s diet, you can help your pets receive the proper nutrition they need.
Often it can be difficult for dogs to naturally receive a sufficient amount of omega fatty acids. An Omega 3 supplement or fish oil is an effective way to help your dog stay happy and healthy.
“Omegas” is short for “omega fatty acids” and refers to certain types of fat. There are different types of omega fatty acids for dogs: omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Our bodies and the bodies of our pets can turn other fats into omega-9s, but some omega 3s and omega 6s cannot be synthesized by the body. Those types of omegas have to come from the diet and are therefore called “essential” fatty acids. Omega supplements and fish oil for dogs is an easy way to ensure that pooch is getting enough essential fatty acids in their diet.
There are three important types of omega-3s for dogs: ALA, EPA and DHA.
Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, comes from plant sources, like seeds, nuts and vegetables. This type of omega is actually a precursor to the other types of omega-3s, meaning the body turns ALA into EPA and DHA. Dog bodies aren’t very efficient at converting ALA to the other two types, so ALA isn’t the best omega-3 fatty acid for dogs.
Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, are much better options for dogs. These types of omega-3s come mainly from aquatic creatures such as fish and algae. Fish oil supplements for dogs are the easiest way to ensure that your dog is getting a healthy amount of omega-3.
Omega-6 fatty acids are a little easier to come by in the average dog’s diet. In most cases, it’s not necessary to supplement omega-6 for dogs because they get plenty (sometimes too much!) from dog food.
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in animal and plant sources, even in common sources that are often included in commercial dog foods. They’re an important component in cellular structure, and they are necessary for dogs to stay healthy.
The amount of omegas your dog should be taking in is dependent on several factors. The best way to get a concrete idea of the appropriate omega-6 and omega-3 dosage for dogs is to speak with your vet. They’ll be able to take into account your dog’s current health and any issues you may be able to address with omegas, your dog’s size, and their current dietary intake.
When purchasing an omega-3 food, treat or supplement made specifically for dogs, follow the dosing instructions on the label unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Because DHA and EPA concentrations can vary widely, consult with your vet before give a supplement designed for people to your dog.
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