Is fish oil good for dogs?
Fish oil is an extremely common diet supplement both for humans and pets. Supported by a number of proven health benefits, evidence confirms that not only is fish oil good for dogs but can be a tremendous help to your dog’s health. Don’t worry, it isn’t toxic for your dog at all!
Experts have long studied fish oil and have agreed on a long list of ways that fish oil can improve the health of your dog, including such things as boosting their immune system by regulating and quieting an overactive immune system (especially helpful for dogs who suffer from allergies and autoimmune diseases), lowering the blood pressure of your dog, helping with both heart disease and kidney disease, as well as helping to support health for dogs with cancer. In addition to all of these internal benefits, fish oil is helpful in making sure your dog is maintaining a healthy weight while even improving mental function and development in both growing puppies and aging dogs. Do be sure to feed your dog the right food as well as having them take supplements to help them live a balanced lifestyle.
As if all those health benefits were not enough to show how beneficial fish oil for dogs can be, it also is proven to help dogs have healthy coats and healthy skin; making them as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.
When researching fish oil, both eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) come up extensively. Why? These Omega 3 fatty acids are the ingredients in fish oil that will most benefit your dog.
Something unique to dogs, and why fish oil, in particular, is so beneficial to them, is that dogs are incapable of chemically creating Omega 3 fatty acids themselves; their bodies simply don’t make it. So without adding in supplements, your dog will be missing these healthy fats in their diet. Most dog foods contain a different kind of fatty acid, called Omega 6 fatty acids, but for your pets optimal health they need both Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats working together to balance the immune system.
How much fish oil should I give my dog?
Look at the label. Fish oil comes in many different concentrations, with the amounts of EPA and DHA, the beneficial ingredients, varying based on what you buy so it is important to be aware of the ingredients. It is also very important to make sure the product you are purchasing is approved for consumption by dogs. How much fish oil to give your dog will vary by your dog’s weight, as well as by the product you are buying.
When it comes to a specific dosage of fish oil for dogs, there are a few rules to go by.
- Generally speaking, dogs who are otherwise healthy can take doses daily of 100 up to 150 mg of EPA and DHA for every ten pounds of body weight. That means, for example, that a healthy 30-pound dog could have 300 to 450 mg a day and stay within the recommended range of fish oil dosage.
- However, if a dog is unhealthy, the recommendations are different, in that they can have about 300 mg of combined DHA and EPA per ten pounds of body weight.
- It is important to keep in mind that you either can give your dog supplements of fish oil, which will have information on the label about dosage, concentration, and safety for pets or choose to give your dog canned or fresh fish to add fish oil into their diet.
- If you are choosing to give your dog fish oil through this method, 300 mg of DHA and EPA would equal about one canned fish with bones.
Note: Pet owners should follow these suggested guidelines; however, it is always smart for owners to talk to their vet first about adding supplements into their pets diets, as things can always vary from one pet to another.
Fish oil side effects
Although fish oil for dogs is very safe and recommended, there is a danger if you use too much fish oil in your dog’s diet. As with most things, it is possible for your dog to have too much of a good thing when it comes to fish oil as a dietary supplement. In fact, the very things in fish oil that are beneficial to your dog’s health are the same things that can make too much fish oil dangerous for your dog.
Fish oil is extremely anti-inflammatory. This is great as far as joint and health benefits for your dog, but it can also hurt your dog if he is injured and has had too much fish oil because his blood might not clot properly. Blood clotting is vital to ensuring dogs do not lose too much blood if they are injured; therefore, it is important to ensure that you are not giving your dog too much fish oil.
Additionally to blood not clotting properly, another danger of too much fish oil for dogs would be a slower healing time for wounds, again, because of the anti-inflammatory properties interfering with platelet production. This could leave your pet more open to infection, and have a harmful effect on their overall health.
Lastly, too much fish oil can inhibit proper white blood cell production, which means that your dog will have a lowered immune system if given too much fish oil. It is important to keep these things in mind when giving your dog fish oil and ensure that you follow proper guidelines in not overdosing your dog on fish oil.
Best Fish Oil for dogs
When it comes to choosing the best fish oil for your dogs, there are a lot of choices to consider. You can give your dog fresh or canned fish or one of the many options of supplements such as the above-discussed krill oil, salmon oil, and cod oil. Supplements themselves also come in a variety of ways, such as chewable supplements and liquid-based additives.
Ultimately, the best fish oil for dogs depends on your furry friend. So it is important to understand your dog, what he or she will eat and how much fish oil they need, before deciding which one is right for you.