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All About Omega
Do you have a dog or cat suffering from allergies or a poor coat? Now is the time to boost them up in preparation for Spring. Pet Insurance Australia investigates Omega oils and why are they so important for your dog and cat.
For humans and pets alike, essential fatty acids or EFA are vital for health and wellbeing. These are more commonly known as omega – 3 fats and omega-6 fats. The reason they are so important in your pet’s diet is that your beloved cat or dog cannot produce these fatty acids on their own. So, unless they are present in their diet or supplemented they simply will not get the exposure they need to help with a range of conditions.
What can Omega Oils help with?
Clinical studies have shown that fatty acids, in particular omega-3, can help with range of problems including;
- Skin conditions
- Cognitive function
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
If you are considering adding supplements to your pet’s diet, please speak with your veterinarian to ensure you are feeding the correct amount. Some conditions may require more omega-3 or 6 and it’s also important to consider the quality of your essential fatty acids.
For most pets it will take up to six weeks to notice any improvement, so if you have a dog or cat who normally suffers from atopic inflammatory dermatitis, now is the time to increase their omega to help with the spring.
The best way to ensure your pet is getting a good quality well-balanced and full of good fatty acids is to feed a species-specific diet. Talk to your vet about adding krill oil or another type of omega to boost their diet.
Cat or Dog?
Essential fatty oils are important for both cats and dogs, however cats do need a little higher percentage compared to dogs.
“They are important for both dogs and cats, and although there are some differences in how dogs and cats metabolise oils in their diet, they are important for both,” Dr Vogelnest says. “Cats need a little higher percentage of fats in their diet to be nutritionally balanced. That’s one of the important reasons not to feed dog foods to cats long term, or cat food to dogs – who tend to get fat!”
There are many new dermo diets on the market that can help pets who are suffering from atopic dermatitis. When fed continuously they can help your pet tolerate higher levels of allergens before showing any symptoms of an itch. Many owners of dogs have seen big benefits from switching their pets to diets such as these.
“Some studies have shown that dogs with atopic dermatitis are more controlled on some diets compared to others – often better on diets with higher fatty acid content, and sometimes with restricted ingredients,” Dr Vogelnest says. “ And as there is a threshold with allergies – pets can tolerate a little allergen or irritants up to a certain point without being itchy or showing other typical signs of allergy – a good base diet is one factor that may help reduce the reaction to spring allergens in some dogs.”
However like supplements it’s important to remember that these products can take time to work. So if you do have a pet that suffers in the springtime, chat to your vet now about adding in extra omegas to help boost their tolerance to allergens come spring time.