You may have heard of (or even experienced first-hand) the benefits of fish oil for humans, but what about fish oil for dogs? As it turns out, fish oil is an incredibly popular dietary supplement for dogs, and for good reason.
Read on to learn more about fish oil for dogs, and how to help Fido reap those health-boosting benefits!
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a dietary supplement containing DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids found in oily, cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, and sardines.
These essential fatty acids are “good” fats that your dog isn’t able to produce on his own. As a result, he needs to get them from his diet. While also found in other foods such as flaxseeds, shellfish, and plant or nut oils, fish oils tend to contain a higher concentration of omega-3s.
It’s possible that your pooch gets sufficient omega fatty acids from his diet alone, but many canines can benefit from fish oil supplements added to their diet.
Fish oil supplements can benefit dogs of any age; they can be used long-term from puppyhood to senior years, or as part of a shorter-term plan to target a specific health need.
5 Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs
Fish oil offers a wide range of benefits for dogs. Some of the most benefits of fish oil for dogs include:
Fish oil supplements can help your dog’s heart health in a few different ways. It promotes healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduces the likelihood of developing blood clots, supports healthy arteries, and can even help to balance an irregular heartbeat.
While fish oil for dogs isn’t meant to replace heart medications, it can certainly boost your pup’s overall heart health.
Skin and Coat Health
If your pup struggles with dry, itchy skin and a dull coat, fish oil supplements are a great way to boost his skin and coat health from the inside out. The omega-3s in fish oil supplements help to hydrate and nourish his skin and give his coat some added shine.
That said, it’s still important to be mindful of your dog’s abilities and limitations; fish oil supplements are not a replacement for appropriate physical activities. Check out our blog on 5 low-impact exercises for dogs with joint issues to supplement Fido’s dietary supplements!
Keep your dog’s mind sharp with a combination of stimulating, enriching activities and brain-boosting fish oil supplements. Some studies show that the essential fatty acids in fish oil for dogs can boost learning abilities in dogs of any age, and slow cognitive decline in older pups.
Give your dog’s immune system a boost with fish oil for dogs. Fish oil supplements can help to ward off allergy-related discomfort in addition to fighting off sicknesses year-round.
How to Give Your Dog Fish Oil
Maybe you want your new puppy to get a head start when it comes to learning new things; maybe you want to reduce your senior dog’s joint discomfort; maybe you simply want to boost your dog’s overall health and keep additional issues at bay. Either way, fish oil can benefit dogs at any age.
That said, it’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before making any changes or additions to your dog’s diet. You don’t want to give your dog too much fish oil, as this could lead to an oily coat, tummy troubles, or other issues. Additionally, you want to be sure that there will be no adverse effects when combining fish oil with current medications.
It’s possible that your dog is already getting sufficient omega-3 fatty acids from his diet alone, or from other products (like treats) that feature fish oil as a prominent ingredient. If you want to give your dog fish oil supplements in addition to his regular diet, you can purchase them in the form of pills, or oils that can be pumped directly onto his food.
Not all fish oils for dogs are created equal, so always make sure you’re purchasing products from a reputable company.
Pet Honesty’s Omega-3 Fish Oil, designed for dogs and cats, is made with sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and herrings caught in clean, cold waters off the coast of Iceland (but you’ll appreciate that it hardly smells fishy at all). Simply pump some of the oil onto Fido’s food for an overall health boost!