Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, can help reduce inflammation in humans and dogs alike. These substances are found naturally in many foods, and they’re an essential part of your pup’s diet. Happy Go Healthy explains some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids for your dog as a dietary supplement to go alongside his normal food.
Coldwater fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids for your dog. If you choose to feed fish to your dog, make sure you cook it thoroughly and remove any bones from the flesh. Dogs are natural carnivores, so they will readily eat fish. Just like fish for human consumption, you should feed fish to your dog only a few times per week due to concerns about mercury contamination. Wild-caught fish generally have less mercury compared to farm-raised varieties.
Wild-caught fish also offer higher levels of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, so make sure to check the levels and percentages on the bags to make certain your dog is receiving a significant amount (about 220 mg combined per 50 lb. dog). Salmon is the most common kind of coldwater fish on the market. Mackerel, halibut, and herring are also available.
Flax seeds contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Consider sprinkling some of these seeds into your dog’s kibble. The only difficulty with flax seeds is that they are small, and your dog may not eat all of them. Walnuts, soybeans, and freshly ground wheat germ also contain copious amounts of omega-3s. Your pup might eat these items more readily, so consider these food items as well. Keep in mind, DHA/EPA is the most important omega-3 for skin/coat issues and mobility issues. So, make certain to check these levels as well.
Grass-Fed Animal Products
Although not as high in omega-3 fatty acids as fish or flax seeds, grass-fed animal products tend to have higher amounts of omega-3s compared to other foods. Look for grass-fed beef and milk, free-range chicken, and cage-free eggs as a way to supplement your pooch’s ordinary dog food. The idea with grass-fed animal products is to lower the imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids (commonly found in many dog foods) to omega-3s.