Adding Essential Fatty Acids To Your Pets Diet


Adding Essential Fatty Acids To Your Pets Diet

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are a​ requirement in​ everyone's diet,​ for both human and animal. However,​ the​ body cannot produce EFAs on​ its own,​ so it​ must be added to​ the​ diet each day. the​ two most commonly known fatty acids are omega 3 (linoleic acid) and omega 6 (alpha-linoleic acid). the​ diets of​ our pets,​ like people,​ tend to​ include more omega 6 fatty acids rather than omega 3. This is​ an​ imbalance that needs to​ be improved upon.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential as​ they help with the​ proper formation of​ cell membranes,​ cardiovascular functions,​ nourish the​ lining of​ the​ digestive tract,​ and work to​ keep your pet's skin and coat smooth,​ soft and shiny. Another essential function of​ omega 3 fatty acids is​ that they work to​ reduce inflammatory problems in​ the​ body. if​ you​ find your pet's coat is​ dull and brittle or​ if​ he/she tends to​ have dry skin and scratch a​ lot,​ it​ may be due to​ a​ lack of​ this particular fatty acid.

There are different types of​ essential fatty acid supplements that are available,​ however which kind you​ choose to​ supplement your dog or​ cat's diet can be a​ bit of​ a​ dilemma.

Pure plant oils such as​ flax oil,​ evening primrose oil,​ safflower oil or​ a​ blend of​ plant oils is​ a​ good alternative to​ fish omega-3 fats. These should be "cold-pressed" oils,​ as​ opposed to​ oils that are typically extracted with chemical solvents. the​ problem with plant oils is​ that animals have a​ harder time converting the​ fatty acids to​ a​ form best used by the​ animal's system.

Fish oils,​ such as​ salmon oil,​ halibut liver oil,​ or​ cod liver oil are more easily converted and used by an​ animal's body. the​ downside is​ that fish oils often contain deadly toxins,​ including high levels of​ dangerous PCBs,​ dioxins and detectable levels of​ mercury. Farmed salmon is​ the​ worst for contamination and contains less omega 3 acids than wild salmon. at​ present nearly 30% of​ all fish are farmed,​ with salmon being in​ the​ 90% farmed range. as​ well,​ farmed salmon are often carriers of​ disease and parasites. When supplementing your pet's diet with fish oils,​ choose oils that come from wild sources,​ not farmed.

There are also blended fish and plant oil supplements available. These often include a​ mixture of​ salmon or​ cod liver oil and flax,​ safflower or​ other such oils that provide a​ mixture of​ 3 to​ 4 parts omega 3 oils to​ 1 part omega 6 oils. Giving your animal a​ combination fish/plant supplement may be a​ good alternative to​ consider,​ as​ they should contain fewer toxins since they are not strictly fish oils,​ yet still should be better assimilated by the​ animal's body than straight plant oils.






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