Does My Dog Need Fish Oil Supplements?

Is fish oil good for your dogThere’s been a lot of hype over the last few years of the benefits of fish oil supplements in the human diet. Fish oil, otherwise known as omega 3 fatty acids, are highly beneficial – for both humans and dogs. In a dogs diet, fish oil is used to treat a variety of conditions, but your dog doesn’t necessarily need to have a problem to benefit from this dietary supplement. All dogs, especially those with skin allergies, should be taking a this supplement.

Benefits of Fish Oil in a Canine Diet

Veterinarians first began prescribing fish oil to help treat allergies in animals, but today, recommend the supplement for a wide array of conditions from kidney disease to arthritis to high cholesterol. Here are some of the ways fish oil can help improve the health of your dog:

  • Encourages healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves stamina
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Reduces shedding
  • Moisturizes dry, flaky skin
  • Encourages picky or hesitant eaters with an appealing fish smell and flavor when added to food
  • Decreases joint pain and discomfort
  • Reduces skin itchiness
  • Reduces stroke and heart disease risk
  • Keeps triglycerides in the blood in check
  • Reduces the risk of cancer

Fish oil is obtained from mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, black cod, sablefish, anchovies and albacore tuna.

Proper Canine Fish Oil Dosage for Optimal Results

Many dog owners already know the benefits of Omega-3 and give their pets a daily dose. Unfortunately, often times the dose is ineffective because it’s too low for the dog’s body weight. In order for the supplement to be effective and provide the desired results, you should calculate about 20 mg. per pound of body weight. This sounds like quite a bit, especially if you have a larger breed dog, but anything lower and your dog will not receive adequate results.

Human Fish Oil Supplement vs Pet Fish Oil Supplements For Your Dog

It is completely acceptable to give your dog supplements intended for human consumption. The ingredients are the same. However, keep in mind that your dog needs a certain dosage for the supplement to be effective, and if you have a large dog (over 50 lbs.), you may end up giving him ten supplements a day or more!

For this reason, it may make more sense to purchase supplements made especially for pets. These supplements tend to contain a higher strength of the oil so you don’t have to get so many pills down his throat. Although there’s no real worry of overdosing, keep in mind that giving more than the body can absorb may result in diarrhea.

 

Photo Credit: Freeimages.com

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