Fish Oil Helps Support a Dog's Skin, Coat and Immune System

Posted by Christy Caplan
Fish Oil

Both my dogs benefit from fish oil, which I add as a supplement into their meals. The result is shiny and healthy coats! Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, an essential "good" type of fat that helps your dog's body and brain.

The American Kennel Club explains there are main health and wellness reasons you should add fish oil to your dog's diet.

  • Fish oil is a dietary supplement that helps supports dogs' hearts, joints, coats, skin and immune systems.
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can either be part of a long-term plan or a momentary dietary boost.
  • Always consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on fish oil or any other supplements.

If you think your dog can benefit from a fish oil supplement there are many choices and we include our faves at the end of this story.

What are essential fatty acids?

Animal Wellness Magazine tells us that every mammal needs EFAs, fat-carried nutrients that affect everything from proper organ function to healthy skin and coat.

"Omega-3s for animals are derived mostly from fish oil and flaxseed oil, while Omega-6s are available from many vegetable sources. Even animals that show no obvious signs of an EFA deficiency will often experience improved vitality and appearance when an EFA supplement is added."

With this in mind, we include fish oils as part of our daily routine during mealtime.

Top benefits (fish oil is as important as veggies) 

Fish oil supplementation may be helpful for pets with inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease and many types of cancer. 

VCA Hospitals recommend fish oils for many pets. Here's why: 

"The EPA and DHA in fish oil are converted into series 3 prostaglandins which, like series 1, reduce the tendency to inflammation. Series 2 prostaglandins promote inflammation and are synthesized from the omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid, commonly found in animal fat. The higher the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to arachidonic acid in the diet, the less prone an animal will theoretically be to developing inflammatory disorders--hence the recent interest in omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid RATIOS in human nutrition."

Best varieties

Welactin is a fish oil supplement we've used with the dogs for over a year and we're very impressed with the results. A vet "can" recommend this product and some even sell it but I also order it off of Amazon and fish oils are widely embraced as having health benefits and you don't need a script.

Commercially available omega 3 fatty acid supplements can have very different EPA and DHA concentrations. Also, the dose of omega 3 fatty acid need to optimally treat various health conditions in dogs is really not known with any degree of certainty, which makes figuring out how much to give difficult if not impossible. Talk to your vet!

With all the benefits of fish oil for dogs including the anti-inflammatory benefits adding this daily to dog food is a no-brainer. The side effects may be GI upset so make sure you start out conservatively and read the directions on the packaging as most dosing is based on their body weight.

If your dog has any of the health problems mentioned consider this and if you live with an older dog they can certainly benefit!

Do you use fish oil? Please let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Please consult your vet before making any drastic dietary changes to your pet's diet.  

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Fish Oil Helps Support a Dog's Skin, Coat and Immune System