Our bodies require fatty acids to build new cells and maintain both brain and nerve function. Essential fatty acids (especially omega 3s) are those which are not produced by the body and have to be supplemented into the diet. Different species of animals like cats, dogs, and humans need different types and amounts of these essential fatty acids. Aside from their regular functions, fatty acids are used by the body in unique ways to achieve several beneficial effects.
Most people equate fatty acids with making their pet’s hair coat smooth and shiny, which is a reflection of improved skin health and integrity. Fatty acids in proper amounts can also help reduce inflammation! They are beneficial for treating allergies by lessening the bodies’ inflammatory response to allergens, decreasing your pet’s itchiness and risk of secondary infections. They are also helpful for controlling painful inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
Fatty acids can be found in multiple sources in varying levels; Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA,DHA) are found in fish oil, while most diets provide a plentiful source of Omega 6 fatty acids. Over the counter supplements, designed for humans, do not have a high enough concentration for most animals! Snip Tips are a supplement, designed specifically for animals, which contain guaranteed levels of the EPA and DHA your pet needs. Did you know that a pet needs at least 25 mg of EPA per pound of body weight to help with joint and other inflammatory disorders? In order to see the same effects from most fish oil supplements, your pet would often to take 10 doses per day; this amount of fish oil would wreak havoc on their digestive tract!
Special pet diets, such as iVet or Royal Canin, contain higher levels of fatty acids than other pet foods on the market. iVet is a well-balanced diet with formulas for each life stage of your pet. Royal Canin has a variety of prescription diets with elevated levels of fatty acids, useful in managing your pet’s individual health needs.
Like any supplement, the effects will not be immediate; it takes time for the fatty acids to accumulate in the body! All pets are unique and therefore need to be examined to determine the proper protocol to get maximum benefit. Please speak with your veterinarian to help select the best diet for your pet.