What Is the Difference between Omega-3s and Fish Oil?Fish oil is most often extracted from fish like mackerel, tuna, or sardines. That oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). So while “fish oil” and “omega-3” are often used interchangeably, omega-3 fatty acids are actually what comes from fish oil and are the derivative that contains all those amazing health benefits.
Is Fish Oil Good for Dogs?
Absolutely! While many people have heard of the health benefits of fish oil and their omega-3 fatty acids for humans, not everyone knows how good it is for our pets too.
Actually, because of its multiple health benefits, one could argue that omega-3 is the best supplement you can give your dog. But, since every dog’s health needs are different, always check with your veterinarian before starting them on a new supplement.
What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs?Doctors have known for years that too much inflammation is bad for us – and for our dogs. It leads to or aggravates many different diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids have strong anti-inflammatory properties that give them a wide range of benefits. They include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Alleviate allergies and related symptoms like itchy skin
- Improving overall skin and coat condition
- Strengthening the immune system
- Slowing down mental decline in senior dogs
- Helping brain development in puppies
- Protecting the heart
- Helping emotional issues like depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity
- Aiding joint mobility and soothing arthritis
- Dramatic reduction of seizure episodes in dogs suffering from epilepsy
Recently, some dog foods have been touting that they have omega-3 fatty acids in their ingredients. However, many of these foods are prepared with very high heat, which breaks down the fatty acids, eliminating their potential health benefits.
Giving your dog a dedicated omega-3 supplement that has been safely prepared to retain all its wonderful properties is the best way to go.
Also, make sure to choose a fish oil for your dog that is prepared safely. Purity matters, and so does the fish the oil comes from. Sadly, many larger fish like tuna or mackerel pick up harmful heavy metals throughout their lives. Giving your dog oil made from smaller fish, lower in the food chain, limits the number of harmful toxins and metals in it.
That’s why Pawsomely Healthy’s Omega-3 fish oil for dogs is made from wild-caught anchovies. These smaller fish contain the least amount of heavy metals, so the oil extracted is pure and safe.
And then, to keep it that way, the final supplement is made in the USA in an FDA-approved and CGMP-compliant facility.
How Much Fish Oil is Good for Dogs?With so many different sizes and breeds of dogs, it probably isn’t surprising that there isn’t a “one size fits all” fish oil dose for healthy dogs. What is enough for a Chihuahua will do very little for a Great Dane.
That’s why weight is the main factor in determining how much fish oil you should give your dog. Always be careful to never overdose your dog. Overdosing can lead to nausea, diarrhea, other digestive issues, and even problems with blood clotting. According to the National Research Council, “a dose between 20-55 mg combined EPA and DHA per pound of body weight is safe for dogs.”
But how much EPA and DHA is in your average dose of fish oil? That’s the tricky part since not all fish oil pills for dogs make it clear.
When you’re purchasing fish oil for your dog, make sure the label clearly states the correct dose for your dog based on their weight. Pawsomely Healthy’s Omega-3 fish oil for dogs clearly lists the recommended dosage based on body weight. It also lists how much EPA and DHA it contains, so you can be sure your dog is safe.
Please note that these dosages are for healthy dogs. If your dog suffers from conditions like heart or kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend a different (often higher) dose.
In fact, you should always speak to your veterinarian before starting your dog on a new supplement.
Does Fish Oil Have Side Effects for Dogs?When given in the correct dosage for their size, fish oil is generally safe for dogs with no side effects. However, some individual dogs may not tolerate fish oil well. This is more common in dogs that are allergic to fish.It’s always a good idea to watch your pet after giving them a new supplement for the first time.
Is Human Fish Oil Safe for Dogs?
Maybe, but it is not without its risks and dangers. Not all additives and nutrients that are people-safe are dog-safe. And it can be easy to miss something dangerous in the ingredient list. For example, some fish oil supplements for humans add Vitamin D to their formula - and that can be toxic for dogs!
Pure oil may be safe, but there’s still an elephant in the room: the dosage. Most human fish oil supplements come in pill form. Those pills are sized for humans, not dogs. In short, you can easily overdose your dog with human fish oil supplements, and that can lead to digestive issues and other problems.The safest way to give your dog the perfect amount of omega-3 is to give them a fish oil supplement that’s specifically made for dogs.
How to Give Your Dog Fish Oil
Omega-3 fish oil for dogs most commonly comes in a pump or oil capsules. Pumps are used to add oil to your dog’s food, and capsules can either be given to your dog by themselves or hidden in their food. However, there are several things to consider when deciding what’s best for you and your dog.
Some dogs hate taking pills or capsules, which could turn mealtime into a battle. Or, if you hide it in their food, you may find they have the magical ability to eat literally everything but the pill.
Pumps may seem the easier choice, but they have their drawbacks as well. Oil in a bottle can go rancid quite easily, and then you may find yourself throwing out half of an expensive bottle of oil. Your dog may also not like the smell of the oil on his food (and you may not either). Plus, older dogs do not always eat on a schedule, so the oil may sit on their food for hours before being eaten.
Oils are also not a safe option for dogs with pancreatitis. But there is a third option - powdered fish oil. Made by spray-drying the fish oil, it comes in capsule form.If your dog is fine with taking pills, you can give them as is.
But if your dog hates pills, you can easily break it open and sprinkle it on their food. And that’s a lot easier with a powder than an oil!
Powdered oil also stays fresher far longer than regular oil - so you’re not throwing money away!
Omega-3 by Pawsomely Healthy is a great powdered fish oil choice for your dog. Its vegetable capsules are 100% edible, giving you the option to give it as a capsule or to sprinkle the powder within on their food. It also travels well, so your dog can get their Omega-3 boost wherever they go.