Fish Oil for Dogs: Benefits, Sources, & Best Products

Treating fish oil for dogs supplement

One of the best supplements you can add to your dog’s diet is fish oil. Fish oil is good for heart health, encourages a luxurious coat, lessens flaky and itchy skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain. Fish oil supplements can even bolster their immune system and potentially help your pet fight canine cancer. The active ingredients in fish oil are omega-3 fatty acids, an essential kind of “good fat” to help your dog’s body and brain. Dogs cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids independently, just like humans, and must obtain them from their diet. Here are some top tips to know about adding fish oil into your dog’s daily diet.

Related: 10 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Gut Health & Digestion

What Fatty Acids are in Fish Oil?

There are four main categories of dietary fats:

  1. Saturated fats
  2. Trans fats
  3. Polyunsaturated fats
  4. Monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats contain omega fatty acids, which form crucial hormones that regulate inflammation and blood flow. These kinds of fats, however, are not naturally created in the body. Omega-3 can be found mostly in cold-water fish, plant and nut oils, shellfish, and flaxseed. There are many reasons why your dog requires omega-3 in its diet.  

Omega-3 also balances out omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in most grains and processed foods. Most dog food manufacturers use meat from animals that are fed corn or refined oil, which is why dogs mostly have too many omega-6 fatty acids in their diet. It’s essential to keep tabs on how many omega-6 fatty acids are in your dog’s diet because while we need omega-6 fatty acids, the modern diet tends to have too many. Just like how the human body needs balance, so does your dog

Fresh salmon filets on wax paper and cutting board

Why Should I Give My Dog Fish Oil?

One great way to give your four-legged companion enough omega-3 fatty acids is through fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements can be part of a long-term plan, depending on their general health and diet. They can also be used as a temporary nutritional boost to your dog’s diet. 

Not only is fish oil great for your dog’s everyday health, but it also helps to extend your dog’s life long-term. DHA is a component of omega-3 fatty acids that helps with normal eye and brain development in puppies. DHA may also help with cognitive function in older dogs who are dealing with canine cognitive dysfunction. Research illustrates that omega-3 fatty acids are also conducive to treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis

Looking for premium pet products? Order wild fish-based dog food from Rogue Pet Science today!

Choosing the Right Fish Oil for Your Dog

So how do you choose the optimal product for your furry friend? There are three kinds of fish oil you can buy:

  1. Ethyl ester oil- This kind of fish oil is concentrated and distilled to filter out impurities. You can think of ethyl ester oil as semi-natural with high levels of essential omega-3 components: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 
  2. Natural triglyceride oil: This is the easiest to absorb and the most natural. Since it isn’t purified, however, it may still have contaminants. 
  3. Synthetic triglyceride oil: As the name connotes, this is synthetic and absorbs the three’s least quickly.

Before choosing a type of fish oil to give your dog, you need to account for its size, breed, weight, and overall health. You should also consult with your veterinarian first. In the long-term, pairing a fish oil with a grain-based diet may deplete vitamin E stores, so you may want to consider giving your dog that supplement as well

Related: Should You Start Giving Your Dog A Joint Supplement?

The 5 Best Fish Oil Supplements for Dogs

Many pet parents give their dog a fish oil supplement because of its natural ability to improve your dog’s gut health and coat. Omega-3 fatty acids that are naturally in fish oil have many proven health benefits.

Fish oil contains EPA and DHA nutrients that improve a dog’s health. The National Research Council recommends 20-55 mg of combined EPA and DHA per pound of body weight for dogs.

But which fish oil supplement for dogs is best? We’ve put together the best fish oil supplements for dogs on the market today. Our list comprises different supplement options to help you find a fish oil that is the most palatable for your dog. Here are our picks:

  • Gives your dog a vibrant & shiny coat
  • Eliminates itchy skin
  • Provides natural relief for dogs with allergies
  • Adds essential joint support
  • Contains omega 3 & 6 plus prebiotics, probiotics & digestive enzymes to improve gut health

Best Overall: Origins Canine 5 in 1 Supplement

The Rogue Pet Science Origins Dog Probiotic Supplement is an all-natural dog supplement packed with high-quality nutrients, including fish protein and wild complete fish oil. The Origins Canine 5 in 1 contains six natural ingredients with no sugars, flavors, dyes, preservatives, by-products, or plant oils.

