Supplements that are safe to add to your dog’s diet are best when they’re approved by your veterinarian before you administer them. While safety is definitely a concern, so is efficacy. There’s no point in supplementing your dog’s diet if it isn’t going to do anything, especially since some supplements are incredibly expensive. Fish oil is recommended quite a bit for dogs, but what kind of fish oil is the most effective?
Salmon Oil for Dogs
Nutritional experts agree adding salmon oil to your dog’s diet is a good idea regardless of how high quality their dog food is. The fatty acids found in fish oil can’t survive the long shelf life of dry dog kibble or the oil has gone bad by the time it’s added to the food.
What makes salmon oil superior to fish oil? Salmon oil is highly concentrated with omega-3 fatty acids and derived strictly from salmon. Fish oil is made up of a variety of lower quality fish like tuna, mackerel, cod, anchovy, and sardines. Salmon ranks the highest in nutritional value and omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, out of most species of fish. This is because salmon swim upstream for many miles, making them one of the fattiest fish. Along with the omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, too, creating a great balance of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats.
Salmon oil is very safe for dogs, and it’s effective in reducing the effects of disorders like heart disease, high cholesterol, and inflammation. The amount of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are especially effective at supporting the immune system, brain, and joints.
Why Should I Give My Dog Salmon Oil?
The main reason owners give their dogs salmon oil is because the fatty acids support a healthy skin and coat. Dogs prone to dry skin and coats are often lacking in essential fatty acids because their dog food doesn’t have a sufficient amount. The DHA found in salmon supports the nervous system, proving to be extremely beneficial to your dog’s cognitive function and vision if they’re geriatric. Like human babies, puppies benefit from fatty acids to develop their brains and immune systems, so ensuring they get proper amounts of DHA when they’re young will allow their nervous system to develop well.
Administering Salmon Oil to Dogs
Salmon oil for dogs comes in a liquid. Most dogs don’t have any issue eating it because they enjoy the fishy flavor. Dosage depends on the brand you buy, as well as the oil’s concentration. The directions on the bottle will give you a good idea of how much to give your dog, or you can ask your vet for an accurate dosage. According to certain brands, the dosage will vary if your dog is on a food that already contains omega-3s.
If you’re purchasing salmon oil manufactured for human use, read the labels carefully. Some brands contain additional ingredients that may pose a harm to your dog. If you’re ever unsure, run the ingredients by your vet before buying it.
Possible Side Effects of Salmon Oil in Dogs
Like anything new you add to your dog’s diet, there is a potential for side effects. The most common is digestive upset. Some dogs experience loose stools or diarrhea shortly after getting salmon oil regularly. To prevent this, start your dog on a lower dose and then gradually increase it, giving their body a chance to adjust.
Weight gain is another commonly reported side effect. Omega-3 fatty acids are definitely good for your dog, but only in moderation. If your dog gets too much, they’re going to start packing on the pounds. Don’t just wing the amount you’re giving. Adhering to a strict amount helps keep your pup at a healthy weight. Salmon oil contains 255 calories per ounce! Even a few extra doses a week are going to add up to significantly more calories than your dog needs.
Salmon oil is a great mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, creating a powerful supplement great for your dog regardless of their age. Whether you’re wanting to improve your dog’s skin and coat or keep your older dog’s vision and mental cognition up to par, talk to your vet about the benefits of salmon oil and if it will help your dog.