Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for maintaining the health and well-being of dogs and cats. These beneficial fats offer a wide range of advantages, including promoting a healthy coat, supporting joint health, and boosting the immune system. As responsible pet owners, we are often on the lookout for ways to provide our pets with the best possible nutrition. While fish oil supplements have long been touted as an excellent source of omega-3s, recent research suggests that they might not be the best option. In this blog, we will explore the reasons why fish oil may not be an ideal source of omega-3s for supplementation.
1. Rancidity and Contamination Concerns:
Fish oil is susceptible to oxidation, leading to rancidity. When exposed to air, light, and heat, fish oil can quickly become stale and lose its nutritional value. Rancid fish oil not only becomes ineffective but can also lead to adverse reactions, including gastrointestinal upset, diarrhoea, and an unpleasant odour.
Fish may accumulate pollutants like mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their bodies. When fish oil is extracted, these contaminants may concentrate in the supplement, posing potential health risks to dogs like kidney failure, gastrointestinal issues, or even neurological issues among other side-effects, especially with long-term usage.
2. Inadequate Balance of Omega-3s:
Fish oil is primarily rich in two types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While both EPA and DHA offer health benefits, dogs require a balanced ratio of omega-3s, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is commonly found in plant-based sources like flaxseed and chia seeds. Unlike humans, dogs have a limited ability to convert ALA into EPA and DHA, making direct consumption of EPA and DHA even more critical.
A diet lacking a balanced omega-3 profile may result in an imbalance with omega-6 fatty acids, which are found abundantly in many commercial dog foods. This imbalance can contribute to inflammation and increase the risk of chronic diseases in dogs. Most complete and balanced commercial pet food have a source of fish/fish oil in them to meet the omega 3 requirements, so why add more fish oil to their bowl, when you can add a sustainable source like our Mega Oil (a source of ALA) or Phytoplankton Omega & Multi (source of EPA) and ensure your dog gets the ratios they need.
3. Protecting Marine Ecosystems:
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, are predominantly sourced from marine organisms like fish and krill. Unsustainable fishing practices, such as overfishing or destructive fishing methods, can severely deplete fish populations and disrupt marine ecosystems. As fish populations are exploited beyond their natural ability to reproduce, marine ecosystems suffer, causing imbalances in the food chain and threatening the survival of various marine species. By promoting sustainability in omega fatty acid supplements, we can help protect delicate marine environments, maintain biodiversity, and preserve the natural habitats of various marine species. Our brand new Phytoplankton Omega & Multi supplement is an amazing plant-based and sustainable source of EPA omegas. Pet Drs Phytoplankton is grown in state-of-the-art controlled facilities, and not harvested from the sea. By not harvesting our Phytoplankton from the sea, we are not competing with marine life for their key source of food.
Omegas are essential in both dog and cat’s diets and having the correct balance is crucial to their long-term health. Although fish and fish oil is a wonderful source of omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, there are downsides to giving our pets as the primary source of omegas in their diet. Due to the way our world is with overfishing, and chemical pollutants in our marine ecosystem, fish and fish oil is becoming less and less popular. Instead sustainable sources of omega supplements are pet parent’s first choice like our Phytoplankton Omega & Multi or our Mega Oil. These sustainable and plant-based sources ensure your pet’s health long-term.