Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are famous among us, humans, as these fatty acids bring about a lot of health benefits for us. But did you know that these are also beneficial for our dogs as they help in giving our fur-babies a healthy skin and coat? Well, now you do!
But what exactly are fatty acids? How do they help maintain skin and hair coat health? Here, we'll help you understand what there is to know about these dietary building blocks and help you identify which of the many kinds of fatty acids our dogs really need.
THE BASICS OF FATTY ACIDS
Fats, in small amounts, are a natural part of a healthy and balanced diet (both for us and our dogs). There are kinds of fats that are harmful to the body and there are also some kinds of special fats, we call fatty acids, that are essential for overall health, especially for the skin and hair coat of our fur-babies.
Fatty acids is only one of the three categorization of dietary fats as dietary fats are classified as follows:
- Fatty acids - fats with a specific chemical structure
- Fats - dietary fats that are solid in room temperature
- Oils - dietary fats that are liquid at room temperature
Fatty acids are then categorized into Omega-3 and Omega-6. Though these two are vital for our fur-babies' overall health, they function differently.
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-6 fatty acids mostly come from sunflower, evening primrose, corn and Borage oils. It can also be found in pork and poultry fat, sometimes in beef fat (but only very little). It contains the active ingredients gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). These fats are primarily used for energy.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, mostly comes from cold-water fish like mackerel and salmon and as also from animals who feed on these fish. Omega-3 can also be found in plants like walnuts, flax and wheat germ. It contains Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA.
Omega-3 plays an important role in a fur-baby's nutrition as a fur-baby's body can’t produce it. It is known to help with the immune system, kidney functions and many more, particularly in allergies and skin conditions.
BENEFITS OF FATTY ACIDS FOR DOGS
Though both are beneficial, it takes the right ratio* of Omega-3 and Omega-6 to be able to prevent the following conditions in your pet dogs:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Allergies and dysfunctions of the immune system like arthritis, GI tract diseases
- Prevents yeast infections
- Improves heart health
- Slows down the growth of cancer cells in dogs experiencing cancer
- Helps prevent obesity
*The recommended ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is 4:1 or less.
According to studies, it is believed that Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. It is true that inflammation is important for your fur-baby to fight off injury and infection. But at the same time, it also contributes to diseases. High intake of Omega-6 but low Omega-3 increases chances of inflammation, while a balanced amounts of each reduces inflammation.
Fatty acids are an important factor for your dog's optimum health. Fatty acids can either be a separate standing supplement or an ingredient to a supplement serving greater purpose for your fur-baby. Just like Pet Parents® Omega Supplements for Dogs that is only made with more active ingredients than other omega dog supplements which provide your fur-baby effective results and optimum health - truly a natural way to alleviate skin and other conditions, while being key to developing and maintaining a healthy coat.