Fatty Acids In Dog Supplements

Many people take supplements and vitamins to support their immune systems, improve health issues and for overall well-being.   A lot of people have pets and never think twice about giving them supplements.  In fact, for a lot of pet owners, they just don’t know what’s out there.  Just like how people need supplements for their bodies, so do animals.  People take fatty acid supplements and so should dogs.  Fatty acids promote and support growth, reproduction, hair, skin, eyes and their hearts. But be careful about the type and amount you give with your dog supplements.

Essential fatty acids (EFA) most specifically referred to as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are important to the dog’s body because just like in humans they cannot produce it themselves.  These fatty acids therefore must be supplemented in their diets.  A deficiency in these two EFAs have been related to the following symptoms:  hair loss, thin and discolored coat, dandruff or dry skin, even skin problems that promote acne and a greasy coat, ear infections, weight loss, it’s body is slow to heal wounds and if it has allergy symptoms such as itching and eczema. If your dog has any of these symptoms you should immediately start incorporating an appropriate dog supplements into their diet.

If you dog has more serious medical problems such as arthritis, cancer, kidney or heart disease EFAs can help. They are not a cure for these types of ailments but can work in conjunction with the prescribed medicines and facilitate a quicker or more tolerant recovery. Fatty acids have been shown to effective treatment for common dog problems such as high blood pressure and infections caused by growth of certain yeast. Although always hard to prove they are also believed to help in reducing the common cold in dogs.

Much off-the-shelf processed dog food already contains a lot of the fatty acid. This is usually only Omega 6 but some have both Omega 6 and Omega 3 and sometimes even Omega 9. Therefore most of the time, your dog would probably need to be supplemented with Omega 3 fatty acids, but first making sure you know the right ratios so that the supplements actually benefit your dog and that you’re giving him enough. It is recommended that the ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 be in the range of 10:1 to 5:1.

Be careful with Omega 9. Unlike Omega 3 and Omega 6 it is not an essential fatty acid (EFA). It does nothing to help a dog’s health.  More importantly there are negative effects that are related to Omega 9, so do your research before giving your pets any kind of supplements. In fact, increased amounts of Omega-9’s can actually decrease the concentration of Omega-3’s and 6’s in the blood and skin. Studies by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists have shown have shown exposed to some fatty acid omega-9s have caused bronchiolitis obliterans and bronchopneumonia.

Brent Harte is the founder of Vitahound.com. He is a devoted dog owner with 2 golden labs and a mongrel that he saved from a pack of coyotes.  Both his family and pets lead a healthy life through a diet based on natural foods supplying the needed nutrients, vitamins and food categories. He is a leading expert in the use of the internet from its inception for creating sites that offer both valuable information and best value in product purchases.

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