Fish Oil For Dogs And Cats Doggone Purrfect!
The fatty acids found in fish oil are necessary for the normal function of various systems of the human, dog’s and cat’s body. Our pets can suffer from some of the same poor health conditions as humans. It’s one thing to give a dog or cat food that will allow them to grow and stay alive. However, like with humans, it’s quite another to find the perfect balance to improve immune function, cognition, behavior and prevent cancer. Fish oil for our dogs and pets has many benefits.
Dogs and cats need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health. Studies find omega-3 in fish oil may improve cognitive function in older dogs. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dogs with heart failure had lower levels of EPA and DHA than their healthy counterparts. Those are two of the major benefits of fish oil that can be given to our dogs and cats.
Dogs given fish oil that are prone to thromboembolisms (obstruction of the pulmonary artery or one of its main branches) may be helped by the anti-clotting effect on platelets.
Ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal rapid heart rhythms originating in the lower chambers of the heart) have been prevented and high blood pressure has been reduced in dogs supplemented with fish oil rich in omega-3.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) may be useful in reducing inflammation associated with arthritis. Ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and glomerular disease (kidney disease) may respond to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain fatty acids, which have also been shown to be renal protective.
Omega-3 fish oil can benefit dogs by slowing the growth of malassezia, a yeast infection on the skin and ears in both dogs and cats. Researchers suggest that fish oil supplements for dogs may prevent atopy (allergies to inhaled substances such as pollens and molds).
Fish oil for dogs and cats has been shown to reduce the itchiness, redness, swelling and hair loss associated with those dry, raw, hairless patches that bother our pets. In some animals, fatty acids alone can decrease pruritus or inflammation to an acceptable level.
The choice of a fatty acid supplement needs to be based on the specific problem or condition we are trying to treat. For dry skin, dull coat hair, seborrhea and other keratinization, supplements high in linoleic acid are recommended. For allergies and inflammations, supplements high in EPA, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) are most effective.
Deficiencies in fatty acids occur for many reasons including overcooking that destroys them. Improper storage or less than optimal amounts of antioxidants in dry food may result in rancidity and a subsequent deficiency in fatty acids. Deficiencies also result from disease where certain enzyme functions are deficient; or by the use of fat-restricted diets in overweight dogs. But, fat is needed for energy and to satiate the dog’s appetite.
Fats do not affect canines like they do us when it comes to cholesterol or heart disease. Fat is indeed necessary for good dog nutrition and is important for energy, skin and coat, kidney health, heart and to keep inflammation at bay in the joints.
If we are looking to buy and do the best by our pets, the optimum source for omega-3's is what we want to know. Research is trying to determine the optimal ratios of omega-6 to omega-3. Current recommendations are for ratios of 10:1 to 5:1. The ratios are a guideline; the important EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids are plentiful in salmon fish oil for your dog or cat. There is no more natural place to get them than salmon. Cod liver oil is quite different, as it is lower in omega-3 and very high in vitamins A and D. Unlike plant based omega-3 supplements, salmon fish oil is readily processed by the dog’s digestive system.
A daily supplement of salmon fish oil is a must for any cat or dog of any age with skin or coat problems caused by allergies. Giving fish oil to a dog or cat fortifies them with antioxidants and traces of vitamins that occur naturally in salmon. Actual concentration of EPA in omega-3 is what’s most important. It is recommended that therapeutic trials with supplements should last 9-12 weeks.
Some pets may develop diarrhea from fatty acid supplements. Often, starting supplementation at a low dose and gradually working up to the therapeutic dose alleviates the problem.
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