Whole wild menhaden fish is the main ingredient packed with essential Omega-3 proteins and oils that are proven to improve your dog’s gut health, coat, and allergies. Rogue Pet Science uses the whole fish for additional nutritional elements to boost your dog’s health.

ProsCons
All-natural ingredients with proven health benefits for dogsCan be pricier than other supplements
The supplement is sustainable, traceable, and easily digestibleThe bag contains fewer servings for large breed dogs than small to medium breeds
Addresses the total gut health
Transparent about being scientifically tested and certified for quality, potency, nutrient quality, metals, and safety
Dogs love the flavor
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
  • Specially formulated for your dog. Omega-3 Pet features omega-3 fish oil in soft gels
  • Research shows that the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA in fish oil help support your pet’s heart, skin & coat, immune & joint health
  • In the triglyceride molecular form (the form naturally found in fish) for optimal absorption
  • Every batch of Nordic Naturals fish oil is crafted from fresh, wild-caught, omega-rich fish

High Potency: Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet Unflavored Soft Gels

The Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Unflavored Soft Gels offer the highest potency for a supplement soft gel. The supplement contains anchovy and sardine oil with 22% Omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The soft gels come in a 90 – 180 count, depending on your dog’s needs. But be careful because to meet your vet’s recommended daily dosage, your dog may need 5 – 14 soft gels each day. And these soft gels are not recommended for dogs under 20 lbs.

Nordic Naturals is committed to sustainable and ethical practices. They only source fish oils that are Friend of the Sea certified and are made in facilities that produce zero waste using biofuels. The soft gels are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

ProsCons
Many vets will recommend this brand for a fish oil supplementNot recommended for small dogs under 20 lbs
May help with dry, itchy skin and coatMay be too big for some dogs to eat
May help dogs with allergiesSoft gels can melt together if left in warm temperatures
Reputable brand and affordable pricingDogs may not eat soft gels, and you’ll need to cut them open to mix into their food—defeating the purpose of using a soft gel
Sometimes when purchased on Amazon, it may be a knock-off brand with fake packaging

Related Link: Dietary Fats for Pets

Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats
  • Natural fish oil additive supplement supports the skin, coat, hips and joints, heart, and immune system.
  • Premium fish oil liquid formula is loaded with the healthy Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Salmon Oil provides relief and nourishment to keep skin and coats in the best condition.
  • Works as a dog food topper - Salmon Oil to mix nicely with a dog or cat food.

Most Popular: Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats

The Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil supplement has over 20,000 reviews on Amazon alone. With an average of 4.25 stars out of five, this fish oil supplement is one of its best sellers. The liquid formula comes in an easy-to-dispense pump that can be squirted onto your dog’s meal or favorite snack.

The Zesty Paws Salmon Oil food topper is made from high-quality Wild Alaskan Salmon oil. The oil contains 340 mg of EPA and 425 mg of DHA per teaspoon for 850 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per teaspoon serving. This oil can easily be adjusted for small to large dogs by just adding more teaspoons to each serving.

ProsCons
Doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservativesThe pump can be inconsistent with the dosage—you may want to pump into a measuring cup or spoon for accurate dosage before adding to your dog’s food
Easy to add the supplement to your dog’s favorite food or snackMay make some dogs sick or gassy
Contains all-natural ingredientsPump and bottle can crack or bust during shipping
Can adjust dosage for small dogs to large dogs easily

Looking for all-natural supplements with a high potency of Omega-3s? Rogue Pet Science’s supplements and treats can fortify your dog’s immune system.

