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Salmon derived pet food

The quantity and quality of the fat in this salmon derived pet food is a vital component of the nutrient package. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy with the naturally occurring fatty acids providing satiety, anti-inflammatory properties, and is an essential carrier and co-nutrient for the Vitamins A, D and E.

The fat is a balanced blend of saturated, monounsaturated and essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), which in-depth research has shown to be necessary for:

  • Growth
  • Mobility (bone health)
  • A healthy skin and coat
  • Behaviour (IQ)
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Dr. Laurence Eyres FNZIFST

Chairman of the NZIC Oils and fats group

Editor of the Handbook of Edible Oils-which contains all the information on polyunsaturated fats, oxidation and omega-3 oils.


Dr. Laurence Eyres

Dr. Laurence Eyres - Omega Plus NZ pet food

Dr. Laurence Eyres has been active in the food industry for over 40 years. He has held senior positions in both industry and academia in Food Science and Nutrition disciplines. His key areas of expertise are in oils and fats and the beneficial effects of essential fatty acids.

Whilst his main area of focus has been human nutrition, there are many similarities and parallels with animal nutrition.

His family have had dogs and cats all his life, with some of the loved pets reaching advanced years with the help of good nutrition.

He has published extensively and as Chairman of the NZIC oils and fats group, his website and newsletters provide unbiased opinions and data on all aspects of edible oils nutrition.

Importance of well-balanced nutrition – benefits of fatty acids

A well-balanced, nutritionally complete diet is essential for the health and well-being of all animals, and pets are no exception. The European Pet Food Industry Federation recognises that adequate intakes of energy, protein, appropriate fats, minerals and vitamins are essential for dogs and cats to ensure their health and longevity.

Fats add palatability and pleasurable texture to pet foods, improving the experience for your dog or cat. Whereas, in people, we worry about “good fats” and “bad fats”, the same is not such a concern in dog and cat food. Dogs and cats naturally have more good cholesterol than bad cholesterol no matter what they eat (Bauer, 2008). More than just making food more pleasurable for the dog or cat, the diet can be formulated to be a rich source of functional fats, some of which are essential, i.e. they must be included in the diet. Here, we are talking about ensuring the feeding of a diet with appropriate levels of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, the so-called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Combine these in a diet with the right levels of vitamin E, zinc (and a range of other vitamins and minerals) and the essential fatty acids add value to pet nutrition.

It is important that the diet contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in appropriate quantities and ratio. We know from scientific studies that diets boosted in the essential fatty acids can have a beneficial effect on pet health. These studies were designed to test a therapeutic response to nutrient supplementation; so it is logical to consider that a diet, suitably rich in these essential fatty acids would support normal body function and physiology and help prevent fatty acid deficiency.

These studies have shown:

  1. The importance of diet in the maintenance of healthy coat and skin; specifically, omega-3 fatty acids (Watson, 1998) and omega-6 fatty acids especially with appropriate levels of zinc in the diet (Marsh et al., 2008)
  2. Long chain omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish or marine sources, are capable of modifying inflammatory responses (Bauer, 2008) and specific dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratios are useful in the management of inflammatory diseases (Watson, 1998)
  3. While dogs and cats are not as susceptible to coronary artery disease as humans (Bauer, 2008), studies have shown that long chain omega-3 fatty acids had beneficial effects on dogs with heart failure (Freeman et al., 1998)
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid, EPA and DHA, when fed at elevated level in diets to dogs with osteoarthritis produced owner reported improvements in activity (Roush et al., 2010a) and improvements in veterinarian assessed signs of arthritis (Roush et al., 2010b)

In summary, where fatty acids are concerned, a diet that provides a good source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids can help support:

  • A healthy skin and coat
  • Joint mobility
  • Cardiovascular function

Dr Colin Johnston BVMS(Hons) MACVSc

Dr Colin Johnston

Dr. Colin Johnston - Omega Plus NZ pet food

Dr. Colin Johnston qualified with distinction as a veterinarian in 1993 from Glasgow Vet School; made famous as the vet school that produced James Herriot.

Colin started his veterinary life in country mixed practice, enjoying the variety of cats, dogs, horses, sheep and cattle and the characters that often came with them. He has worked in a variety of veterinary disciplines in Scotland, England, Australia and moved to New Zealand over 10 years ago. Nowadays, he focuses a lot of time on the health and welfare of aquatic animals; of which nutrition plays a pivotal role.

His family have had 3 dogs and 5 cats (not all at the same time!) with 4 cats becoming jetsetters; moving with Colin’s family around the world.