Currently, the diet we offer our dogs is evolving. The modern consumer is continuously informing himself about his own food and, of course, about the nutrition of his pets, in which the benefits of omega-6 for dogs can be known.
Dog tutors look for the right food for their pets for their physical characteristics, lifestyle, and health status.
For all this, in this article, we talk about omega-6 for dogs, a type of fat necessary in the diet of our pets.
What is omega-6?
Fatty acids omega-3 -α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – and omega-6 – linoleic and araquidónico- may form part of triacylglycerols consumed through diet. That is, they are polyunsaturated fats.
Both fatty acids are essential for the body since they cannot synthesize it. Therefore, the benefits of omega-6 for dogs are multiple, as long as the omega-6 / omega-3 ratio is taken into account.
This ratio should be close to one. The more omega-6 consumed through the diet than omega-3, the worse the health of our pet, and the likelihood of suffering from diseases such as heart disease or cancer increases.
The same occurs in humans who, due to the huge amount of ultra-processed foods and the absence of fruit and vegetables in the diet, are developing multiple pathologies that were not so present before the appearance of junk food.
Foods rich in omega-6
If we give our dog a diet based on extruded feed, we must be very selective when deciding which one to choose. Some of the details that we must take into account are:
- The first ingredient has to be meat since the dog is an optional carnivorous animal. The label must specify its origin, that is, if it is chicken, lamb, etc. In addition, it is desirable that it be made with dehydrated meat since fresh meat, during the extrusion process, loses water and, as a consequence, the amount of protein we offer to the dog is lower.
- The feed can be supplemented with legumes, never with cereals. The only reason for using this last ingredient is to add calories by lowering production costs.
- If fats are added, you must specify, as in the case of meat, what is its origin.
- The omega-6 / omega-3 ratio should be as close to one as possible, much more so if our dog suffers from some type of illness.
If, on the contrary, you feed your dog through BARF or combine the feed with natural food, some foods rich in omega-6 are:
- Fish, dried or raw, but previously frozen.
- Unrefined vegetable oils. For example, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc.
- Nuts such as nuts and peanuts. Nuts can be offered to dogs very sporadically, and we must keep in mind that some are extremely toxic, such as macadamia nuts.
- Soy and its derivatives.
- Raw eggs offered.
- The meat of the avocado. Avocado is not toxic to the dog, but some of its parts, such as leaves, bark, fruit skin, or seed, can be toxic.
Utilities for dogs
The benefits of omega-6 for dogs can be multiple, in addition to that, as we said, they are indispensable in the diet. First of all, we must always keep in mind the ratio and that, if it is unbalanced towards omega-6, our dog could suffer various serious pathologies.
Some medical conditions where omega-6 fatty acid seems to be a positive factor are:
- As a treatment for degenerative osteoarthritis.
- Problems of canine atopic dermatitis.
- Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
- Benefits for canine asthma.
- Diseases with inflammatory processes.