OSLO, NORWAY — Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Aker BioMarine, parent company of QRILL Pet, partnered to determine the effectiveness of different sources of Omega 3 fatty acids — specifically comparing krill meal to fish meal — in Alaskan Huskies.

Omega 3 offers several functional benefits for pets, including heart health, brain development, immune defense, inflammation, and skin and coat health, according to QRILL Pet. In a previous study conducted by Aker BioMarine in 2020, the company found that its QRILL Pet PL NUTRI Plus krill ingredient and fish oil were “the most effective in raising levels of Omega 3 in dogs tested.” This new study with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences aimed to sharpen that understanding.

“Our goal with this new study was to understand whether krill meal, even at lower inclusions levels, could still perform as well or better than two other Omega 3 sources,” said Hanna Lindqvist, scientist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. “And so, in our trial we analyzed the effects of krill meal (at a lower inclusion level of 3%) versus fish meal and flaxseed at similar levels, and compared their effects on the dogs.”

The study included 45 Alaskan Husky sled dogs and ran over the course of four weeks. Omega 3 levels were measured in all dogs at the beginning of the feeding trial. At the onset, researchers found initial Omega 3 levels averaged 1.3%, which is low but common in pets, according to QRILL Pet.

The dogs were divided into three groups, each fed one of three different Omega 3 test diets consisting of krill meal, fish meal or flaxseed. The krill meal diet was formulated with QRILL Pet NUTRI Plus. Dogs were fed these diets twice a day for the four-week period, and then Omega 3 levels were tested again to compare.

Krill meal was shown to provide the largest increase in Omega 3 in Alaskan Huskies, compared to fish meal and flaxseedSource: Aker BioMarine, Swedish University of Agricultural Science 

QRILL Pet reported the results were clear — the krill meal diet was most effective at raising Omega 3 levels in Alaskan Huskies, with the QRILL Pet NUTRI Plus test group reporting Omega 3 measurements averaging 2.4% at the end of the study. This marked a 99.7% increase from pre-trial levels among the krill meal group.

Fish meal was the second most effective, having increased Omega 3 levels to 1.9% on average, an increase of 54.8% from pre-trial levels. Flaxseed had no significant effect on raising dogs’ Omega 3 levels, according to the study.

“This study made it clear to us that not every source of Omega 3 performs equally,” Lindqvist said. “The type of Omega 3 you give to your pets makes a difference, and there is a clear opportunity for commercial feeds to benefit from a more effective Omega 3 ingredient. This study revealed that krill meal is a clear winner and that even in lower doses it can enhance the Omega 3 benefits in pets.”

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