Blogs > Petzyo Dog Food and Wellbeing Blog

Enhancing Pet Health: Petzyo's Shift from Hemp Seed to Fish Oil in Recipes

In recent years, pet owners have become increasingly conscious of the nutritional needs of their dogs. Petzyo continues to be at the forefront of evolving science working alongside some of the best animal nutritionists in the world.

Understanding the importance of providing an optimal Omega 6:3 ratio on our formulations, we looked at ways we can enhance our recipes to benefit the health and wellbeing of dogs!

Historically, each or our Kibble that Counts recipes have contained hemp seed oil, a natural oil derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is valued for its nutritional profile, as it is rich in essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E. It also contains other nutrients such as protein, fiber, and various minerals.

hemp oil

Despite the benefits, it does come with some concerns. Hemp seed oil contains an omega ratio of 3:1, this causes an imbalance increasing the omega 6 fatty acids in the body which can cause inflammation. Veterinarians also share their concerns of the oil causing possible allergic reactions and digestive issues, resulting in potential diarrhea and vomiting. 

With the removal of Hemp seed oil, Petzyo has carefully reformulated making a positive and exciting change by increasing the amount of Fish Oil in each recipe.

What does AAFCO say:

AAFCO advises maintaining a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s below 30:1, though studies have shown, ratios above 6:1 generally considered to approach levels associated with increased inflammation. In humans various sources suggest that humans evolved consuming a diet with a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids, around 1:1. However, in modern Western diets, this ratio has drastically shifted to approximately 15:1 to 16.7:1, with an overabundance of omega-6 and a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids compared to our ancestral diet. This imbalance has been linked to the development of numerous diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions, similar to the increase of health conditions we have seen in dogs. 

What to look for when increasing Omega 3's in your Dogs Diet

Not all omega-3 fatty acids are the same. The most crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are primarily found in fish and seafood like salmon, sardines, fish oil, and certain microalgae. On the other hand, ALA, found in ingredients such as eggs, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and spirulina, requires more effort for your dog's body to convert. This conversion process is inefficient, making ALA less bioavailable overall. Many commercial dog foods opt for ALAs to boost omega-3 content due to their lower cost. However, it's essential to scrutinize the omega-3 content of pet foods to ensure the right balance. 


The Health Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil has garnered a reputation as a superfood for dogs, and for good reason. Packed with essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil offers a range of health benefits for our beloved doggo's.

A happy and healthy dog

Let's have a look at what makes fish oil so beneficial to our dogs!

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are essential for dogs' health as their bodies cannot produce them on their own. Omega-3s play a crucial role in supporting various bodily functions, including:

  • Heart Health: Omega-3s help maintain cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and supporting normal heart function. 

  • Joint Health: Fish oil's anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness associated with conditions like arthritis, promoting mobility and flexibility in dogs, especially senior pets or those with joint issues.

  • Skin and Coat Health: Omega-3s contribute to healthy skin and a shiny coat by reducing inflammation and supporting the skin's natural barrier function. Fish oil supplements can help alleviate symptoms of skin conditions like allergies, itching, and dryness.

  • Brain and Eye Development: DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is crucial for brain development and cognitive function in puppies. It also supports healthy vision and eye development.

2. Anti-inflammatory Properties: One of the most significant benefits of fish oil for dogs is its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fatty acids help modulate the body's inflammatory response, reducing inflammation throughout the body. This can be particularly beneficial for dogs with inflammatory conditions such as allergies, arthritis, or skin disorders.

3. Immune System Support: Fish oil supplements can help boost the immune system and promote overall health and vitality in dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in regulating immune function, helping dogs better defend against infections, viruses, and other pathogens.

4. Cardiovascular Health: Regular supplementation with fish oil can support heart health in dogs by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and atherosclerosis. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain optimal blood flow, reduce blood clot formation, and support healthy cholesterol levels.

5. Cognitive Function: As dogs age, cognitive decline can become a concern. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may help support cognitive function and brain health in senior dogs, potentially delaying the onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and age-related cognitive decline.

What's the difference between Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 and omega-3 are both essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot produce them on its own and they must be obtained through diet. While they share similarities, they also have distinct differences:

  1. Sources: Omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in many vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil. They are also found in nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and some leafy greens.

  2. Health Benefits: Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids play crucial roles in the body. Omega-6 fatty acids are involved in promoting proper brain function, stimulating skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism, and stimulating the reproductive system. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties, supporting heart health, brain function, and vision. They are also crucial for fetal development during pregnancy.

  3. Ratio: The balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is important for optimal health. Some research suggests that an imbalanced ratio may contribute to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, achieving a balanced ratio by increasing omega-3 intake relative to omega-6 is often recommended for overall health.

At Petzyo,  all our meals range from 1.8:1 - 4.5:1 omega 6:3, the optimal ratio for the health of your dogs! We are immensely proud of our recent improvement of formulations, representing a significant milestone in our commitment to advancing the health and well-being of your dogs.