12 Oct 5 Benefits of Omega-3 Supplementation for Your Dog
Numerous studies support the health benefits of fish oil for dogs
According to a study reported on WebMD 1, nearly half of adults in the U.S. take multivitamins or other supplements. The reason, according to the study lead by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is simply because people have good reason to believe it will improve their health.
And because Americans are wild about their pets, as many as a third of U.S. dogs and cats may also receive vitamins or supplements from their pet parents for the very same reason. 2
While the jury is out on the necessity of augmenting a pet’s diet with vitamins (in addition to that which is already found in commercially processed dog food), omega-3 fatty acids supplementation has been determined in numerous studies to be a worthwhile investment for the health of your dog.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered “essential” because neither human nor animal bodies can produce it, it must be obtained through diet. Like humans, the modern diet of a domestic pet consists disproportionately of omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) rather than omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) foods. For both man and beast, chronic inflammation is considered to be the root cause of many serious illnesses including diabetes, depression, stroke, heart disease and cancer.
An article appearing in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association titled Therapeutic use of fish oils in companion animals 3 concluded:
“. . . evidence has accumulated regarding beneficial responses with dietary inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids or their provision for inflammatory conditions such as atopy and some renal disorders as well as cardiovascular problems, hyperlipidemias, and osteoarthritis.”
According to the article, less is known about the benefits of supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in cats however.
The benefits of providing for omega-3 supplementation via fish oil to dogs include:
- Joint health: According to a study published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research, dietary supplementation with fish oil resulted in an improvement in weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis. 3 As reported by owners, dogs fed the test food supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids had a significantly improved ability to rise from a resting position and play at six weeks. In addition, test dogs showed improved ability to walk at twelve and twenty-four weeks as compared with control dogs who did not receive omega-3s. 5
- Skin and hair health: In a study reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs receiving DHA and EPA found in fish oil had significant improvements in pruritis (i.e. itchy skin), self-trauma, and coat character over time. 3
- Cardiovascular health: Dogs with heart failure have low plasma concentrations of EPA, regardless of the underlying disease. Omega-3 has been found to reduce vulnerability to atrial fibrillation (i.e. irregular heartbeat) and to modify atrial structure in dogs with experimentally induced cardiac pacing. 3
- Vascular health: Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to effectively manage healthy cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of dogs. Like humans, higher levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. The “bad” LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, can lead to blockages in the arteries that increase your dog’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Kidney health: Omega-3 fatty acids were found to reduce proteinuria (a condition in which urine contains an abnormal amount of protein), prevent glomerular (i.e. kidney) hypertension, and decrease the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (pro-inflammatory eicosanoids lead to increased levels of chronic, silent and potentially dangerous inflammation) in dogs with experimentally induced chronic kidney disease. 3
The takeaway: Like in the study of human health, there is a growing body of evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can benefit the health of dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to promote heart health, maintain healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels and support the joint health and comfort of man’s best friend.
And, don’t forget to take care of YOU with Omax3 Ultra-Pure!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- WebMD, Why Do Millions of Americans Take Multivitamins?
- WebMD, Dog Vitamins and Supplements: Get the Facts
- Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Therapeutic use of fish oils in companion animals, December, 2011
- Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, January, 2010
- American Journal of Veterinary Research, April, 2008