Fish oil is a popular supplement for people and pets. If you’re considering incorporating fish oil into your dog’s diet, here’s what you need to know. Fish oil offers a number of health benefits for humans. But, can you give your dog fish oil too? As a pet owner, your focus is on ensuring your dog’s optimal health. Providing adequate nutrition and supplementing your dog’s diet with certain substances can help you achieve the right balance. Well, as it turns out, fish
Fish Oil for Dogs: What is Fish Oil, Benefits, and Safety
Fish oil is a popular supplement, and humans have been implementing it into their diets for some time now. There are several different types of fish oil, and they come in many forms. It’s affordable and sits right next to the vitamins in the grocery store.
In recent years, fish oil has also been considered beneficial for dogs. Is there any proof of this? How does fish oil help our dogs, if at all? Your dog’s body and your body have a lot in common. If you’re enjoying the benefits of fish oil, here’s what you need to know about providing the same benefits to your dog.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil comes from the tissues of fish. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which humans and most animals (including dogs) can’t produce enough of themselves. These omega-3 fatty acids (including eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) can support healthy immune function, among many other benefits.
People and pets need these omega-3 fatty acids to stay healthy. They’re an essential part of our daily diets. Substantial omega-3 fatty acids can be difficult to achieve through a diet if your dog doesn’t eat pet foods with cold-water fish daily. That’s why fish oil supplements can be invaluable. They solve a crucial dietary need in the simplest way possible.
Fish oil isn’t always salmon oil and can come from many sources, including:
- Flaxseed (a non-fish omega 3 source)
What Are the Benefits and Applications of Fish Oil?
Supplements often promise a lot of benefits, but few really deliver. Fish oil is an exception as it isn’t an herbal remedy or an adaptogen. It’s a supplement that provides nutrients vital for human and dog health. If you or your dog don’t consume enough omega-3 fatty acids, this can lead to omega-3 deficiency. You need these fatty acids, and fish oil is a quick and efficient way to get them.
Some of the claimed health benefits of adding fish oil to your dog’s diet are:
- Supports heart health
- Maintains a healthy immune system
- Can reduce itching
- Can soothe flaky and itchy skin issues
- Promotes clean, shiny fur
- Soothes joint pain
- May support cognitive function
The benefits above are mostly from fish oil’s rich omega-3 fatty acid content. Many of these benefits have been studied and proven, and according to the American Kennel Club,
You can give your dog omega-3 fatty acids to ward off omega-3 deficiency. You can also give it to your dog to support their skin health, coat appearance, cognitive function, and overall brain health.
Before giving your dog fish oil supplements, you should consult your veterinarian. You don’t want to assume that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are a catch-all solution.
If your dog has a severe skin condition, a condition that impairs their cognitive function, significant allergies, or joint health issues, your veterinarian needs to take a look. Fish oil can be part of the solution, but it may only be one step in a greater treatment plan designed to preserve and protect the health and comfort of your dog.
Fish Oil Safety and Storage
Fish oil has been found to be safe in dogs. There are no documented drug interactions or severe adverse reactions. If your dog is currently taking medications, it’s unlikely that fish oil will affect how they work. You should still ask your veterinarian before giving your dog fish oil if your dog is currently using medications or being treated for another condition.
Keep fish oil out of direct sunlight and refrigerated at all times. Fish oil usually comes in a darker tinted bottle, partly due to the negative effects sunlight can have on it (including rancidity). It is also important to properly seal the fish oil bottle after use.
When the oil comes in contact with oxygen for long periods, it can go ‘bad’ rather quickly. If you notice an especially unpleasant odor when you open the oil bottle, it is best just to throw it out rather than risk giving your dog spoiled oil.
Fish oil has a shelf life of about two years. If you give your dog fish oil daily, spring for a bigger bottle. Get a smaller bottle if you are doing a trial so that it doesn’t go bad before you’ve had a chance to use it up. Toss any remaining fish oil when the bottle hits its expiration date.
How Do I Give My Dog Fish Oil?
Fish oil and omega-3 supplements for people usually come in the form of a soft gel. Dogs don’t understand how to swallow soft gels, but they can be hidden well in a treat.
That’s why fish oil for pets usually comes in a bottle with a pump, similar to a hand soap dispenser. You can pump the fish oil directly on top of your dog’s bowl or pump it into a measuring spoon for better dosage accuracy.
The bottle will tell you how many teaspoons your dog needs according to body weight. Usually, small dogs only need a teaspoon, medium dogs need two teaspoons, and large dogs need three teaspoons.
Most dog parents find it easiest to mix the fish oil directly into their wet dog food. Most dogs enjoy the taste of fish oil and won’t fuss about eating it.
Are There Side Effects of Fish Oil?
