If your dog frequently chews on his paws, you know how painful it is to watch, let alone how excruciating it can be for your pup. Once you’ve ruled out infections, and environmental/food allergens, one of the most effective ways to soothe the itch is to ensure your dog is getting enough essential fatty acids in his diet. Sadly, most dogs aren’t.
Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids are derived from fish oils and plant-based sources. They benefit dogs’ skin by helping to keep their own natural oils at healthy levels and acting as anti-inflammatories, reducing the intensity of allergies. Unfortunately, many, if not most dogs, are nutritionally deficient in omega fatty acids if they are being fed a commercial dog food diet.
Why Our Pets Are Not Getting Enough Omega-3 From Commercial Pet Food (Kibble)
Commercial pet food, such as kibble, is cooked at high temperatures, which destroys the value of fragile omega-3 fatty acids. Even if some nutrient value survives the processing, fats have a tendency to quickly become rancid once a bag of dog food is opened and exposed to oxygen.
Which Supplement is Best for My Dog?
In order for a supplement to be valuable to your dog, it must be both palatable and effective. We’re big fans of krill oil due to its ability to be more easily absorbed and effectively used by the body as opposed to regular fish oils. In addition, krill are lower on the food chain and therefore have much less incidence of contamination from toxins as opposed to fish higher up on the chain, such as salmon, which take in much more toxins.
Our favorite omega-3 supplement that I like is the krill-based Omega-3-6-9 Soft Chews made by Project Paws. The main ingredient is krill meal, which packs a significantly more concentrated and pure source of omega fatty acids, making it the superior choice over fish oils. The chews are also 100% gluten-free, grain-free and soy-free.