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How To Improve The Quality of Omega 3’s You Give Your Dog (Especially useful if your dog suffers from allergies)

  • February 22, 2021
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit.com
  • 0 Comments
How To Improve The Quality of Omega 3’s You Give Your Dog  (Especially useful if your dog suffers from allergies)

Did your know that Omegas play a critical role in keeping your dog’s cells healthy?

Did you know that not all Omegas are created equally?

Did you know that manufacturers can label their food “rich in Omegas” but if you don’t know which one they use then you’re getting a poor quality Omega.

Did you know fish oil goes rancid fast?

Did you know there are non “fish oil” versions of Omega 3s?

Here’s the problems facing dog parents today:

Lax label laws don’t always disclose the complete truth. For example, a dog food or supplement manufacturer might add Omega 3 in the form of ALA and call the food “Rich in Omegas” but … unless you know that ALA does not convert to DHA and EPA efficiently (less than 10%) then you’re not getting the form of Omega 3 that your dog needs.

  • Not getting enough of the right Omega 3s might lead to greater inflammation (meaning allergies).
  • Some dogs cannot consume Omega in the form of “oil” due to digestive or pancreatic issues.
  • Unless you’re feeding a diet rich in oily fish then your dog is lacking Omega 3s.

What Happens When Your Dog Doesn’t Get Enough of the Correct Omega 3s?

For dogs with allergies, inflammation doesn’t improve.

If your dog has environmental allergies then spring time can be a bit of a nightmare. Which means that walks on trails or playtime at the park will result in a rashy belly and itchy dog.

If your dog is allergic to fleas it means that one flea bite can turn into scratching sessions that wake you up at 2am.

If your dog has food allergies then it means your poor dog will be restricted to the few proteins they can eat without the benefit they would get from a variety of proteins.

That’s why you need to learn how to improve the quality of Omega 3s you give your dog.

Omega 3 rich with epa and dha for dogs with allergies

How Do Omega 3’s Help Your Dog?

In addition to reducing inflammation, once you are armed with this knowledge your dog will:

  • Be scratching less
  • Have less rashes
  • Have a stronger immune response to allergy triggers
  • Better brains
  • Better eye health
  • Stronger hearts
  • Keep extra weight off
  • Less chance of common health problems
  • Lower risk of cancer

Luckily for you, I’ve spent weeks researching this topic.

Maggie and Orbit suffered from allergies and yeast breakouts.

They used to have red rashy bellies and need Apoquel, Cytopoint, Benadryl, special shampoos, and the occasional detox.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars with various vets to help them.

I’m happy to report they no longer suffer from allergies and aren’t itchy and rashy like they used to.

And from one dog mom to another I’d like to share what I know with you.

Ready to learn? Let’s go.

There Are Eleven Omega 3’s

Did you know there are ELEVEN OMEGA 3S?

All these years I never knew that but….

I recently watched a Rodney Habib’s video on Omega 3 and my mind was blown.

Not because I hadn’t heard about the importance of Omegas before … but because I learned that due to lax rules in labeling, a manufacturer can claim that their product has Omega 3 but … they don’t always say which Omega 3 it is they are referring to. #DONOTBEMISLEDBYFALSECLAIMS

(Video)

And so if you are curious and want to know – here’s the list of 11 omega 3s

Omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are a family consisting of eleven both short‐ and long‐chain omega-3 fatty acids:*

  1. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  2. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
  3. Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA)
  4. Hexadecatrienoic Acid (HTA)
  5. Stearidonic Acid (SDA)
  6. Eicosatrienoic Acid (ETE)
  7. Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA)
  8. Heneicosapentaenoic Acid (HPA)
  9. Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA)
  10. Tetracosapentaenoic Acid
  11. Tetracosahexaenoic Acid

And you only want Omegas rich in the first two

From Pawsomely Healthy Dogs:

DHA and EPA are present in fish, fish oils, and krill oils, but they are originally synthesized by microalgae, not by the fish. When fish eat phytoplankton that ate microalgae, they accumulate the omega-3s in their tissues.

Green-lipped mussel oil is another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other than EPA and DHA, this shellfish also contains trace amounts of eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA).

This rare omega-3 fatty acid may be even more effective at lowering inflammation than other omega-3s.

ALA is present in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils.

When it comes to health benefits in dogs, extensive research has shown that the EPA and DHA are the most potent.

For that reason, it is recommended to supplement the diet of your dog with omega-3 fatty acids high in bioavailable EPA and DHA.

While the metabolism of dogs is able to convert ALA into the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids, the rate of conversion (which occurs primarily in the liver) is very low, with only 5% to 15% ALA converting to EPA and less than 1% of ALA converting to DHA.

