From improved joint function and mobility to a glossy coat and proper immune system functioning, it’s important to ensure your pup gets enough Omega-3 fatty acids in its diet. As dogs don’t produce this nutrient, it’s essential for owners to source the nutrients either through a dietary supplement or food. So, have you checked to ensure that your dog is getting the necessary Omega-3s they need?
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical for your pet’s skin and coat health. Not only do they provide the cells with structure, but also boast anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help protect against damage from outside elements.
Fats are important to a dog’s nutrition, but not all fats are created equal. Some simply provide energy, while others are closely related to the health of our four-legged friends. All nutritional fats contain fatty acids, which can be divided into two main groups: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids consist of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, is vital for all animals to stay in good health. Other essential fatty acids for dogs are ALA and/or EPA and DHA, all of which are omega-3s. Research has shown that EPA and DHA are the most effective when looking at health benefits. While dogs can metabolize limited amounts of ALA into EPA and DHA, this process is not very efficient. Therefore, boosting your dog’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids high in bioavailable EPA and DHA is recommended.
Six Benefits of Omega-3’s for Your Dog’s Skin Health
Healthy Moisture Balance
Supplementing your dog with omega-3 fatty acids can be incredibly helpful for those that suffer from inflammatory disorders like allergies or atopy. These conditions are incredibly itchy and can even cause hair loss if left untreated. Supplementing your pup with omega-3 can help reduce itchiness and improve their skin health, leading to a shinier coat and fewer issues with shedding, dandruff, and discomfort. Not only that, studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the over reactivity of a dog’s immune system, leading to further improvements in their coat character and reducing the risk of them developing other conditions due to excessive itching.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help lessen inflammation caused by allergies or other skin issues. This may reduce itching, redness, and irritation, leading to a healthier coat that stays free of discomfort. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can cause dry, scaly skin, making your pet shed more and appear dull. Further, it can be itchy and cause your pup to itch, scratch, and chew in an attempt to relieve the irritation. Unfortunately, this risks allowing bacteria to penetrate the skin barrier and develop hot spots – painful areas that will make them even more uncomfortable unless treated. Supplementing your pup’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce inflammation causing the itch while promoting healing of any breaks in the skin they’ve already opened.
Strengthens Skin Barrier
Omega-3s are known for their ability to strengthen the skin barrier, helping to protect it from external environmental factors like UV rays and other potential irritants. This helps keep your dog’s skin strong and healthy despite exposure to outdoor elements.
Promotes Hair Growth
Omega-3s have been shown to promote hair growth in mammals, making them especially beneficial for dogs with thinning coats or bald patches due to aging or health reasons.