Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Guide to Keeping Your Pet Healthy

September 06, 2023

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Guide to Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Guide to Keeping Your Pet Healthy


By: Jessika, Pet Nutrition & Education Specialist, Biotech Adv. Dip, B.Sc Candidate 2024 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that play an important role in maintaining overall health and wellness. They are not produced by the body in sufficient amounts, and therefore must be obtained through diet. The three main types of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). 

EPA and DHA are longer chain fatty acids found primarily in marine sources such as fish, mussels, and other seafood. Plant-based ALA sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts must be converted into EPA and DHA in the body before it can be utilized. Studies suggest that only 5 - 15% of ALA is converted to EPA and less than 0.5% is converted to DHA in dogs and cats.  


Omega 3 blog

Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Pets 

Marine sources are generally preferred because they contain the longer chain fatty acids - EPA and DHA - which are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. The best sources of DHA and EPA for pets include mackerel, sardines, anchovies, salmon, and krill. It is important to note that some fish contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to others.  

Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Dogs and Cats 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain function, eye health, and maintaining a strong immune system in addition to maintaining healthy skin and coat. These fatty acids are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can be very beneficial in managing health conditions such as arthritis and allergies. 

Studies have shown that when fed a diet containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids rich in DHA, puppies performed better in various tasks including object differentiation, memory, balance and coordination when compared to those fed a diet low in DHA. These results are often perceived by owners as the puppy having increased trainability, biddability and confidence. 

Extensive research has also shown that omega-3 fatty acids rich in DHA and EPA can provide a crucial piece of support in a multimodal treatment plan when treating pets with arthritis. The combination of these fatty acids help to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis - reducing pain and allowing effective relief. 


Omega 3 blog dog running


Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Skin Health 

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for maintaining healthy skin and coat in dogs and cats. Pets with deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids may develop dry, itchy, or flaky skin, which can often lead to bacterial and fungal infections. These can happen because of the pet scratching or licking at the affected area as this allows debris and foreign pathogens to enter the skin. 

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve the overall health of the skin and coat by reducing inflammation and improving moisture retention. In addition, these fatty acids can help to reduce the frequency and severity of skin allergies, making them a valuable component in the management of atopic dermatitis. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Eye Health 

In addition to the benefits for brain function and immune health, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for maintaining healthy eyes in dogs and cats. DHA is an essential component of the retina and has been shown to support visual development in puppies and can also have a positive effect on tear production for dogs experiencing dry eye. 


 Omega 3 blog

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Cardiac Health 

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a positive impact on heart health in both humans and pets. Studies have demonstrated that EPA and DHA can help lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides, and improve heart function. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a protective effect against the development of cardiac arrhythmias in dogs. 

Choosing the Right Omega-3 Supplement for Your Pet 

When it comes to choosing an omega-3 supplement for your pet, it's important to look for a high-quality product that is scientifically formulated, sustainably sourced and free from contaminants. This means finding a product with appropriate certification – look for IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) or NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) which test for heavy metals and other contaminants. These seals should be prominently displayed on the packaging and results should be readily available from the manufacturer. 

It's important to note that while omega-3 supplements can provide a range of health benefits for pets, they should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian or other health care professional. Over-supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids can lead to health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and a weakened immune system. 

The Iron Will Raw Concentrated Omega-3 Fish Oil with Vitamin E not only meets, but exceeds all the necessary standards for a premium pet supplement. Its formulation is backed by rigorous scientific research, ensuring that your pet receives the optimal dosage of omega-3 fatty acids to support their overall well-being. Sourced sustainably from trusted marine environments, this product reflects a commitment to preserving our oceans while delivering the finest quality to your beloved companion. With the prominent display of IFOS certification on its packaging, Iron Will Raw provides transparent evidence of its purity, having undergone thorough testing to guarantee the absence of harmful contaminants. By incorporating Iron Will Raw's omega-3 supplement into your pet's routine, you're making a conscious choice that aligns with their health and vitality.

Purchase Iron Will Raw Concentrated Omega-3 Fish Oil with Vitamin E and if you have any questions about your pet's nutrition, please contact us.

Also in Blog

Debunking the Myth: Raw Pet Food Safety
Debunking the Myth: Raw Pet Food Safety

September 22, 2023

Here, we aim to dispel one of the most common myths associated with raw pet food - the unfounded fear that it leads to parasites or illnesses in pets and even poses risks to human family members. 

View full article →

The Wonder of Catnip
The Wonder of Catnip

August 23, 2023

Studies suggest approximately 60% of cats aged 6 months or older will have a behavioral reaction to catnip with the most common reactions being purring, licking, and rolling around in the herb.

View full article →

Raw Pet Food Quality – What Makes Iron Will Raw Better
Raw Pet Food Quality – What Makes Iron Will Raw Better

August 18, 2023

At Iron Will Raw, we manufacture products we believe in and are willing to feed to our own pets at home. This means actively choosing cuts of meat that maintain a high standard of  raw pet food quality to ensure a balanced level of lean muscle meat to fat & bone. 

View full article →