Therefore, consuming EPA and DHA directly from foods and/or dietary supplements is the only practical way to increase levels of these fatty acids in the body.

TLDR – or cliff notes,

KEY TAKEAWAY: You want Omega 3’s RICH WITH EPA and DHA when supplementing your dog.

How To Improve The Quality of Omega 3’s You Give Your Dog  (Especially useful if your dog suffers from allergies)

It Starts Off At The Cell Level

And why exactly is it important to look for Omega 3s rich in EPA and DHA?

It’s because the balance of fats a dog consumes has a profound influence on the dog’s sell membranes – the semi permeable layers that allow cells to receive nutrients and eliminate waste.

A good dietary omega 6/3 balance which includes the consumption of EPA and DHA makes the cell membranes fluid, permeable, flexible, and healthy. Too much Omega 6, on the other hand, makes cell membranes (including those in the brain) brittle, sluggish, and inefficient.

One recent study demonstrated that the balance of fats consumed affects the expression of the genes, the process in which information from a gene is used to make proteins. The study reported that the consumption of a proper balance of Omega 6s and 3s reduces the expression of the genes that promote inflammation.

KEY TAKEAWAY: The right balance of fats is important for healthy cells

Feed Fresh Whole Oily Fish When You Can

I’m a fan of feeding from fresh sources whenever possible. Fish are rich in EPA and DPA Omega 3.

When feeding fresh fish, opt for:

  • Small fish
  • Wild caught
  • Fish that live in deep, cold, open water (Alaskan and Norwegian fish)

Fish I love to feed:

  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Smelt
  • Mackarel
  • Salmon
  • Albacore
  • Tuna
  • Lake trout
  • Alaskan Halibut
  • Herring
  • Mussels

I source from my local asian store as well as get canned sardines from back up. I used to be able to buy them from Amazon fairly easily but since the pandemic they are almost always sold out.

I also get a bag of air dried oily seafood treats in my monthly Real Dog Box. I typically use that up first before I start to cook and feed fresh fish from the market.

Since my two Boston Terriers are small (17 and 19 pounds) I don’t need much fish.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Choose small oily cold water fish because these fish have higher levels of Omega 3s and smaller levels of mercury.

Omega 3 rich with epa and dha for dogs with allergies

7 Important notes when feeding fresh fish:

  • If you are going to cook it – steam it at low heat
  • Take their daily food intake, divide by 7 and that’s how much to feed every day. This works out to basically a spoon of fish to each bowl or .5oz if I were to be precise (and yes I have a food scale) . This is a lose approach to figure out the portion amount.
  • Because my dogs have allergies I follow the ancestral diet in feeding Omega 6 and 3 in the ratio of 1:1. How would you figure this out? You can use online nutrient calculators or apps. I like to use Cronometer to figure out my Omega 6 and 3 levels.
  • Limit feeding canned fish – use it more for a back up.
  • Never buy canned fish soaked in sunflower oil because the high level Omega 6 in he sunflower oil will engage the benefits of whatever Omega 3 is in there.
  • If you are feeding kibble, consider switching their diet to a home cooked diet. You can learn how to do that with my foundation recipe
  • If you continue to feed kibble, decrease their kibble by 25% and add that same amount of fresh (cooked) fish

Can You Feed It Raw?

I’m a home cooker so I always cook their fish.

If you want to go this route, put the fish in a pan with a small amount of water and cook at the lowest heat setting.

Baby sit the fish so that you don’t over cook it.

If you opt to feed it raw, make sure you freeze it first for 3 weeks to ensure that any parasites are eliminated by freezing.

Omega 3 rich with epa and dha for dogs with allergies

What About Fish Oil Supplements?

The most common form of Omega 3 supplementation is through fish oil.

The problem is fish oil can go rancid.

They go rancid when it’s exposed to light, air or heat. Fish oil can go bad while sitting on a hot truck as it makes its way to the pet store.

Or light hits because it’s stored in a plastic bottle (glass is better).

Or maybe you buy the BIG JUMBO bottle not realizing that buying fish oil in the smaller bottle lowers the risk of ALL of it going bad at once.

Some dog food nutritionists are of the opinion that feeding rancid oxidized fish oil is worse than not feeding it at all.

So what are you as a dog parent to do?

How To Improve The Quality of Omega 3’s You Give Your Dog  (Especially useful if your dog suffers from allergies)

Omega 3’s Come In Capsule Powder Form

As I mentioned previously, I add fresh fish (air dried or cooked) to Maggie and Orbit’s meals.

And since I’ve been researching dog nutrition more, I’ve decided to up the Omega 6:3 they eat to a 1:1 ratio.

Meat and poultry are high in Omega 6. And even though they get fresh fish in their meal … to get the Omega 3 up, I have to add Omega 3 in a form of a supplement.

