The furnace is on! This winter has been a cold one and we still have February and March to go before Spring arrives. While our furnaces work to keep us warm, they rob our air of moisture so you may find your indoor pet experiencing dry skin and shedding. This is usually the result of low humidity. Frequent brushing helps remove dead hair and skin and stimulates oil glands but brushing alone is often not enough to keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy; diet and supplements can play a major roll here as well.
Many skin disorders and other health problems of pets are caused by a lack of proper fats in the diet. The most important types are Omega 3s and Omega 6s. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body needs for health but cannot make on its own. EFAs must be obtained from food. The body needs EFAs to make and repair cell membranes. They also govern growth, vitality, mental state, oxygen transfer, hemoglobin production and control the movement of nutrients through cell membranes. The most important Omega-3 fatty acids for pets are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
EFAs play a key role in both the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways. Lack of sufficient EFAs tends to manifest in the skin first. The skin is the first to lose oils and the last to get them. The deficiency can lead to dry, flaky, itchy skin. Another area of the body influenced by the dietary imbalance of EFAs is the joints; arthritis is merely an inflammation of the joints. Studies have shown that adding fish oil to the diet can reduce the stiffness, pain and inflammation associated with this debilitating disease. Supplementing fish oil in the diet can prevent or reduce the development of arthritis in the first place. Some animals have trouble absorbing oils in their diet. Digestive enzymes, such as papaya, found in Digestive Enzymes by NaturVet or aspergillus, found in Prozyme, can be added to the diet to increase absorption of EFAs by 200%.
Misty Pines carries Grizzly Salmon oil, recommended by Dr. Doug Kneuven, and UltraOil, both of which are oils balanced to provide the optimum levels of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. It is recommended to rotate between bottles, meaning that when you’ve finished the Grizzly, get the UltraOil next time. Each different type of oil contains the EFAs in different quantities so rotational usage ensures that all the body’s needs are being met. Misty Pines also carries Prozyme and Digestive Enzymes, which are recommended by Dr. Kneuven. Stop in to Misty Pines today and get 10% off any Salmon, Pollock or UltraOil products as well as Prozyme or Digestive Enzymes.
Canine Nutrition. What Every Owner, Breeder, and Trainer Should Know by Lowell Ackerman, D.V.M.
Why Fish Oil for a Dog by Dr. Doug Knueven D.V.M.