Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid and is one of the single most important supplements you can add to your dog or cat’s diet.
While you may have heard about the importance of Omega-3 in your pet’s diet, you may not know about its mind-blowing benefits! So, let’s break it down…
What are Omega-3s?
There are three important types of Omega-3s for dog and cats’:
1. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
2. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
3. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
ALA is found in plant sources, like seeds, nuts, and vegetables, while EPA and DHA originate from marine life like fish, algae, and supplements like our Superfood Mussel Booster.
Regardless of the type of Omega-3, all are essential fatty acids; meaning they cannot be synthesised (made) in your dog or cat’s body and can only be provided via the food they eat 1.
The top 4 benefits of Omega-3 for dogs
1. Skin and coat health
Omega-3 fatty acids are effective at reducing the inflammation that causes itchiness in dogs and cats suffering from flea allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and other skin allergies 2. Omega-3 fatty acids help hydrate and nourish the skin which reduces itchiness, prevents dandruff, and may help reduce shedding.
2. Heart health
Cardiac disease is one of the most common disorders in dogs and cats affecting approximately 11% of our furry friends, however Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may assist in the prevention of cardiac disease.
Omega-3 has been shown to stabilise heart muscle cells, act as an anti-inflammatory, and assist with saving the loss of lean tissue mass that is associated with heart failure 3.
3. Joint health
As our dog’s and cat’s age, they may start experiencing aches and pains that often come with old age. Degenerative diseases such as arthritis are prevalent among the senior population and can cause pain, discomfort, and severely stiff joints. Omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve these symptoms by reducing inflammation and providing lubrication in their joints 4.
4. Brain health
Fats are brain food, and Omega-3 fatty acids— DHA and EPA—have a particularly beneficial effect. Senior pets aren’t the only ones who need brain health support. Studies have shown that DHA and EPA contribute to healthy brain development of puppies and kittens 5.
A puppy or kitten’s brain mass develops most within the first three months of its life; during this time Omega-3 intake can help with concentration, trainability, hyperactivity, and overall brain function.
Can I give my pet human grade fish oil?
This one is tricky because too much fish oil can result in adverse effects like vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, and a compromised immunity.
Your safest option is to stick with supplements containing Omega-3 which ensure the correct dosage and ultimately reduce the risk of your pet becoming sick.
Pet Botanica recommends starting with our:
Can’t decide? Why not try our Seafood Pet Pack
Disclaimer: This information is general advice only.
1. Kaur, H., Singla, A., Singh, S., Shilwant, S., & Kaur, R. (2020). Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Canine Health: A Review. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 9(3), 2283–2293. https://doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2020.903.259
2. Shojai, A. (2019). New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats. Furry Muse Publications.
3. Freeman, L. M. (2010). Beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 51(9), 462–470. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2010.00968.x
4. Messonnier, S. (2011). The natural vet’s guide to preventing and treating arthritis in dogs and cats. Novato, Calif.: New World Library.
5. Case, L. P., & Al, E. (2011). Canine and feline nutrition: a resource for companion animal professional (3rd ed.). Maryland Heights: Mosby Elsevier.