Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of the cell membranes of animals. They provide the necessary nutrients that keep the cells functioning properly. If your dog isn't getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in their daily diet, then supplementation could be helpful in helping to remedy the problems that lead to deficiency. Omega 3 fatty acids also help to keep the skin barrier intact which protects your canine's coat and skin and restores moisture to the affected areas.
Signs of Omega deficiency
Many dogs can start to exhibit signs of deficiency at age two, so it is important that you take special care of your pet. Dogs that suffer from dry, scaly skin, and poor coat health tend to be at risk for developing this condition. Because the oil helps to keep the skin lubricated, the oily substance helps to protect the skin cells. In fact, when the skin cells become damaged, they become more susceptible to bacteria. The combination of oily coat material and damaged skin cells makes it easier for the bacteria to enter the pores of the coat, causing an inflammation that can lead to hair loss. Dogs with Omega 3 deficiencies will display a decreased resistance to various diseases and infections. This can lead to a higher chance of infection, which further compromises the animal's ability to fight off disease.
Research in canine health also shows that autoimmune, allergic, or inflammatory health conditions may benefit from increasing Omega 3 fatty acid levels. Make sure that your dog receives an adequate amount of essential fatty acids on a regular basis in order to help prevent these types of conditions including arthritis.
Sources of Omega 3 for dogs
A sustainable alternative to fish oil, an oil high in plant based Omega 3 can be beneficial. Where the dog is able to utilise and convert to the Omega 3 end-products. The microbiome health is important in this conversion as the gut bacteria metabolites help stimulate this process. Feeding a more sustainable oil will help lower the fish farming from the ocean and also the potential of contamination from the polluted oceans where fish reside and the toxins stored in their oil fat cells.
Linseed Oil (Flaxseed Oil) is derived from the seeds of the linseed crops and has been used as a more “breath friendly” alternative to fish oil supplements (which may cause a fishy smell to the breath or skin).
Most pet foods already have a naturally high quantity of Omega 6 fatty acids much less Omega 3 fatty acids because of the ingredients used. It is often the Omega 3 that is lacking in the diet to help the proper omega ratio. The approximate ratio of 5:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is believed to be essential in promoting health and maintaining homeostasis in your dog.
Therefore, it is important to supplement most dogs with quality Omega 3 fatty acid supplements, which can easily be added to their food.
Is fat necessary in a dog's diet?
When providing omega 3 from plant based sources, it is also a calories source based on fat. Fat is a concentrated form of energy that is more than twice the energy or protein and carbohydrates. Fats are highly digestible (up to 95%) for a dog’s system and does not promote negative hot behaviour. This negative behaviour results from the increase in the dog’s blood glucose levels, which lowers their serotonin uptake.
Another benefit of fat is they enhance the flavour of foods. They also help the body absorb and utilise specific vitamins in the diet. The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E and K.
These are termed essential vitamins and are used in various roles through the dog's body, from antioxidant activity, bone growth, immune function to blood clotting.
Can dogs get fat from a diet high in fat?
Dogs do not get fat by eating fat but instead by eating carbohydrates. It is the carbohydrates that if not utilised as fuel for energy, turns to fat and stored through the body. In fact, performance dogs may have a higher risk of injury from inflammation caused by a high carbohydrate diet.
A diet rich in carbohydrates will use the sugar for energy and if not used, may increase the risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.
A quality plant based source of Omega 3
One of the popular plant based Omega 3 oils is CEN Oil. It is a stabilised linseed (flaxseed) oil with high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that does not require refrigeration unlike other oil types on the market.
CEN Oil is successfully fed by dog owners Australia wide including breeders, performance and show dogs.
Find out more information about CEN Oil at the CEN Nutrition website – https://cennutrition.com.au
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