The company believes the Omega-3 Pet Index Test will change the way pet owners use supplements and the types of foods they feed their pets.
Incorporation of EPA and DHA
Research shows that the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are linked to several health benefits in pets, including supporting heart, skin and coat, kidney and joint health in dogs and cats.
However, pets often lack important fats such as omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Measuring a pet’s current omega-3 levels enables pet owners to safely change the amount of EPA and DHA their pet receives in their diet to achieve an optimal omega-3 index.
When the omega-3 index test is taken, a percentage is displayed showing the combination of EPA and DHA in the blood. For pets such as dogs and cats, the ideal value is around 3%, while for humans it is around 8%. Currently, the omega-3 index for pets only indicates an omega-3 status for dogs and cats.
The most efficient way to increase the omega-3 index is to strategically get more EPA and DHA from foods or supplements fortified with omega-3.
A growing market
According to Bill Bookout, president of the National Animal Supplement Council, the market for omega-3 pet supplements is growing, and so is the market for pet foods that contain EPA and DHA. Ellen Schutt, Executive Director of GOED, added that global sales of EPA and DHA-containing pet foods were $ 6.4 billion in 2019.
“There is an increasing trend among veterinarians and pet owners to provide omega-3s in either fortified foods or supplements to pets such as dogs,” said Kristina Harris Jackson, research director at OmegaQuant, who developed the Omega-3 Index for pets.
“As with humans, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can help with health problems that have an inflammatory component, but knowing how to dose them is important. For example, with highly concentrated fish oils, you need to make sure you don’t overdo it with EPA and DHA while also giving your pets enough to reach therapeutic omega-3 levels. We believe this test will close the loop for pet owners and veterinarians and give them the ability to feed their pets omega-3s with a little more precision and peace of mind, ”added Jackson.