All fats are bad, right? Nope, they are not all bad. Just like all dogs, not all fats are created equal. Your dog is the bestest of boys, and omega-3 fatty acids are the bestest of fats too.
Omega-3s are essential, and without them, he would actually become quite poorly. Of course, if you pumped him with fats, not only would he get diarrhea, he would become a porky pup too. So, you need to get the balance right.
Here in this guide, we are going to run you through 10 of the best dog kibbles that provide the best quality omega-3s, as well as the optimal content of omega-3s.
Because not all dogs are created equal, you must know how to pick the best option for your dog. Some dogs, especially those on a particular diet or those with sensitivities, need a lower content.
All of our picks are accompanied by reviews to help you choose the right one, and we have also created a buying guide too.
Want to find out more? Let’s jump straight in.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||American Journey Grain-Free||
|Best Value||True Acre Foods Grain-Free||
|Best for Puppies||Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy||
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult||
The 10 Best Dog Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Reviews 2021
1. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
This is our top pick for a variety of reasons. Not only does it offer an overall well-balanced diet, but it is also a great price, and of course, it is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. It has the highest omega-3 content at 1.0% minimum.
Some omega-3 ingredients listed are salmon, flaxseed, fish menhaden fish meal, salmon oil, and dried kelp. All contribute to the high omega-3 fatty acid content on this list, as well as overall market levels.
This product ensures that all of his other nutritional needs are met too. The protein is also high at 32%, and salmon meal, chicken meal, and turkey meal are the first three ingredients. Together they offer a variety of amino acids for a healthy and robust body.
The fiber is relatively high too, and this is a grain-free option that does not use corn, wheat, or soy, which can be problematic for those dogs with sensitive stomachs. Blueberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes provide antioxidants, as do the vitamins and mineral supplements.
The only negative about this product is that they use ‘natural flavor.’ But given the high ratings, it’s clear that this doesn’t bother many dogs.
2. True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
The reason this product missed out on top place is simply that the omega-3 fatty acid content is not as high as the American Journey product. Other than this, this is a great option. Instead, this product is the best dog food with omega-3 fatty acids for the money.
When balancing the omega-3 fat content with a great price, you can be sure this is the best value for the money. This is an excellent option for those on a tighter budget. Or those in a multi-dog household who need a larger bag.
This recipe offers a well-balanced diet, with a 24% protein content. As well as a mix of healthy carbohydrates and fiber in addition to the fats.
As this is a value option, it does come with a few negatives. The first is that they use poultry meat meals and poultry fats, both of which are unnamed. This can cause problems for those dogs with sensitivities. The next is that it splits pea ingredients meaning that in reality, pea could be the first ingredient rather than chicken.
Overall, though, it is highly rated by dog owners, and presumably their dogs.
3. Merrick Classic Healthy Puppy Dog Food – Best for Puppies
Merrick has created this recipe with puppies in mind, and at 0.75%, it has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 ingredients are egg product, salmon meal, flaxseed, sunflower oil, fish oil, and chia seed.
This means that you can be sure that feeding this product to your puppy means that he will develop healthily and as he should.
The protein content is high at 28%, and the first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal. It is a grain inclusive diet, which is great for many dogs who do better on grains.
A long list of vitamins and minerals are added to the recipe. As well as fruits and veggies like apples and carrots. Probiotic ingredients such as fermentation products are also added to the formula, which all help to promote friendly gut bacteria.
This product also has market-leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which means it will support your puppy’s little joints grow into big joints.
4. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This is another Merrick product that has made it onto our list, but this recipe is one of their grain-free products. This formula also has a high omega-3 fatty acid content, which is 0.8%. This makes it the second-highest product after our top pick.
The omega-3 ingredients are salmon meal, whitefish meal, sunflower oil, flaxseed, and salmon oil. This product is a high protein product, and it lists deboned beef, lamb meal, and salmon meal as the first three ingredients. Contributing to a protein content of 34%.
With the high protein and mix of proteins, your pup will receive a variety of amino acids and big meaty flavor. Which he should devour every single mealtime.
This is a poultry free kibble, which makes this an excellent alternative for those dogs who are allergic or sensitive to the most commonly used meat source, chicken. This recipe is also free from wheat, corn, and soy. And it lists probiotic ingredients to aid in healthy digestion, which is ideal for those with sensitive stomachs.
5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Dry Dog Food
This product is designed explicitly for those adults with sensitive skin and stomach. To soothe the sensitive skin and digestive systems of some dogs, they provide a formula rich in omega-3 fats. The omega-3 content of this product is 0.75%, which is higher than the average.
Salmon is the first ingredient, followed shortly after by fish meal and salmon meal. These, in addition to canola meal and sunflower oil, contribute to the high omega-3 fat content.
