Omega-3 fatty acids are considered a healthy kind of fat that can provide important health benefits for pets. While your pet might be getting fat in their diet from commercial food, these foods generally contain other types of fats rather than omega-3. Since pets aren’t able to produce omega-3 on their own, these fatty acids would need to come from their diet, such as from fish oil or krill oil. When you include omega-3s as part of your pet’s diet, these fatty acids offer the following benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids might help ease mild or moderate joint pain in pets that have arthritis or other joint problems. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, which helps relieve soreness and improve mobility. Keep in mind that omega-3s might not be as effective for more severe joint pain in pets.
While more studies are needed, omega-3 supplementation might benefit pets that have been diagnosed with kidney disease. Some research findings have shown lower amounts of protein in urine in dogs with kidney disease when omega-3 supplements were given.
Omega-3’s anti-inflammatory properties might help pets that have heart disease. These fatty acids ease inflammation that can occur with heart failure. Omega-3 supplementation might also lower the risk of muscle loss in pets with heart disease and lower the occurrence of abnormal heart rhythms.
Skin and Coat Health
Omega-3 fatty acids support healthy skin and coats in pets. Including these fatty acids in your pet’s diet might help reduce allergies that affect the skin due to their anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3s might also help reduce skin dryness that can lead to itching and scaling.
Immune System Health
Omega-3s might help boost your pet’s immune system by reducing inflammation. While a younger pet might not need this boost, older pets tend to have weaker immune systems. Having senior pets take omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, might help reduce the risk of illnesses that are linked to inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved brain health. Since the reduce inflammation, these fatty acids might help lower the risk of inflammatory diseases that affect the brain, such as dementia, especially as pets get older.
Although fish oil, krill oil, flax seeds, chia seeds and other sources of omega-3s can provide health benefits, you should always check with your vet before giving these to your pet. Your vet can help you choose good sources of omega-3 based on your pet’s health needs.