The problem is I stopped using fish in oil form four years ago once I learned quickly and easily they go rancid.

When supplementing I now prefer to feed Omega 3s in capsule powder form.

The benefits include:

  • The ability to provide Omega 3s in a non oil form. Especially useful if your dog has pancreatitis or just doesn’t do well with “oils”
  • The ability to provide an Omega 3 supplement that won’t go rancid fast like fish oil does.
Omega 3 rich with epa and dha for dogs with allergies

I Gave Omega 3’s From Pawsomely Healthy For The Last Two Months and This is What Happened

I have been giving Maggie and Orbit Omega 3s from Pawsomely Healthy Dogs for the past eight weeks.

I always like to try a product before I write about them because I want to make sure it works.

At first I didn’t notice a difference but when I was making the bed i noticed less fur on the bed and I realized that the girls were:

  • Shedding less
  • And the bald spot on Orbit’s tail has grown back
  • They were scratching less as well

Even though Maggie and Orbit didn’t shed that much to begin with, I could always tell when it was time to wash the sheets (which I do every Saturday) because the sheets would be sprinkled with their fur.

But since adding Omega 3’s from Pawsomely Healthy to their diet they shed less.

Pretty sweet right?

That’s when I knew it worked!

NOTE :
*If you’re feeding kibble and NOT adding fresh fish then you need to supplement with Omega 3 every day.

You’ll Enjoy A Host Of Other Benefits

As it turns out – adding Omega 3s to your dog’s diet not only helps their allergies, it helps them

** contribute to the brain development of puppies
** slow down cognitive decline in older dogs
** strengthen the immune system
** reduce inflammation
** increase the ability to fight cancer
** benefit heart health
** improve the skin and coat condition
** help alleviate allergies
** reduce anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity

Where To Buy Omega 3 Supplements

I’ve tried several brands and the one I love is the one from Pawsomely Healthy Dogs.

  • It’s in powder form so it won’t go rancid
  • Since I always feed whole fish first, a powder supplement fits my feeding style, it’s there when I need it and I’m not worried that it’s gone rancid
  • It’s rich in EPA and DPA
  • It’s sourced from marine animals

Luckily for you, Pawsomely Healthy Dogs has agreed to host a giveaway for 3 bottles of Omega 3’s to 3 lucky winners.

This giveaway is being hosted on my dog’s Instagram: @maggielovesorbit

  • Contest will run from February 22 to March 1 with the winner selected on the March 2nd.
  • Winner must live in the United State of America

Final Thoughts

Dog food formulation is governed by AAFCO and the NRC.

Their guidelines are based on the MINIMUM requirements.

They currently don’t have a requirement for EPA and DHA levels (only ALA) and speculation by dog nutritionists is that it’s because these two forms of Omega 3 are sensitive to heat and AAFCO and NRC requirements are formulated for dry dog food (kibble) which is cooked two to three times at heats as high as 240 degrees.

But as dog food nutritionists learn more about dogs, the general consensus is that ALL dogs no matter what their diet is, can benefit from Omega 3s rich in EPA and DHA.

For those of us with allergic dogs – Omega 3s are great in our battle against inflammation.

It sucks to have a dog that wakes you up at 2am because they are scratching.

And if you’re like me you can’t sleep when they do.

You can feed your dog whole fish to decrease inflammation and reduce itching and scratching.

When feeding whole fish, rotate the kind of cold water (small) fish.

You can cook it lightly or feed it raw. If it’s the latter make sure you freeze it for 3 weeks first.

Alternatively you can supplement with Omega 3.

Avoid Omega 3 made with vegetable sources (ALA). This form of Omega 3 when evaluating for effectiveness is a lower quality.

When buying Omega 3’s always choose for supplements made from marine sources because it will be rich with EPA and DPA.

Resources:
6 Things You Don’t Know about Itchy Pets
Fish Oil for Dogs: Should I Give My Dog Omega 3 Supplements?
Does Your Dog Need Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements? | PetMD
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer : Fish for Your Dog’s, Cat’s Diet – Selection, Preparation, Recipes – Raw, Cooked
Omega-3 For Dogs: How To Choose The Best One For Your Pup? — Pawsomely Healthy

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DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust. Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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Books:

Feeding Dogs: The Science Behind The Dry Versus Raw Debate

Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the ABC Way

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.

I also want to help Boston Terriers parents to learn as much as they can about this breed so they can raise their dogs responsibly.

I spent twenty years in the resort hospitality business.  At the peak of my sales & marketing career I had twenty six resorts under me.  I got tired of traveling and decided to work for myself.

I now run a social media agency handling social media for succesful pet brands.

I have two dogs.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By MaggieLovesOrbit.com, February 22, 2021
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