Chihuahuas Need EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids)

Baby Bosco, A Healthy Chihuahua!

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It is very important to understand that animals and humans share many of the same nutritional and metabolic needs. Certain ‘ESSENTIAL’ fatty acids obtained through diet are required in both you and your pet for optimal health.

The word ESSENTIAL means just that, essential to the diet because even death can be the result of a severe deficiency in these vital fats.

Whether it be through diet or proper supplementation, it is fundamental that you see to it that both you and your pet are not deficient in these essential life sustaining nutrients.

What are Essential Fatty Acids and how is it that they are ‘essential’ for your pet’s health?

Realize that Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are ‘good’ fats and will not make your pet fat. Because of thier chemical make-up, essential fatty acids are oils. The essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, are vital nutrients that function as necessary building blocks for every cell membrane in your pet’s body. Their liver and other internal tissues do make many of the fatty acids needed that are required for your pet’s body’s chemical factory to operate normally, HOWEVER with dogs in particular, the one essential fat, Omega-6 (Linoleic acid) CAN NOT be made by their body on its own so it becomes a MUST for you to see to it that your dog is getting essential fats.

The right amount of essential fats in your dog’s diet will help to regulate their cholesterol levels, keep their energy levels up, ensure their immune system is functioning properly and will also alleviate dry itching skin or skin-related conditions.

Essential Fatty Acids also play a vital role in establishing a healthy lipid barrier on the skin of your pet to block any other potential irritants and/or infections. A consistant intake of the Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acid in sufficient amounts will also help to avoid high blood pressure, reduce the chances of blood clots, and of arrhythmia (an abnormal heart beat).

Omega-3 also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by stimulating the production of certain hormone-like substances called prostaglandins.

How do I know if my pet is deficient in essential fatty acids?

Pets deficient in essential fatty acids will most likely have easy to detect dermatitis-like characteristics. The best way to assess the possibility an essential fatty acid deficiency in your pet is to do a thorough inspection of them. If their skin is dry and flaky and their coat actually feels dull and greasy, but still has a coarse texture, then this is a sure sign that your pet is either not getting any or enough high quality essential fats.

Further defects associated with Essential Fatty Acid deficiencies in your pet may be one of following:

  • eczema, eczema-like skin eruptions
  • behavioral disturbances
  • dry nose, scratching
  • hair loss, knawing at skin
  • arthritis or arthritis-like conditions
  • impaired vision or learning abilities
  • disrupted healing process (wounds are slow to heal or don’t heal at all)
  • sterility in males
  • miscarriages in impregnated females
  • hindered growth
  • heart and circulatory problems
  • drying up of glands, fragility and weakness
  • vulnerability to infections
  • kidney or liver problems
  • coats may have a foul odor
  • overall lack of energy

So if your pet has been on a generic, corn-based formula, or on a cheaper “weight-reducing” diet for a long time, or has ANY of the symptoms listed above, then you should re-evaluate your pet’s diet and make these much needed changes. It is very important to look at is the type of dog food you are feeding your pet and the process about which the manufacturer is using to formulate their food.

Usually the first thing dog food manufacturers will do to formulate a dog food for a “reduced calorie diet” is to cut the total fat content so there is a reduction of the total calories your pet takes in with each meal. Your pet may or may not lose weight on such a formula, but the potential for an Essential Fatty Acid deficiency is very high.

Make sure your chihuahua is getting enough essential fats in their diet by having them supplement with an Essential Fatty Acid 3-6-9 Oil Blend!



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