I was recently in a conversation with a good friend of mine - let us call her Kelly – who happens to be a pet lover.
She owns all kinds of pets, and on hearing that she had a variety of dogs, our conversation slowly steered towards dog diets.
In the midst of this conversation, I asked her if her dog’s diet included fish oil.
The expression of utter bewilderment on her face at that point in time is one that I will not forget in a hurry.
Her expression shrieked “why on earth would I add fish oil to my dog’s diet?”.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon reaction.
I would not say the majority, but there are quite a few people out there who echo such sentiments.
It is not that the benefits of fish oil are not known.
There has been a lot of buzz about the research of fish oil and its results.
It is quite clear to most people that fish oil benefits human beings.
However, what is not as well known is that it can also help dogs.
In a nutshell, an ideal diet for dogs should have the right kinds of fats – fish oil being one of them. In the wild, dogs (and for that matter, cats too) get considerable amounts of fish oil in their diets.
This clearly has a positive effect on their health.
We will go over the benefits in more depth at a later point in this article, but suffice to say that adding the best fish oil for dogs to your pet’s diet would go a long way in keeping them healthy.
This article will take you through virtually every single detail you need to be aware of when it comes to the best fish oil for dogs.
Now that we are done with the brief introduction, let us get started.
Before we jump right into the nitty gritty of the article and if you don’t have the time to go through the whole article, the table below will definitely be of great value.
Check it out.
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The more avid readers of you may have noticed that fish oil supplements have received more attention of late than they have at any time in the past.
It is common knowledge that there seems to be a positive correlation between taking fish oil supplements and healthier heart and brain function in human beings.
The good news for dog owners is that it turns out dogs may very well benefit from regular consumption of fish oil.
The best fish oil for dogs is beneficial to a dog in a myriad ways – it will help bolster its immune system, it will help in keeping its skin smooth and shiny, it is beneficial for joints, kidneys, heart, etc.
The primary component of fish oil that should be credited for all the aforementioned benefits is the omega-3 fatty acid.
Without getting too technical, Omega-3 fatty acids are made out of a couple of long-chain acid forms.
These are called DHA and EPA.
The former is imperative for the health of brain tissues, retina, etc.
The latter helps prevent inflammation of the skin, heart, kidneys and joints.
Among those pet owners who know that fish oil for dogs would be beneficial, there is still some confusion about the primary differences between fish oil, salmon oil and krill oil.
Let us briefly list them here:
The benefits of using the best fish oil for dogs are many, as we have already touched upon in brief. Let us enumerate them in more detail as follows:
Using the best fish oil for dogs on a regular basis has proved to bring a considerable improvement in dogs with arthritis. The keyword here is “regular”. A fish oil supplement is not a magic pill that you give your pet once and it magically transforms into the healthiest dog in the world! But persist and you'll reap benefits.
Fish oil supplements make the coat of your dog shiny and healthy. This is vital in maintaining normal function and skin structure.
Fish oil will not eliminate shedding completely, but you will definitely see an improvement in this regard with regular use.
It must be stated at the outset that the jury is still out on this, but indications from preliminary studies are that fish oils may be effective if your dog has cancer. If nothing else, it will likely alleviate the symptoms.
Extensive research strongly suggests that giving fish oil to a dog that is pregnant will positively affect her little ones.
Studies have shown that dogs that regularly had fish oils in their diets lived longer.
There are strong indications that the fatty acids found in fish oils are extremely vital for improved cardiovascular, brain and eye health. It appears that puppies benefit most from this, as fish oils are very beneficial when their bodies are just starting to develop.
As with anything, there is always “the other side of the story”. Let us have a look at some of the cons that may be associated with even the best fish oil for dogs.
Fish oil tends to cause increased flatulence in certain dogs. This can happen if the quantity of fish oil is a little too much, or if your dog has a sensitive stomach with digestive problems. It is always advisable to speak to your vet and get a professional opinion beforehand.
Fishes higher on the food chain tend to have higher mercury levels. This means that the source of the fish oil becomes all the more vital. The best fish oil for dogs should ideally have been sourced from fish with low levels of mercury.
Fish oil may cause platelets to separate a little, therefore it is imperative that you do not use them with any blood thinners. As already mentioned, make sure you speak to your vet before adding any kind of supplements to your dog’s diet.
This goes without saying. There are many low-quality fish oils on the market with useless ingredients. Ensure that you only go for the best products even if you have to shell out some extra dollars.
The best fish oil for dogs typically passes through the best manufacturing process. The closer the supplements are to their source, the more natural and pure will the fish oil be.
Not each and every fish oil for dogs is a product recommended by a vet, but the best fish oil for dogs should ideally be one that is.
It is now time to have a look at the best fish oil for dogs on the market.
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This is my personal favorite out of the ones on this entire list.
It is sourced from fresh Alaskan Salmon, so the mercury content in this product is supposedly below detectable levels.
This is best value if you have multiple dogs, particularly some of the larger breeds.
There is a reason why this is the number 1 seller on amazon in cat fish oil supplements: it is brilliant!
This is a completely natural fish oil that is entirely made from salmon oil.
The fact that this is manufactured in an FDA approved facility means that you can rest easy with regards to its quality.
The product we just looked at above was the number 1 seller on amazon in cat fish oil supplements; this one is number 1 in dog fish oil supplements.
Amazing is it not? (pun intended!).
If liquid fish oil is not your thing and your idea of the best fish oil for dogs is a capsule, then look no further.
Filled to the brim with Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, it is easy to see why this is Amazon’s “recommended choice”.
Last but not the least, the Nutramax Welactin compares very favorably with its competitors when it comes to quantity of Omega-3 and DHA content.
It is also easy on the digestive system and is easily the best choice to round off our list of the best fish oil for dogs.
As we have already looked at, too much fish oil is potentially detrimental to your dog’s health.
While the dosage differs from dog to dog depending on a number of factors, as a general rule of the thumb 20-55 mg of DHA+EPA per 1 pound of your dog’s body weight should be safe.
It is always prudent to check with your vet.
Yes, you will find that the best fish oil for dogs typically come from wild fish which grew in their natural environment.
The fish that are farmed or raised in factory farms tend to contain a large number of harmful toxins.
There is no right or wrong answer to this, hence why both liquid fish oils and capsule forms of fish oils have been included in the list here.
If your dog needs a dosage of fish oil that varies every so often, then liquid fish oil may be preferable.
Conversely, if the dosage is fixed, then a capsule might be a better option.
The one advantage that liquid fish oil has on capsule fish oil is that it is absorbed faster.
I would suggest trying both out (after consulting a vet) and choose whichever one your dog seems most comfortable with, as that is the most important factor.
Picking the best fish oil for dogs does not have to be an arduous task.
Once you have the requisite knowledge and once you have done your research, the process is quite straightforward.
Arguably the more important thing is actually effectuating the many benefits of fish oils for your dog.
There is certainly more awareness when it comes to this topic than there has ever been in the past, therefore the signs are encouraging.
Hopefully, you will have realized the importance of fish oil for dogs by reading this article.
Consult a vet, pick your preferred fish oil and get started!
And if you are lost which one of the products above to go with, we recommend you go with either Grizzly Salmon Oil for Dogs or Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs and Cats - Enhances Heart and Joint Health.
These are what we had much more success with. But of course, you should try them all before you settle on your dog’s favourite.
Best of luck!
Hey world! Sam here! I am a writer and a blogger, with keen interest in pets, dogs especially. Writing about those creatures make time melt like an ice cube in a desert! Dogs are just unbelievably amazing!
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