Salmon oil, linseed oil and hemp seed oil are valuable suppliers of essential fatty acids in a particularly high concentration. These are involved in many physiological processes in the body and support the development and functionality of various organs.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a particularly positive effect on the joints, immune system, cardiovascular system and skin and coat condition.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are incorporated into the cell membranes of the body's cells and play an important role in inflammatory processes.
These essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body itself, so that animals are dependent on the supply via food, whereby they are often not sufficiently supplied via the normal diet. A longer-term administration of essential fatty acids of at least 2 to 3 months is useful to achieve a corresponding effect. In addition, it is helpful to combine the fatty acids with antioxidants such as vitamin E. These protect the fatty acids from the normal diet. On the one hand, these protect the fatty acids from oxidation, and on the other hand, they also protect the organism from oxidative stress.
The oil, which is extracted from salmon, is particularly aromatic and tasty for dogs and cats. Salmon oil is often given as a supplement to the daily food.
It contains approx. 30 % omega-3 fatty acids. The special feature is also the content of the special fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These unsaturated fatty acids are responsible for the positive properties of the oil, which can be helpful in various areas.
Studies have shown effects on diabetes (1), cardiovascular problems (2), joint diseases (3) and skin problems (4). The mechanism is mostly attributed in the studies to the effects of fatty acids on inflammation and immunological reactions.
The seeds of the common linseed (Linum usitatissimum), also called flax, are the source of linseed oil, which is popular with humans and animals. The oil has a spicy aroma and tastes slightly nutty. To preserve the important ingredients, cold-pressed oils should be used.
Linseed oil is the vegetable oil with the highest content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This omega-3 fatty acid is essential for dogs and cats, so it cannot be formed in the body. The proportion of this fatty acid is about 60 % of a high-quality linseed oil. The recommended daily intake of ALA is 50 mg per kg body weight. The fatty acid is important for the cell structure and also serves as a starting product for the synthesis of EPA and DHA.
Hemp seed oil
The oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), is an edible oil and can be clearly separated from essential hemp oil or oils containing CBD. It is a high-quality supplement to the diet and is free of psychoactive substances.
Hemp oil is a rich source of important omega fatty acids. In particular, the content of the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid, gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid should be mentioned here. In addition, it also contains plant substances such as carotenoids and vitamins. This advantageous composition makes hemp seed oil an optimal supplement for dogs and cats and hemp oil is particularly popular in the preparation of BARF rations.
A balanced and high-quality diet for dogs and cats should always take into account the supply of important essential fatty acids. By supplementing the ration with high-quality oils, you can ensure the supply and optimally support your animal.
(1) Figueras et al. (2011): Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) treatment on insulin sensitivity in an animal model of diabetes: improvement of the inflammatory status. Obesity (Silver Spring). 19(2):362-9.
(2) Freeman (2010): Beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease. J Small Anim Pract. 51(9):462-70.
(3) Perea (2012): Nutritional management of osteoarthritis. Compend Contin Educ Vet. 34(5):E4.
(4) Bauer (2007): Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 231(11):1657-61.