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Discover the Benefits of Omega-6 for Dogs

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Are you aware of the benefits of omega-6 for dogs? Today we'll tell you all about it so that your dog can enjoy a complete and healthy diet.
Discover the Benefits of Omega-6 for Dogs
Last update: 27 December, 2022

Currently, the diet that we offer our dogs is evolving. Modern consumers are constantly becoming more aware of their own nutritional needs, as well as those of their pets. With that in mind, the following article will take a look at the benefits of Omega-6 for dogs.

Terms like “grain-free” and “BARF diet” are becoming more and more familiar. Pet owners are more concerned than ever about offering their animals the right diet, according to their physical characteristics, lifestyle and health condition.

That’s why we want to talk about omega-6 for dogs–a type of fat that’s a necessary part of our pets’ diet.

What is omega-6?

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can make up part of the triglycerides that humans and our pets consume in our diets. In other words, polyunsaturated fats. These include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids:  α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: linoleic and arachidonic acids

Both fatty acids are indispensable to our bodies since they can’t be synthesized. Therefore, the benefits of omega-6 for dogs are multiple, as long as we take the omega-6/omega-3 ratio into account.

This ratio should be close to 1:1. If your dog’s diet contains more omega-6 than omega-3, then this will have a negative impact on your pet’s health. What’s more, it increases your animal’s chances of suffering from cancer and heart problems.

The same is true for human beings, given the massive amounts of ultra-processed foods in our diet. This, along with the absence of fruits and vegetables, is leading to multiple illnesses.

Foods that are rich in omega-6

If you offer your dog a diet based on extruded kibble, then you need to be selective regarding the one you choose. Some details you need to keep in mind are the following:

  • The first ingredient should be meat since dogs are predominantly carnivores. The package labeling should specify origin. In other words, whether the main ingredient is chicken, lamb, etc. What’s more, dehydrated meat is better than fresh meat. This is because fresh meat loses water during the extrusion process. Thus, the amount of protein you offer your dog is inferior.
  • Your dog’s dry food should be completed with legumes, not grains. The only reason that companies use grains is in order to add calories and reduce production costs.
  • If there are any added fats, the label should say so. And, as in the case of meat, the label should specify origin.
  • The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be as close to 1:1 as possible. This is even more important if your dog suffers from any illness.
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However, if you’re feeding your dog a BARF diet or combine kibble with natural foods, then the following options are rich in omega-6:

  • Fish, dried or raw, and always previously frozen.
  • Unrefined vegetable oils. For example, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc.
  • Peanuts, walnuts, etc. You can offer your dog nuts very sporadically, keeping in mind that some are extremely toxic. For example, you should never give your dog macadamia nuts.
  • Soy and its derivatives.
  • Eggs served raw.
  • Avocado. Remember that avocado is not toxic for dogs, but some parts of the plant are. Therefore, never give your dog the leaves or bark of the tree, nor the skin or pit of the fruit.
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The benefits of omega-6 for dogs

The benefits of omega-6 for dogs can be numerous, besides being, as we said, a necessary part of their diet. First and foremost, we should also make sure to maintain balance when it comes to the proportion of omega-6 to omega-3. Otherwise, our canines can end up suffering from a variety of serious illnesses.

Some conditions for which omega-6 can play a positive role are the following:

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Carlotti, D. N. (2011). Dermatitis atópica canina; nuevos conceptos (etiología, patogenia, cuadro clínicio, diagnóstico y tratamiento).
  • Martínez Sotelo, P. G., & Quinteros Granja, A. G. (2012). Evaluación de la digestibilidad aparente de dietas con semillas de linaza (Linumusitatissimun) VS. dietas con sebo en perros.
  • Schoenherr, W. D. (2007). Ácidos grasos y tratamiento dietético de la artrosis canina basado en la evidencia. Clínica veterinaria de pequeños animales, 27(2), 0139-144.
  • Simopoulos, A. P. (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental biology and medicine, 233(6), 674-688.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.