Did you know Omega 3 is as beneficial to dogs as it is to us humans? Omega 3 is the name given to a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids with specific structural properties which give them beneficial effects. There are three main types of omega 3’s that dogs need:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Alpha–linolenic acid (ALA).
These tend to come from different dietary sources so for example, EPA and DHA are found in oily fish ingredients whilst ALA is rich in nuts and seeds like linseed and walnuts. At tails.com we use all these dietary sources of omega 3 in our blends and can increase levels as needed, when requested.
Dogs need Omega 3’s for a number of vital functions in their bodies. These special fats are needed for healthy cell maintenance, support of key organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes and liver and they even help maintain healthy skin, reducing allergic reactions and helping to improve dry skin, dandruff and other skin problems as well as helping with general coat condition, shedding and shininess.
Omega 3’s are also beneficial for joint health and arthritis support in both humans and in dogs. Studies have shown that dogs with osteoarthritis that were given extra omega 3 oils actually improved their activity and performance levels. So if your dog is starting to show signs of stiffness and arthritis, omega 3’s might help to support his joints for a little longer.
Immune system support is another benefit to Omega 3’s. Vulnerable dogs like puppies, dogs recovering from illness or more fragile seniors can need this help as these groups can become more prone to infection and inflammation.
However, too much omega 3 can be detrimental to your dog, as it can decrease his blood clotting abilities. It’s particularly important if your dog is being treated with certain medications not to increase the level of omega 3’s in his diet as this can impact how well these treatments work (check with your vet if he’s on a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Having the right balance of omega 6 to omega 3 is also important as too much omega 6 can prevent omega 3 being taken up and converted. All tails.com blends are balanced to ensure this ratio is correct (between 10:1 and 3:1) so your dog gets the optimum amount of both omega 6 and 3’s.