“The greatest wealth is health” -Virgil
Just like many of us, our dogs might not be getting all the necessary nutrition from their regular diets. Whether your dog is on a homemade diet, in which case supplementing with oils is essential to maintain their health, or on a kibble diet that lacks nutrition, it is beneficial to supplement your dog’s dietary regimen with healthy oils. With so many different types of oils out there, it can be hard to understand which oil is best for your dog. And, the answer might not always be that simple – there might be a few oils that your dog would benefit from, in which case alternating them might be smart. Thus, we have put together a little guide to help you understand the different oil types and why we love them!
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids:
Before we peak at the oil chart below, lets try to understand what Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are and why they are important to the dogs’ body. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are often referred to as “essential” fats for a good reason, both the human and dog body needs them for many functions, from building healthy cells to maintaining brain and nerve function. Dogs’ bodies can’t produce them so the only way of getting them is through food or supplementation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can be broken down into 3 very different omega-3s, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docasahexaenoic acid) and ALA(alpha-linolenic acid). EPA and DHA are found in fish and fish oil, while ALA is found in flaxseed oil. The vast majority of research has been done on DHA and EPA, which are the “superstars” of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are the necessary structural components of cell membranes and help maintain the cell membrane fluidity and permeability needed for healthy, functioning cells. EPA and DHA found in fish oil support cellular health, immune system health, skin and coat health, joint health, heart health, brain development and maintenance, eye development and maintenance. That being said, flaxseed oil still has valuable properties on its own such as lignin’s, which have profound anti-cancer effects. Supplementing with flaxseed oil in between your usual fish oil regiment might be a good idea.
Omega-6: Another essential fatty acid is found in foods like poultry and eggs, as well as oils such as flaxseed, hemp and sunflower seed oil. Omega-6 alone is often not needed as an additional supplement because dogs tend to consume enough of it through their regular diet. If your dog is eating a typical commercial pet food diet, it’s actually far more likely he or she is getting too much omega-6 fats rather than too little. However, if you are concerned about the abundance or deficiency of omega-6 fats in your dogs’ diet, consult your vet.
Cod Liver Oil VS. Salmon Oil for Dogs:
While both Wild Salmon Oil and Cod Liver Oils are very beneficial and contain valuable Omega-3s, Cod Liver Oil (just like liver itself) has an abundant amount of Vitamin A that might not be as beneficial for dogs if feed in large amounts for a long period of time. Thus, while liver is important to dogs’ diet, we recommend that you alternate this oil with salmon oil.
Coconut Oil for Dogs:
Coconut oil can be a great addition to a dogs’ diet and can also be used externally, to help soften skin and aid in healing minor cuts and sores due to its antibacterial properties. Internally, coconut oil can help improve dog’s coat, help prevent infections, and aid in digestion. However, since coconut oil is made almost exclusively from saturated fats, its important to ration the amount given and to start out slow in order to avoid stomach problems such as diarrhea.
START WITH SMALL AMOUNTS
- ¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies.
- 1 teaspoon for large dogs or less
THEN FOLLOW THE GENERAL GUIDELINE OR AS LISTED ON THE BOTTLE:
- 1 teaspoon per / 10 pounds
- 1 tablespoon / 30 pounds
Since we are not veterinarians and this blog is meant for education purposes only, always consult your veterinarian before starting an oil regiment or if you have any questions. We hope you all found this useful! Enjoy!
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