Did you know that fat – not that squeaky toy – is your dog’s best friend? A good balance of omega 3 and 6 ‘essential’ fatty acids is vital for our canine friends to maintain optimal health. A deficiency in Omega 3s can cause many health issues from dog dandruff and hair loss, to allergies and eczema, dry and scaly skin, slow wound healing, ear infections and inflammatory diseases. Sardines can be the perfect antidote.
Sardines are an inexpensive, sustainable source of protein that is low in mercury and crammed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and essential omega 3 fatty acids. In particular, sardines have two very special fatty acids that are essential for brain and eye function: docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
So beyond being awesome for solving a myriad of health issues, numerous studies have shown the importance of omega 3, particularly DHA, in memory, learning and overall mental health in dogs (and humans!). Brains are 60% fat after all, 25% of which is DHA! In young dogs, insufficient DHA results in poor learning, attention and recall – basically a ‘dumber’ dog. We all want our puppies to learn from and connect with us in those early stages, so ensuring they have enough DHA is critical for them to be able to concentrate, interact with, and retain the information we’re trying to communicate.
But omega 3 are not just essential for puppies. Studies with adult and senior dogs have shown the same thing! Those with sufficient DHA in their diet are more attentive, know and retain more, and can learn new things more easily than those without. So you actually can teach an old dog new tricks! They just need the right food and nutrition.
The results are clear: Omega 3s make dogs smarter, happier, healthier and better looking. Fat is critical to maintain healthy nerve and cell function, keep skin and coat glossy, and ensure their brains are firing exactly how they were intended to. Sardines are a super easy, inexpensive option to add fresh omega 3 fatty acids to whatever you’re feeding your dog – be that commercial or homemade.
I suggest having a supply of canned sardines on hand at all times. Choose those packed with either olive oil or spring water over vegetable oil (which can be too high in omega 6) and ideally wild caught (they’re better for your dog and the planet).
Ensure they’re getting what they need – grab some sardines today and feed them like you love them!
Sardines make a great dog breakfast! Or a great ‘on the road’ meal option. Enhance them to a fully balanced meal by adding some veggies or make it even easier by adding our Super Veggie Mix, Mega Miracle Greens as well as our Golden Buddha Paste (or any combo). #ADD LINKS#
Photo credit: Rebecca Katz