Side effects of fish oil are rare, especially when in small amounts. If you abide by the serving sizes listed on the packaging and don’t feed an excessive amount of fish oil, it’s unlikely that your dog will experience any side effects.
The side effects of too much fish oil include:
- Oily skin
- Fishy breath
If your dog is experiencing side effects of omega-3 fish oil, stop giving them fish oil. Fishy breath is the most common side effect. While it’s yucky, especially if your dog likes to lick you, it isn’t harmful.
Which Fish Oil Is Right for My Dog?
There are three different variations of fish oil on the market. It might not be immediately apparent which type of fish oil you’re looking at because the front label usually only says “fish oil.” The label on the back that shows the ingredients and nutritional information will tell you what type of fish oil is in the bottle.
These ingredients may include:
- Natural Triglyceride Oil
- Ethyl Triglyceride Oil
- Synthetic Triglyceride Oil
Natural Triglyceride Oil is a favorable option as it is the easiest to absorb. However, it is not filtered, so it may contain contaminants (although this is not common). If you’re worried about contaminants, only purchase fish oils from reputable brands that voluntarily test their products for purity and safety. Check out the company’s reputation online.
Ethyl Triglyceride Oil is distilled several times, making it a clean and concentrated option. Food-grade ethanol is a safe solvent to extract the essential fatty acids from the fish oil, leaving the remaining components behind. You know you’re only getting the omega-3s you need with ethyl triglyceride oil.
Synthetic Triglyceride Oil, also called ethyl ester fish oil, is thought to be the ‘lesser’ of the bunch, as it is artificial and is the most difficult for dogs to absorb. These fish oils are created using ethyl ester compounds with fish oil to develop alternative types of fats. Finding the best fish oil for dogs can be challenging, but if you pay attention to the label, you will be on the right track.
Are There Alternatives To Fish Oil for Dogs?
CBD can address issues that fish oil cannot support, but is often used in conjunction with CBD. CBD + CBDA won’t fix an omega-3 deficiency — fish oil is still your best bet if your vet has diagnosed your dog with an omega-3 deficiency.
However, ElleVet CBD + CBDA has been clinically proven to soothe Pruritus, or itching in dogs. It can also provide neuro support and promote overall joint health and joint mobility. CBD + CBDA can be a valuable part of a senior dog’s wellness plan.
Which Type of Fish Oil Should I Choose?
First, be sure that fish oil is a meaningful solution for your dog. There’s no sense in giving your dog fish oil if they’re getting all the omega-3 fatty acids they need through a well-balanced pet diet. You also need to be sure that there isn’t a serious underlying condition contributing to your dog’s symptoms. That’s where your veterinarian will prove invaluable.
All of these oil variations have the potential to help your dog; some are just more favorable than others in terms of absorption and concentration. Talk with your veterinarian about the different fish oil brands you are considering, so you can go through and choose the right one for your dog!
Fish Oil for Dogs: Safe or Not?
Fish oil offers a number of health benefits for humans. But, can you give your dog fish oil too? As a pet owner, your focus is on ensuring your dog’s optimal health. Providing adequate nutrition and supplementing your dog’s diet with certain substances can help you achieve the right balance. Well, as it turns out, fish oil isn’t as beneficial for your dog as you might assume. In fact, giving your dog the oil can lead to a number of side effects. Despite this, a large number of dog owners continue to administer the oil to their dogs.
The main reason why people buy fish oil for dogs is the omega-3 fats it contains. These fats are necessary for achieving ideal health. So, is there a way for you to provide your dog the goodness of fish oil but without worrying about the side effects of fish oil in dogs? First, you need to be aware of the reasons why fish oil has become a craze among dog parents.
The Truth about Fish Oil
Over the past couple of decades, a number of studies and research dedicated to fish oil showed positive results. The results demonstrate that your body needs essential fatty acids. Moreover, fish oil has low-fat content. If you want to cut fat from your diet, fish oil can prove a worthwhile addition. However, it didn’t take long for scientists to dissuade the idea of relying on fish oil to cut out fat from your diet. Rather, studies show that following a diet low in fat can prove harmful to your overall health. Not all fat is bad for your body.
There are certain types of fat your body needs to function optimally. In fact, these fats are referred to as functional fats. They help your body operate. However, the issue is that your dog’s body does not produce these fats naturally. Hence, you, as a dog owner, are responsible for providing the supplements necessary so that your dog can get sufficient functional fats. The other type of fat is facilitative, which is commonly referred to as facilitative fats. These fats offer a number of benefits, including better digestion and energy conversion.
