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Why Fish Oil for Dogs Is Critical for A Healthy Dog Diet

Why Fish Oil for Dogs Is Critical for A Healthy Dog Diet 0

Loaded with omega fatty acids, fish oil is one of the best supplements to add to your dog’s diet. Fish oil for dogs often contain oils from multiple species of cold-water fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and anchovies to name a few. It is incredibly important for supporting your dog’s everyday health. 

Like humans, dogs can’t make these essential fatty acids internally. Therefore, they must come from food. One of the best sources for omega fatty acids is wild-caught salmon, which has a high concentration of omega fatty acids and has a favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

When taken regularly, salmon oil for dogs can play a crucial role in supporting a healthy heart and coat while improving joint, skin, and immune system health. 

While you should always consult your veterinarian before adding new supplements to your dog's diet, there is some useful information you should know about salmon oil and what it can do for your pet's health and happiness.

Why Are Omega Fatty Acids Important for Dogs?

Salmon oil contains large amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Of course, fat has earned a poor reputation in the human world, so why would you want to give it to your dog?

In reality, there are four types of fat: trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Omega fatty acids exist within polyunsaturated fats and, when digested, they help the body produce hormones that regulate inflammation and blood flow. 

The reason why supplementing your dog's diet with omega fatty acids is so important is that the body can't produce them on its own. Omega-3 supplements are often called salmon oil supplements because cold-water fish, like salmon, are primary dietary sources of omega fatty acids for both dogs and humans. While humans may get their omegas from plant oils, nut oils, and flaxseed, your dog can't digest many of those things.

Types of Omega Fatty Acids

Just as not all fat types are equal as there are different types of omega-3 fatty acids. The two most important kinds for your dog are EPA and DHA.

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, plays a critical role in many physiological functions, including reducing inflammation within the body. Inflammation has links to almost every type of disease, including joint problems and heart disease. Of all cold-water fish, salmon contains one of the highest concentrations of EPA. 

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is critical to skin and eye health. In humans, we often fortify infant formula with DHA because it's that essential. When taken regularly, DHA can improve mental sharpness and help ward off various conditions, including heart problems, certain cancers, and joint issues — including canine arthritis. So, supplementing your dog's diet with DHA will keep them healthier all the way around.

How to Supplement with Salmon Oil

Depending on the concentration, every product will present a label to help you estimate how much of the supplement your dog requires, usually based on their weight. In general, the suggested dose for salmon oil ranges from 75 mg up to 100 mg for each kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight.

Giving too much salmon oil to your dog may cause an upset stomach and lead to "fishy" breath. If you have questions, you can always consult your vet regarding how often you should supplement your dog and for how long. A professional can guide you on the ideal dosage and the best meal plans to boost the effects of salmon oil.

The Benefits of Salmon Oil Supplement

The benefits of salmon oil supplementation are plentiful. For many dogs, regular supplementation leads to a noticeable change in their health due to its ability to help with the following.

Balances Other Fats

Most dog foods contain meat from corn-fed animals along with sources of refined oil, both of which are high in omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in balancing out the omega-6 fatty acids, which is important because your dog needs both.

Supports Healthy Development

For puppies, in particular, a salmon oil supplement supports healthy brain and eye development. It can also aid and prevent cognitive disfunction in older dogs.

Promotes A Healthy Heart

The omega fatty acids in salmon oil have incredible cardioprotective benefits. They combat abnormal heart rhythms, and help to regulate inflammation and blood circulation.

Improves Skin & Coat Health

Fish oil improves skin and coat health, reducing itchy and flaky skin and encouraging a shinier, silkier coat. Not only will your dog look better, they'll feel better, too!

Acts As An Anti-Inflammatory

Regular supplementation supports heart health and overall wellness with the help of anti-inflammatory properties. Those same properties support healthy joints and prevent arthritis while reducing the risk of internal inflammatory diseases, like chronic kidney disease.

Immune-Boosting Properties

Salmon oil can help relieve allergies by strengthening the skin to provide a barrier against allergens while promoting a stronger immune system.

Reduces The Risk of Cancer

Maintaining healthy supplementation of DHA and EPA in your dog's diet will reduce the risk of canine cancer, according to the American Kennel Club.

What to Look for in Your Dog's Salmon Oil Supplement

Whenever you're looking to add something new to your dog's diet, be it a supplement, treat, or different food type, it's crucial that you do your research. You want to feel confident that your dog is getting a product that's good for them and for the world at large. 

When it comes to choosing a salmon oil supplement, it is important to always look for products that contain wild-caught and sustainably sourced salmon. 

Wild-caught salmon is far superior to farm raised salmon. Farmed salmon have a completely different diet and environment than wild salmon. Because of its natural diet and environment, wild-caught salmon not only has a more ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, but it also is higher in minerals, like potassium, zinc and iron.

Additionally, farm raised salmon have higher concentrations of antibiotics and harmful contaminants, like polychlorinated biphenyls and several chlorinated pesticides. 

