Fish oil supplements can provide your horse with the essential Omega-3s he needs.

Horses need Omega-3 fatty acids. Cell membranes contain these important nutrients, including EPA and DHA, which are required to promote optimal body functioning and decreased inflammation. They are termed essential because the horse’s body is unable to make them, so they must be provided in the diet. Diet adequately provides sufficient Omega-3s when horses graze at their leisure in healthy grass fields. Unfortunately, horses are frequently housed in barns for extended periods, have more limited grazing time, and are often fed grains in lieu of grass. Grains supply the body with Omega-6 fatty acids that can increase inflammation and promote disease when consumed in excess. Supplementing a horse’s diet with Omega-3s helps to restore a healthy Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio.

Plant-based Omega-3s can be converted into the physiologically relevant EPA and DHA within the horse’s body, but this process is inefficient. Fish oil, on the other hand, is a direct source of concentrated EPA and DHA in the natural triglyceride form.

High quality fish oils should be third party tested for contaminants and toxins like lead and mercury, and these results should be readily available in an easily accessible format. Finally, high quality oils do not have an overwhelming fish smell or taste, which makes supplementation a palatable experience.

Kelly Nunn is an Animal Health Specialist who works with Ascenta. She enjoys sharing her knowledge about Omega-3s and the amazing benefits they have on all species. Ascenta is an industry leader in Omega-3s for horses, dogs, cats, and people.