December 1, 2023

Caring for your dog extends beyond exercise and attention to include their diet. While some people get a pet on a whim, it has to be a conscious decision, taken only when you are ready. Unlike other animals, dog food can be specific to their breed, some allergies that they may have, and if they are diagnosed with a lifestyle disorder. According to Dr Dilip Sonune, a dog’s regular diet does not suffice for its necessary nutrition, and adding healthy oils packed with omega-3, omega-6 and omega 9 fatty acids to their food can offer additional health benefits.

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What are these oils, you ask? Dr Sonune, a veterinary officer at Wiggles, lists the following few healthy ones that can be used in dog food; read on.

1. Fish oil for dogs

It contains two essential fatty acids: EPA and DHA. Vets recommend it since these omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for reducing inflammation caused by allergies in some dogs, resulting in less itchy skin, dandruff, and hot spots. Fish oil can also help with arthritis and allergies, and may even help their memory. The supplements can make the dog’s skin healthier and shinier, the expert says.

Pro tip: Give fish oil to your pooch as a pill, or as the liquid poured on top of their kibble.

2. Coconut oil for dogs

If your dog is having digestive problems, coconut oil may help. It can be beneficial for their skin, by reducing flaky, itchy skin, and cognitive function. The oil can also make that stinky breath sweeter.

Pro tip: Always look for organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil for dogs.

3. Olive oil for dogs

“There are plenty of olive oil options at a grocery store, though we recommend sticking with 100 per cent olive oil rather than a blended version. It is beneficial for dogs’ overall health, because it can keep their coats moisturised and shiny, improve their immune systems, and help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says the vet.

Pro tip: Olive oil is excellent for pups whose systems are not able to digest omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Sunflower oil for dogs

If you want your four-legged friend to have gleaming skins, this could be the oil for you. This supplement is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, and it moisturises the skin and boosts energy while also maintaining a healthy heart.

Pro tip: Sunflower oil is touted as an effective supplemental source of omega-6 acids.

“When feeding human foods to dogs that contain cooking oils, you must be cautious of food allergies or intolerance. Some dogs are allergic to soybean and corn products found in vegetable oils. Peanut oils and butter, if used in place of cooking oil, can cause an upset stomach. Before adding any supplements to their diet, consult with your veterinarian,” the expert concludes.

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