There’s probably a pretty good chance you, or someone you know, take fish oil supplements to help stay healthy. But did you know that fish oil for dogs could also provide health benefits?
Here are some of the reasons why fish oil for dogs might be something worth considering.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is good for dogs for many reasons, since it contains two omega-3 fatty acids. One of these fatty acids is known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Supplements also contain DHA or docosahexaenoic acid.
Both DHA and EPA can reduce some of the swelling and irritation caused by certain health issues, especially those that affect the heart or kidneys.1
Now, a dog’s body can’t produce its own omega-3.
As a result, the only way your pooch can get these important fatty acids are through supplements or diet.2
Omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes confused with omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6s are important for a dog’s health, as well as a human’s. But if a dog has an imbalance of omega-6 versus omega-3, he or she may be at a higher risk for developing health issues.3
Why Fish Oil is Good for Dogs
There are a lot of benefits of fish oil for dogs. The following are just some of the benefits that are backed by science:
Supporting a Healthy Weight
The vast majority of dog owners, of course, make sure their beloved companions get the vitamins and nutrients they need. They’re very careful about the foods they buy their pets because they want them to be as healthy as possible at all times. But dogs can still become obese even on a healthy diet.
Research shows the Omega-3s in fish oil could help keep your pet at a healthy weight.4
Helping Kidneys Stay Strong
Sometimes, a dog with a kidney issue will lose a great deal of protein through their urine. This can make kidney problems even worse. According to one study, fish oil shows promise in helping dogs avoid this problem.5
Fish oil may also be a great way to support your dog’s brain health. The DHA in fish oil for dogs could help improve cognition, according to one study. Researchers studied nearly 150 dogs who were exhibiting a wide variety of behavioral problem, such as disorientation, aggressive behavior, and having bowel movements indoors. According to the results of the study, dogs who receive supplements containing DHA showed significant improvements in their behavior.6
Supporting Healthier Joints
For dogs with joint problems, even the slightest movement can cause excruciating discomfort. But the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil could help. Researchers conducting a study gave nearly 130 dogs a fish oil supplement in addition to their typical diet. The results showed that the dogs not only found it easier to walk and play, they also had an easier time getting up after resting.7
Promoting skin health is another great benefit of fish oil for dogs. According to one study, not only did dogs given fish oil itch less, their coats also showed significant improvements.8
Choosing the Right Fish Oil
Whether you’re giving your dog vitamins or any other type of supplement, you want to be careful. You should always talk to your veterinarian first to make sure it will be completely safe to do so. If your vet says fish oil will be safe for your pet, here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.
Wrapping it Up
You obviously love your dog and want your pet to be as healthy as possible. You give your dog the best food you can, making sure it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, if you want to give your dog’s mind, joints, and skin a little extra support. But you might also want to consider giving your pet fish oil supplements – as long as you get your vet’s OK, of course.
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