Related Link: Healthy Coats for Dogs: How to Get a Soft Shiny Coat with Origins 5in1 Probiotic System

Pawstruck Natural Omega 3 Fish Oil Soft Chews
  • Packed with Omega-3 fish oil for dogs and vitamin E to soothe itchy skin
  • Promotes healthy immune system to help dogs feel their best
  • Natural and Made in the USA to ensure the safest possible supplement soft chews
  • A flavor that dogs love means this dog supplement is perfect for picky eaters

Best Value: Pawstruck Natural Omega 3 Fish Oil Soft Chew Supplements

The Pawstruck Natural Omega 3 Fish Oil Soft Chews are the most affordable supplement on our list. The soft chews come specially formulated for small/medium dogs or large/giant dogs. Each container has a month’s supply, making it easy to give the correct dose without whipping through your supply.

For dogs that prefer snacks, these soft chews may be an easy solution for getting your dog to take them. Each chew contains 270 mg of EPA and 180 mg of DHA. But these chews do have additives, preservatives, molasses, and other ingredients that aren’t as natural as some of the other products on our list. Fish oil doesn’t even make the top five ingredients on the list.

ProsCons
Very affordable priceDoesn’t contain high-quality fish oil
Comes in specially formulated sizes based on the size of your dogHas preservatives and sugars in the chew
Dogs love to eat themPicky eaters may not like the flavor
Amazing Nutritionals Omega 3 for Dogs  - Bacon Flavor Chews
  • Taste great, odorless, no "fishy" smell, no mess, small and easy to chew
  • Veterinary science approved & hypoallergenic; Works great for allergy-prone dogs
  • Make your dog look & feel great with the ultimate chewable Omega 3 6 9 fish oil supplement
  • Easy to adjust dosage as needed for dog's specific conditions

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Amazing Nutritionals Omega 3 for Dogs Bacon Flavor Chews

The Amazing Nutritionals Omega 3 for Dogs Chews are fairly affordable, convenient, and digestible dog fish oil supplements. For dogs that have particularly sensitive stomachs, this may be a good fit for your dog because the supplement is small and easy to chew.

These Omega 3 Dog Chews contain all-natural ingredients and have no by-products or allergens. A serving of three chews has 150 mg of total fish oil. And the chews come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ProsCons
Very affordableContains a lot of unnecessary ingredients for a flavor profile
Digestible by even the most sensitive stomachsMay make your dog sick
Money back guaranteed for satisfaction and resultsDogs may not like taking a chewable tablet

Looking for an all-natural supplement? Rogue Pet Science’s supplements and treats are rich in Omega-3s and essential vitamins to fortify your dog’s immune system.

Related Link: Omega-3 Index Test Kit

Fish oil pill supplements close up

Taking Care of and Storing Fish Oil

It’s essential to protect your fish oil supplements from light, heat, and air. Just like the fish oil capsules you buy for yourself, you should always store your dog’s supplements in the refrigerator. Since fish oil supplements can quickly turn rancid due to oxidation, you should check periodically and throw them away if they smell “off” to you. You should always ask your vet how much fish oil is best for your dog, rather than sticking by the package’s dosage guidelines. Ensure that you’re dosing your dog appropriately for their weight, size, and age. 

It can be tough to feed your dog a natural diet. There are so many processed ingredients in regular commercial dog food that your dog may not get the nutrients he requires. A fish oil supplement may assist your dog in attaining all of the nutrients it needs. Of course, you should always check with your vet before starting your dog on any supplements and only buy the best quality products.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Eggs?

Rogue Pet Science offers pet products that are all-natural and sustainably produced. When you choose Origins Canine 5-in-1, your dog won’t need an additional fish oil supplement because it’s made out of wild fish protein and wild complete fish oil packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Order premium pet products from Rogue Pet Science for your furry friends!

Looking for premium dog food? Order pet products made out of wild fish from Rogue Pet Science!

References:

  1. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2013/aug/the-dangers-of-too-much-fish-oil-30731
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20187817/

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