Can the health benefits of cod liver oil carry over to a pet dog? It’s an important question since this supplement is well regarded due to its excellent essential vitamins and nutrients. It’s no wonder that caring dog owners want to know.
Actually, many people give their dogs cod liver oil and they’ll tell you the results are positive. So, as you’ve probably sensed, providing some to your best buddy can make sense. Dogs can greatly benefit, in certain situations, from cod liver oil’s essential fatty acids.
However, there are some critical factors to consider beforehand. Let’s learn more about cod liver oil’s proper use, the potential downsides and also compare it with similar alternatives. Then you’ll be able to make a more informed choice for your dog’s sake.
Can I Give My Dog Cod Liver Oil? Answer: Yes, but fish oil may be safer
The acids, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), can help with a wide variety of canine health issues.
But most dogs, in their prime years, don’t typically need this type of help due to a lack of nutritional imbalances. Sometimes deficiencies stem from poor quality dog food, in which case cod liver oil isn’t a solution. Geriatric dogs, or those up in age, can benefit the most from taking it for reasons we’ll explain. In general though, regular fish oil is probably a safer and equally effective choice.
There’s a liquid fish oil made specifically for dogs which you add to their regular chow. It gets super reviews and we’re considering it for our oldest dog.
Reasons for Using It
If your dog is slowing down then cod liver oil, in the right circumstances, can potentially help. The main reason is the omega-3 fatty acids. Dogs, just like in humans, can experience improvement in their joints, skin, hair, brain function, cardiovascular health as well as the immune system as a result of this type of supplementation.
Your best buddy may also experience higher energy levels and weight loss. In particular, if your dog suffers from arthritis, cod liver oil use may alleviate some symptoms due to its fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. No doubt, the health benefits can be substantial and numerous.
On the other hand, cod liver oil can be harmful due to its soluble fats which may be unnecessary in your dog’s case. Consult with a vet before starting any dietary supplementation!
Fish Oil vs. Cod Liver
There’s reason to believe that fish oil may be safer compared to cod liver oil. Both of these popular human supplements are highly regarded but there are some key differences as they apply to dogs. You see, compared to regular fish oil, cod liver contains lots of vitamin A and D which could present a problem if your dog doesn’t require it or is given too much. Experts say this is the main reason why fish oil is often preferable, especially for routine preventive use.
So if you’re planning to provide cod liver oil, limit your best buddy’s dosage because of the potential for liver damage. That’s not to say that cod liver oil can’t ever be used for dogs but it must be done carefully and tactfully.
If provided appropriately and within certain guidelines, the benefits of taking cod liver oil will outweigh the possible harm. There is no denying that the omega-3 and other essential fatty acids can be excellent for your pooch’s health. What you need to determine is if your dog really needs the other vitamins, A & D. Find out or just go with a better alternative.
Conclusion on Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil can be very useful for dogs who require all its nutrients. Just be sure that it’s used for the right reasons and properly dosed. Quality dog food normally will provide, on a daily basis, what’s needed for a healthy dog. It’s usually older canines that stand to benefit from cod liver oil due to the onset of arthritis and other problems associated with aging. Talk to a veterinarian first because it can be harmful due to the fat soluble properties. Otherwise, consider fish oil instead.