Vital Nourishments For Your Pets

� � Sep-09-2008

The biological set-up of dogs and cats is essentially different from those of the human beings. Hence, owing to this varied biochemistry, dogs and cats require diverse amounts as well as proportions of minerals, vital vitamins, fatty acids and other nourishing substances to attain and preserve their best possible health.

These days, crucial fatty acid enhancements like salmon oil are generally added to the pets' food as they supply plenty of health boosting elements like omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Different from humans, the dogs and cats are able to produce alpha linoleic acid and other omega-3 fats that they require from another form of omega-6 fat known as linoleic acid. It may be mentioned here that linoleic acid is very crucial to sustain the health of dogs and cats for prolonged periods and hence they should have plenty of it in their diets. In addition, the cats need another omega-6 vital fat known as arachidonic acid.

It may be mentioned that the salmon oil doesn't provide adequate quantities of the necessary omega-6 fats required by the pets and since the manufacture of omega-3 may reduce in their bodies, they are supplemented with cold water fish oil that have been found to be an effectual substitute. The fish oil enhancements are truly effective only when they come with omega-6 fatty acids. Pets are able to gain health boost up almost instantly when they are given fish oil add-ons. However, the pets may be effected with disparity of fats and suffer physically if the somewhat deficient supplies of omega-6 like salmon or any cold fish water oil are complemented on their own over a prolonged period. Hence, it is necessary to supplement omega-3 and omega-6 in a balanced manner.

When you enhance your pet's food with the crucial fats, you will soon notice skin, coat or other physical developments in the pet. However, soon you will find that the initial development would lessen substantially and you won't know the reason behind the change. It is possible that the supplement provided to the pet was not properly balanced according to the fatty acid ratio for different species. It is important to provide these subtle nourishments in the best bio-available method so that the gastro-intestinal tracts of the dogs and cats are able to soak them up easily and make best use of them. While the amount and ratios of these essential oils are imperative, it is also important to preserve the form and quality of the nourishing substances so that they may be best utilized by the pets' body.

Hence, it is necessary to use a specific combination of the oils to meet the exclusive requirements of your pets. For instance, a balanced supplement may comprise flaxseed and olive oil along with right proportions of cold water fish oil. In addition, the supplement may comprise lecithin - a vital substance that fulfils extra arachidonic acid requirements of the cats and offers a number of health advantages to dogs also. Significantly, the fatty acids or omega-3 to omega-6 requisites of dogs and cats are very different from those required by the humans. While the particular canine and feline fatty acids do not serve any purpose for the humans, the opposite is correct for your pets, as the fatty acids beneficial for humans do not essentially meet the requirements of your dogs and cats. However, if the nutrients important for your pets are supplied in the right ratios and correct biological method, your dogs and cats will continue to remain healthy for indefinite periods. And if you are careful in selecting the right supplements produced for your pets, you will soon realize that you have taken the correct initiative for the well being of your dogs and cats.

What is arachidonic acid?

Arachidonic acid (also referred to as AA) is basically liquefied omega-6 fatty acid, which is necessary for the human body in little quantities. This substance is vital for prostaglandin, leukotrine, and thromboxane production, in addition to the development of the brain of the infants. While arachidonic acid is believed to be an essential fatty acid, it is not necessary that you have to obtain it from your diet.

The human body possesses the aptitude to transform linoleic acid found in a variety of vegetables, seeds and nuts into arachidonic acid. In developed nation, people generally have surplus arachidonic acid in their body. This is primarily owing to the fact that their diet contains enough eggs and meat which form the source of the excess arachidonic acid in their body. The concentration of arachidonic acid is greatest in egg yolks and organ meats.

