When looking for good dog food, their owners often pay the most attention to the percentage of meat in the composition. They also focus on its species, choosing products that contain only noble types of meat. Hardly anyone takes into account the content of such substances as unsaturated fatty acids, and they are an absolutely necessary element of a proper animal diet.
Fatty acids – a treasure hidden in fats
In the raw materials used in the production of feeds, such as meat and animal products, and vegetable oils, one of the most metabolically active compounds is present: essential fatty acids. These substances are part of the cell membranes. Therefore, their deficiency causes, among others impaired functioning of epithelial tissue cells, visible primarily in the condition of the skin, but also nerve and reproductive cells. Symptoms of a deficit of essential unsaturated fatty acids include:
- difficult wound healing,
- peeling skin
- dull coat,
- brittle hair,
- increased sensitivity to various types of skin infections due to deterioration of the skin’s protective barrier,
- cognitive decline in adult dogs,
- reproductive disorders
- abnormal development of the nervous system of juveniles.
Fatty acids – which and why are the most important
For the proper functioning of the whole organism, including skin and fur, a specific type is necessary. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can be divided into three families: n-3, n-6 and n-9. Some of them must be provided with food for animals, because they are not able to synthesize them themselves. Sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids are vegetable oils, fish fat and fat of slaughter animals – especially poultry: ducks, geese and chickens from natural breeding. That’s why Dog Food containing the listed raw materials should pay the attention of every owner looking for high-quality ready meals for their mentee. The most important are polyunsaturated fatty acids from the n-3 and n-6 families, because:
- are part of cell membranes directly deciding about their function,
- are precursors of important biologically active compounds, involved, among others in quenching inflammatory processes and controlling blood coagulation processes,
- determine the proper development of the brain and nervous system.
What’s more, the results of scientific studies document the antitumor effect of n-3 fatty acids.
Acids from the n-3 and n-6 families – what you need to know
In the dog’s body, n-3 and n-6 acids „fight” for the same enzymes that further metabolize them, so the right relationship between these acids is important. Preferably it would be 1: 5. When it is disturbed, symptoms similar to those characteristic of the deficiency of both groups of acids appear. Dog food with a carefully developed recipe, combining different types of raw materials, should provide unsaturated fatty acids in properly balanced amounts. Hence the presence in the composition of products such as linseed oil and fish – a source of rarer acids from the n-3 family.
NNKT feed – for which dogs?
Unsaturated fatty acids are needed in the diet of all dogs. Some, however, should receive food especially rich in these substances. The food containing n-3 and n-6 fatty acids is dedicated to dogs suffering from skin ailments, including those that are allergic. Also puppies and lactating bitches need an increased amount of these substances in their diet. EFAs clearly affect the condition of the skin and fur – the abundant food will be appreciated by breeders, because show dogs regularly fed with such food can boast of exceptionally beautiful fur.
Even if you are not a regular in such events, but you care about your pupil’s shiny coat, dog food enriched with oils – linseed or salmon – or meals with fish, duck or goose will help you achieve this goal.