An incredibly valuable protein source that pet owners often miss is fish. Did you know that fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids? It's a low fat, high protein food with a great polyunsaturated fat profile (the good fats). Most animals, including humans, are not getting enough omega 3 in their diet.

The two most commonly known and important omega 3’s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahaexenoic acid (DHA). For starters, DHA makes up approximately 25% of the mammalian brain. So if your pet isn't getting enough, it could affect behaviour, nervous system function and array of other systems including the digestive, reproductive and endocrine systems.

Most of you have heard of giving fatty acid oil supplements. The problem with a large number of these products is that the oil is particularly unstable after being extracted. It oxidizes quickly and can become rancid even before you buy it. Feeding rancid oil in a regular basis is actually more dangerous than feeding none at all. Rancid oils can cause digestive upset including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms. Over time, they can put the liver and other organs under extreme stress.

For this reason, it's best to only purchase a month's supply of oil at a time and make sure it is refrigerated before and after purchase. And, adding extra is easy with whole fish!

Scientifically proven benefits of omega 3 fatty acids:

-improved behavioural problems, including anxiety and depression

-improved eye health

-improved digestive functions, such as symptoms of IBS and Crohn's disease

-reduced risk of heart disease

-improved symptoms of autoimmune disease

-reduced fat build-up in the liver

-equalibrilizes hormone regulation

-provides relief from inflammation

-provides vital nutrients to the brain in developing infants

-promotes bone and joint health

-promotes healthy skin

Types of fish to consider:

-organic farmed salmon

-canned sardines in water or raw sardines

-canned or raw mackerel

The lower down on the food chain the fish is, the less heavy metal content when feeding wild fish, hence, the recommendations of sardines and mackerel. On-land, certified organically farmed salmon is another great option. And environmentally friendly too!

Did you know that 3P has locally and organic and ocean-wise certified farmed salmon for dogs and cats? Ask your local 3P Naturals retailer for salmon and see if they carry it!

Don't forget to add this important food to your pets diet!

By Sarah Griffiths, DCH

January 29, 2017 — Pet Pantry

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