Something Smells Fishy: The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Pets
In today’s world of omnipotent cure-alls, such as coconut oil and essential oils, it can be difficult to know what really works, what is all hype, and what has potential hazards associated with it.
One magic cure that Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care can get on board with, though, is fish oil. There is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence that omega-3 fatty acids for pets can have positive effects, and while it may not cure everything under the sun, many pets can benefit from adding some fish oil into their daily routine.
Benefits of Fish Oil
The main benefit of fish oil comes in the form of the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. While there are other sources of omega-3s, fish oil is a great, high-quality, easy to dose source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Research has shown time and time again the omega-3 fatty acids have tremendous benefits in multiple arenas. We know that is carries value for:
Omega-3 fatty acids’ beneficial properties seem to arise from their ability to decrease inflammation (and, subsequently, pain). There is also evidence that they may help to reduce abnormal heart rhythms through unidentified mechanisms.
Correctly Supplementing Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Pets
When it comes to using omega-3 fatty acids for pets, it is important to do it correctly, though. Too little or too much will not have the benefits that you are hoping for.
Before starting any supplement, it is important to call us. Not all supplements are good for all pets, and we are happy to help you to verify appropriateness for your pet patient. In particular pets with gastrointestinal issues or those with bleeding disorders should proceed with caution.
Dosing of omega-3 fatty acids for pets is dependant on what effects you are hoping to achieve.
When starting your pet on a supplement, selecting an appropriate brand can sometimes be difficult. It is important to select a fish oil made by a reputable company whom you trust, as many supplements are not strictly regulated. In many instances fish oils found in prescription diets for things like allergic skin disease and joint health may be the most cost-effective way to supplement your pet appropriately.
It is also important to note that oils including fish oil are quite calorie dense. This should be noted especially if your pet is prone to carrying extra weight as obesity can aggravate many of the conditions you are trying to help with supplementation.
No supplement is entirely safe, even though many have tremendous benefits. It is also important to remember that no supplement is intended to replace other treatment or therapy.
It is important that we work as a team to help provide your pet with the best care possible, evaluating and adding supplementation together to help achieve maximum benefit.