Fish oil, without question, is one of the most popular and well-regarded dietary supplements. There are many health benefits associated with this type of Omega-3 fatty acid that owners often ask if it’s appropriate for dogs.
You’ll be happy to know that quality fish oil is not dangerous for canines when reasonably dosed. The good news doesn’t stop there since several studies have proven this super supplement can also be beneficial to dogs.
That said, not all of the positive effects from taking fish oil will be applicable for pets. But there are lots of great reasons to consider giving your dog DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids. Keep reading to learn more!
Can I Give My Dog Some Fish Oil? Answer: Yes
This excellent supplement could make your best buddy’s skin and coat more shiny and less dry or itchy among many other health benefits.
We recommend a high-quality fish oil chewable that’s canine-formulated. Providing your dog with fish oil makes sense for their immune system, cardiovascular health and general well-being. Some level of additional Omega-3 fatty acids can help younger dogs with mental development. Older canines may experience a reduction in inflammation and arthritic-related symptoms.
The benefits of giving fish oil to dogs are wide-ranging, but properly dosing all types of supplements is critical as there can be downsides to misuse. We will be covering fish oil dosing later on.
Where Fish Oil Comes From
Fish oil is typically harvested from mackerel, salmon, sablefish, anchovies, sardines and herring. The Omega-3 fatty acids including Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the key ingredients that can be of benefit for both you and your dog.
But not all fish oil is created equal. Some of these supplements contain unacceptable levels of toxins, mercury in particular, which could certainly be harmful for your pet dog. Look for higher concentrations of EPA and DHA as well as wild-sourced fish instead of farmed.
The Health Benefits for K9s
Key health benefits associated with canine consumption of fish oil are numerous. We’ve touched on a strengthened immune system, skin and coat improvement as well as fish oil’s role in mental development for young dogs. You may even notice that your four-legged friend is more energetic with increased stamina.
But omega-3 essential fatty acids can also help to prevent your dog from developing all sorts of diseases, including Auto-Immune disorders and those of the kidneys. Larger dogs, in particular, may benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties found in fish oil in the form of reduced joint discomfort and arthritis. Fish oil is even know to prevent cancer.
Too much omega-3 can create a vitamin E deficiency which is why speaking with a professional is recommended.
Correct Dose for a Pet Dog
Determining an appropriate fish oil dose for a pet dog can be tricky and even controversial. There are products designed for humans as well as for dogs. Different concentrations further complicate matters but it’s generally agreed that 20mg per pound of weight is sufficient.
It’s fair to stay that if your dog is already in good health then they probably should not be given as much fish oil as those taking it for help with medical issues. Talk to your vet about dosing but consider that a high-quality dog food that incorporates fish may be a more consistent way to incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids.
Conclusion on Fish Oil
Giving your dog supplements, including fish oil, should be done with careful consideration and planning. It is true that Omega-3 supplementation can be very beneficial for some dogs, but you must provide a quality product from a trusted brand. Too much fish oil, over an extended period, can actually be counterproductive and even harmful. Speak with a veterinarian about supplementing your dog’s diet with fatty acids such as fish oil.