Omega 3 Fatty acids are known to improve the brain and heart function. They also work wonders for your skin and reduce inflammation. A handful of nuts, rich in omega fatty acids, a day is the golden rule for improved health as recommended by the doctor. Did you know the same holds true even for your pet?
Since you cannot feed your pet nuts and the smell of fish oil is not exactly inviting. So, what can you do to ensure your pet receives their fair share of omega 3 fatty acids? Feed them omega 3 fatty acids supplement, which incidentally is a very popular nutritional supplement for dogs.
As omega 3 fatty acids help to treat a multitude of health problems, they are easily prescribed by the vets. A question does arise. What are omega 3 fatty acids? Also, how to use them safely and effectively?
Well, fatty acids are made up of molecules comprising of a chain of carbon atoms with a double bonded component of oxygen and hydroxyl group that is a hydrogen and oxygen atom that are single bonded at an end.
Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a double bond at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain. All the double bonds make omega 3 fatty acids easier for oxidation that leads to the unpleasant taste or rancidity that occurs when you taste something rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, dogs cannot manufacture omega 3 fatty acids on their own so they need omega 3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DPA).
Vegetable oils like canola oil, soybean oil, and flaxseed oil can provide an omega 3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is leads to the formation of EPA and DHA. As dogs are not good at turning ALA into EPA and DHA it is highly advisable to give them EPA and DHA directly. Good sources of EPA and DHA are fish oils and types of algal oil.
Commercial omega 3 fatty acids supplements can have different concentrations of EPA and DHA. Also, the right dose to treat various conditions in your pet is not correctly specified which definitely makes us wonder how much to give a dog with a particular health condition.
Specific studies done seem to point out that 22-40 mg per day of EPA can show positive effects in health. But you should keep in mind that most fish oil supplements have both EPA and DHA making the dose of omega 3 fatty acids much higher.
Omega 3 fatty acids are quite harmless. But a higher dose of it can cause gastrointestinal upset, issues in the blood clotting system and immune dysfunction.
While purchasing an omega 3 fatty acid supplement you must make sure it is of a reputable brand and the level of EPA and DHA. A good quality of omega 3 fatty acids supplement provides multiple health benefits. Choose the type that is highly recommended by your vet and ask them for the appropriate dose for your pet breed and type.