Omega 3 is what is called an essential fatty acid meaning the body needs it but can’t make it so must to take it in through food.
So why is Omega 3 so important?
Its main effect is as an anti inflammatory helping with coat condition, skin condition, mobility and cardiac health.
- Most coat and skin conditions, whatever their cause, involve inflammation of the skin so reducing that inflammation helps alleviate the symptoms.
- By reducing inflammation Omega 3 can help with mobility making tired, stiff and aching joints more supple.
- Omega-3 is also highly concentrated in the brain and appears to be important for brain function, memory and behaviour.
So if we need to take Omega 3 in through what we eat – how best to do that.
Not all Omega 3 is the same. It is the DHA and EPA forms – found mainly from marine sources, which are beneficial. The ALA form of Omega 3 found in vegetable sources such as Flaxseed oil or Linseed oil must first be converted to EPA & DHA for it to benefit, and dogs lack the enzymes to do that efficiently.
So marine sourced Omega 3 is what they need.
You also need to consider the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. We need both Omega 6 and Omega 3 but in the correct proportions. To put it, in not particularly scientific terms, the Omega 6 excites the system and Omega 3 calms it back down – so we need the right balance.
The problem is we can easily get Omega 6 from seeds, nuts and their oils and from vegetable oil and so are very common meaning we tend to have much too high a level of Omega 6 relative to Omega 3