Four Healthy Oils for your Dog’s Diet

2015-10-06 22.12.06Just like you, your dog may not be getting all the necessary nutrition he needs from eating his regular diet. While standard dog food can certainly come packed with plenty of essential nutrients, you can supplement your dog’s dietary regimen with certain healthy oils—jam packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids—to promote optimum health.
What are the healthiest oils for dogs?

Fish oil: Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that help arthritis, and also has some anti-cancer effects, says Nancy Scanlan, DVM, CVA, MSFP, and executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation. Fish oil can also improve your dog’s memory.

“The primary reason I recommend fish-oil based omega-3 fatty aids is to yield a natural anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce overall inflammation in the body and potentially decrease my patients’ reliance on medications aimed at reducing inflammation and pain,” says Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, and a certified veterinary acupuncturist with California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness (CPAW).

Krill oil: While fish oil usually comes from fish higher on the food chain, like salmon, krill oil hails from tiny shrimp-like organisms that rank a little lower. This makes krill oil less likely to be contaminated with mercury, Dr. Scanlan says. It also contains EPA and DHA, and will help give your pet healthier joints and skin, in addition to other benefits.

“All dogs are omnivores that lean towards the carnivorous side, so they best absorb non-vegetarian-based oils like fish and krill,” explains Dr. Mahaney.

Coconut oil: Extra-virgin coconut oil has become a popular choice for humans because it’s a healthier alternative to more processed saturated and trans fats, and the same applies to dogs. Coconut oil has also been shown to help dogs lose weight, give them more energy, and offer relief to dry skin. Bonus: It will help improve your dog’s bad breath!

Flaxseed oil: This oil is high in alpha linolenic omega-3s, which puts it in the same ballpark as wild fish when it comes to boosting heart health. Like many of the other healthy oils, flaxseed oil also helps with mobility for arthritic dogs, and can aid in blood pressure and kidney function.

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