Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Omega 3's Aren't Just For Humans...

Dr. Karen Becker, is a Veterinarian who describes herself on her website: http://healthypets.mercola.com/
I'm Dr. Karen Becker, an integrative, proactive, wellness veterinarian. I believe animal guardians must become responsible health advocates for the animals in their care. By identifying and removing lifestyle obstacles before disease occurs, we are capable of providing the best possible lives for animals in our lives. Species-appropriate nutrition, a balanced immune system and a resilient body are the foundations for a healthy pet. This website is dedicated to helping you make healthy lifestyle choices for your pet, and take a proactive stance in their health. Healthypets.mercola.com is your one-stop resource for pet health articles and discussions that will help you prevent disease and nurture happy, thriving pets.

While reading Dr. Becker's article "Failure to Give This Fat To Your Pets & You're Asking For Trouble  a sentence caught my attention
Because most pets consume an abundance of high carbohydrate, empty calorie dry foods (kibble), the pet obesity issue is quickly rivaling the human obesity epidemic.
Sound familiar?  I'm sure it's no accident that animals are now suffering from the same maladies as we are--and for the same reasons. You may recall the pet food scare a while back?  There is a little more attention given lately about the dire straits our human food is in, imagine how horrible our pet food is.  Like human food, all the goodness of the food is removed, fillers added and injected with vitamins & marketed as if it's a wonderful thing

Dr. Becker goes on to say

"And as you might have guessed, omega-6 and omega-3 fats are as vital to your pet’s health as they are to yours. These fatty acids are crucial for many of your pet’s most important tissues and organs -- everything from reproduction to a healthy skin and coat.
There is also mounting evidence that essential fats play a significant role in your pet’s ability to fight off most all illness and disease.
This is the most common nutritional deficiency I see in my practice.
The symptoms I encounter on a daily basis include cats with dry skin and chronic oral inflammation, and dogs with recurrent skin and ear infections."
 Fortunately, this is an easily remedied situation. 
The “Essential” Nature of Omega-6 and 3 FatsYour dog or cat has a fundamental dietary requirement for certain fatty acids that it cannot produce on its own. These fats can only come from the food you feed your pet, thus the term essential.
Omega-6 and omega-3 fats derive their names from their chemical composition. It’s important to realize that your pet requires both omega-3 (alpha-linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) acids in order to thrive.
How to Spot an Omega-6 Deficiency in Your PetThe ratio of omega-6 to 3 fats is very important to your pet’s well being. Current recommendations are for ratios of 10:1 to 5:1.
If your dog or cat is eating a typical commercial pet food diet, it’s actually far more likely he or she is getting too much omega-6 fats rather than too little. However, it’s important to understand the role the omega-6’ fats play in your pet’s health.
A lack of omega-6 fats in your pet’s diet will result in poor overall development and a failure to gain weight. An omega-6 deficiency can compromise your pet’s immune system and cause liver and kidney degeneration.

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