How Fatty Acids Can be Healthy for Your Dog

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The look and feel of a lustrous hair coat is one of the joys of sharing your life with a dog. Many of us judge our pet's health by a shiny coat, so it's no surprise that skin and coat concerns are the most common reasons for veterinary exams.1 When skin or coat problems occur, the pet parent is often advised to add a supplement containing omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to the pet's daily regimen. But in many cases, a simple food change may be the answer.

The Roles of Omega-6 and Omega-3

Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids help maintain healthy skin, promote a strong immune system, and play a role in cell growth. If a dog is not getting enough of these essential fatty acids, the classic signs of deficiency may appear, including:

  • dry, flaky skin
  • dull coat
  • dermatitis
  • hair loss

The appropriate amounts of omega-6 and/or omega-3 fatty acids may benefit dogs with skin, coat or certain other problems. This can be accomplished by feeding foods rich in essential fatty acids, by adding fatty acid supplements, or both.2 The most convenient and economical solution is to feed a pet food rich in essential fatty acids.

Key points

More Than Supplements

There's a very simple way to provide dogs the fatty acids they need for a healthy skin and coat — feed Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Advanced Fitness Original Canine pet food. Advanced Fitness is a rich source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact it would take 14 capsules of a typical fatty acid supplement to equal the essential fatty acids in a bowl of Advanced Fitness.3

Eliminate the Hassles

None of us looks forward to the prospect of giving our pet a pill or unnecessary supplements. In some cases, fatty acid supplementation may prove beneficial for dogs with chronic or severe diseases. But for the normal, healthy dog, the cost and hassle of supplementing fatty acids isn't necessary. Simply feed a food that's rich in essential fatty acids — Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original Canine pet food.

1 Roudebush P, Schoenherr WD. Skin and Hair Disorders. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al., eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 5th ed. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute; 2010:637.
2 Scott DW, Miller DH, Griffi n CE. Muller & Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Co; 2001:367.
3 Vetri-Science Omega-3,6,9. Vetri-Science Laboratories Website. Accessed June 16, 2010.