Even if you feed your dog top–notch, premium food, the proportion of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain certain physical systems may not be just quite right. One particular portion of your pup that would benefit from special attention is the skin and coat. A dog skin supplement containing fatty acids can be especially beneficial and will help ensure that your dog’s skin and coat are healthy and shiny.
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Fatty acids, or polyunsaturated fats, are naturally produced by many animals, including dogs. There are a few that dogs are unable to produce, though. These are essential fatty acids called Omega–3 and Omega–6. Some dog foods do actually contain these acids, but many times the quantity contained in the food is not enough to give the maximum healthful benefits for your dog’s skin and coat.
You might be asking yourself, “How can I choose the right skin supplement for my dog?” There are several things to look for in terms of Omega–3 and Omega–6 essential fatty acids. Check the ingredient list on the side of the bottle for the Omega–3 fatty acids Alpha Linolenic Acid, Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid. Similarly, you’ll also want to look for the Omega–6 acids Linolenic Acid, Arachidonic Acid, Gamma Linolenic Acid and Dihomogamma Linolenic Acid. If your veterinarian recommends a particular dog skin supplement, it will typically contain more than one of the acids listed above. Another important combination of vitamins to look for would be vitamins A and E. These are also helpful for maintaining the health of your dogs coat and skin.
There are some additional benefits of administering dog skin supplements. If your dog is suffering from itchy or dry skin, you should notice an improvement in symptoms within the first three days of administration. Along with benefiting the health of the skin and coat, these supplements can maintain and improve health of your dog’s joints, hearts and kidneys. Some skin supplements may also contain vitamin C, which will improve the health of your dog’s immune system.
Dogs may have skin issues that don’t simply stem from dry, itchy skin. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies and, in turn, develop skin problems due to these allergies. Certain brands of dog skin supplements are specially formulated to treat these issues.
Dog skin supplements also come in a variety of forms, similar to the assortment of medications available for human ailments. Some dogs might be averse to taking supplements in pill or capsule form. Even though these can be “hidden” in your dog’s regular food, he or she might still turn his or her nose up to them. Liquids are also available if this is a concern. Some brands even offer flavored supplements, useful if your dog happens to be especially picky.
If you are administering skin supplements to your dog, it is recommended that you also feed him or her a low–fat diet. The supplements will work best with this combination because it will improve the ratio of Omega–6 fatty acids to Omega–3 fatty acids. A regular diet contains a larger amount of the former and less of the latter. If you are adding Omega–3 fatty acids with a supplement, a more proper ratio can be obtained by decreasing the dietary intake of Omega–3 acids. This is achieved through sticking to a low–fat diet for your dog.
Your dog’s skin and coat are very important, as these are elements that play a big part in keeping his or her temperature comfortable. Not only this, but each breed has a specific type of coat suited best for their bodies. When caring for a pet you love, keep in mind that you should watch over healthfulness both inside and out. You can certainly help do this through proper, informed supplementation.