Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Are Omega 3 Supplements Important for Dogs?

Our dog Blue, a Pit/Mastiff mix suffered from double hip dysplasia as a young pup.  Consequently she underwent surgery on both hips before turning 1.  We have been very happy with the results in the 7 years since the surgery.  However arthritis and stiff joints are a natural issue associated with Blue's previous condition and large 90 pound frame.  To prevent a serious arthritic condition from developing we follow the following daily regimine. 
Daily dog walks, hip massage, and an all natural diet including Omega 3 fatty acid supplements for dogs.

Why Omega 3's?

Omega 3 fatty acids are vital for normal function of every organ system in the body, particularly the immune system. A lack of omega 3s contributes to the following disorders:
*Joint inflammation and arthritis
*Allergy - dry itchy skin, recurring skin infection, recurring ear infections
*Autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease
*Loss of mental alertness in older dogs

The Domestic vs. Wild Dog Diet

A wild carnivores diet is composed mostly of small animals and birds eaten whole. This natural diet is high in omega 3 fatty acids and low in omega 6s. Commercial dog food contains a lot of cereal grain which is high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3s. This lack of omega 3s affects the health of our pets in many common skin and degenerative conditions.

Safe Omega 3 Handling and Shelf Life
 Deep water fish concentrate toxins like mercury and cancer-causing PCBs. If we are going to use fish oil for ourselves or our pets, purity is an important concern.  Fish oils oxidize easily. Old or improperly stored fish oil oxidizes, creating free radicals which are toxic. Pure, fresh fish oil is light in color. It has very little fishy flavor and almost no odor. The pump dispensers used for some veterinary omega oil supplements are easy to use, but oxidize the product. Once opened, fish oil needs to be refrigerated and used within three months. Wipe away excess oil from the lip of the bottle after each use so you don’t accumulate oxidized oil and contaminate the next dose.

*Feed a low fat all natural diet free of "meal" by products
*Supplement with cod liver oil or with fish oil gel caps. Buy only high quality products.
*Give pets of all ages one teaspoon of cod liver oil per 50 lbs. or the equivalent amount of fish oil gel caps.
*Dogs that have arthritis, immune disorders, allergies, recurring skin problems, or chronic kidney disease should receive one teaspoon of cod liver oil (or the equivalent) per 20 lbs.

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