When it comes to pet supplements, some are more commonly prescribed than others. There are joint supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, herbal supplements, and so many more. But, according to VCA Hospitals, omega-3 supplements are some of the most widely prescribed supplements for dogs. So, what makes omega-3 so great for our furry friends?
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated molecules that dogs, like humans, have a dietary need for. Foods like flax seeds, hemp oil, and walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Most commonly, however, omega fatty acid supplements are made from flax or fish.
What are the benefits of omega-3 for dogs?
According to Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and help protect against abnormal heart rhythms in cats and dogs with heart disease. Unlike omega-6 fatty acids, which are adequately present in pet diets, omega-3 fatty acids have a general anti-inflammatory effect. That’s a good thing for dogs who are suffering from heart disease.
In addition, it’s important to maintain your dog’s balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to ensure optimal health. Because omega-6 fatty acids are already prevalent in your dog’s diet, you can choose to give your pup an omega-3 supplement. It’s important to always consult a vet before altering your dog’s omega-3-to-6 ratio.
On top of its anti-inflammatory properties, VCA Hospitals state that omega-3 has been shown to inhibit tumor growth. Furthermore, omega-3 is readily absorbed by dogs, which means that your dog will experience its effects just days after you begin supplementing.
How much should I supplement?
The ideal dosage of omega-3 fatty acids varies by dog. Before you pick up an omega-3 supplement, be sure to consult your vet. Omega-3 supplements aren’t for every dog—and while omega-3 is safe for most, you should always have a vet’s approval to change your dog’s supplementation regimen.