This is a grain inclusive product, and it relies heavily on grain. Grains are nutritional, and many dogs need grains for a regular digestive system.
But they can contribute towards the protein content, making it seem meatier than it probably is. This is the only criticism we have of this product, but it is highly rated, so again, this clearly is not an issue.
Overall, it provides a well-balanced diet and a protein content of 26%.
6. Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
Wellness is a premium product, and they provide an omega-3 fatty acid content of 0.6%.
This product line focuses on his complete health, which is suitable for his overall nutritional needs. The protein content is 24%, making it not too rich but still plenty for his total wellness. The first two ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal.
It is full of wholesome fruit and veggies, such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries. As well as vitamin and mineral supplements for an extra immunity boost.
Each kibble piece is fortified with probiotic ingredients, meaning it is super gentle on his tummy. Yucca schidigera extract also helps to reduce stool odor.
The only real criticism we have of this product is that because it is a premium product, it comes with a premium price tag. This doesn’t suit all owners, but if it does, this is a great product.
7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This recipe is from Blue Buffalo’s high protein range, and the protein content is 34%. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, as well as menhaden fish meal and egg products. This contributes to plenty of energy and healthy muscle mass.
The omega-3 fatty acid content is 0.5%, and fish meal, flaxseed, egg, and dried kelp are ingredients high in omega-3s.
This is a grain-free recipe, and it provides healthy carbohydrates instead of grains, such as sweet potatoes and peas. A criticism we have of this product is that it relies heavily on peas. It also splits peas into several different pea components, which more than likely contribute towards the protein content.
This kibble is made with all-natural products, and it is free from wheat, corn, and soy, which is ideal for those with sensitive stomachs.
8. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food
This product has a crazy comic-style packaging, but don’t let that put you off, because inside is a high-quality kibble that is a great price.
The only reason this product didn’t make it higher on this list is that the omega-3 content is 0.5%. This is higher than the market average but not as high as the other products above. The primary omega-3 fats listed are chicken meal, flaxseeds, fish meal, egg products, and dried kelp.
The first ingredient is chicken meal, and fish meal and eggs also contribute towards the protein content, which is 22%. The protein isn’t that high, and instead, it relies heavily on grains, which isn’t ideal.
This is a grain inclusive recipe and grains such as brown rice, oat groats, pearled barley, and millet. Some dogs need extra grains to keep their digestive system regular.
This formula lists many fruits and veggies which provide him with vitamins and minerals. Each kibble piece is fortified in probiotic ingredients, which is another beneficial component for his digestive system.
9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
Here we have another Blue Buffalo product. This is from their Life Protection line and offers a well-balanced diet. The protein content is 24%, and chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients.
The omega-3 fatty acid content is 0.5%, and ingredients such as chicken meal and flaxseed. This isn’t a lot compared to the other products on this list, which is why it ranks much lower on our list.
This recipe relies heavily on grains, and it also splits the pea ingredients, which probably makes it less meaty than they suggest.
Each kibble piece is fortified with probiotics, and they also include LifeSource Bits, which are full of the optimum nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy.
10. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food
This is the lowest ranking product on this list because it only offers 0.3% of omega-3s. This is around the market average, but much lower than the ones above.
Taste of the Wild is known for its easy to digest products, and each kibble piece is fortified with probiotic ingredients. This is a grain-free product and sweet potatoes, peas,
They are also known for their high protein kibbles. Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg, bison, venison, beef, and fish meal contribute towards the 32% protein content. Being full in meats can make it too rich for some dogs to stomach.
For you to find the best dog food with omega-3 fatty acids, you need to know a bit about omega-3 fatty acids. Here we are going to run you through what they are, to the benefits Fido will get from them, and where to find them.
Not all dogs need the same amount of omega-3s, so before you make any changes to Fido’s diet, be sure to speak with your vet. But here are all the details that you need to know about them.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids make up the membranes that surround each cell in your dog’s body, and yours, for that matter. So, Fido needs omega-3s to keep his body healthy and functioning well. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that Fido’s body cannot make on his own, which is why they are called essential fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are biologically active that act as scavenging antioxidants. Essentially, they scavenge on free-radicals, eliminating them from his body. And no matter how cool free-radicals sound, they are anything but. Free-radicals are unstable atoms that cause damage to cells, causing illness and disease.
Now you know that they are essential, let’s dig a bit deeper into what they are.
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, which are:
Your dog’s body can convert some ALA into EPA and DHA, but not the amount that he needs. And because his body cannot make them on his own, he needs to get them from food sources. DHA and EPA are particularly crucial for puppy development, which we will cover a bit further on.
How Much Omega-3 Fatty Acids do Dogs Need?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, who govern pet food standards, states that puppies require an overall fat content of at least 8%. And adults need a fat content of at least 5%.
But what part of this makes up omega-3s?
