Studies Show Omega 3 Supplements Beneficial for Pets!
There are many benefits to humans taking omega-3 supplements, some of which include a lower risk for heart disease, reduced inflammation, and helping with joint pain and arthritis. A diet including omega-3 supplements can also offer your pets these same benefits.
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are fatty acids found in omega-3s. Cats and dogs cannot make these on their own, so adding them to their diet would help them stay healthy. EPA acts as an anti-inflammatory. It will help with any condition that causes inflammation of the heart, kidneys, skin, and joints—such as arthritis. A study of 16 dogs given omega-3 fatty acids that included high levels of EPA showed improvement in itchiness, self-trauma, coat character, and hair loss. The dogs in the study had symptoms of idiopathic pruritus (unexplained itchy skin), confirmed atopy (inflamed skin due to allergies) and/or flea allergies.
DHA is essential in the development of the brain and nervous system in young mammals. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published an article in 2012 which suggested that feeding weaned puppies foods high in DHA improves several aspects of their development. The research found that diets rich in DHA and other nutrients known to support neurocognitive development improved cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in growing dogs. The puppies fed diets containing the highest levels of DHA showed significantly better results in reversal learning tasks, visual contrast discrimination, and early psychomotor performance than puppies eating low to moderate amounts of DHA. Also, those puppies had significantly higher rabies antibody titers one and two weeks after vaccination, and an improved ability to see in low-light or dark conditions.
Omega-3s can help your pet produce metabolites that help control inflammation and contribute to the formation of certain hormones including estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. The fats can contribute to the production of bile acids that aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients. They act as a mechanical barrier, insulating your pet’s body against heat loss, protecting internal organs, and preventing excess water loss.
A study in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition suggested that cats with naturally occurring osteoarthritis showed some improvement when their diets were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. In this study, cats that received fish oil supplements which contained EPA and DHA were reported to have less stiffness, higher activity levels, and higher jumping ability then cats who received the placebo. A similar Canadian study showed that omega-3s were also beneficial for dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Omega-3s can help the immune systems in older pets. Senior pets are more prone to inflammation and infection because of weaker immune systems. Inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as arthritis, brain, kidney, or heart disease. Omega-3 supplements can help lessen or may reverse brain inflammation in pets.
The potency of omega-3s may be lost during the kibbling or canning process of your pet’s food because of the cooking or heating. Omega-3s are sensitive to heat. So even if omega-3s were in the food before it was processed they could be long gone by the time they get to your pet.
Omega-3s are also sensitive to oxygen, so they can become rancid quickly. The best way to put them in your pet's food is by "pour on" oils or use capsules. You can mix the capsules in the food before they it or you can cut them open and squeeze them onto the food. Our Extra Virgin Fish Oil from Northern Norway may be the cleanest and nutrient-packed fish oil for your pet because we are unprocessed. We don't use heat and keep the fish oil in an oxygen-free environment.
A supplement of cod liver oil can also be used to make sure your pet is getting enough omega-3 fats. When shopping for supplements, make sure the fish oil you get is harvested from non-toxic fish. Our Extra Virgin Fish Oil is a good source of Vitamins A and D as well as Omega-3s. Make sure you seek the advice of a holistic veterinarian to determine the best way to supplement your pet’s diet.