Store Your Fish Oils Correctly!!
We’ve been putting off this post because we didn’t want to be nit-picky. And we apologize because this is LENGTHY but we hope you find time to cruise through this.
Pumps on fish oils are no doubt convenient. Less messy, easier to calibrate dosing, and honestly with our busy days sometimes two seconds screwing a cap on and off can make a difference.
But every time we see a new Omega-3 bottle come out with a pump top we cringe. Does that mean we don’t think Omega-3’s are important? Absolutely not. Do we dislike any particular brands for doing this? No, we get why it’s done. And, with no one to advocate for pets in the same way humans are advocated for, there’s no one in the industry saying, “hey, don’t do that”.
Essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3’s found in fish, flax or phytoplankton are critical in balance with Omega-6 fatty acids (this is a whole other post, but just assume your dog likely gets substantially more Omega-6’s than 3’s, which can actually be pro-inflammatory). Omega-3’s are necessary for brain and eye development and maintenance, and are anti-inflammatory. They’re needed to lubricate the joints, protect the heart, and even promote healthy mood balance. Most of us notice how shiny and hydrated our animal’s coats appear when they are consuming more Omega’s and how dry and flaky they are when they aren’t. Some pet parents notice their animals struggle less with bowel movements while consuming a diet higher in essential fatty acids. No doubt, these things are all wins.
But fats are notoriously unstable. They hate heat, light, and oxygen. This is why our cooking oils have recommended temperatures for them to be cooked with, based on their smoke point. And THIS my friends is why pumps are not cool. Every day this bad boy sits wide open, what’s penetrating the fats? You guessed it; two things that will make the liquid gold you paid good money for go rancid. So, best case scenario, you wasted a little money. We’ve all spent money on worse things right? But worst case, and this is open for debate from many professionals; you’ve caused rancid fats that can actually be damaging, and contribute to the formation of what’s called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s), and cellular damage. We know antioxidants are crucial for cellular health, and the function of the immune system and healthy aging, so where is the logic in pumping the body full of oxidized fat? If these are the potential risks, than what is the point, if they could cause more harm than good?
We are hyper-aware of the potential negatives of feeding rancid oils to our pets, but we need to gain allllll of the benefits from Omega-3’s. So what can you do?
🐟Most bottles that come with pumps are more cost-effective and for that reason they’re not going anywhere. And you might completely disagree with our logic and that’s okay too. But please, can you cover that spout with something air-tight and pop it in the fridge, or at the VERY least a very dark cupboard?
🐟One step up, look for nitrogen flushed, dark bottles, with lids instead of spouts, and store those just the same; as airtight and temperature and light regulated as possible. Preferably, the Omega 3’s are sourced from small fish like anchovies, mackerel, herring or sardines which are lower on the food chain and less likely to be contaminated with PCB’s, dioxins or mercury. An outstanding product will give you the breakdown of those toxins present before and after molecular distillation.
🐟Phytoplankton is an excellent source of Omega-3’s and contain a whole host of other very important nutrients. It’s pricey to purchase them, so until we see an improvement in food stock shortages we are keeping these as a special order item. The serving sizes are teeny tiny though, and a bottle does last quite some time. If you’d like more information on these please send us a message and we’ll get it together for you 😊
🐟Or, you can go the old school way. Diet. Including frozen sardines, sardines packed in water (not more rancid oil) or frozen mussels every so often can be an inexpensive way to increase the Omega-3’s in the diet.
And while we’re going on and on: this is also why we preach storing kibble correctly too! Air tight, away from light and in the original bag!!