Well, the Canine Arthritis Resources and Education state that the recommended dose of omega-3s is 75-100 mg/ kg of dog weight every day. This means that to work out how much they need a day, you need to head over to their website and take a look at their weight charts.
All dogs need omega-3 fatty acids, but not all dogs need the same amount. The above guidelines are for the average dog. If your dog has sensitivities or a particular diet, it is crucial to speak with your veterinarian, who can help you to work out what he needs.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Because Fido cannot create enough omega-3s himself, he needs to eat the right ingredients to make sure his daily intake needs are met. Omega-3 fatty acids come from a variety of foods, many of which are regularly used in dog food products. Examples of these are:
- Fish (such as salmon, menhaden fish, herring, mackerel, tuna, and sardines)
- Meat meals (such as chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal)
- Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds)
- Plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, and kelp meal)
High-quality kibbles will list many of the above ingredients to ensure that your dog will get plenty of omega-3s every day. Unfortunately, budget store kibbles will not list the above ingredients. This is because they are more expensive to include compared to cereals, grains, and other low-quality ingredients. This is a big reason why we always suggest higher-quality kibbles.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
There are many health benefits that omega-3s give Fido. There are so many that we couldn’t list them all (we’re not exaggerating here!) So, in no particular order, the most valuable health benefits are:
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in every stage of your dog’s life, but most notably during his developmental stage. Omega-3s are needed for every cell in his body, and for him to grow as he should, omega-3s are more essential than ever.
DHA and EPA are naturally found in mothers’ milk. And top-quality kibbles will continue to provide your pup with these nutrients until he is switched to an adult kibble. If nature intended him to get DHA and EPA, you can be sure that they are beneficial.
DHA plays a vital role in cognitive and retinal development too. As the brain is made up of 50% fats, research suggests that consuming the right amount of omega-3s can lead to better trainability, memory, and attention. As such, this increases the chance of being better trained as an adult too.
Lowering Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Consuming more omega-3s helps to lower triglyceride levels, which is a type of fat found in his blood. High levels of triglyceride lead to a heightened risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It is also known to increase good cholesterol in the blood and lower blood pressure too.
Because omega-3s fight free-radicals in his body, as we mentioned above, they, in turn, reduce the risk of him developing cancer. Free radicals are known to increase the chances of developing cancer.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and will reduce inflation across his entire body. The most notable anti-inflammation is found in his joints. By decreasing the inflammation, joint swelling and pain are also reduced. This is great for those dogs who suffer from joint pain, joint dysplasia, or arthritis.
And when you combine the cardiovascular benefits above with the reduction of joint inflammation, you can be sure that he will fell much better and youthful. This is beneficial throughout his whole life, but more so in his senior years when he is feeling stiff and sore.
Healthy Skin and Coat
Omega-3 fatty acids help to improve the condition of his skin and keeps it nourished and supple. Say goodbye to dry, itchy, and flakey skin.
When Fido has healthy skin, his coat condition is improved too. When his diet is full of omega-3s, you will notice a dramatic improvement in the condition of his coat and how shiny it looks.
When his skin is healthy, it acts as a better barrier against allergens and irritants. It can improve conditions such as atopic dermatitis and other common skin concerns found in dogs.
Omega-3 Fatty Supplements
If for some reason, your dog’s diet is low in omega fats and you cannot change his diet, we would suggest investing in a good quality omega fats supplement. A great option here is fish oil supplements, and they come in pill or liquid form.
Before adding any supplement to your dog’s diet, be sure to discuss this with your vet first. In some instances, he may not need it, or too much could cause your pup to put on too much weight. Or, if your dog is on a grain-based diet, over time, the grains combined with the omega-3 fatty acids can deplete vitamin E. So, it’s always best to speak to your vet who can offer tailored advice.
So there you have it, our full list of picks for the best dog foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Some products are high in omega-3s, and some of the ones towards the bottom of our list are just above the market average. But because not all dogs are the same, it is essential to offer our readers a wide range of omega-3s.
As you can see, there is something here for everyone. Hopefully, we have made the world of omega-3 fatty acids easier to understand. We also hope our product reviews have helped you to find the best product for Fido too.
Our top pick is the American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food product. And our best value pick is the True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food kibble. But by picking any one of these products, you can be sure that you are taking a step in the right direction and satisfying his omega-3 fatty needs.
Featured Image Credit By: American Journey, chewy
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Dog Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Reviews 2021
- 1. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
- 2. True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
- 3. Merrick Classic Healthy Puppy Dog Food – Best for Puppies
- 4. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- 5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Dry Dog Food
- 6. Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
- 7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- 8. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food
- 9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
- 10. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food
- Buyer’s Guide
- What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
- How Much Omega-3 Fatty Acids do Dogs Need?
- Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?