Canine Dry Skin Treatment with Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids prove beneficial in helping reduce canine dry skin. There are two types of Omega fatty acids that help the skin:

  • Omega-3

  • Omega-6

Omega-6 fatty acids offer health benefits, but it's possible to consume too many leading to heart rhythm issues, depression and obesity. They must be balanced by Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are generally safe, especially if your dog is given the right amount. Most veterinarians suggest giving your pet both Omega-6 and Omega-3 at a ratio of 5:1.

Common Causes of Canine Dry Skin

Canine dry skin problems are often related to the environment, but diet also plays a part. If your dog is not getting enough oil in his food, dry skin is often an issue. Allergic reactions to foods also causes dry skin problems. Environmentally, the humidity levels both inside and outside your home can have a drying effect on the skin.

It's typical for a pet owner to try to treat the dry skin with shampoos, but repetitive washing actually aggravates the problem. Perfumes and harsh chemicals dry the skin while the oils meant to moisturize the skin only last for so long before wearing off.

It's best to moisturize the skin from the inside out. Omega-6 fatty acids, such as those found in sunflower oil, and Omega-3 fatty acids, oils from fish, aid by creating a proper moisture balance.

How Omega Fatty Acids Aid Canine Dry Skin

Research finds that many dogs with dry skin test positive for a deficiency in Linoleic acid. You'll find Linoleic acid in Omega-6 fatty acids.

This essential fatty acid aids with water retention in the skin's cellular tissue. Water within those cells is able to enter the deepest layers of the skin and remain there for a while causing well moisturized, healthy skin.

Best Omega Fatty Acids Dose for Dogs

Find a number of fish oil supplements both online and in area pet stores. For canine dry skin, look for pills rich in Linoleic acid, zinc and folic acid.

Most capsules and liquids include at least 45 milligrams of the beneficial omega-6 fatty acids, and some specifically formulated for dry skin go as high as 2,000 milligrams. Dosages are generally printed on the bottle, but in general, expect to give one capsule per 50 pounds of weight. If the fish oil is in liquid form, it's usually one teaspoon per 20 pounds.

Other Benefits to Omega Fatty Acids

Dog owners should make sure their dog receives daily omega fatty acids. Not only do the fish oils help reduce a dog's dry skin issues, they also benefit the joints and cellular health.

Omega 3 fatty acids are proven to help alleviate joint pain caused by inflammation. Arthritic dogs should always be given Omega 3 supplements.

On a cellular level, there is some research showing that daily intake of Omega fatty acids can help slow the progression off certain cancers. By strengthening cellular tissue, tumors develop more slowly.

Additional studies find that given the correct dosage, puppies' brain cells develop properly when they are given the fatty acids DHA and EPA. Both of those fatty acids are found in Omega 3 fatty acid supplements.