Essential Fatty Acids Are Important For Dogs Too

8:46 AM Posted by jo

Essential Fatty Acids are a must in the dog's diet. Omega 6 and Omega 3 are the two different kinds of essential fatty acids that shall be supplemented in the dog's diet.




The benefits are many. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and it has historically been used in treatments for arthritis, allergies and other skin problems.

People have seen an improvement in their dogs when they used Omega 6 for conditions like dry skin and poor coat. Borage oil, black currant oil, and evening primrose oils are excellent sources of Omega 6 oils.

The most well known sources with omega 3 oils are fish like salmon or other cold water fish. It seems like salmon might be the best choice since it seems to have less mercury than deep sea fish. Make sure you purchase fish oil from a company that tests for impurities and toxins. I buy cod liver oil that has been tested for toxins.
You can also grind flaxmeal in a coffee grinder, flax seed oil contains both omega 3 and omega 6. Hemp seed oil is another option.

There are different Omega 3 oils. EPA stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid, and it is only found in animal sources like the fish oils. Research has shown that EPA has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Flax seed oil contains ALA, another Omega 3 essential fatty acid, and ALA must be converted by the dog into EPA. Dogs however, don't seem to convert ALA very well so many agree that fish oils is the best choice of omega 3 oils.

Commercialized food companies seem to add a mixture of both omega 6 and omega 3 oils to their food. No one knows the exact ratio of omega 3 to omega 6.

You can make your own mix of borage, hemp, or evening primrose oil by pinching a whole in the capsule and add it to some fish oil. Add those oils to a table spoon of olive oil. Be sure to add a capsule of Vitamin E oil to the blend to avoid deficiencies, it is very important to add vitamin E when you give the dog EFAs.

Oils are prone to oxidation so make sure you refrigerate the oils and try to purchase them in small quantities.

Remember it may take 8-12 weeks before you see the benefits of the oils so you have to be patient. It is also important to introduce the oils gradually to avoid stomach upsets.

Kymythy R.Schultze gives some dosage recommendations in her book, Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats, the Ultimate Diet:

If the pet weighs about 10 LBS give 1/4 tsp fish oil and 1/2 tsp EFAs.

If the pet weighs about 50 LBS give 1 tsp fish oil and 2 tsp EFAs.

If the pet weighs about 100 LBS give 2 tsp fish oil and 1 1/2 tbls EFA
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