Should You Give Your Dog Fish Oil?
Plenty of people take their daily fish oil for the long list of health benefits the supplement promises: Lowered blood pressure, improved heart health, improved skin condition, and more. Sounds great, right? So can your dog take fish oil too?
If it is cleared by your veterinarian, then your dog can certainly take fish oil! Many canine diets are lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, and fish oil can be a great supplement for them.
Can Dogs Have Fish Oil?
Yes, dogs can have fish oil. It's a great supplement to add to your dog’s diet under the supervision of your veterinarian. If your vet recommends supplementing your dog’s diet with fish oil, it can be given in a number of ways. Many dogs can even take the same fish oil supplements as people.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of oily fish. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat found in polyunsaturated fats. However, omega-3 fatty acids aren’t found naturally in the body of humans or dogs. This means we must get them from our diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in shellfish, cold-water fish, flaxseed, and plant and nut oils. For those not eating a diet full of fish and nuts, fish oil supplements are a great way to get the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids without changing their diet.
Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs
Fish oil has many benefits for dogs from improved heart health to arthritis pain relief. Check out some more natural pain remedies for your dog here. Here are a few of the benefits of fish oil supplements for dogs:
- Reduction in itchy, flaky skin
- Improved coat health for a shiny coat
- Reduces joint pain
- Improves heart health
- Strengthens immune system
- Provides arthritis relief
- Support brain and eye development in puppies
- Improve cognitive function in older dogs
- Can help treat chronic kidney disease
High doses of fish oil can cause harmful side effects in your dog. Look out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and oily skin. Make sure you work with your vet to give your dog the correct type and dosage of fish oil so that they can safely enjoy its benefits.
How to Give Your Dog Fish Oil
There are lots of brands out there that make fish oil supplements, so it’s important to choose one that is safe and healthy for your dog. You’ll also need to consider your dog’s age, breed, and weight to determine the dosage. There are three main types of fish oil:
- Natural Triglyceride Oil: The most natural and the easiest to absorb since it is not purified (but this means it may contain contaminants).
- Ethyl Ester Oil: Concentrated and distilled to remove impurities.
- Synthetic Triglyceride Oil: Synthetic version that is not easily absorbed by the body.
Check with your veterinarian to determine which form of fish oil is best for your dog and how much they should have.
Overall, fish oil can be an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. Just make sure you check with your vet and follow their recommendations on which supplements to purchase before incorporating fish oil into your dog’s diet.
Be warned that fish oil may give your dog’s breath a slightly fishy odor. Here’s how to clean your dog’s teeth at home to freshen their breath and improve their dental health.
Planning a summer camping trip? Check out some pet-friendly campgrounds you can enjoy with your dog. You probably won’t want to bring your dog’s fish oil supplements along, as they should generally be stored in a cool-dark place or in the fridge!