If you are looking for ways to improve your dog’s overall health, especially their joints, fish oil supplements could be the answer. Even if your dog eats high-quality, balanced food, sometimes food alone is not sufficient in providing all the nutrients they need. Pets and humans both tend to need more omega-3 fatty acids than they get through their diets. This is why it’s important for pets to get a fish oil supplement, which is rich in omega-3s.
Take a look at what omega-3s are, how they can help your dog’s joint health and why that’s so important.
What are omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3s are fatty acids found in polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are one of the four types of fats found in food. They’re important because they produce the hormones that regulate blood flow and inflammation in the body. Omega-3s are particularly crucial because they balance out omega-6 fatty acids, which modern diets often contain an excess of. To put it simply, omega-3s are “healthy” fats the body needs.
Omega-3s come in three different forms: ALA, DHA and EPA. In particular, DHA and EPA are found in marine-based sources, like fish. Because of its high omega-3 content, fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to food, anti-inflammatory means that it contains nutrients that can reduce stress in the body and limit/eliminate irritation.
How can omega-3s help my dog?
Inflammation happens in every pet’s body at some point and is a normal part of the healing process. However, too much inflammation can have severe effects on your pup’s health. Inflammation could be surface level, causing irritation on the skin or coat. But it can also be deeper, impacting heart and joint health. Omega-3s have the power to minimize this inflammation, for the benefit of your dog’s entire body.
Because they are so helpful to joints, it’s good to feed your dog plenty of omega-3s if they suffer from arthritis. If your dog’s joints are giving them trouble, they may not play or run as much as they want to. Regular fish oil supplements can combat that. Studies suggest that fish oil reduces joint pain, allowing dogs to be more active. It’s important to note that it may take time, perhaps several weeks or months, for results to truly set in.
Getting plenty of omega-3s is especially important for dogs as they—and their joints—age. Senior dogs might not be able to move as much as they want to because osteoarthritis slows them down. As dogs get older, their cartilage can deteriorate, causing bones to rub painfully against each other. Omega-3s combat this pain by allowing the joints to glide more easily—without all that painful rubbing. Omega-3s also have a positive effect on weight bearing, which results in less pain. Therefore, fish oil supplements are a great, natural way to keep older dogs active without pain and swelling.
However, fish oil is not just for adult dogs. It can also improve the health and wellbeing of your puppy! Omega-3s have benefits at every age. For example, DHA helps the development of the brain and eyes in puppies. At a young age, it can help them develop strong and healthy bodies and even prevent joint inflammation later in life. As dogs get older, omega-3s can help them stay as active and playful as they were as puppies.
Fish oils play a crucial role in your pet’s wellness routine
You understand the benefits of omega-3s, but why is a fish oil supplement important? As pet owners, we need to provide omega-3s to our dogs because their bodies don’t make a sufficient supply on their own. These fatty acids need to be provided through diet, and unless your pup eats a lot of fish, diet alone won’t be sufficient either. Where the diet has gaps, omega-3s should be provided via supplements like fish oil. This way, your dog’s body can continue performing at the highest possible level and remain comfortable and pain-free.
In addition to supporting joint health, fish oil provides other benefits to pets like reducing itchy skin, improving heart health and strengthening their immune system. In essence, fish oil supplements are a great addition to your dog’s health regimen overall. Remember, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet about putting your pup on any supplements to ensure proper dosage. Inside and out, the benefits of fish oil are clear and abundant—and your dog’s joints will thank you!