Many nutritional benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have become well established in the last 15+ years of pet nutrition research and product innovation. What started as a way to improve skin and coat and a variety of dermatitis conditions, has blossomed into discoveries related to a whole host of benefits from proper fatty acid nutrition. Notably, benefits to renal, coronary, bowel and joint health, tumor prevention, wound healing, neural and visual health and insulin/diabetes management in dogs and cats (Pike and Miller, 2000) to name a few. The omega-3s are thought to work by maintaining cellular membrane integrity, by serving as endocrine precursors (eicosanoids) and/or as anti-inflammatory intermediates (Bauer, 2004). Because of this body of evidence, omega-3 fatty acids, for the first time, will be considered as conditionally essential nutrients in the soon to be released Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats (NRC, 2006).
Great omega-3 source (but not without challenges)