Salmon oil, the most popular form of fish oil, is one of the most research-backed supplements.
Chock-full of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), when it comes to introducing supplements into your fur buddy’s diet, the omega-3 acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are at the top of the list.
In fact, from medical professionals to holistic gurus, if there is one supplement likely to help improve health, it’s omega-3s. This is because our dogs’ diets tend to be high in omega-6s. And while incredibly important, they shouldn’t overwhelm the ratio of omega-3s in a diet.
Today, with the help of Innovetpet, we’re looking at all the ways salmon oil can help improve your dog’s health.
The Importance Of Essential Fatty Acids
The importance of both polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is in the name. The body needs EFAs to optimally run, and they are essential because it can’t produce a select few like our 3s and 6s. Omega fatty acids predominantly help regulate inflammation and blood flow.
Common symptoms of an EFA deficiency in dogs include itchy and flaky skin, a dull and coarse coat, weakened mobility, and painful joints.
Omega-3s fatty acids, in particular EPA and DHA, have been linked to helping with several functions in the body.
Research has found omega-3s can improve heart health by managing cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels along with regulating fat levels in the liver.
Then, perhaps, its most notable benefit is its anti-inflammatory properties that help with both temporary inflammation and the kind at the center of many chronic diseases.
In moderation, research indicates omega-6s such as Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) may help reduce symptoms of inflammatory conditions, reduce fat mass, and decrease the risk of strokes and heart disease.
However, some omega-6s are linked to increased inflammation, especially when heavily consumed over omega-3s. And research has found this can help contribute to health problems such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart failure, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Why You Should Give Your Dog Omega-3s From Salmon Oil
- First, omega-3s fatty acids can strengthen the immune system, allowing it to better stand up against infections, diseases, and cancers.
- Second, they can help support the brain and mental health by improving mood-related conditions and reducing diseases that affect cognition like Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) — the equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease found in humans.
- Third, they can help give your dog a silky smooth coat and skin that’s free of irritation that causes dry, itchy, and flakey skin.
- Fourth, ESAs can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
As you can see, omega-3s are incredibly important, and while commercial dog foods include them, it’s often not enough. Here’s why!
- First, unlike omega-6s, omega-3s are extremely sensitive to heat and light, causing them to oxidize and go rancid. That means even the best commercial foods can have an unbalanced ratio of omega 3s, especially when sourced from flaxseeds.
- Second, while treats are A-OK to give to your dog, many of our dogs’ favorite treats are high in omega-6s while completely lacking omega-3s. Peanut butter, coconut oil, and meats such as beef, pork, and chicken are all rich in omega-6s while being staples in dog treats and foods. Fish, flaxseeds, and nut oils that are rich in omega-3s, on the other hand, not so much.
Because of these reasons, it is quite common for the majority of dogs to see some benefits when supplementing in omega-3 fatty acids.
Best Salmon Oil
Salmon oil is rich in omega-3s fatty acids, especially, DHA and EPA, making it an excellent option when supplementing omega-3s into your dog’s diet.
When looking for the best salmon oil, here are THREE THINGS to look for.
Wild-Caught Vs. Farm-Raised
Wild-caught salmon is favored over farmed salmon for several health reasons.
Farmed salmon has 20.5% more saturated fat than salmon in the wild. Not only does this mean more calories, it means calories from a poor and unhealthy source linked to raising “bad cholesterol” that is associated with heart and circulatory disease.
Then, farm-raised salmon contain 5 to 10 times more polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). PCBs are persistent organic pollutants (POP) linked to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Last, wild salmon has significantly lower levels of unsafe contaminants. Contaminants can be so high in farmed salmon, they are considered dangerous for frequent consumption by the EPA.
Salmon oil is fantastic on its own, but when combined with ingredients like hemp CBD and vitamin E, a dog can receive a bountiful bouquet of anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular support agents.
No Artificial Additives, Preservatives, or Flavorings
While it’s completely fine for there to be more than just salmon oil in your product, simply put, avoid ones that contain artificial additives, preservatives, and flavorings.