Fish Oil for Dogs – YES! It’s Safe!
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (good fats), which are well known for their health benefits and long-lasting effects on the body. Eating fish regularly can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer. Now if fish is such a nutritional food for humans, the oil extracted from fish can be equally healthy. Let’s know about what is fish oil and how does it help.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extracted from the tissues of fish. There are certain oily fishes present in our water bodies that provide this oil. For e.g., herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel. In the absence of these fishes, it is also produced from the liver of other fishes as in cod liver oil. It is highly nutritional with the composition being 30% omega-3s, while the remaining 70% other fats along with Vitamin A and D. Omega-3 is found primarily in cold-water fish, shellfish, plant and nut oils, and flaxseed. But, your dog needs omega-3 in their diet for several reasons.
Benefits of Fish Oil
The numerous benefits of fish oil include –
Supports heart health – It helps the heart stay healthy by
Improving cholesterol levels
Reducing blood pressure
Supports eye health – Even eyes rely on Omega 3 fatty acids and given the high content of the same in fish oil, it helps reduce the risks of eye diseases.
Reduces Inflammation – chronic inflammation is associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Fish oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Healthy Skin – Fish Oil can be beneficial in curing psoriasis and dermatitis
Supports pregnancy and early life development – Here again the presence of high Omega 3 helps as it forms as essential nutrient for the growth of the brain of the child.
Reduces liver fat – The anti-inflammatory property of fish oil can help reducing fat from the fattest organ in the body – liver.
Improves bone health – Vitamin D and omega 3 both help in improving bone growth and thus health.
There are other significant uses as well. Now some of these may not be applicable to our pets but most are relevant and we may think that if it can help humans then why not dogs. The answer is Yes, FISH oil is safe and can be very beneficial for dogs.
Is Fish Oil safe for your dog?
The answer is Yes. It is safe to use on dogs. Dogs need Omega 3 for several reasons. Processed foods for dogs are usually high in Omega 6 fats because of the use of meat from corn fed animals. In this process, dogs end up with high Omega 6 but low Omega 3 in their bodies. Both are needed in balance for dogs as well as humans. So for these reasons, fish oil can become a part of long term diet plan for dogs. The oil also helps dogs throughout their lifecycle.
Benefits of Fish Oil on Dogs
Just like the numerous benefits of fish oil for humans, there are similar benefits for dogs as well. These include –
Protects the Heart – Dogs’ hearts can develop an irregular rhythm at times called atrial fibrillation. Fish oil prevents it from happening and on top of that also acts as an anti-coagulant that prevents blood clots from forming in pets.
Treats dry-flaky skin in allergic pets – This oil can reduce itching by decreasing the body’s production or release of potent stimulators of inflammation, called cytokines.
Slows down kidney diseases – It helps prevent undesired protein loss while urination and reduces the production of pro-inflammatory substances that aggravate kidneys.
Aids joint pains – Again the anti-inflammatory property comes to the rescue. It is seen that Arthritic dogs given fish oil are more comfortable and agile than those not supplemented.
Improves brain cell development – The ability to learn and retain certain skills is promoted by the use of fish oil. It even aids in curing cognitive dysfunction when older dogs find it difficult to recognize family members.
Reduces blood triglyceride levels – Adding fish oil supplements to pet patients helps in reducing the symptoms of heart disease, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
6 significant benefits that Fish oil can give your loved doggies. What more is there to ask for?
Now let’s come to the caution part while using Fish oil on dogs.
How to use Fish Oil on Dogs?
Fish oil is given orally in the form of a liquid or capsule, with or without food
There is a possibility of an upset stomach if given on an empty stomach. If that happens then give it with food.
Fish oil can easily be mixed into wet food
How much Fish Oil should be used on Dogs?
Firstly, when any new element is introduced to your dog, always start with small doses irrespective of safety levels. It is important to check the suitability of the substance on your dog. The recommended dose of fish oil is 75-100 mg/ kg total EPA/DHA. The following is the classification as per weight of the dog –
5-20 Pounds – 250 – 900 mg
30 – 50 pounds – 1100 – 2200 mg
60 – 80 pounds – 2700 – 3500 mg
100 -120 pounds – 4500 – 5500 mg
130 – 150 pounds – 6000 – 7000 mg
What can happen if your dog eats an unusual amount of Fish Oil?
Fish oil doesn’t have any side effects per se but only can be harmful if given disproportionately outside the recommended quantities. The symptoms include –
Delayed wound healing
Fishy odor to the breath or skin
Oily coat and skin flakes
If any of the above symptoms are seen, reduce or stop the intake of fish oil for your pet temporarily until the vet recommends a solution and marks it safe again.
Cautions while using Fish Oil for Dogs
Not to be used on pets that are sensitive to it
Always go for reputable sources of the oil as heavy metal toxicity can occur in case of unreputable options
Pets that are on anticoagulant medications or that have blood-clotting disorders should be administered in lesser quantities as it can increase the anti-clogging effects.
Pets that are prone to diabetes, diarrhea or a history of pancreatitis should be first consulted to a vet before using the oil
Pregnant and nursing pets should be given fish oil cautiously
The Omega 3 fatty acids rich, fish oil is a wonder supplement for dogs as well as humans due to its varied benefits and little to no side effects. With some caution, if taken care of, this super oil can be super beneficial. You can very well add it to your dog’s daily diet and enjoy its long-term benefits of it. Just remember, not to go for cheap and unknown options.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!.
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