Can I Give My Dog Cod Liver Oil?

Can I Give My Dog Cod Liver Oil?Can the health benefits of cod liver oil carry over to a pet dog? This supplement’s excellent essential vitamins and nutrients make owners wonder about this possibility.

Many people already give their dogs cod liver oil with positive results. So, as you’ve probably sensed, providing some to your best buddy can make sense. Pets can benefit, in certain situations, from the essential fatty acids.

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 dog’s dosage due to 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.

Prudent Supplementation

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 is great 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 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Orla July, 2016

My Lab mix is 12years old and has arthritis. How much cod liver or fish oil and which one would be better for him at his age? Should I give it to him per day or per week? I bought capsules but is liquid better? He is on Previcox but the vet said to give it to him only when he needs it, because it can damage the stomach if taken long term. Thank You!


Nicole November, 2015

What dosage of cod liver of oil you are giving to your dogs?


Sean Wray July, 2015

We have been putting cod liver oil on our Border Collie’s food on a daily basis. The farmer we got him from advised us to do this because he said it would help his coat to stay resistant to water. What ever the reason, his coat looks great and is always commented on by people he meets and any rain does appear to run off well.


Pablo March, 2015

Dogs benefit from Omega-3, 6 and 9. Dogs can’t make the essential fatty acids just like us humans. We must get it from our diet. Cod liver oil is great for dogs and humans.


Sam Brighton January, 2015

I am giving my dog cod liver oil to help with her joints, not as an alternative to a good healthy diet which she has. She has just had her yearly check-up and we talked about her always being being a bit stiff after walks and this may be the early onset of rheumatism. She’s been taking cod liver oil 3 times a week for the last year. My vet says to keep giving this to her as there’s no negative effect on her health. I hope this information helps.


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