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The Top Therapeutic Uses of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Pets

Posted January 8, 2016

hillary-cook

As a holistic veterinarian, I would love if all my patients were on a good quality omega 3 fatty acid supplement, simply because of the vastly positive health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids for pets. But pet parents should be aware: Not all omega 3 fatty acid supplements for pets are created equal. When evaluating an omega supplement to give your pet, consider the sources of fish and heavy metal content.

The essential (required) fatty acids in dog and cat diets include omega 6 (linolenic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA)). In comparison, omega 3 fatty acids include eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and a-linolenic acid (ALA). Marine fish oil sources provide EPA and DHA, which are more effective in dogs and cats than ALA

Below are some of the cases in which I find omega 3’s particularly helpful for pets.

1) Omega 3’s for the alleviation of arthritic pain and general inflammation in cats and dogs.

In the case of alleviation of arthritic pain in pets, fish oils help through their powerful anti-inflammatory effects. AA (arachidonic acid) is the most powerful precursor for pro-inflammatory mediators of pain.

2) Omega 3’s for skin problems in pets.

Studies show that dogs given omega 3 fatty acids showed improvement in clinical signs of pruitis, self trauma, coat character, and alopecia (loss of hair) mainly due to their natural anti-inflammatory effects.

3) Omega 3 fish oil supplements for cardiovascular disorders in pets.

Dogs with heart failure have a deficiency of plasma EPA and DHA compared with healthy dogs. In dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy, omega 3 fatty acid supplements reduce pro-inflammatory production as well as reduce heart muscle loss. It also helps increase the appetite of my patients who are affected by cardiac disease.

4) Omega 3 fish oil supplements for pets with renal disease.

Omega 3 fatty acids are very helpful in helping pets suffering with renal disease because of their overall anti-inflammatory properties and specifically their anti-inflammatory effects on the kidneys. In fact, they are essential in acute disease and chronic renal disease. Omega 3 fatty acids also reduce proteinuria (protein loss from the kidneys ending up in the urine) due to an acute phase of the disease (such as Lyme disease, tumors, or chronic bladder infections).

5) Omega 3 fish oil to aid with cognitive function (age related behavioral changes) in pets.

Studies show that omega 3 fatty acid supplements help with cognitive disorders in pets, including better agility and recognition of family members and other animals. There is also evidence of improvement of excessive licking, and pacing.

6) Omega 3 fatty acids to aid with pets suffering with cancer.

For pets with cancer, omega 3 fatty acids have very positive effects. These include acting as a general anti-inflammatory, being immune stimulating, and helping to increase appetite.

As far as omega supplements go, I prefer NHV’s PetOmega 3 because it is tested for heavy metal, purified, and is both medical and human grade.

If you think your pet may benefit from the positive effects of omega 3 fatty acids, but have questions please feel free to contact me for an on-line holistic veterinarian consultation.



Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for fifteen years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!

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*Product reviews are solely the experience and opinion of the reviewer. Actual results may vary.