Fish oil may sound like an odd supplement to add to your dog’s daily diet and you may think, why not just eat fish straight? However, fish oil is a way more concentrated source of great benefits that will contribute to your pup’s overall health. If you want to improve your dog’s joints, brain function, and skin condition, it’s worth exploring fish oils to see they could work for you and your pup.
Moreover, high-quality fish oil supplements do offer many benefits, but there are many products on the market and not all are made the same. So, we’ve created a guide to help you know the truth about fish oil supplements to choose the best one for your dog’s needs.
What is Fish Oil?
In fish oil, there are three types of dietary fats: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Omega fatty acids are found in these fats and they manufacture important hormones that are not naturally in the body. Omega-3 is found primarily in cold-water fish, shellfish, plant and nut oils, and flaxseed. A lot of dog food companies use refined oils like soybean oil, which are high in omega-6. Your dog ends up with too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. That is why fish oil supplements can benefit and balance the right amount of fatty acids.
Furthermore, fish oil supplements for dogs can be found in liquid form or in tablet form. With a huge amount of fish oil supplements on the market, they are two different kinds: regular fish oil and salmon oil. Salmon oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are extracted from salmon, whereas fish oil comes from various different cold-water fish.
Why Fish Oil is Good for Dogs
If your pup is eating foods high in grains, meat from non-grass-fed animals, and vegetable oils, fish oil can be very beneficial to provide omega-3 fatty acids that their body needs. Depending on your dog’s diet and general health, fish oil supplements might become a long-term plan or just a temporary addition to their diet.
Fish oil for humans have been a top nutritional supplement for the last several years. In fact, as diets move away from natural foods and more toward processed foods, we no longer receive the benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies need a balance in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and the same is true for our dogs. This is why including fish oil in your dog’s diet is great health benefit.
Dogs need polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 in their diet for many reasons including:
- Hormones in omega-6 increases the immune response and cell growth
- Omega-3 balances the properties of omega-6 and has anti-inflammatory properties to help treat conditions like allergies, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases
- Omega-3 also improves skin and coat health, joints, and energy levels
- Improvement in cognitive development in puppies and cognitive function in older dogs
Dog Diseases Fish Oil Can Help Treat
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties which provide therapeutic benefits for dogs with arthritis. Dogs who had fish oil supplements in their diets where shown to have improvements in their abilities to play and walk, and to rise and rest.
Second, allergic skin disease and other skin conditions benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil. Dogs can improve with less itching, less self-trauma, and improved hair coat and skin.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Next, is canine cognitive dysfunction. This is a well-recognized syndrome of older dogs that is similar to human dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The omega-3 fatty acids have shown to improve cognitive dysfunction in dogs with this illness.
Heart failure in dogs contributes to weight loss. Fish oil has been found to reduce the weight loss and increase survival. Dogs who take fish oil supplements will be less likely to become obese due to heart diseases.
Lastly, fish oil supplementation has proven benefits in dogs with kidney disease. It is said to treat glomerular disease, which is a kidney disorder with excessive protein loss in urine that can worsen chronic kidney disease.
How Do I Choose a Good Fish Oil for My Dog?
With so many options of fish oil supplements out there, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your pup. Here are some important facts about fish oil that may help you decide.
There are three types of fish oil supplements:
- Natural triglyceride oil: The most natural and easiest for dogs to absorb. However, because it isn’t purified, it may contain contaminants like PCBs.
- Ethyl ester oil: concentrated and distilled and removes impurities. It has high levels of the important components of omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
- Synthetic triglyceride oil: It is synthetic and absorbs the least easily of the three.
7 Best Fish Oil Supplements for Dogs
Fish oils can provide a ton of health benefits to our pups, including healthier skin and coat, improved immune system, reduced inflammation, better cardiovascular health, and improved nervous system. Because these supplements truly help to improve the overall health of our dogs, it is essential to know the best ones to give them.
However, choosing the best one can be confusing with so many competing brands. Us, as pet owners, don’t want to choose a product tainted with harmful ingredients. We want to pick one with the right amount of fatty acids that our pets need. With that being said, here are our top fish oil supplements that are safe, effective, and consumer-trusted.
1. Omegease Fish Oil for Dogs
First, one of our top picks is a supplement that is formulated by a dog-loving pharmacist who know what it’s like to have a dog suffering from stiff and painful joints. Instead of giving the dog medications that only mask the pain, he wanted an all-natural product that will treat the condition. The result, Omegease Fish Oil for Dogs. This supplement comes in liquid form, which you will need to mix with your pet’s food.
Additionally, this fish oil supplement has unusually larger amounts of EPA and DHA, which provide great benefits. It’s omega-3 acids are sourced from wild-caught, high-quality sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. Omegease Fish Oil for Dogs soothes dry and itchy skin leading to less shedding and scratching. It also helps with improvements in dog’s joints, healthier coat, and alleviating pain.
2. Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil All-Natural Supplement
Salmon is one of the world’s best sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Zesty Paws created this formula with health-giving benefits of omega-3 fatty acids into its Pure Salmon Oil for dogs. What we like about this product is that it only has one ingredient: salmon oil. This is great because customers know that it is 100% pure and has no added ingredients that could be harmful. A lot of products have ingredients listed that we don’t know how to even pronounce, so knowing there is only one ingredient and we recognize it, is a great comfort.
Zesty Paws is made in liquid, chewable tablet, and soft gel, so you have three options that fits best in your dog’s schedule and needs. They also provide a helpful tool for determining the number of tablets or soft gels you need to give. However, the Zesty Paws tablets and soft gels come with additional ingredients to keep the solid formation. Not to worry though, they are all safe ingredients.
3. Grizzly Oil Omega-3 Fatty Acids Dog Food Supplement
Next, the Grizzly Pet Salmon Oil is one of the most popular fish oil supplements because it provides exceptional amounts of EPA and DHA. Also included is 13 other fatty acids for various health benefits that might not be provided by other products. What’s unique about this product is that it is sourced from wild Alaskan salmon that has great concentrations of omega fatty acids. This provides optimum health for your pup’s skin and coat. Plus, Grizzly Salmon Oil provides other benefits such as a boost in their immune system, cardiovascular health, and central nervous system functioning.
What we like about this product is the advancement of canine health such as anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, immunologic, and other health promoting properties.
4. Omega 3 EPA/DHA Fish Oil K9 Supplement
This soft gel formula contains 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA for a more balanced ratio of both for better health benefits. It also contains vitamin E that helps to soothe irritations and dry skin. The EPA and DHA are sourced from anchovies, so it should not be given to any pets that have known hypersensitivity to anchovies. Nevertheless, many pet owners love this product especially for its ability to improve cardiovascular health and overall immune functioning.
Thanks to its high EPA content, it is also a great anti-inflammatory. This can help with joints and muscle conditions like arthritis and muscle pain. Additionally, with both fish oil and vitamin E, this product is especially great for the health of the skin and coat of pups, which leads to less hot spots, shedding, and itching.
5. Omega-Gold Plus Salmon Oil by NaturVet
Last but not least, the Omega-Gold Salmon Oil is a great product for dogs because it contains ALA, EPA, and DHA, which comes from plant sources. Its ALA is sourced from flaxseed, which is known for being the best source of this type of fatty acid. It also has antioxidant properties which work well with the EPA’s anti-inflammatory properties. With this combination, your pup will have healthier joints, cardiovascular system, and improved coat and skin.
Furthermore, this supplement is in a soft chewable form making it easier for dogs to swallow. Each soft chew contains 150 milligrams of ALA, 13 milligrams of EPA, 16 milligrams of DHA, and 42 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acid.