Fatty acids are essential to our pet’s health
Our pets need good fats to remain as energetic and healthy as possible. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat, and the two types of essential fatty acids dogs and cats need are omega-6 and omega-3.
These fatty acids support your pet’s immunity, brain health, growth, skin health, behaviour and joint mobility. And, like the name suggests, they are ‘essential’ to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
However, the body can’t produce these fatty acids, so we need to make sure they’re in the food we buy our pets.
Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6s launch an inflammatory response in the body and tend to be found in plant-based foods like seeds, nuts and vegetable oils. While omega-3s launch an anti-inflammatory response and tend to be found in marine-based foods, like mackerel and salmon.
Our pets need both omegas to maintain optimum health. But factors such as the source and type of the omegas, plus the ratio of consumption, all play a key role in how effective they are in keeping our pets healthy and happy.
The ideal ratio of omega 6 and 3
Like anything, you can have too much of a good thing. And fatty acids are no exception.
Because omega-6s and omega-3s compete for the same enzymes in the body when digested, an imbalance will interfere with the goodness they both offer. So, to reap the health benefits of both types, it’s important that we give them to our pets in the proper ratios.
Too much omega-6 but not enough omega-3 causes increased inflammation in the body, which can lead to those auto-immune diseases mentioned above. But if we level the omega-6s with omega-3s, it can lead to a reduction in the severity of the symptoms experienced.
A prominent biochemist, Professor Bill Lands, has blamed high levels of omega-6 in our diets for the inflammatory state of most Western nations. (Lands, W., (2005)).
In light of that, the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is thought to be a ratio of less than 4:1, in both human and animal – that’s the same ratio the Omega Plus range gives your pet. But a ratio below 2:1 is considered very balanced and anti-inflammatory (Simopoulos, 2016).
Long chain fatty acids vs short chain fatty acids
The molecular structure of fatty acids is also an important factor in pet health.
For starters, there are two basic groups of fatty acids – short chain and long chain. Short chain fatty acids are usually found in plant-based foods, like seeds, grains and vegetable oils, while long chain fatty acids are usually found in marine-based foods, like salmon.
Because long chain fatty acids are made up of more molecules, human and animal bodies can use them for a variety of things. For example, the brain is approximately 12% grey matter, which is primarily made up of long chain fatty acids. When grey matter needs to be replaced, the body requires long chain fatty acids. If the body was only consuming short chain fatty acids, the grey matter within the brain will not be able to replenish itself, which would affect cognitive health.
Why Omega Plus is the best choice for your pet
Because Omega Plus uses King salmon as the number one ingredient, our products are naturally rich in long-chain fatty acids from a marine-based source – so they’re great for improving and maintaining your pet’s joint mobility, growth, behaviour, and brain and skin/coat health.
A cupful of Omega Plus (125 g) contains a total of 17.5 g oil of which around 6g is essential fatty acids in the ratio of approximately 1.5:1 (omega-6 to omega-3).