You also need to be aware of the two different types of essential fatty acids, i.e. Omega 3 and Omega 6. Your pet pooch needs ample amounts of both types of fatty acids to stay healthy. Let’s look at each in more detail:
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic (EPA), alpha-linolenic (ALA), and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Omega 6 fatty acids include linolenic (LA), arachidonic (AA), gamma-linolenic (GLA), and dihomo-GLA (DGLA). The fish oils for dogs are the primary source of omega 3 fatty acids. While both omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fats play important roles in your dog’s diet, we are going to take a deeper look at omega-3s, since that’s where fish oil comes into the picture. Your dog will enjoy the maximum benefits of omega 3 fatty acids via fish oil.
The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Your dog will enjoy a number of health benefits once you start administering fish oil to him/her. Thanks to the high Omega 3 content, you can enhance your dog’s overall health.
The benefits include:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Your dog’s vital organs remain safe when he or she receives sufficient quantities of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are great for preventing cardiovascular issues. Moreover, they also combat inflammation as well as muscle damage.
Enhanced Cognitive Function
Your dog’s cognitive functions will improve when he/she consume fish oil. You will find it easier to teach your dog new tricks, which makes the experience enjoyable for both you and your dog. If you have a dog who resists training, administering fish oil to him/her can prove the perfect solution.
Did you know the benefits of fish oil for dogs’ coats? Your dog is less likely to develop skin allergies or diseases if he/she receives plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. Hence, there is a lower risk of hair loss or itchiness.
Improved Joint Health
Omega 3 fatty acids play a significant role in enhancing your dog’s joint health. You can prevent arthritis and hip dysplasia by giving your dog plenty of fish oil. If your dog already is suffering from a joint-related condition, you can keep it from worsening by giving him/her fish oil.
Better Kidney Health
You can enhance your dog’s kidney health and function by ensuring there is plenty of omega 3s in his/her system.
Do note that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other health benefits your dog can enjoy by consuming more fish oil.
The Side Effects of Fish Oil
As you can see, fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog. However, you also have to be aware of the potential side effects. This way, you can make an informed decision regarding administering the fish oil to your dog.
The risk of premature aging increase when you give your dog fish oil. The main reason for this is that the omega 3 fatty acids the fish oil contains are vulnerable to oxidative damage. Hence, more free radicals enter your dog’s system each time he/she consumes fish oil. Your dog is at risk of developing certain diseases, not all of which are treatable.
Fats, by their nature, contain toxins. When it comes to fish oil, the heavy pollution of the oceans around the world means that the toxins travel throughout the line. Therefore, fish oil might end up delivering the toxins to your dog’s body. These toxins can lead to a number of major health problems, which can harm your dog’s health considerably.
As mentioned, the oceans are overrun by a number of pollutants. There is considerable radiation in the waters as well, which affects marine life. While it is devastating for the fish and other creatures, the radiation might carry forth to your dog when he/she consume fish oil. The risk of radiation poisoning is pretty much a reality when you give your dog fish oil.
What is the Best Fish Oil for Dogs?
You have several options when it comes to selecting a means of administering fish oil to your dog. However, not all fish oil supplements are made equal. Therefore, you have to consider a few factors so you can make an informed decision. Understanding the different types of oils available for you to select from can prove a worthwhile first step.
We can further break this type of oil down into natural and synthetic.
Your dog’s body will absorb this oil in natural form in almost no time. That said, the lack of refinement means that there is a risk of contamination. The oil might contain elements that prove harmful, for instance, PCBs.
As opposed to the natural triglyceride oil, the synthetic version doesn’t absorb easily into the skin. Experts suggest that you veer clear of using this type of triglyceride oil.
Ethyl Ester Oil
This oil is free of contaminants and therefore has a stronger effect. This oil contains omega 3 fatty acids.
Other Factors to Consider
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Don’t purchase fish oil till you see a certificate of analysis (COA) from the producer. Any company worth its salt will prevent the certificate without any delay. You should avoid any fish oil product whose manufacturer does not display the COA. The certification ensures that the oil you are purchasing is safe for use and underwent significant testing. Checking for the certificate is an effective way to ensure you select the right product.
Fish raised on farms are more susceptible to toxins and harmful elements. Moreover, they are exposed to insecticides as well as a range of other potentially toxic products. Hence, the fish oil extracted from them is not pure and will not deliver the results you expect. Therefore, you should stick to fish oil products coming from wild-caught fish. Vet-grade products, such as Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, are an easy option.
Make sure the fish oil you buy for your dog does not come from a process involving ethanol. The use of ethanol pretty much means that the oil is not clean and safe. Therefore, you would be risking your pup’s health by not being vigilant about the ethanol factor. You can check the ethanol content by using a cup made from Styrofoam. Pour the oil into the cup and if it doesn’t damage or destroy the cup, it is free of ethanol.
