So many dog breeds have health concerns – some minor, some major. Many chihuahua owners struggle with skin and coat issues. Coats can become dull and thin, and some chihuahuas are constantly scratching or biting at their skin.
What to do about dull coats and skin problems in chihuahuas
On a recent visit to my vet, I asked if there were something I could do to help, and the vet asked if I gave the dogs an Omega supplement. I explained that I gave the dogs a high-quality dog kibble that claimed to have a balance of nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids.
This is where I learned my first mistake.
My vet explained how dog food, even though it claims to contain Omega-3, rarely has any fatty acids that are biologically available to dogs. Biologically available? I had to have my vet expand on that one. Apparently, when dog food is processed, it is exposed to high heat. Omega fatty acids just so happen to be very sensitive to high heat. So by the time you pour Fido a bowl of kibble, the essential fatty acids are no longer in a state that is beneficial to your dog. In addition to dry, itchy skin and unhealthy coats, I was told that Omega-3 deficient diets also lead to:
- Prolonged healing of wounds
- Increased allergic reaction effects
- Decreased immune system function
- Painful joints
- Excessive inflammation
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
- Hot spots
- Excessive itching
Fortunately, my vet offered a solution. She recommended that I start my dogs on an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Sounds easy? Not so much.
I also learned that all supplements are not created equal. The ingredients that are used to derive the fatty acids are key. I think most people know that salmon is high in Omega-3’s, but did you know that it’s also high in toxins, such as lead and mercury?
Big Fish = Big Trouble
Here’s how it works: large fish are typically higher up on the food chain, so they eat small fish, which each small fish, etc. So basically, the largest fish are consuming all of the toxins that smaller fish eat. They also have a longer lifespan, so this means they accumulate even more bad stuff.
So the key is to start at the lowest point on the food chain. Anchovies! Small fish with a short lifespan. There’s some solid scientific research that confirms this. Bonus: anchovies have some of the highest Omega-3 contents of any fish. Added bonus: they’re low in toxins.
The Good News. There’s a Solution!
I was recently turned on to an amazing product called Omega-3 Select chews. They are made from the highest quality anchovies (and krill), designed to provide your pup with the perfect balance of essential oils. Plus, they’re available in small and large chews depending on your dog’s size.
Within a few weeks of having my dogs take the chews, I began noticing that they weren’t itching as much and their coats looked shiny and healthy. These were just the benefits that I could see.
The Right Omega Makes All the Difference
So do yourself a favor…get your dog on an Omega-3 supplement. My dogs seem to love the taste of the Omega-3 Select chews. Plus, when you purchase Omega-3 Select chews, you also be providing up to 21 meals for shelter dogs. So talk to your vet. To friends. Find what’s best for your dogs. Just make sure you make an Omega-3 supplement part of your chihuahua’s daily diet. Their lives are short enough, we think they deserve the best we can give!