As for sustainability, look for a manufacturer that sources its salmon oil under the guidelines presented by the Marine Stewardship Council. For twenty years, the MSC has devoted itself to upholding exacting standards to ensure sustainable fishing practices. They continue to help guide the production of sustainable salmon oil supplements for people and their precious pets.

While it may take a little research, once you find the perfect salmon oil for dogs, you'll be able to feed them with confidence by knowing that they're getting the essential fatty acids they need for a healthier lifestyle.

How to Identify and Treat Common Dog Skin Problems

How to Identify and Treat Common Dog Skin Problems 0

Dog skin issues are one the most common reasons for vet visits. Dogs are prone to a variety of diseases that cause changes in your dog’s skin, including scaling, pustules, and lesions. Dog skin problems often lead to scratching and excessive licking. Unfortunately, this self-soothing can lead to the spread of skin infections and even self-harm.

Dog skin conditions are no fun and can make your dog very uncomfortable. Keep reading to learn more about common skin and coat problems for dogs and how to treat them. 

Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis refers to allergens that a dog may inhale. Just like humans, dogs suffer from environmental and seasonal allergies too! When lgE antibodies are exposed to environmental allergens, they can develop pruritic inflammatory skin disease. After inhaling allergens such as dust mites, mold, hair, and pollen, dogs experience discomfort and stress.

Symptoms of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

In the initial stages, dogs rub, scratch, and chew excessively. Depending on the allergen involved, this behavior may be seasonal. The itching and rubbing may occur in certain areas or the entire body. Due to allergic reactions, they may also develop some hot spots.

Canine atopy is different from a flea allergy, which affects the thighs, groin, and tail area. The disease is hereditary and is common in the following breeds;

  • Boston Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Golden and Labrador Retrievers
  • Fox Terrier
  • White Terrier
  • Dalmatian
  • Boxer
  • Shar-Pei

Usually, this disease occurs between 6 months and 3 years.

How to Treat Canine Atopic Dermatitis

You can treat atopic dermatitis in dogs through avoidance of allergens and regular baths. Ensure your dog stays away from dust, mold, and hair to avoid this disease.

Bathing dogs helps reduce the allergen load. It’s recommended to bathe your dog weekly with a dog shampoo to reduce secondary infections. Be sure to avoid shampoos for humans, as they can harm a dog’s skin and coat.

Seborrhea

Does your dog have dandruff-like flakes or very greasy fur and skin? That may be a sign of dermatitis seborrhea, a common skin disorder.

Seborrhea is a genetic disorder that may occur in young dogs and last for a lifetime. It causes greasiness on the dog’s skin, leading to dandruff. The affected parts develop whitish scales as a result of skin flaking off.

Different dog breeds are predisposed to common health issues. Seborrhea affects a variety of dog breeds, mostly including:

  • Golden retrievers
  • German shepherds
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Labrador

Older dogs may develop seborrhea. However, this is often caused by conditions such as parasites, dietary deficiency, or endocrine disorders.

Seborrhea causes an unpleasant odor in dogs. It affects the sebaceous glands, which then leads to excess sebum on the skin. Dogs with vitamin deficiency may also develop seborrhea.

How to Treat Seborrhea

To treat seborrhea, you have to look at the underlying condition. Call a vet to diagnose the conditions that may be causing seborrhea.

Besides, seborrhea is manageable. These general treatments may help relieve your dog from the disease:

  • Feeding with omega-3 fatty acid supplements
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Use of anti-seborrheic sprays and shampoos

Unless the condition is severe, your dog will quickly recover from seborrhea.

Tips for Keeping a Dog's Skin and Coat Healthy

It’s no doubt that skin and coat problems can be detrimental to your dog’s life. Keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy improves its moods, appearance, and performance. After all, you want to have a dog that looks healthy, smells nice, and has a shiny coat.

Some of the best ways to keep the skin and coat healthy include:

Bathing Regularly

Bathing your dog at least once biweekly keeps skin diseases at bay. When bathing, use dog shampoo to prevent irritations. You can brush to remove dead skin cells and give the coat a shiny look. 

Be sure to use a good dog shampoo and avoid shampoos for humans. The skin of dogs and humans have very different pH balances. Human shampoo can actually harm a dog’s skin and leave them more vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria. 

Providing the Right Diet

Did you know that diet has a direct impact on your dog’s skin? Dog diet should have sufficient protein to maintain a healthy coat. 75% of a dog’s hair is made up of proteins, and with protein deficiency, your dog may develop skin and coat disorders.

Adding an omega 3 for dogs supplement and multivitamins to your dog’s diet ensures they are receiving the proper vitamins and super nutrients their skin and coat needs. Look for supplements that reduce inflammation and combat allergies.

Regular Checkups

How often do you visit a vet? It’s advisable to visit a vet once every 6 months for a checkup. Even when your vet doesn’t show any symptoms, a checkup may help you spot something you might have missed.