We all love to see our dogs with mobile joints and a nice glossy coat. Before you gloop some oil onto your dog’s next meal – it’s important to know how fats work in a dog’s diet. If you’re accidentally feeding an imbalance of fatty acids, then you’ll be promoting inflammation in your dog.
Without getting too sciencey, dietary fatty acids are grouped into 3 types: Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9.
- Omega 9 can be synthesized by a dog’s own body.
- Omega 3s and Omega 6s must be supplemented in their diet.
From an ancestoral perspective, the diets of wolves contained a ratio of 6:1 – this means there were six parts Omega 6 to one part Omega 3. However in recent years (with the increased production of seed oils and increased prevalence of grain-fed food sources), the ratio of most dog foods & meats are closer to 20:1.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many modern dogs have skin & joint inflammation issues.
Disclaimer: Although most modern dogs have evolved significantly from wolves, it’s common practice for scientists and canine nutritionists to study the wolf’s diet in relation to that of the dog.
Omega 6s and omega 3s have different properties but work together to provide their nutritional value. Importantly: If your dog has too much omega 6 without enough omega 3, it leads to chronic inflammation.
The key point to understand here is balance. Omega-6 fats raise inflammation while omega-3 fats lower it. If there’s too much omega-6, the hormones that raise inflammation will be turned on and if there’s too much omega-3, there will be immune dysfunction.
Sources of Omega 6 for Dogs
Omega-6 fatty acids are easily found in vegetables & farmed meats. Most seed oils consumed in the Western countries are very rich in Omega 6s.
You should NOT need to supplement with Omega 6 fatty acids. However, in order to maintain optimum balance and reduce inflammation, you should introduce sources of Omega 3 fatty acids into your dog’s diet.
Sources of Omega 3 for Dogs
The best source of Omega 3 fatty acids is fish. But luckily for Australian dogs, grass-fed meat is also a great source of Omega 3s.
Please note that flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) is not readily converted by dogs. For that reason, it’s not considered a good source of Omega 3s.
Why Omega 3 rich treats are better than supplements for dogs
One of the most effective ways to increase the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in your dog’s diet, is to give them treats high in Omega 3s.
And no, it’s not just because it’s more fun to feed treats than add capsules to their meal…
Fish oils and Omega 3 supplement capsules are known to oxidise easily. Once oxidized, the omega-3 molecules change their shape and reactivity so are not able to carry out the same functions.
However, fish & grass-fed products retain their Omega 3 index when they are low-temperature dehydrated (between 40- 60 degrees celsius).
?? All Australian Dog Treats – High in Omega 3s
From our Shop Page, you’ll be able to see more about our low temperature dehydrated chews and treats which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids.