One of the most important jobs for every pet parent is ensuring they provide a balanced, healthy diet. For many, even those feeding a complete diet, this means offering high quality supplements.
Omega 3 oils are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid and come in many forms, namely, EPA, DHA and ALA. People can convert the form known as ALA to the healthful EPA and DHA but dogs are not as proficient at this process as they lack the enzyme needed so need to consume EPA and DHA directly for optimum health. As fish are a great source of EPA and DHA, fish and fish products are a key source of omega 3 for our canine companions.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Cold Pressed Salmon Oil from one of my favourite companies, SeaTreats. SeaTreats sell only MSC certified fish, so you can be sure you are buying ethically sourced products.
As I mentioned in my previous article, grass fed meat would have provided our pets with lots of omega 3, but modern factory farming means many meats lack this beneficial nutrient.
Why are Omega 3 oils so important?
Omega 3 oils have a host of health benefits but of key importance is its role in reducing inflammation, maintaining a healthy skin and coat and aiding brain function.
Many dogs suffer from the pain and of arthritis and a study of omega 3 supplementation found that arthritic dogs were better able to weight bare (Roush et al. 2010).
Dogs of all breeds, but particularly Labrador retrievers can suffer from the uncomfortable skin condition, atopic dermatitis. Studies show that enriching the diet with omega 3 oil can be beneficial in managing this condition (Gueck et al. 2004).
Omega 3 oils are great for brain development and can give a puppy a head start in life – it has been shown that puppies with high DHA levels were more readily trainable than those with low levels. We all want a well behaved dog and it seems supplementation can be a simple way to make those formative months more productive (Kelley et al. 2004).
With all these benefits, it’s clear many pets could benefit from the oils in SeaTreats Cold Pressed Salmon Oil. Luckily, unlike the notoriously bad tasting cod liver oil (for humans that is), SeaTreats Cold Pressed Salmon Oil tastes great.
In true Labrador fashion, Molly was drooling before the oil had been poured into the spoon!
Humbug the cat, while being far too refined to eat from a teaspoon, couldn’t get enough of the smell of the bottle, proving that our feline companions can also enjoy this health giving oil. As medical care for cats improves, our feline friends are living longer. It is therefore so important to ensure we offer all the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy frame for our cats as well as our dogs.
For more information and to order some for yourself, please visit SeaTreats online.
Gueck T., Seidel A., Baumann D., Meister A. & Fuhrmann H. (2004). Alterations of mast cell mediator production and release by gamma-linolenic and docosahexaenoic acid. Veterinary dermatology, 15, 309-14.
Kelley R., Lepine A., Burr J., Shyan-Norwalt M. & Reinhart G. (2004). Effect of dietary fish oil on puppy trainability. In: Proceedings.
Roush J.K., Cross A.R., Renberg W.C., Dodd C.E., Sixby K.A., Fritsch D.A., Allen T.A., Jewell D.E., Richardson D.C., Leventhal P.S. & Hahn K.A. (2010). Evaluation of the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 236, 67-73.