Fish Oil for Dogs: Safe or Not?
Fish Oil for Dogs
Fish oil offers a number of health benefits for humans. But, can you give your dog fish oil too? As a pet owner, your focus is on ensuring your dog’s optimal health. Providing adequate nutrition and supplementing your dog’s diet with certain substances can help you achieve the right balance. Well, as it turns out, fish oil isn’t as beneficial for your dog as you might assume. In fact, giving your dog the oil can lead to a number of side effects. Despite this, a large number of dog owners continue to administer the oil to their dogs.
The main reason why people buy fish oil for dogs is the omega-3 fats it contains. These fats are necessary for achieving ideal health. So, is there a way for you to provide your dog the goodness of fish oil but without worrying about the side effects of fish oil in dogs? First, you need to be aware of the reasons why fish oil has become a craze among dog parents.
The Truth about Fish Oil
Over the past couple of decades, a number of studies and research dedicated to fish oil showed positive results. The results demonstrate that your body needs essential fatty acids. Moreover, fish oil has low fat content. If you want to cut fat from your diet, fish oil can prove a worthwhile addition. However, it didn’t take long for scientists to dissuade the idea of relying on fish oil to cut out fat from your diet. Rather, studies show that following a diet low in fat can prove harmful to your overall health. Not all fat is bad for your body.
There are certain types of fat your body needs to function optimally. In fact, these fats are referred to as functional fats. They help your body operate. However, the issue is that your dog’s body does not produce these fats naturally. Hence, you, as a dog owner, are responsible for providing the supplements necessary so that your dog can get sufficient functional fats. The other type of fat is facilitative, which are commonly referred to as facilitative fats. These fats offer a number of benefits, including better digestion and energy conversion.
You also need to be aware of the two different types of essential fatty acids, i.e. Omega 3 and Omega 6. Your pet pooch needs ample amounts of both types of fatty acids to stay healthy. Let’s look at each in more detail:
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic (EPA), alpha-linolenic (ALA), and docosahexaenoic (DHA). Omega 6 fatty acids include linolenic (LA), arachidonic (AA), gamma linolenic (GLA), and dihomo-GLA (DGLA). The fish oils for dogs are the primary source of omega 3 fatty acids. While both omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fats play important roles in your dog's diet, we are going to take a deeper look at omega-3s, since that's where fish oil comes into the picture. Your dog will enjoy the maximum benefits of omega 3 fatty acids via fish oil.
The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Your dog will enjoy a number of health benefits once you start administering fish oil to him/her. Thanks to the high Omega 3 content, you can enhance your dog’s overall health. The benefits include:
1. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Your dog’s vital organs remain safe when he or she receives sufficient quantities of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are great for preventing cardiovascular issues. Moreover, they also combat inflammation as well as muscle damage.
2. Enhanced Cognitive Function
Your dog’s cognitive functions will improve when he/she consumes fish oil. You will find it easier to teach your dog new tricks, which makes the experience enjoyable for both you and your dog. If you have a dog who resists training, administering fish oil to him/her can prove the perfect solution.
3. Better Skin
Did you know the benefits of fish oil for dogs’ coat? Your dog is less likely to develop skin allergies or diseases if he/she receives plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. Hence, there is a lower risk of hair loss or itchiness.
4. Improved Joint Health
Omega 3 fatty acids play a significant role in enhancing your dog’s joint health. You can prevent arthritis and hip dysplasia by giving your dog plenty of fish oil. If your dog already is suffering from a joint-related condition, you can keep it from worsening by giving him/her fish oil.
5. Better Kidney Health
You can enhance your dog’s kidney health and function by ensuring there is plenty of omega 3s in his/her system.
Do note that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other health benefits your dog can enjoy by consuming more fish oil. Most importantly, you can reduce the risk of cancer by giving your dog fish oil.
The Side Effects of Fish Oil
As you can see, fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog. However, you also have to be aware of the potential side effects. This way, you can make an informed decision regarding administering the fish oil to your dog.
The risk of premature aging increase when you give your dog fish oil. The main reason for this is that the omega 3 fatty acids the fish oil contains are vulnerable to oxidative damage. Hence, more free radicals enter your dog’s system each time he/she consumes fish oil. Your dog is at risk of developing certain diseases, not all of which are treatable.
Fats, by their nature, contain toxins. When it comes to fish oil, the heavy pollution of the oceans around the world means that the toxins travel throughout the line. Therefore, the fish oil might end up delivering the toxins to your dog’s body. These toxins can lead to a number of major health problems, which can harm your dog’s health considerably.
As mentioned, the oceans are overrun by a number of pollutants. There is considerable radiation in the waters as well, which affects the marine life. While it is devastating for the fish and other creatures, the radiation might carry forth to your dog when he/she consumes fish oil. The risk of radiation poisoning is pretty much a reality when you give your dog fish oil.
What is the Best Fish Oil for Dogs?
You have several options when it comes to selecting a means of administering fish oil to your dog. However, not all fish oil supplements are made equal. Therefore, you have to consider a few factors so you can make an informed decision. Understanding the different types of oils available for you to select from can prove a worthwhile first step.
We can further break this type of oil down into natural and synthetic.
Your dog’s body will absorb this oil in natural form in almost no time. That said, the lack of refinement means that there is a risk of contamination. The oil might contain elements that prove harmful, for instance PCBs.
As opposed to the natural triglyceride oil, the synthetic version doesn’t absorb easily into the skin. Experts suggest that you veer clear of using this type of triglyceride oil.
Ethyl Ester Oil
This oil is free of contaminants and therefore has a stronger effect. This oil contains omega 3 fatty acids.
