There are many recommendations from breeders and professionals in the canine sector that affirm that fish oil is good for the health of dogs. However, some nutritionists warn about the half truths of these statements, warning about the possible health problems that their use can cause.
So we enter into the eternal debate about whether or not feeding a dog a supplement of salmon oil or other fish rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is beneficial or not for a dog.
Like everything in this life, balance is the secret so that something as beneficial as the use of Omega degrees acids, is something that brings benefits to the health of our dog or something that seriously damages it. We will explain in detail everything you need to know about the use of this type of oil in dog food.
Can I give fish oil to my dog?
Anyone can give their dog fish oil as long as they do not have any specific allergies to this product. However, just because you can give your dog fish oil does not mean that it is beneficial for his health.
Industrial dog food, known as I think in Spain, balanced in Mexico, I care for or croquettes in many other countries…. It already incorporates an adequate amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids normally. Therefore, it is not really necessary to add a supplement of this type to your diet.
However, not all dog food manufacturers know how to add these types of beneficial fats to kibbles. Omega acids are very sensitive to heat and if they are added before stripping (croquette formation) they lose all their biological and nutritional value. However, if they are added later, thus avoiding the stripping process, they will add all their nutritional value to the dog.
Before giving your dog a supplement of salmon oil or any other type of fish oil rich in Omega acids, check that their diet does not include them. Since an excess of this type of acid is as harmful as a lack.
Some natural foods like the canned fish or sardines for dogs (the same as for humans), already contain a large dose of omega fatty acids. So if you tend to give your dog fresh fish, canned sardines, or an industrial fish-based diet, you don’t need to use more supplements.
What benefits does fish oil bring to a dog?
There are many types of oils suitable for animal consumption, however only a few are beneficial or in other words, they provide benefits to the health of a dog. Those known as polyunsaturated fats are the ones that bring the greatest benefits to the body.
Rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6, they are recommended for feeding a dog, always in its proper measure. There are several different types of Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids, each of which provides different benefits to the dog’s body.
EPA and DHA are possibly the main Omega 3 acids that the body needs, their functions are extremely important, providing benefits to:
- Ocular retina formation
- Formation and stimulation of brain neurons
- Muscle relaxation
- Coagulation of the blood system
- Digestive processes
- Cellular division
And a long etc… that we can add to the multiple benefits of this type of fatty acid present in fish oil, mainly in salmon oil.
AGL, DGLA or AA are the best known or essential Omega 6 acids for the proper functioning of the dog’s body. They also provide numerous benefits such as:
- Control of the dog’s immune system
- Hormonal training and control
- Regulation of inflammatory processes
- Formation of the ocular retina (together with Omega 3)
- Cardiovascular protection
And again a long etc… so it can be stated that with an adequate dose, fish oil is very beneficial for both dogs and humans. However, it is not positive to use oils rich in Omega 3 for humans in dogs, since the dose to be used is very different.
At general levels we will also appreciate a series of benefits more noticeable by us, such as:
- Increased shine in dog hair
- Increased dog hair color and skin nutrition
- Benefits to recover from viral or bacterial processes (diseases)
- Benefits to combat overweight
- Noticeable improvement in the state of health of the dog, mood, etc …
What daily dose of fish oil does a dog need?
It depends on several factors such as the quality of the oil that we are going to use, since not all have the same amount of omega acids. Being salmon oil the most used and recommended at the same time.
It also depends on whether or not the food we are giving our dog already contains the optimal amount of omega acids. If so, there is no point in giving the dog extra oil.
Assuming that we have a healthy dog, that does not take fish oil (Omega acids) in its diet and that we are going to use pure salmon oil, specific for dogs, the appropriate dose is:
- Dogs over 30 kilos, one milliliter twice a week.
- Dogs less than 30 kilos, half a milliliter twice a week.
- Dogs less than 10 kilos, abstain.
These doses of fish oil are indicative and a veterinaryn should always recommend the appropriate dose for your dog. Since it depends on your standard of living, age, and being overweight, they can vary greatly.
Most fish oil manufacturers offer their products in capsules, indicating the standard dosage on the label of the same container. However, we also recommend consulting your vet.
How long does it take for salmon oil to take effect in a dog?
Applying the appropriate doses we will be able to appreciate the benefits of Omega acids in a few days, however some effects such as the increase in shine in the hair can take even several weeks.
Not all the beneficial properties of this type of supplement act at the same speed, so to assess the full real effect we must wait at least a month from when we start administering it.
However, we must bear in mind that fish oil can also be harmful to a dog, providing unwanted effects such as:
- Diarrhea for no reason, excessively shiny stools
- Stomach pain and / or vomiting
- Dog’s breath change, bad breath
- Dizziness and nausea (attempted vomiting)
If we appreciate any of these symptoms we must stop giving this supplement to our dog immediately, since it will be harming rather than benefiting.