The poor condition of your dog's skin and coat could be related to a nutritional deficiency of essential fatty acids which provide a natural way to alleviate or cure skin and other conditions while being key to developing and maintaining a healthy coat. Real Food for Dogs meals are an excellent and balanced source of Omega-3 and Omega-6. All of our recipes contain milled flaxseed, fish and safflower oil.
Lipids are a natural constituent of plant and animal tissues and, in the right amount, are part of a healthy diet.
Lipids are considered the primary source of energy for several body tissues such as muscles, heart and liver. Lipids are also a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins and provide with essential fatty acids (EFAs).
EFAs are referred to the fatty acids that animals can’t produce in their body and thus must be supplied through the diet. The EFAs in dogs are omega-3 (Linolenic acid, EPA, DHA) and omega-6 (Linoleic acid).
These fatty acids, in the right ratio, are known to help prevent and improve the following conditions:
Deficiencies can lead to dandruff, thin and greasy hair, hair lost, itching skin, eczema, dry skin, scaly and flaky skin, atopic dermatitis, different allergies, slow wound healing, recurrent skin infection, inflammation, ear infections, arthritis, auto-immune disorders, heart problems, kidney disease, ligament issues, cancer, stroke and impaired vision.
What to look for in your dog's food...
A good quality dog food will contain at least 2.5% of Omega-6 and Omega-3, in a ratio of 7:1 (2.2% Omega-6 and 0.3% Omega-3) and the lower the ratio the better, especially if skin and/or coat problems are present.
Most pet foods contain far more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 due to their high amount of corn and soy. Too much of the omega-6 can actually cause inflammation.
Besides imbalances, fatty acids in foods are also subject to degradation. Some factors can result in rancidity which affect the bioavailability of the fatty acids and lead to deficiencies:
Sources of EFAs Omega-3 and Omega-6:
The optimal way to provide EFAs to your dog is through fresh sources of omega-3 and omega-6 in their food:
To learn more, read our sources:
Disclaimer: Articles are based upon the opinions and experience of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advise. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author. We encourage you to make your own pet health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
About the author
Giselle Baba was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and adopted Dallas as her home since 2013. She is a certified Companion Animal Nutritionist from Southern Illinois University and the founder and president of Real Food For Dogs. She holds a MBA from the University of Barcelona, a Master in Marketing, a Master in Management, and a Bachelors in Advertising. She also has over 15 years of experience in business and marketing with Fortune 100 global companies.