Fish oil for dogs is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which includes two essential components called EPA and DHA. Omega-3 for dogs, infused into many good quality dog food diets, is known to relieve inflammation, maintain eye, bone and brain health, and support the immune system.
Which health issues benefit from fish oil for dogs?
Fish oil has many benefits for dogs, which is why it’s included in dog foods. On the label, fish oil is often referred to as omega-3, although flaxseed oil can also be a source of omega-3 fatty acids which do not include EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 for dogs is scientifically-proven to work to decrease inflammation making it a popular recommendation for dogs with joint inflammation caused by diseases such as arthritis.
Fish oil for dogs and for puppies includes the following health benefits.
|Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefits for Dogs & Puppies|
|Manages inflammation in the joints||
|Maintains healthy brain development||
|Sustains good eye health||
|Supports healthy skin||
|Maintains shiny coat and good condition||
|Improves immune system||
|Sustains strong bone development||
|Aids healthy kidney function||
What is omega-3 for dogs?
Fish oil is made up of many healthy long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, two of the most beneficial are EPA and DHA. These two omega-3 fats are found in the oily tissue of cold-water fish such as mackerel, menhaden, anchovies, herring, and salmon. Fish produce omega-3 fatty acids from eating algae.
Omega-3 from flaxseed oil cannot be efficiently converted by humans or pets and therefore EPA and DHA or fish oil need to be added to meals to get the full benefit. These essential fatty acids support kidney, heart, skin and cognitive functions and ease joint mobility.
- EPA or eicosatetraenoic acid helps with conditions that cause inflammation, the most common being osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease but has been shown to also be beneficial for the brain, skin, and heart.
- DHA or docosahexaenoic acid protects cellular activity particularly in the cardiovascular and cognitive systems which are associated with protection against cancer and other diseases.
How much fish oil to give a dog: Dosage
Most pet parents ask how much fish oil is good for dogs. Your dog’s fish oil treatment is as unique as the dosage he will require. To ensure that a dog is receiving the appropriate amount of fish oil, speak to your veterinarian before including the supplement in your dog’s diet.
Too much fish oil can have adverse effects on a dog’s gastrointestinal system causing diarrhea. Not enough fish oil will be ineffective. A veterinarian can advise what dosage to start with according to the issue being treated, your dog’s weight, size, and other health considerations.
Side-effects of fish oil for dogs
While fish oil is generally ok for dogs, although there are reported side-effects and considerations before including these healthy omegas in a dog’s diet. Dogs that have allergies to fish or shellfish should not be given fish oil unless it is recommended by a veterinarian as part of a treatment plan.
Since your dog’s food should provide good quality omega-3 fatty acids already, most pet parents add fish oil to a daily diet when recommended by a veterinarian for specific health issues. However, some side-effects can occur such as:
- Mild oily coat
- Fishy breath
- Fish-smelling skin and coat
- Blood clotting defects
- Slow wound healing
- Interacts with some medications
Where to get fish oil for your dog
Since fish oil for dogs is a nutraceutical, it is not regulated by the FDA. It can be purchased from any health store, however, there are varying quantities of EPA and DHA included in the supplement. It is ideal to use a brand trusted by veterinarians and that uses sustainable marine sources for their EPA and DHA.
Veterinarian advice will help you match the ideal quantities, best brands and daily doses needed for your dog’s health issue. Never self-medicate a dog without consulting a professional.
Learn more about caring for your dog