Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils are so important in the diet of our plant-based dogs. They help in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as keeping their fur shiny and soft.
This is something that so many owners who transition to plant-based notice with their dogs – how soft the fur becomes – we noticed it too with our little dog, and he is still super soft!
“Thank you so much for giving me the confidence, via your products and website, to change our two dogs Rosie and Cara diet to a vegan one.
I started off slowly maybe 2 months ago replacing their normal raw meat diet and they have both been non meat now for about 4 weeks.
They prefer your homemade recipes to the tinned variety so I am going to continue with them.
Healthwise they appear much the same, their coats though are much finer and soft! “
What are the best Omega 6 oils to use?
Sunflower oil is actually the best source of Omega 6 for our dogs as it has the highest linoleic acid content (compared to olive oil), so your dog can safely be fed 1 tsp a day in their food for a 10kg dog. Other good sources of Omega 6’s are linseed (flaxseed) oil, rapeseed oil and borage oil. We also like using sesame oil in our homemade recipes as dogs seem to really like the taste of sesame and tahini, so they tend to love sesame oil (and it leaves a lovely smell in your kitchen!)
The dose of Omega 6 oil is 0.5g per kg of dog ie a 5kg dog will need 2.5g oil a day in the food and a 10kg dog will need 5g a day in the food which is 1 tsp a day of oil. If your dog is very lean and you want to increase their weight, they can have up to 1g/kg body weight of oils a day.
What are the best Omega 3 oils to use?
These Omega 3 capsules complement our JUST BE KIND supplement perfectly and are highly recommended. They contain a very high level of EPA compared to other Algae oils so benefitting our dogs even more. They also contain plant-based Vit D3 from lichen which is ideal for a healthy immune system in our dogs.
As a company, Vegetology are very reasonably priced and the capsules work out to be very cost-effective. They arrive very promptly too with no postage costs!
The recommended dose for your dog is 1 capsule every other day (or 3 capsules a week) for an average 25kg dog if being fed a dry or tinned plant-based diet. If your dog suffers from arthritis or an allergic skin conditions, they would benefit from 1 – 2 capsules a day for a 25kg dog. If arthritis or skin allergies are an issue, it is best to give the capsules separate to the main meal for maximum absorption of the Omega 3’s without them having to compete with the Omega 6’s from the oil in the main food.
For small dogs, you can cut a tiny hole in the top of the capsule, make a small ‘saucer’ with some foil to keep the capsule upright, and pour a small amount of the contents of the capsule onto a small ‘treat’ daily, so 1 capsule should last 3-4 days for a small dog under 10kgs which makes these particular capsules very cost-effective! If squeezing a capsule daily sounds like too much trouble, then you can buy the children’s Omega 3 in a bottle and give your small dog a few drops a day on their food. It is orange flavoured which we are not sure all dogs will like though.
A little bit more about Omega 3’s in your dog’s diet……
The human and dog body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials. That isn’t the case for Omega-3 fatty acids . These are essential fats—the body can’t make them from scratch but must get them from food. Most of us know the benefits of Omega 3 acids in our diet. These important acids are DHA, EPA and DPA, carrying a host of benefits, mostly centred around their anti inflammatory nature.
There is a third Omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most of our diets. It is found in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat, especially in grass-fed animals. These particular plant based forms of Omega 3 are not as reliable for humans and certainly not for dogs, due to ALA needing to be converted into DHA/EPA/DPA, and this does not happen effectively in dogs. Although both plant based, seeds/nuts and algae are NOT the same when it comes to Omega 3 bioavailability – algae contains DHA, EPA, DPA not ALA.
Are there any dangers with feeding too much oil in our dog’s diet?
Plant-based diets tend to be very healthy and fibre-rich, so it is difficult to overfeed high saturated oils as found in a high raw meat diet, as plant-based oils are unsaturated and much healthier for us than animal fats. If your dog however, has suffered from the very painful condition called pancreatitis in the past, then you will have to watch the amounts of fat fed to your dog. It is rare for plant-based dogs to suffer from pancreatitis; especially those getting enough of the soothing anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s from Algae oil.
Another concern, is dogs who are being fed a homemade diet with the addition of the healthy oils, plus the addition of peanut butter in their snacks, as well as the daily addition of Golden Paste as happened with gorgeous boy Billy and his devoted owner.
Billy, a 7 year old Labrador, is adored by his owner Sunny (affectionately named by his pupils due to his ‘Sunny Smile’) who only wants the best for him as in his words, “Billy has one chance at life (as far as I know), I will do my best to make sure it is as full and as happy as I can.”
Sunny has always been concerned about Billy’s joints, as Billy occasionally shows signs of lameness in his front legs after long walks. He feeds him homemade Golden Paste everyday from this recipe with anti-inflammatory turmeric for his joints –
60g turmeric powder
250 – 500ml water
1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
70 ml cold pressed Extra Virgin Coconut oil
Billy is fed 10g of coconut oil daily to help his joints from the Golden Paste. Billy also gets amazing homemade treats with peanut butter as shown in the image below. When Sunny began homecooking for Billy; we had to advise that he cut back completely on adding the extra oils to the homemade food, as Billy was already receiving enough oil in the Golden Paste as well as peanut butter treats. We did advise Billy is still fed his daily Omega 3 Algae oil to support his joints even further.
Read Sunny’s heartwarming story below –
“I’ve always tried to keep my ‘Pup-Star’ Billy’s weight between 32-33kgs. However, when I was transitioning him to a plant based diet (before I contacted Arielle), he gained a great deal of weight and weighed just shy of 37kgs!
It was my fault as I was unsure of the quantities, etc. I’m ashamed to say I was a novice at home cooking (for dogs) and did a bad job. I followed plant based recipes from various American sites which didn’t give specific weights, etc. I worked blindly and caused my angel to gain far too much weight. I hope I have not caused any damage to his internal organs!
With finding ‘Just Be Kind’ on FB, and following Arielle’s advice and guidance, Billy has gradually lost weight. His weight is currently 33.8kgs.
Thanks to Arielle’s help and advice my Pup-Star is looking much leaner once more.
I intend to keep going until he reaches around the 32kgs mark and then maintain this. Billy will be 7 years old on 16th August, so I’m using this date as a target to reach his ideal weight.
THANK YOU ARIELLE!”
Very very well done to both Sunny and Billy – see his transformation in the photos below!
She has written the article with such an in-depth understanding of the importance of dogs going plant-based – all just so positive for the future!
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