Fish oil is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential “good” type of fat that contains powerful benefits for your dog’s body and brain. It can help your dog’s coat, skin, immune system, and joints. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in creating the hormones that regulate blood flow and inflammation, and contain DHA, which aids in the development of brain and eye function for both puppies and senior dogs.
Why does my dog need fish oil?
Your dog needs a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in processed foods and grains, and make their way into commercial dog foods via meat from corn-fed animals and refined oils. This isn’t a bad thing–omega-6 fatty acids are required for your dog’s immune system, growth, and skin and coat health–but because omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation, your dog may end up with an imbalance in their diet.
Your dog does not produce omega-3 fatty acids naturally, meaning they must get it through their food somehow. And while humans can supplement with plant and nut oils, your dog can only metabolize it through fish and krill oil. Depending on your dog’s health needs, fish oil can be a temporary or long-term supplement.
If your dog has arthritis, fish oil can improve mobility and stiffness in the joints. Omega-3 fatty acids can help your dog’s coat become softer and glossier, and reduce itchiness, lesson shedding, and help with allergies. When administered long-term, fish oil can improve cognition in senior dogs and help delay the effects of cognitive aging.
Does fish oil have side effects for dogs?
Fish oil is generally safe with few or minimal side effects. With that said, fish oil is fundamentally fat, making it high-calorie. Large doses can cause your dog to gain weight.
When giving your dog fish oil regularly, you may notice:
- Fishy breath odor
- Oily coat or skin flakes
These symptoms all resolve by reducing the dosage. If you’re just starting your dog on fish oil, start with about a quarter of the maximum dosage and increase slowly while monitoring for side effects. It can take up to three to four weeks to see improvements in your dog’s health.
Before adding fish oil to your dog’s diet, talk to your vet to determine the best dosage. This is doubly important if your pet is already on any medications or has certain disorders.
While fish oil intended for humans is typically safe for your dog, it often contains flavorings that your dog may dislike.
Choose your fish oil carefully. Deley Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil for Dogs sources its supply from small, non-predatory fish found in the North Atlantic Ocean, reducing the risk of mercury or other contaminants. The fish oil is then molecularly distilled to remove harmful toxins and heavy metals, making it as safe as possible for your dog.
How much fish oil should I give my dog?
Dosage varies based on weight and concentration. If your dog is healthy, they can receive 100 to 150 mg EPA and DHA per 10 pounds of body weight daily. If your dog has health problems, they can get up to 300 mg per 10 pounds.
If your dog needs a high dosage of fish oil, look for highly concentrated forms to reduce the amount of calories they’re getting. Deley Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil is more concentrated than cod liver oil and krill oil, packing more EPA and DHA into a smaller amount of oil overall.