Are omega-3 fatty acids important for my dog?
The Essentials of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your dog relies on Omega-3 fatty acids for many things, including vision and brain development in young puppies, helping manage inflammation in skin and joints, and a whole host of other physiologic functions.
Because dogs, as well as humans, are incapable of producing Omega-3 fatty acids on their own, they must get them through their diet. The most common fatty acids added to pet food are DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid).
Why Your Dog Needs Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Since Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat, they serve as a source of calories for your dog.
- Growing puppies require a dietary source of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA to help support proper development and function of the brain, the central nervous tissue and vision.
- For pregnant and lactating dogs, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper development of the brains and retinas of their puppies.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help manage inflammation, especially in the skin and joints.
What are some good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are typically found in marine sources. Purina uses fish oil or fish meal as ingredients to supply Omega-3 fatty acids. Some products may state that they have been enriched with DHA or EPA.