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Just like us, our dogs don’t get all the necessary nutrition they need from their regular diet. While good quality dog food certainly does come packed with essential nutrients, we can also supplement the daily diet of your dog with some healthy oils – packed with N-3 and N-6 fatty acids – to promote good health.Which oils are the healthiest?
How can you serve them to your dog?
- Fish oil – Fish oil has DHA and EPA, N-3 fatty acids that help arthritic dogs, and also has anti-cancerous effects. It is beneficial to your dog’s memory as well. N-3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories and reduce the overall inflammation in the body apart from decreasing the reliance of patients on medications that are aimed at reducing pain and inflammation.
- Krill oil – Fish oil comes from fish that are higher up in the food chain, like Salmon. On the other hand, Krill oil comes from small shrimp-like organisms that are lower on the chain. This makes it much less likely to be contaminated with mercury. It also has DHA and EPA, and gives your pet healthier skin and joints, apart from a host of other benefits. Since dogs are omnivores, they absorb oils that are extracted from non-vegetarian sources, like krill and fish, better.
- Coconut oil – A popular choice with adults, extra-virgin coconut oil is a healthier alternative to the more processed trans and saturated fats. Even dogs stand to benefit from having it included in their diet. Coconut oil has been demonstrated to help dogs lose weight, provide relief to dry and itchy skin, and give them more energy. It also helps improve bad breath in dogs.
- Flaxseed oil – This is high in alpha linoleic N-3 acids, which puts it in the same category as some of the wild fish in its beneficial effects in boosting the health of your dog's heart. Like other healthy oils, it helps with mobility and pain for arthritic dogs, and also aids in maintaining kidney function and blood pressure.
Most of the oils come as either free oil or in a capsule form
. But once you open a jar of oil and expose it to the air, it becomes rancid. Capsules are easier to store. It also depends on your dog’s preferences. Dogs that eat heartily will consume an allotted portion of liquid or a capsule out of their food. Liquid oils mix easily with moist food, but they can be poured over kibble as well.Capsules are also best consumed out of moist food. If they are not willing to consume the capsule, they might take it in liquid form if it is squeezed, pierced and mixed into a soft treat or moist food.