For many years we've been great advocates of adding salmon oil to the diet - as long as:
- it originated from wild not farmed fish (who are inevitably of poorer quality and contaminated with drug residues of various kinds)
- these were caught in the relatively clean waters of Alaska or Iceland
- the oil was a by-product of fish used for human consumption and wasn't produced solely for pets
- sustainable and environmentally friendly methods were employed throughout the manufacturing process, from ship to shelf
The reason why such supplementation is essential for modern day dogs and cats is twofold:
Firstly, fish oil is a rich source of fatty acids, which are essential for the formation and normal functioning of virtually every part of the body, especially cell membranes and the:
- glands responsible for hormone production and regulation
And essential fatty acids need to be present in the diet, because dogs are unable to make them for themselves.
(Note, if you are feeding a commercially produced adult dog kibble or wet food, this can still be deficient in fatty acids even if described as 'complete' because there is no legal requirement to include omega 3 when using this marketing term).
Secondly, omega 3 rich oil, helps to counterbalance an excess of omega 6 in the food chain, which many believe is implicated in a number of inflammatory conditions in dogs, such as arthritis and atopic dermatitis.
The problem now however, is that the rise in oceanic pollution over the last few years has become so widespread, virtually all fish contain harmful substances of one kind or another, including:
- heavy metals
- herbicide and pesticide residues
- 'forever' chemicals
To avoid these, and yet still provide a healthy source of biologically active and available omega 3, it's necessary to use an alternative source.
We advise switching to a carefully selected algal oil instead.
Algae in the ocean, are the source of all omega 3 fatty acids in fish - who like dogs can't manufacture these vital nutrients for themselves, and so obtain what they need from eating these tiny marine plants.
Some strains of these algae, produce especially high levels of omega 3, and as a result of recent advances in supplement manufacturing, these can now be cultivated as a source of pure oil, on a large scale in water tanks on land.
- NO oceanic pollutants in the oil
- NO depletion of fish stocks
- NO environmental damage
- Sustainable production
We recommend this product because of the EPA and DHA it supplies (both are important for maximum health benefits), and the positive feedback received from pet parents. If you enter the code vincethevet15 at checkout, a 15% discount will be applied to your order.
Why Not Flax?
Flaxseed oil is recommended by some as a source of omega 3 fatty acids for dogs because it contains a type of omega 3 found in plants, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Dogs however, have a limited ability to convert ALA into the more beneficial forms of omega 3, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fish.
One study, puts this conversion at less than 1%, meaning flaxseed oil is of little value when looking to provide biologically active and effective omega 3 to dogs, to improve health and meet fatty acid nutritional needs.
This contrasts sharply with the algal oil described above, which delivers ready made, ready to go omega 3, which dogs and cats can utilise and benefit from quickly.
Therapeutic use of fish oils in companion animals (applies to algal oil too)