Fish Oil – Can Dogs Have It?
When trying to determine what healthy vitamins you should ensure your dog gets in their diet, one question always comes up. Can dogs have fish oil?
We’re not licensed veterinarians. However, we have done some research on the topic. If you’re looking for specific health requirements for your dog, you may want to contact your vet. But, if you’re just looking to be more informed on the subject, then we can help!
Fish oil is often touted as a necessary staple in a human diet. So, it stands to reason that you’d want to ensure your dog gets in on the action.
Our Salmon Treats are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids!
But what is fish oil?
It’s all well and good wanting your dog to get their fair share of vitamins. But you really should understand what those vitamins are.
Many people don’t actually understand the difference between fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re not actually the same. In fact, you can get omega-3 from a lot more sources than just fish oil. But yes, fish oil is one of those sources.
But what is fish oil? It’s actually the oil from the tissue of oily fish. This includes salmon, mackerel, sardines, and more! Eating these fish is a sure-fire way to get your source of oily fish (and for your pup to get theirs). But supplements will also work in a pinch – especially since it’s recommended that people eat these fatty fish twice a week!
So, can dogs have fish oil?
The short answer is yes. Fish oil is a fantastic supplement for your diet. And that’s as true for dogs as it is for us.
Fish oils has a whole heap of benefits for your pup:
- It supports your dog’s heart health.
- It can combat kidney disease.
- It promotes a smooth and silky coat.
- It can help reduce itchy and flaky skin.
- It helps relieve your dog’s allergies.
- It eases joint pain.
- And it strengthens their immune system!
Adding some fish oil or fish oil supplements to your dog’s diet seem like a no-brainer now, right?
All of these great benefits come from the fact that fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids we mentioned earlier. These are essential in any diet and can help your dog’s body and brain!
Why does my dog need omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in polyunsaturated fats – one of the four main dietary fats. They help create important hormones that regulate blood flow. However, they aren’t a natural occurrence.
That’s why you should aim to help them secure their share of omega-3. And trust us, your dog needs it! Not only does it come with the full list of benefits we listed above, but there’s some other add-ons that are helpful for your dog!
The main advantage being that omega-3 helps balance the omega-6 fatty acids that your dog may find from elsewhere. Omega-6 fatty acids are commonly found in processed foods and grains. The meat used in mass manufactured dog food often comes from corn-fed animals or refined oil. So, chances are, your dog will have come into contact with a lot of these acids.
So, fish oil and omega-3 helps keep your dog on a balanced diet.
How to choose a fish oil for your dog?
As mentioned, fish oil is present in fatty, oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. So, if you’re dog is getting any of these, then chances are they’re already getting a good amount of omega-3.
However, there are fish oil supplements available to help you ensure your dog receives the right amount of omega-3 for their diet. And these are great to add as part of a long-term diet for your pup.
When it comes to brands, there can be a lot to choose from – so hopefully understanding more about what these supplements actually are will help you choose the best one for your pup.
There a three main types of fish oil supplements on the market:
- Natural triglyceride oil: This is the easiest to absorb, and the most natural! However, it isn’t purified. This means it could contain contaminants.
- Ethyl ester oil: This is concentrated and distilled, removing impurities. It is a semi-natural oil with high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are important components of omega-3.
- Synthetic triglyceride oil: As the name would suggest, this is a synthetic oil and absorbs the least easily of the three supplements.
One thing to note is that most of these supplements do come in pill form. So, make sure your dog is comfortable consuming pills. If not, things might get a little messy and very fishy! There are alternative methods of delivery, however – you can use a pump, for instance. It’s all about preference!
If you’re still struggling, here’s a few we can suggest:
- TerraMax Pro Premium Liquid Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Fish Oil Supplement
- Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs and Cats
What should I know before adding fish oil to my dog’s diet?
We’ve covered a lot, but there’s still a couple of things that you should consider before getting your dog hooked on fish oil.
The most notably is that too much fish oil can have its downsides. As mentioned, twice a week is the ideal amount for a human – dogs can differ. So, please check with your vet about the amount you should be giving your dog. Too much omega-3 in your dog’s diet over a long span can deplete vitamin E. So, some dogs may then need a vitamin E supplement in addition.
But, stick to your vet’s guidance and provide your pup with a healthy, balanced diet, and they’ll remain ready to take on anything!