Fatty acids are essential in the health and wellness of canines. Supplements are available to help your pet achieve the proper amount of omega-6 fatty acids, but many dog food manufacturers now include this essential supplement in their commercial kibble. Choosing the right food might not be a question of brand, but more a question of the right balance to meet the specific dietary needs of your best friend.
Fatty Acids - A Healthy Discovery
Since its discovery in 1929, omega-6 fatty acids have been considered a vital part of good nutrition. The same holds true with canine nutrition, and most commercial dog food manufacturers have stepped up to produce kibble containing this essential fatty acid. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for coat luster and coat growth, and the proper ratio of essential fatty acids assists in the control of such ailments as yeast infections, allergies, heart disease and cancer.
Omega-6 - It's in There
Nearly all major pet food manufacturers now include omega-6 fatty acids in their commercial dog food. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in Iams, Eukanuba, Purina and Hills Diet, just to name a few. While its presence is essential, the ratio of fatty acids is equally important. Essential fatty acid ratios are measured based upon the amount of omega-6 versus the amount of omega-3 in each dog food brand. Ideally, the ratio should range on the high side of 10 to 1, to the low side of 5 to1. The lower the ratio, the better balanced the commercial diet.
You Are What You Eat
It's true, you are what you eat, and it isn't just the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids that should be given consideration when buying commercial dog food. Puppies should be eating a diet specially formulated for young, growing pups. Senior dogs can benefit from food made specifically for the aging canine. Dogs who suffer from specific health disorders benefit from a special diet, such as a dog prone to urinary or bladder problems.
If You Don't Know, Ask
There is no one more qualified than a veterinarian to recommend a particular diet. Health and wellness exams should include discussions about nutrition. While most dogs benefit from the addition of omega-6 essential fatty acids to their routine diet, focusing on only this may mean something else is missing. Veterinarians are well educated on nutrition and how it affects every aspect of a dog's life. When in doubt, ask the professionals.