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Do Your Pets Need An Omega-3 Supplement?

Vos animaux de compagnie ont-ils besoin d’un supplément d’oméga-3?

Vos animaux de compagnie ont-ils besoin d’un supplément d’oméga-3?

Tout comme les humains, votre animal a besoin d'un environnement sain avec une activité physique adéquate et une alimentation nutritive. Lorsqu'il y a un manque de nutriments essentiels dans un régime, ou une accumulation de toxines ou de calories inutiles, une maladie peut survenir.

Il existe différents types de graisses polyinsaturées dans la nutrition. Deux très importants sont souvent considérés comme les acides gras oméga-6 et les acides gras oméga-3. Les acides gras oméga-6 augmentent l'inflammation tandis que les acides gras oméga-3 sont plus anti-inflammatoires.Il doit y avoir un équilibre entre ces deux types de graisses et dans notre culture occidentale, cet équilibre a été rompu pour favoriser les acides gras oméga-6. Puppies

Prenons l'exemple des chiens. Si nous examinons la quantité d'oméga-6 et d'oméga-3 dans les animaux sauvages par rapport aux animaux utilisés pour fabriquer des aliments pour chiens, il y a un pourcentage beaucoup plus élevé d'oméga-6 dans les animaux d'élevage (poulet et bœuf nourri au grain) par rapport aux animaux sauvages. animaux (élans et cerfs). Alors que le wapiti et le cerf ont un rapport d'environ 3,5:1 entre les oméga-6 et les oméga-3, le poulet a un rapport de 28:1,1

Remembering that omega-6s are pro inflammatory, we can easily see how a typical diet fed to dogs from farmed animals could contribute to increased inflammation in the body. This may result in chronic inflammation which leads to chronic health concerns. Adding in a fish oil supplement, full of omega-3s may help balance out this uneven ratio and make a positive impact on the health of your pet.

On top of being anti-inflammatory, omega-3s have several health benefits. These are well known and studied in humans, and are becoming of interest for animal health.

Cognitive Health

Just like in humans, dogs’ brains are rich in DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid). DHA is needed for proper growth and development. In a study that looked at the impact of DHA on brain development in puppies, researchers found that puppies who were fed diets rich in omega-3s over the first year of life performed better on a variety of cognitive tasks than those who were fed lower amounts. 2


Omega-3s aid in the treatment of heart failure and protection of a healthy heart through several different ways: lowering blood pressure, decreasing inflammation, and improving function of the heart.3 Various breeds, sizes, and ages of dogs can benefit from the addition of omega-3s for their heart health. In a study which looked at the survival of dogs with heart failure, those who were given omega-3s had longer survival times when compared to those who did not receive these fatty acids.3


A common issue with many dogs, especially larger ones, is joint pain. 1 in 5 dogs will experience osteoarthritis in their life and more than 65% of all dogs over the age of 7 years will develop arthritis.4 Due to the role of inflammation in joint pain, the diet of dogs is an area of research for intervention. As discussed previously, dog food is higher in omega-6s than wild food that dogs would have historically eaten. This increase in pro-inflammatory fats increases inflammation which can result in canine arthritis.

The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association published a study that looked at this connection. In the study, dogs were fed a diet that had an increased amount of omega-3s and a decreased amount of omega-6s.5 After 8, 12, and 24 weeks, the owners of the dogs reported a significant improved ability for dogs to rise from sitting, increased play and increased walking ability when compared to those who were not given this supplemented diet.5 Cat stretching


Omega-3s can also help decrease the occurrence and negative effects of chronic kidney disease in dogs. This is most likely due to the anti-inflammatory impact of omega-3s as a diet high in vegetable oils (high amounts of omega-6s) can negatively impact chronic kidney disease.

Dogs aren’t the only pets that can benefit from omega-3s. In a 2017 study, authors looked at supplementing with omega-3s to measure the impact on kidney health in cats.7 The researchers found that by increasing these poly unsaturated fatty acids, stone formation decreased.7

About the Author

Dr. Olivia Rose, ND

Dr. Olivia Rose ND, is a 2002 graduate of the University of Guelph where she obtained a Bachelor of Science honors degree in nutritional and nutraceutical sciences. In 2006, she graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Rose has built a thriving private practice; she has a special interest in digestive and immune health; infertility; weight loss; skin rejuvenation and chronic disease.

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  1. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central.
  2. Zicker SC, Jewell DE, Yamka RM, Milgram NW. Evaluation of cognitive learning, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in healthy puppies fed foods fortified with docosahexaenoic acid–rich fish oil from 8 to 52 weeks of age. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2012 Sep 1;241(5):583-94.
  3. Freeman LM, Rush JE, Kehayias JJ, Ross Jr JN, Meydani SN, Brown DJ, Dolnikowski GG, Marmor BN, White ME, Dinarello CA, Roubenoff R. Nutritional alterations and the effect of fish oil supplementation in dogs with heart failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 1998 Nov;12(6):440-8.
  4. Bland SD. Canine osteoarthritis and treatments: a review. Veterinary Science Development. 2015 Jul 17.
  5. Roush JK, Dodd CE, Fritsch DA, Allen TA, Jewell DE, Schoenherr WD, Richardson DC, Leventhal PS, Hahn KA. Multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on osteoarthritis in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2010 Jan 1;236(1):59-66.
  6. Brown SA, Brown CA, Crowell WA, Barsanti JA, Kang CW, Allen T, Cowell C, Finco DR. Effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in early renal insufficiency in dogs. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. 2000 Mar 1;135(3):275-86.
  7. Hall JA, Brockman JA, Davidson SJ, MacLeay JM, Jewell DE. Increased dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids alter serum fatty acid concentrations and lower risk of urine stone formation in cats. Plos one. 2017 Oct 26;12(10):e0187133.
  8. Lenox CE, Bauer JE. Potential adverse effects of omega‐3 fatty acids in dogs and cats. Journal of veterinary internal medicine. 2013 Mar;27(2):217-26.

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