Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - For many years, pet owners have given omega-3 fatty acids to their dogs to change a dull, dry coat into a more glossy one.

A shiny coat and healthy skin on the outside can be indicators of a healthy pet on the inside. Conversely, skin problems may indicate a need for dietary changes or supplementation.

Always check your dog’s skin and coat for such troubling signs as hair loss, raw spots or brittle hair, and watch for excessive scratching. While several factors, including heredity and grooming, can affect skin and coat conditions, nutrition is an important factor. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, be sure to ask your veterinarian about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Many veterinarians recommend it to reduce the amount of corticosteroid or antihistamine needed to control itching and for overall skin and coat health.

Research has shown that omega-3s can benefit a variety of other conditions, too.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, fish oil (which contains the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) helps modify inflammatory responses in dogs with joint problems or other conditions related to immune function.

Another study published by the same journal found that diets or supplements containing DHA may improve memory or learning abilities of young dogs.

These dietary modifications are being used to enhance the performance of working and companion dogs.

Fish oil is a better source of omega-3s than flaxseed or other vegetable oils because it contains the long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA recommended by experts, while the vegetable sources contain short-chain omega-3s. Always choose a high-quality omega-3 fish oil supplement such as Dermaquin (available at Walmart).

For more information on Dermaquin, visit the company website at www.nutramaxlabs.com.