Considering all these factors will ensure that you are able to select a fish oil product that not only proves effective but is also free of any contaminants. You need to guarantee your dog’s safety when selecting any new supplement or product for your pet pooch. Going online and researching does help but the most significant step is talking to your vet about it.
What’s the Ideal Dosage?
You have to be careful about sticking to the dose your vet recommends when administering fish oil to your dog. The great thing about using oil is that you can simply add it to your dog’s diet. You don’t have to force him/her to swallow a pill. Sticking to the liquid form of this supplement is the most convenient option. The factors your vet takes into account when determining the dosage is your dog’s size and weight. Not to mention, the fish oil product you select will also affect the calculation. Keep in mind that your vet will try his/her best to provide a suitable dosage based on your dog’s condition.
How to Store Fish Oil
You have to store fish oil in a place that is not exposed to air, heat, or light. The best place is a dark corner or perhaps your medicine cabinet. You can conveniently stash it at the back of the fridge as well. Keep in mind that the fish oil will spoil if you don’t store it properly. Again, consulting your vet about effective storage can prove crucial for maintaining its quality.
Should You Consider Giving Your Dog CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hot trend in the natural, organic wellness niche. CBD offers a number of health benefits for humans and dogs alike. The interesting thing to note is that despite being closely associated with marijuana, CBD is non-addictive and does not cause any side effects. Hence, as a pet parent, you will feel more comfortable giving your dog CBD supplements as compared to any other substance. That said, you should consult your vet before you administer CBD oil for dogs or even CBD Soft Chews. Your vet will give you a clear idea of the ideal CBD dosage for your dog. Your pet’s health improves significantly when you give him/her CBD.
CBD is being investigated all over the world for many uses. However at this time, as the manufacturer of CBD products, we are not allowed to discuss that subject publicly nor we are not allowed to imply that CBD can be used for any specific treatment.
CBD for Pain Relief
You can take a significant step towards helping your dog deal with pain caused by arthritis or any other condition by giving him/her CBD supplements. CBD has shown promising results for helping manage chronic pain, which makes it a great aid in helping dogs dealing with joint pain.
CBD for Skin Health
Like fish oil, CBD oil is also beneficial for your dog’s skin health. CBD can prove a viable means of helping in the prevention of allergies and itchiness. Not to mention, your dog’s coat improves in terms of appearance as well, looking shinier than before. Also, check out our new hemp dog vitamin chews.
CBD for Joint Health
As mentioned above, fish oil can prove an effective aid for joint pain. Moreover, it also enhances joint health. CBD has the same effect. In fact, if you are not sure about giving your dog fish oil, you can instead administer CBD oil or chews. You can find Relief CBD dog treats that not only counter the pain caused by joint health problems but also reduce inflammation. Administrating CBD to your dog can reduce soreness and stiffness, enhance joint health, and ensure optimal mobility. Recovering from intense exercise or exertion is also easier when you give your dog CBD.
While fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog, CBD is equally, if not more, beneficial. The risk of side effects is lower as well, offering your dog a natural and safe pain management. As a pet parent, you want nothing but the best for your pet pooch. You not only have an effective natural aid for joint pain and other symptoms and health problems in the form of fish oil. You have an equally authentic alternative, i.e. CBD oil.
Does CBD Cause Any Side Effects?
You might assume that like any other natural herb or substance, CBD might also cause a few side effects. After all, even the highly beneficial fish oil can lead to some adverse reactions as far as your dog’s health is concerned. However, the same is not the case with CBD. CBD is completely safe. The supplement will cause no side effects, and at the same time, will deliver immediate results. This reason is why an increasing number of people are opting for CBD products to help manage the health problems their dogs are suffering from.
You have to be aware of the fact that you cannot rely exclusively on the information available online about fish oil. A number of experts state that fish oil is beneficial for your dog’s health. There is no doubt that fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog. However, does this mean that you should absolutely continue using the supplement? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Many scientists have stated that there are superior alternatives to fish oil, which not only deliver the same results but also cause no side effects.
Rather than fish oil, you can instead administer CBD oil to your dog. Thus, you don’t have to give your dog fish oil just because there are no other options. CBD products are as effective and quick-acting as fish oil. Moreover, they don’t cause any side effects. But, don’t assume that we mean you should throw out the fish oil bottle. Fish oil by its nature is not harmful. The case is simply that CBD oil is safer and more effective than fish oil, which doesn’t necessarily mean that fish oil is dangerous.
That said, regardless of whether you give your dog CBD oil or fish oil, talking to your vet before you select a supplement is important. You need to have a clear idea of the dosage you should follow. In addition, you should stick to the liquid form of the supplements, as you can simply add a few drops to your dog’s meal. Giving chews, pills, or capsules might prove difficult!