Ensuring your dog eats a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of helping them live a long and healthy life. One often-overlooked treasure trove of wellness for our furry friends lies within the deep blue sea.
We’re talking about fish oil!
This liquid gold can make a remarkable addition to your dog’s diet. As an excellent source of Omega-3s, fish oil can help promote a glossy coat and healthy skin while bolstering joint and heart health. Needless to say, the fish oil for dogs benefits are nothing short of life-changing.
Join us as we explore how fish oil can contribute to the overall quality of life for your four-legged family member and the best way to incorporate it into your dog’s diet.
The Makeup of Fish Oil
Before diving into the benefits of fish oil for dogs, it’s important to understand why fish oil is such a health powerhouse. Simply put, fish oil is an amazing source of Omega-3s that naturally occur in fish!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are considered essential nutrients, which are substances that humans and animals require for normal growth, function, and health, but cannot produce on their own. Therefore, this means that humans, dogs, and cats need to obtain these nutrients from the foods they eat.
There are three main types of these essential fatty acids you should know about when exploring the benefits for your dog’s diet:
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
- Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA)
EPA and DHA are the most easily absorbed and should be playing a key part of your dog’s diet. Adding fish oil to your dog’s diet is an amazing way to provide them with the Omega-3s they need to thrive throughout their lifetime.
Fish Oil Benefits for Dogs
While Omega-3s are great overall for your dog’s health, let’s get into some more specifics. Here are a handful of the benefits of fish oil for dogs.
Promote Healthy Skin and Coat
One of the most well-studied health benefits of fish oil for dogs is its ability to promote a silky coat and healthy skin. Many dogs experience dry or itchy skin due to environmental factors and allergies to food. As you can imagine, this can be wildly uncomfortable for your furry friend!
Omega-3s have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that can help stop inflammation in its tracks and lead to healthier skin and therefore a shinier, softer coat. Keep an eye out for dull hair and dry, itchy skin, all of which can all be signs of inflammation.
Support a Healthy Heart
The same Omega-3s are also wonderful for overall heart health. Fish oil contains heart-healthy fats that simply cannot be replicated in other dietary supplements. They can help prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure.
Help With Brain Development
Fish oil is an amazing supplement because it can truly benefit a dog at any age. Research shows that DHA (the type of Omega-3 found in fish) can help support brain and vision development in growing dogs and cats. Similarly, it can support the cognitive functions of both puppies and senior pets.
Boost the Immune System
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of fish oil for dogs is its ability to improve their overall immune system. It’s important for dogs to balance out the Omega-6s (polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds) in their food with Omega-3 fatty acids. That’s because excessive levels of Omega-6 can cause inflammation that can lead to chronic illnesses like allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or even cancer.
Omega-6s are often found in processed foods and grains. Since many mainstream dog foods have meat from corn-fed animals or refined oil as main ingredients, dogs may have too much Omega-6s in their diet.
Fish oil can help provide the Omega-3s needed to provide balance and give your dog’s immune system a boost.
Reduce Inflammation and Hip & Joint Pain
Along with helping your dog’s skin and coat, heart, and brain, it can also promote healthy hips and joints. If your dog has joint pain or is simply getting older and slowing down, fish oil can help fight inflammation to keep them more comfortable and active.
The benefits of fish oil for dogs also extend to diagnoses like arthritis. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can be a natural method of decreasing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Though osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder, fish oil may help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.
How to Add Fish Oil to Your Dog’s Diet
Ready to help your furry friend experience the benefits of fish oil for dogs? Luckily, there are a few ways to begin incorporating fish oil into their diet!
Fish Oil Supplements
Ensuring your dog gets enough Omega-3s in their diet can be as simple as giving them a daily supplement! There are many options for fish oil supplements for dogs that you can provide your pup. However, you should pay special attention to the ingredients to ensure they’re using a mix of EPA and DHA and no fillers.
This is a convenient option, but may not work if you have a picky pup who doesn’t like taking pills.
Dog Food Topper
You can also easily add liquid fish oil to your dog's meals. It makes for a nutritious dog food topper for wet and dry food alike. When using liquid fish oil, it’s important to store it correctly and keep it out of direct sunlight and heat.
Fish-First Dog Food
There’s a reason we like to say our Simply Naked Dog Food is packed with the power of “Vitamin SEA”. Fish-first dog food is one of the best ways to feed your pet a balanced diet packed with vitally important Omega-3s. Our premier seafood dinners are the ultimate choice for nutrition, flavor, and sustainability.Browse our fish-first dinners for dogs and discover how fish oil can benefit your dog!