Omega-3s for Dogs: Why They’re Important

Healthy fats are an extremely important part of your dog’s diet. They’re almost as important as protein. In fact, wild dogs get almost half of their calories from fat. Unfortunately, they’re often overlooked, and this can have some serious effects on your dog’s health. Here’s a look at why Omega-3s and other fats are so important.

Why Dogs Need Fats

Dogs get energy from three sources: carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Protein is the building block of almost every structure in a dog’s body, from soft tissue and muscle to blood and skin. It’s also used to create the enzymes and neurotransmitters that control nearly every function of the body. Carbohydrates provide energy, but that’s it.

When it comes to fats, sure they provide energy, but they do so much more. Fats are used to make the membranes around all the body’s cells. They work as chemical messengers and control the hormones that play a major role in inflammation. And, they help the body absorb crucial fat-soluble vitamins, including A, E, D, and K.

Dog’s need the right balance of protein and fat in their diet to be healthy. They are the building blocks of good nutrition.

Why Omega-3s Are So Important

Omega-3s are important because they control inflammation. It’s true that inflammation is part of the body’s normal immune response to things like viruses and bacteria. However, chronic inflammation that lasts for weeks, months, or sometimes even years, is a common cause of inflammatory health problems like heart disease, arthritis, kidney and liver disease, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer. Having the proper balance of Omega-3s in your dog’s diet is essential for a healthy immune system.

Fats That Can Balance the Omega-3s in Your Dog’s Diet

Adding whole fish is the best way to boost the Omega-3’s in your dog’s diet. It also supplies many important trace minerals. The best types of fish to include are anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. Incorporate fish slowly into your dog’s diet until he is getting about 1 ounce of fish for every 4 ounces of poultry in his diet.

Don’t be tempted to substitute fish oils- they can go rancid, which is not at all healthy, and they don’t provide the same trace nutrients. And, remember that the other meats you feed your dog should be lean. Too much fat can lead to a whole host of other health problems.