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6 Benefits of Omega 3 for Dogs

Calling all devoted dog parents! If you've ever wondered how to boost your furry friend’s health and happiness, you're in for a treat today. We're about to embark on a master class through the wonderful world of Omega-3 fatty acids, and how these fantastic nutrients can make a world of difference in your dog's well-being. 

Omega-3s might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your dog’s diet, but trust us, they're like little treasures flowing through the waves of “Vitamin Sea”. So let’s dive into the amazing Omega 3 benefits for dogs and how you can incorporate these nutrients into your pet’s diet. 

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? 

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that are crucial for your dog's overall health. They're often referred to as essential fatty acids because, while dogs can produce some types of fats on their own, their bodies cannot produce Omega 3s on their own. This means that just like humans, dogs need to get these nutrients from their diet. 

The experts at the Cleveland Clinic explain that there are three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids

  1. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): EPA is a “marine Omega-3” because it is found in fish. It plays a significant role in reducing inflammation throughout your dog's body.
  2. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): DHA is also a marine Omega-3 found in fish. It is essential for brain development and function, so puppies and senior dogs need it to maintain mental sharpness.
  3. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): ALA is the form of Omega-3 found in plants. ALA is called the “parent fatty acid” because it can be converted into EPA and DHA in your dog's body in small amounts. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are not only essential for your dog's health but also serve as building blocks for various systems that support their overall well-being. 

Sources of Omega-3s 

Luckily there are certain foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids and can easily be incorporated into your dog's diet. Here are a handful of foods that are very high in Omega-3: 

  • Oily Fish: This is hands-down the best, most natural source of Omega 3 for dogs (and humans too!). Fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, and more are all packed with important nutrients, including these fatty acids. 

According to Healthline, salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. One serving of this fatty (and delicious) fish delivers 2,150 mg of EPA and DHA combined. Cod, haddock, and redfish all contain Omegas too, which is why they’re one of the first ingredients in our fish-first dinners. 

  • Flaxseed: These small seeds are one of the best whole food sources of ALA – the plant-based Omega 3. We use flaxseed in our recipes because they are packed with Omega 3s and 6s that nourish from within to support healthy skin and beautiful fur. 
  • Chia seeds: Another amazing source of plant-based fatty acids. They’re also rich in manganese, selenium, and magnesium. 

Of course, these aren’t the only foods that have Omega 3s. Oysters, walnuts, and caviar are also packed with these healthy fats – however, they’re often more difficult to incorporate into a dog’s diet. 

Omega 3 For Dogs Benefits 

Golden retriver puppy at beach

Now, let's explore why these Omega-3 fatty acids are so important for your furry friend's well-being and how they can positively impact their overall health and wellness in various ways. There is a reason we say our fish-first recipes are packed with “Vitamin Sea”! 

Skin and Coat Health 

As we’ve talked about before, these healthy fats do wonders to promote a shiny coat and reduce itchy and flaky skin. This is arguably one of the most well-known Omega-3 for dogs benefits that we know of.  

That’s partly because Omega-3s have incredible anti-inflammatory properties (more on that soon), which help reduce inflammation and lead to healthier skin and therefore a glossier, softer coat. For dogs prone to allergies or skin conditions, Omega-3s can be a game-changer in relieving discomfort and improving the appearance of their fur. 

Joint Health and Mobility 

If you have an active dog or a senior pet, you'll appreciate the benefits of Omega-3s for hip and joint health. EPA, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce joint pain and stiffness, making it easier for your dog to move comfortably. 

Omega-3 fatty acids have even been found to have a positive effect on the overall health of dogs with arthritis. So whether you have an older pet or a larger breed that’s prone to joint issues, it’s a good idea to incorporate these nutrients into their diet. 

Reduce Inflammation 

Speaking of inflammation, Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is at the root of many health problems in dogs, spanning from the above-mentioned arthritis to allergies and skin conditions. 

Incorporating Omega-3s into your dog's diet can get to the root of these issues and help your pet live a healthier, happier life. 

Help Digestion 

Since Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties, they can also help treat digestive problems associated with this irritation. This is great news if you have a dog with a sensitive stomach. 

Fish also happens to be one of the least common food allergies for dogs and an easily digestible primary protein for many dogs struggling with allergies or food sensitivities. 

Boost Cognitive Function 

DHA, one of the Omega-3s, is like brain food for your dog. But don’t just take our word for it; one study found that the cognitive function of puppies can be enhanced with DHA-concentrated fish oil supplementation.  

This is perhaps one of the most important Omega 3 fatty acids for dogs benefits since it supports cognitive function, memory, and learning ability. For puppies, this is crucial during development, while for senior dogs it can help maintain mental sharpness. 

Support Heart Health 

Finally, we can’t overlook how important Omega 3s are for heart health, one of the most well known health benefits for pets and humans alike. Once again, it all comes back to its anti-inflammatory properties. Since high inflammation is associated with heart disease, Omega 3s can help reduce inflammation and support heart health. 

Tips for Incorporating Omega 3s Into Your Dog’s Diet 

Ready to help your furry friend experience these Omega 3 benefits for dogs and more? It’s easy to begin incorporating these fatty acids into mealtime. 

One of the best ways to ensure your dog experiences these benefits is by feeding them a fish-first diet, such as Simply Naked. Our fish-first meals are tremendous sources of lean protein and are naturally rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.  

If your dog isn’t a fan of seafood meals, you can still get Omega 3s into their diet by using fish oil supplements. These come in convenient treats or oil that can easily be used as a tasty food topper to make mealtime more exciting and nutritious. 

What are you waiting for? Make the switch to fish today! Browse our selection of fish-first dinners for dogs and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions

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