Protect your senior chihuahua!

As our chihuahuas grow older, it’s only natural to want to provide them with the best possible care to ensure they enjoy their golden years to the fullest. One invaluable tool in the arsenal of senior chihuahua care is fish oil, a rich source of omega fatty acids that can have remarkable benefits for aging chihuahuas. Fish oil, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, can help suppress cancer cells and benefit dogs with heart failure, making it a crucial addition to the senior chihuahua’s diet.

The Omega Fatty Acid Connection

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that play a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being, not just for humans but also for our dogs and cats. The two main types of omega-3s found in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and omega 6 is inflammatory. Both are necessary fatty acids but it’s important that they are in the correct ratio. Many processed dog foods and treats are heavy on the omega 6 which can contribute to inflammation.

Cancer Suppression with Omega Fatty Acids

Cancer is a concern for dogs of all ages, like all dogs, senior chihuahuas, are at risk of developing cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, have shown promise in suppressing cancer cell growth. Here’s how:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Chronic inflammation is often associated with cancer development. Omega-3s have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammation that promotes cancer.

Apoptosis Induction: Omega-3s have been found to induce apoptosis, which is a natural process that encourages damaged or abnormal cells to self-destruct. This can help prevent the formation of cancerous masses.

Inhibition of Angiogenesis: Cancer tumours require a blood supply to grow. Omega-3s may inhibit angiogenesis, the process of forming new blood vessels, thus starving tumours of their vital nutrients.

While fish oil isn’t a guaranteed cure for cancer, it can be a valuable addition to a senior chihuahua’s diet as a preventive measure.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Health

Mika who is coming up for 13 has just been diagnosed with a stage 3 heart murmur. So, I have been looking into ways to support his health and reduce the risks of developing full on heart disease.

As chihuahuas age, they can be susceptible to heart conditions, including congestive heart failure. Omega-3 fatty acids can be a game-changer for dogs with heart issues:

Reduced Inflammation: Omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the body, which can alleviate stress on the heart and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Improved Blood Flow: By promoting healthy blood vessels and circulation, omega-3s can help ease the workload on the heart and decrease the risk of heart failure.

Enhanced Heart Function: Studies suggest that omega-3s may improve heart muscle function and decrease the risk of arrhythmias.

Blood Pressure Regulation: Omega-3s can help regulate blood pressure, which is crucial for dogs with heart conditions.

Incorporating Fish Oil into Your Chihuahua’s Diet

When selecting a fish oil supplement, look for one specifically designed for dogs, as human supplements may contain additional ingredients that are not suitable for them. Always follow the recommended dosage instructions to prevent any potential side effects. I would also build up tolerance as well, don’t jump into the full dose straight away.

Not all fish oils are created equal and choosing the right one is crucial for reaping their health benefits. When selecting a fish oil supplement, consider factors like purity, quality, and sourcing. Look for products that are third-party tested for contaminants like heavy metals and pollutants, ensuring they meet safety standards.

Additionally, opt for fish oil sourced from cold-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines, as they are rich in beneficial omega-3s. Checking the concentration of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per serving is also essential; higher levels indicate a more potent supplement.

Storing fish oil

Omega fatty acids are very fragile and don’t store well. Once open to the air they begin to oxidise and break down creating rancid fats.  Proper storage essential to maintain its freshness and effectiveness.

Keep it cool: store your fish oil supplements in a cool, dark place. Heat can cause the oil to spoil and become rancid, so avoid storing it near sources of heat like stoves or radiators. Keep it in the fridge.

Protect from Light: Light can also cause fish oil to deteriorate. An opaque or dark-coloured bottles can be a sign of a better-quality product. Avoid large containers of fish oil they are unlikely to have the quality you are looking for.

Seal the Bottle Tightly: Always ensure that the bottle is tightly sealed after use. Exposure to air can lead to oxidation, which can make the oil go bad. If you are using a dropper don’t inadvertently pump air in the bottle.

Check for Expiration: Pay attention to the expiration date on the bottle and use the fish oil within that timeframe. Expired fish oil may not be as effective or could even be harmful.

By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your fish oil remains fresh and potent, allowing you to enjoy its health benefits to the fullest.