You must have heard the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids...that it is very healthy and protects dogs from many inflammatory diseases. It is also known to boost the dog’s immune system against cancers like T-zone Lymphoma. Well, everything that you have heard is true. It is certainly an excellent health booster and protects dogs from allergies, heart diseases, Arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, kidney diseases and cancer. However, studies also suggest that same Omega 3 which is touted as a health booster is also known to create health troubles if the source from which it is taken is not considered in advance.
Fish Oil – Nutritious or Toxic?
Whenever we talk about Omega 3, the first thing that comes in mind is fish oil. Well, Fish Oil is very nutritious but there are a couple of downsides to it.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids present in fish oil are highly susceptible to oxidative damage.This leads to the formation of free radicals which in turn cause aging and gene mutations that lead to cancer development. Most fish oils that you buy would have already oxidized if they are packed in the plastic container as oxygen can easily penetrate the material. Even if it is packed in a glass container, fish oil will start oxidizing the moment you open the bottle.
- Since fish oil is obviously derived from fish, the fat pockets in fish also contain toxins ingested from the ocean. Moreover, due to industrialization and ascending environmental pollution, heavy metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic are also found in fish. When a fish containing such toxins is consumed by anyone, be it dogs, cats or even humans, they indirectly ingest these toxins which lead to nervous dysfunction, kidney diseases, liver damage and cancers. Besides, there is a compound called Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) that can be present in the ocean fish and may lead to muscle spasms, bronchitis, and nerve disorders when consumed.
- It is also found through a study that people who feed fish oil that is manufactured using fish from the Pacific ocean are unintentionally feeding radioactive strontium and cesium to their Fido.
Now I suppose you have already acknowledged the fact that Omega 3 fatty acids are itself not harmful but the source from which they are derived can make them toxic to the pet. If you are wondering which source you must depend upon now that fish oil is out of option then we would suggest you go with Omega 3 supplements or phytoplankton.
What is Phytoplankton?
Phytoplankton is a rich source of nutrients like vitamins, proteins, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and carotenoids and apart from being superfoods, phytoplanktons are known to improve joint health, ward off allergies and eliminate skin issues.
If at all you want to go for the easy source i.e. Fish oil, it is imperative to check if the oil is COA (Certificate of Analysis) certified. Other than that, you can also opt for fish that only rely on phytoplanktons like Sardines and Mackerels that likely have lesser toxins than other fish.
Omega 3 Supplements from a premium brand also make for a good source of rich nutrients such as SeaFlex for dogs, omega fish oil soft gel & many more. At times, pets that are not able to absorb all the nutrition from their food source because of their poor metabolism, omega 3 supplements make the best alternatives. They are readily absorbed by the body to provide holistic nutrition. Besides, they also contain controlled amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids that are needed by the pet’s body but can cause inflammation when in excess. So, Omega 3 supplements are your way to go!
To conclude, Omega 3 fatty acids are very healthy and required by a dog’s body. They surely improve immunity and overall health of dogs but pet parents must be careful while opting for the resource. Omega 3 fatty acids don’t cause Cancer but yes, the source can; so, be mindful of your choices. Lastly, as the adage goes – Everything is good when in balance. Follow it diligently, especially when it comes to your pet’s food.