Benefits of Using Essential Fatty Acids Daily

For many years, it has been believed that by adding fat to the pet’s diet you will give your pet a glossy, shiny hair coat. Well, that is not exactly true. Commercial pet foods can be high in fats and calories, but the source of these used fats contain small amounts of essential fatty acids. The majority of fat content in pet foods is empty calories from saturated and monounsaturated fats.

Essential fatty acids are classified as polyunsaturated fats. The most common types of fatty acids are the omega-6 and omega-3 series of fatty acids. These two types of fatty acids cannot be synthesized by dogs and cats, and therefore are considered essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and must be supplied in the pet’s diet.

Essential fatty acids have an important function within the body because they are required for normal tissue structure and function. They are responsible for the luster of the normal hair coat and the continuity of the skin. In addition, these fatty acids are proving to be effective as a supportive therapeutic tool for a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, inflammatory skin diseases, and even cancer. The enthusiasm for supplementing the pet’s diet with these types of fatty acids is enhanced since they are primarily derived from natural products, such as vegetable oil, marine fish oil and flaxseed oil.

Based on the clinical research conducted over the past decade, it has been learned that there are differences between omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. For example, when managing inflammatory conditions, it is now known that omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and will cause more inflammation to occur, whereas omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and will minimize the inflammatory response. Which is more desirable? The answer is obvious…the results achieved with omega-3 fatty acids. Another example is that omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to be immunosuppressive, which is not good for young or older pets, while omega-3 fatty acids are not immunosuppressive, so the pet’s immune system is supported and benefits from the use of omega-3 fatty acids. Based on this information and other clinical research, it is now known that omega-3 fatty acids are more beneficial for the pet and will provide several benefits for managing a variety of disease conditions.

Though both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential, your pet is receiving more than their daily needs of omega-6 fatty acids in the commercial food being fed. This is true even with pet foods that claim to have high dosage levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their formulation. Therefore, when selecting a fatty acid supplement, you should select a product that delivers more of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Using a supplement that primarily delivers high dosage levels of omega-3 fatty acids will provide the pet with the benefits discussed earlier and improve the pet’s skin and hair coat.

To determine which fatty acid supplement brand will provide your pet the most benefits, compare the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the product’s formulation or you can ask your Revival Animal Health Pet Care Consultant to help you with this comparison. Other considerations when selecting a brand to use with your pet should be things like convenience in daily dosing, palatability, product stability and safety, dosage levels of omega-3 fatty acids, etc. Of course, a palatable, chewable tablet would be simpler to administer daily with no mess compared to a gelatin capsule that has to be “pilled” or a liquid oil supplement that could be spilled making a mess that is difficult to clean.

Providing your pets with a daily dose of the ideal fatty acid will provide multiple benefits and you will visibly notice the results in improved skin, improved hair coat and reduced shedding that should occur within 4-6 weeks. Ask your Revival Animal Health Pet Care Consultant to help you select the ideal fatty acid supplement for your pets and begin to “see” the difference it will make in your pet’s health.

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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