Other Factors to Consider
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Don’t purchase fish oil till you see a certificate of analysis (COA) from the producer. Any company worth its salt will prevent the certificate without any delay. You should avoid any fish oil product whose manufacturer does not display the COA. The certification ensures that the oil you are purchasing is safe for use and underwent significant testing. Checking for the certificate is an effective way to ensure you select the right product.
Fish raised on farms are more susceptible to toxins and harmful elements. Moreover, they are exposed to insecticides as well as a range of other potentially toxic products. Hence, the fish oil extracted from them is not pure and will not deliver the results you expect. Therefore, you should stick to fish oil products coming from wild caught fish. Vet-grade products, such as Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, are an easy option.
Make sure the fish oil you buy for your dog does not come from a process involving ethanol. The use of ethanol pretty much means that the oil is not clean and safe. Therefore, you would be risking your pup’s health by not being vigilant about the ethanol factor. You can check the ethanol content by using a cup made from Styrofoam. Pour the oil into the cup and if it doesn’t damage or destroy the cup, it is free of ethanol.
Considering all these factors will ensure that you are able to select a fish oil product that not only proves effective but is also free of any contaminants. You need to guarantee your dog’s safety when selecting any new supplement or product for your pet pooch. Going online and researching does help but the most significant step is talking to your vet about it.
What’s the Ideal Dosage?
You have to be careful about sticking to the dose your vet recommends when administering fish oil to your dog. The great thing about using oil is that you can simply add it to your dog’s diet. You don’t have to force him/her to swallow a pill. Sticking to the liquid form of this supplement is the most convenient option. The factors your vet takes into account when determining the dosage is your dog’s size and weight. Not to mention, the fish oil product you select will also affect the calculation. Keep in mind that your vet will try his/her best to provide a suitable dosage based on your dog’s condition.
How to Store Fish Oil
You have to store fish oil in a place that is not exposed to air, heat, or light. The best place is a dark corner or perhaps your medicine cabinet. You can conveniently stash it at the back of the fridge as well. Keep in mind that the fish oil will spoil if you don’t store it properly. Again, consulting your vet about effective storage can prove crucial for maintaining its quality.
Should You Consider Giving Your Dog CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hot trend in the natural, organic wellness niche. CBD offers a number of health benefits for humans and dogs alike. The interesting thing to note is that despite being closely associated with marijuana, CBD is non-addictive and does not cause any side effects. Hence, as a pet parent, you will feel more comfortable giving your dog CBD supplements as compared to any other substance. That said, you should consult your vet before you administer CBD oil for dogs or even CBD Soft Chews. Your vet will give you a clear idea of the ideal CBD dosage for your dog.
The benefits of CBD are far-reaching, as it helps reduce the risk of cancer, prevents mental health issues, fights inflammation, and also enhances joint health. Your pet’s health improves significantly when you give him/her CBD.
CBD for Pain Relief
You can take a significant step towards helping your dog deal with pain caused by arthritis or any other condition by giving him/her CBD supplements. CBD has shown promising results for treating chronic pain, which makes it a great treatment option for dogs dealing with joint pain.
CBD for Skin Health
Like fish oil, CBD oil is also beneficial for your dog’s skin health. CBD can prove a viable means of preventing allergies and itchiness. Not to mention, your dog’s coat improves in terms of appearance as well, looking shinier than before.
CBD for Joint Health
As mentioned above, fish oil can prove an effective treatment for joint pain. Moreover, it also enhances joint health. CBD has the same effect. In fact, if you are not sure about giving your dog fish oil, you can instead administer CBD oil or chews. You can find Relief CBD dog treats that not only counter the pain caused by joint health problems, but also reduce inflammation. Administrating CBD to your dog can reduce soreness and stiffness, enhance joint health, and ensure optimal mobility. Recovering from intense exercise or exertion is also easier when you give your dog CBD.
While fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog, CBD is equally, if not more, beneficial. The risk of side effects is lower as well, offering your dog a natural and safe treatment. As a pet parent, you want nothing but the best for your pet pooch. You not only have an effective natural treatment for joint pain and other symptoms and health problems in the form of fish oil. You have an equally authentic alternative, i.e. CBD oil.
Does CBD Cause Any Side Effects?
You might assume that like any other natural herb or substance, CBD might also cause a few side effects. After all, even the highly beneficial fish oil can lead to some adverse reactions as far as your dog’s health is concerned. However, the same is not the case with CBD. CBD is completely safe. The supplement will cause no side effects, and at the same time, will deliver immediate results. This reason is why an increasing number of people are opting for CBD products to treat the health problems their dogs are suffering from.
You have to be aware of the fact that you cannot rely exclusively on the information available online about fish oil. A number of experts state that fish oil is beneficial for your dog’s health. There is no doubt that fish oil offers a number of health benefits for your dog. However, does this mean that you should absolutely continue using the supplement? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Many scientists have stated that there are superior alternatives to fish oil, which not only deliver the same results but also cause no side effects.
Rather than fish oil, you can instead administer CBD oil to your dog. Thus, you don’t have to give your dog fish oil just because there are no other options. CBD products are as effective and quick-acting as fish oil. Moreover, they don’t cause any side effects. But, don’t assume that we mean you should throw out the fish oil bottle. Fish oil by its nature is not harmful. The case is simply that CBD oil is safer and more effective than fish oil, which doesn’t necessarily mean that fish oil is dangerous.
That said, regardless of whether you give your dog CBD oil or fish oil, talking to your vet before you select a supplement is important. You need to have a clear idea of the dosage you should follow. In addition, you should stick to the liquid form of the supplements, as you can simply add a few drops to your dog’s meal. Giving chews, pills, or capsules might prove difficult!