Is your pet a significant member of your family? As pet owners, we do everything we can to help them lead a healthy lifestyle! A quality diet, and a diet rich in well-balanced omega fatty acids, is extremely beneficial to your pet’s health.
Pets need good fats to keep them energetic and healthy. Omega-3 and omega-6 are the two types of essential fatty acids needed by dogs and cats to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately your pet can’t produce them by themselves! (Lenox, 2016)
By giving your pet food that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, you’re supporting their brain health, skin and coat health, joint mobility, heart health, eye health, immunity, growth, and behaviour.
Fatty acids can be divided into two basic groups – short chain and long chain. While both are useful in the right quantities, long chain fatty acids are made up of more molecules. This means animal (and human) bodies can use them for more purposes. Long chain fatty acids are usually found in marine-based foods – this is why NZ King Salmon is the number one ingredient in our products.
Omega-3s for pets
Omega-3s help support your pet’s body and brain. There are 3 types of omega-3s which can be useful to pets. ALA, EPA and DHA. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 naturally found in plant-based foods whereas eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are most commonly found in marine-based foods. Unfortunately, dogs and cats struggle to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. Because of this it’s better to provide your pets with a diet rich in EPA and DHA from marine sources wherever possible.
Omega-6s for pets
Omega-6 is necessary for growth, reproduction and the prevention of skin and coat abnormalities (Lenox, 2016). Linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) are the omega-6 essential fatty acids. LA is a shorter chain than AA. Dogs and cats both need LA in their diet but AA is only essential for a cats’ diet. Cats lack the enzyme required to convert LA to AA so it’s important to make sure their diet includes both (Lenox & Bauer, 2013). NZ King Salmon contains high levels of AA – which is mainly found in the fatty parts of meat (including fish).
Key benefits of omegas
Omega-3s are often described as “brain-food”. DHA and EPA (long chain omega 3s) are particularly beneficial for brain health. The brain consists of about 12% of grey matter, which is also made up of long chain fatty acids. Long chain omegas can help regenerate this grey matter and improve cognitive health in pets of all ages. Puppies in particular may find DHA useful as their brains develop! (Bauer, 2006)
The inflammation fighting properties of omega-3 fatty acids do wonders for your pet’s joints. For pets that already have joint issues such as arthritis, it can help by decreasing pain and increasing mobility. It can also potentially help control inflammation-related damage to joints in young dogs and prevent future joint issues.
Skin and coat health
Providing your pet with enough omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in their diet can improve their skin and coat health by brightening dull coats and reducing dry, itchy skin. Omega-6s help to reduce skin and coat abnormalities (Lenox, 2016), and omega-3s can reduce shedding by improving the overall health of hair follicles! Less shedding for cats also means fewer hairballs – a win, win for all!
The right balance
Omega-6s generate an inflammatory response in the body, while omega-3s launch an anti-inflammatory response. To maintain optimal health, your pet needs both. However, for your pet to reap their benefits of both, it is crucial they receive them in the proper ratios. Too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 increases inflammation in the body which can lead to auto-immune diseases like arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis and eczema. The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, for both humans and animals, is thought to be a ratio of less than 4:1.
Omega Plus omegas
NZ King salmon is the number one ingredient in our range. This means our products are naturally rich in long-chain fatty acids from a marine-based source. They are great for improving and maintaining your pet’s joint mobility, growth, behaviour, brain health, and skin/coat health. Our range also provides your pet with the perfect ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s so you know your pet isn’t getting too much!
“NZ King salmon is the number one ingredient in our range. This means our products are naturally rich in long-chain fatty acids from a marine-based source.NZ King salmon is the number one ingredient in our range.”
Bauer, J. E. (2006). Metabolic basis for the essential nature of fatty acids and the unique dietary fatty acid requirements of cats. JAVMA, 229(11), 1729-1732.
Lenox, C. E., & Bauer, J. E. (2013). Potential adverse effects of omega-3 fatty acids in dogs and cats. J Vet Intern Med, 27(2), 217-226. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.12033
Lenox, C. E. (2016). Role of dietary fatty acids in dogs & cats. ACVN Nutrition Notes. 83-90. https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/08/TVP_2016-0910_NN-FattyAcids.pdf