Adding Essential Fatty Acids To Your Pets Diet

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are a requirement in everyone’s diet, for both humans and animals. The body, however, cannot produce EFAs on its own, so they must be added to the diet each day. The two most commonly known fatty acids are omega 3 (alpha-linoleic acid) and omega 6 (linoleic acid). The diets of our pets, like people, tend to include more omega 6 fatty acids rather than omega 3. This is an imbalance that needs to be improved upon.

Omega 3 fatty acids help with the proper formation of cell membranes, cardiovascular functions, nourish the lining of the digestive tract, and work to keep your pet’s skin and coat smooth, soft and shiny. They also work to reduce inflammatory problems in the body.

Different types of essential fatty acid supplements are available. This guide might help you choose the right one for your pet.

Plant Oils

Pure plant oils such as flax oil, evening primrose oil, safflower oil or a blend of plant oils are all high in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 in these oils, however, is high in alpha-linoleic acid. This prevents plant oils from providing the desired health benefits to your pet.

Fish Oils

The benefits of fish oils, such as salmon oil, halibut liver oil, or cod liver oil are far-reaching. The downside is that fish oils often contain varying levels of toxicity due to PCBs, dioxins and mercury content. At present, nearly 30% of all fish are farmed, with salmon being among the most commonly farmed fish. Farmed salmon is the most prone to contamination, and contains less omega 3 acids than wild salmon. Often, they are also carriers of diseases and parasites. Fish oils, which are sourced from wild fish, might be better for your pet than the ones sourced from farmed ones.

Other Supplements

Supplements, which include a blend of fish and plant oils, are available as well. These often include a mixture of salmon or cod liver oil and plant oils such as flax or safflower, which provide a mixture of 3 to 4 parts omega 3 oils to 1 part omega 6 oils. A combination fish/plant supplement might be the best alternative for your pet, because they are less effective and more toxic.

Whilst essential fatty acids can play a positive role in your pet’s life, it can only do so with the help of other vitamins and minerals so make sure your pet is getting a balanced nutritional diet.

Try Mikana to ensure your pet has the right diet to keep it healthy and happy.