Fish Oil for Dogs: Ultimate Guide to Discover the Benefits

fish oil for dogs

You must have heard the following proverb: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Well, since dogs are not huge fans of apples, we might say, “A supplement a day keeps the vet away.

Fish oil is an amazing supplement derived from fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for both humans and dogs.

Stay with us, and let’s discover everything about fish oil for dogs, including benefits and cautions! Let’s dig deeper!

Key Takeaways:

  • Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • There are many fish oil benefits for dogs, including better coat and skin health, locomotor function, and heart protection.
  • Fish oils can also improve the dog’s metabolism, support eye health, alleviate inflammation (especially in cases of inflammatory bowel disease), and improve cognitive function.
  • You should follow the veterinarian’s advice about dosing depending on the chosen fish oil to avoid side effects.

What Is Fish Oil for Dogs?

Fish oil is a supplement derived from cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Fish oil is available in many forms, including:

  • liquid
  • capsules
  • soft gels

Due to the fatty acids, this supplement leads to many health benefits in dogs. However, proper dosing must be done before adding this supplement to avoid undesired side effects.

Role of fatty acids in fish oils

Dog fish oil is rich in healthy fats that offer many benefits. All animals should have proper omega 3 fatty acids intake to maintain normal nutrition.

To achieve that, veterinarians recommend supplementation.

Proper therapeutic levels of omegas must be given to the animals. Be aware that serious diseases can slow down the effect of fish oil.

This is not a magic supplement that can cure any disease. If your dog suffers from some serious disease, include the additional needed treatment to get the maximum of supplements.

It is extremely important to emphasize that fish oil can help in the treatment process of many inflammatory diseases.

Even if the dog is healthy, fatty acids can lead to many benefits. So, both healthy and ill animals can benefit from fish oil supplementation.

What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil?

Fish oil is among the most popular supplements in veterinary medicine, which leads to many benefits. Even if the animal is completely healthy, adding fish oil will only maintain the dog’s health.

Let’s discuss the omega benefits!

Heart protection

A dog with a heart disease can benefit a lot from this supplement. This supplement in dogs can reduce the vulnerability to developing an irregular rhythm. In other words, it can reduce the chances of atrial fibrillation.

Also, this supplement can positively affect the whole cardiovascular system and can act as an anticoagulant that can prevent blood clots.

This is especially beneficial for dogs that are prone to heart diseases.

Fish oil contains healthy fatty acids that can regulate blood triglyceride levels. This can be achieved with the natural formulation of fish oil, which is the triglyceride formulation.

According to Priscilla Regina Nasciutti, omega-3 fatty acids can regulate elevated blood pressure in dogs with heart disease.

Skin protection

This supplement can relieve dry and flaky skin in dogs. It can also relieve the itching caused by allergies or some skin diseases.

Due to the potent stimulators of inflammation, called cytokines, the itchy skin can be improved in around 4 weeks of fish oil consumption.

No matter the cause of itchiness, protecting the animal is crucial because excessive itching can lead to secondary wounds that might eventually lead to delayed wound healing.

According to C. A. Rees, healthy fats can lead to better skin and coat after 28 days. In these cases, the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) can also be beneficial.

ALA is found naturally in plants and plant-based supplements like flaxseed oil.

Kidney disease protection

In very serious kidney alterations, fish oil can lower elevated blood pressure and also decrease undesired protein loss.

It can also reduce the production of pro-inflammatory substances that occur during current kidney disease.

Fish oil can be extremely beneficial in cases of chronic kidney disease.

Arthritic joints protection

Arthritic dogs struggle to achieve normal joint lubrication and movement. Therefore, this is a great supplement for active dogs that have impaired mobility.

According to Sherman O.Canapp, omega acids can improve physical ability and decrease inflammation and overall lameness in supplemented arthritic dogs.

Cognitive function

Fish oil can lead to normal neurologic development in supplemented puppies. According to A. M. Oberbauer from a 2018 study, DHA from fish oils can lead to a better cognitive ability.

Supplemented puppies can learn much quicker than unsupplemented ones. Also, mothers who receive fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation can have better-developed puppies.

Improved metabolism

This premium supplement can positively affect dogs that suffer from gastrointestinal problems.

EPA and DHA act as anti-inflammatory agents, especially in cases of inflammatory bowel disease.

Besides, fish oil leads to many benefits for the dog’s body. It has an antiobesity effect on dogs and can lead to normal weight gain.

How to Give Dogs Fish Oil?

If you choose the liquid form of fish oil, you can pour the recommended dose over your pet’s food. Try to give it gradually so you can avoid side effects.

If you decide about the capsule form, you can give it directly in the dog’s mouth, or you can wrap it up around food.

The benefits are not seen after the first dose. Stay consistent, and you will notice gradual improvements in the dog’s general health.

Fish oil might take a few weeks until the first improvements are seen.

Usually, pet owners report results within 2-4 weeks, depending on the chosen product, the dose, and the animal’s current health condition.

Are There Any Side Effects of Fish Oils?

Side effects usually occur when high doses of fish oil are given to dogs. Also, it is no wonder that some dogs develop side effects if they don’t tolerate fish oil well and are picky eaters.

The most common are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and even lack of appetite.

If any stomach upset occurs, the doses should be decreased, or you should find an alternative omega source.

However, according to C.E. Lenox, the side effects of omegas are variable and uncommon. In fact, EPA and DHA might reduce the symptoms of intestinal inflammation.

If you noticed in the past that your dog is hypersensitive to fish oil products, avoid giving this supplement.

Worst case scenario, if you just noticed fish oil allergic reactions, stop giving this supplement immediately.

How to Choose the Best Fish Oil?

There are many fish oil products on the market, and to make the right choice, we recommend you consult with your veterinarian. Consider the following factors before picking any product:

  • The dog’s breed
  • Size
  • Body weight
  • Overall health

We advise you to carefully read the product label before buying any product. Make sure that the product has a good amount of omegas that will lead to many benefits.

Also, it is very important to make sure that the taste and smell of the fish oil are attractive to pets. Y

ou will never know this beforehand. If you buy the product and your dog refuses to eat it, stay consistent and apply it in small doses gradually.

Some dogs are very picky eaters, so you won’t be able to make them eat the food poured with fish oil.

And that’s okay! The good news is that this supplement is available in many forms, and you can try other alternatives, such as capsules or soft gels.


Can you give dogs human fish oil supplements?

Human fish oil supplements have almost the same content as dog supplements, but you should avoid giving your dog human supplements.

Human supplements might contain additional ingredients that might be toxic to dogs. Try to give your dog specially formulated supplements.

Can I mix fish oil with the dog’s food?

This is the best way to give your dog fish oil supplements. You can pour it over your dog’s food and mix it.

Make sure you do it gradually because food changes and new supplements might lead to undesired side effects.

How much fish oil I should give my dog?

The dose depends on the animal’s current health condition and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

If you are adding fish oil to your dog’s diet to improve some health conditions, ask for dosage advice from a veterinarian.

How to store fish oils for dogs?

The fish oil should be stored in a cool place, away from direct sun exposure. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the product label for proper storage.

Is fish oil good for dogs?

Yes, fish oil is a great supplement for dogs that leads to many health benefits. Both healthy and sick dogs can benefit from this supplement.

To Sum Up

Fish oil is among the most popular supplements for dogs. The best thing about this supplement is that it can help both healthy and sick dogs. Find the proper productand dose for your pet, and you are good to go!

We are curious about your experience with fish oils for dogs. What are the main benefits you noticed after giving your dog fish oil? Let us know in the comments below!

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