Inside the body, arachidonic acid mainly works to encourage inflammation. When our body tissues are injured they generally become reddened, swollen and painful, which are all usual inflammatory reactions and assist in healing. Following rigorous work-outs, the same inflammatory reactions aid the muscles to get used to stress and become stronger. In fact, arachidonic acid is known to be the forerunner of thromboxanes and prostaglandins - substances that work to expand the blood vessels; enhance blood clot formation; control the temperature of the body, like in the case of fever; regulate cervical dilatation, help in controlling sleep and also regulate cramping in women during pregnancy. Some inflammation may prove to be useful for the body, but too much inflammation may be harmful.

Together with trans and saturated fats, several nutritionists have marked arachidonic acid to be a bad fat primarily owing to its consequences on inflammation. Arachidonic acid as well as linoleic acid are basically omega-6 fatty acids. These two omega-6 fatty acids as well as omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oils, are actually polyunsaturated fats that are essential for our body. The human body uses these two types of polyunsaturated fats to build hormones that are necessary for our body. Usually, the omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory in nature.

In contemporary times, people's diet severely lack sufficient amounts of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acid. On the other hand, they consume more foods that contain omega-6 fatty acids. When the body obtains excessive arachidonic acid from different food sources, it may result in the worsening of inflammatory ailments, such as different allergies, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart diseases, arthritis and lupus. At times, medical experts suggest that people suffering from or have augmented chances of developing inflammatory diseases to keep away from foods that contain high levels of arachidonic acid.

Occasionally, bodybuilders as well as other athletes opt for supplements containing arachidonic acid (AA), as it has some role in increasing the growth of muscles as well as their strength. Although a study undertaken by scientists at the Baylor University in 2007 supports this consequence of using foods with arachidonic acid, there is need for more such studies prior to taking supplements containing AA for muscle growth as well as strength. In addition, one should always opt to use supplements containing arachidonic acid only after consulting a physician and seeking his/ her advice. As majority of the people have been taking excess arachidonic acid from before, it is advisable that they should usually keep away from supplements containing AA. However, athletes who participate in rigorous activities regularly may take this supplement after checking with their physician.

Which fatty acids do pets need?

While animals have the ability to make a number of fatty acids that are essential for them, they just cannot produce all of them. The fatty acids that are necessary for the animals, but they are not able to produce those themselves are known as 'essential' fatty acids. It is interesting to note that what may be necessary or indispensible for a particular animal species, may not be essential for another animal species. For instance, while arachidonic acid - a fatty acid, is necessary for cats, dogs do not require it.

In the case of a number of diseases, specific enzymes that have the aptitude to change a particular fatty acid to another type of fatty acid may prove to be scarce. In other instances, animals may possibly not possess the aptitude to assimilate the fatty acid in adequate amounts from their intestines. In the case of some animals suffering from any such diseases a number of fatty acids that are not essential for them may in fact turn out to be essential. In other words, it may be necessary to include such non-essential fatty acids in their diet and also in elevated quantities. They may suffer from shortage of fatty acids when they take diets that contain low amounts of fat, especially in the case of animals that are overweight.

Fatty acids contained in different foods may decompose. Even cooking these foods for an extended period may eliminate the fatty acids. In addition, not storing the foods properly may cause them to become rancid. As a result of all these, the foods may lack sufficient amount of fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids: In all, there are three different forms of omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (also known as EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (also known as ALA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (also known as DHA). Among these omega-3 fatty acids, it is possible to convert ALA into EPA, but this alteration does not take place in the skin. EPA is considered to be the workhorse or mainstay among all omega-3 fatty acids and is a part of the cell membrane.

Omega-6 fatty acids: There are four main types of omega-6 fatty acids, including arachidonic acid (also known as AA), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (also known as DGLA), linoleic acid (also known as LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (also known as GLA). Among these, it is possible to convert linoleic acid (LA) into gamma linolenic acid (GLA), but this conversion also does not take place in the skin. Nevertheless, GLA can be converted into dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) in the skin.

Linoleic acid (LA): It is vital fatty acid as it improves penetrability of water through the skin. On the other hand, when arachidonic acid (AA) is present in excessive amounts it causes trouble and among all fatty acids, it is known as the troublemaker.