Fish Oil Supplements for Dogs
Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which are sold as supplements in all types of forms in pet stores, veterinary hospitals, and pharmacies. If you’re curious about giving your dog a fatty acid supplement, continue reading to learn about the different types and uses of Omega-3s!
This article was written by a FirstVet vet
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What are omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats, which means they are (usually) liquid at room temperature.
There are three main types of omega-3s:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): found in plant oils such as soybean, canola, and flaxseed. It is what is known as an “essential” fatty acid, meaning a dog’s body does not produce it.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): found in cold water fish/seafood.
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): found in cold water fish/seafood.
Why should my dog take a fish oil supplement?
Your vet may recommend Omega-3s to improve certain skin conditions such as:
- dry skin
- rough or dry haircoat
DHA has the benefit of anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a component of cell membranes, highest in retinal (eye) cells, brain cells, and sperm cells.
Omega-3s can also aid in kidney disease, heart failure, lymphoma, and environmental (airborne) allergies.
What dose of Omega-3 fatty acids should my dog get? What type should I buy?
Omega-3s come in different formats: capsules you can give by mouth (or hide in a treat if your pet is picky), others come as bottles of liquid with a pump or measuring device to pour onto your pet’s food. Most dogs like fish and will readily consume omega-3s in their food, but not all.
It’s important to note that, although people can convert ALA to EPA and then to DHA, dogs only manage to convert about 10% of it. Because of this, flaxseed oil (an ALA) is not very effective on its own for dogs.
Although the exact dose of supplementation is vague, it is harmless and could potentially benefit your pet greatly. Talk to your vet about the dose and types of supplements that are right for your dog.
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