“Fish oil for dogs? You gotta be kidding!” is a response I sometimes get from owners when I suggest they supplement Fido’s diet with omega 3 salmon oil capsules.
After all, every dog owner knows that felines eat fish, but canines are supposed to eat dry kibbles and bits – or maybe, if they’ve been really good, a can of Ken-L-Ration horsemeat.
“It just doesn’t seem natural,” owners sometimes add. But, in our kibbles and bits mentality, it’s hard to know what’s natural or unnatural for dogs.
One thing’s for sure, it’s unnatural for them to depend on dry kibble for their nutrition. They’re canine bodies are not designed to eat and digest the corn, wheat and carbohydrates that make up 40% of commercial dog foods.
If your dog could talk – and I’m glad mine can’t – he’d be asking for raw meat, bones, fish, eggs, dead possums and other tasty treats that we’d probably find repulsive.
Left on their own in the wilds – where they came from – dogs can easily figure out what they’re supposed to eat. They don’t need a TV commercial with a cute jingle to know what’s good for them.
Which brings us back to fish oil for dogs. Being mammals, canines can suffer from some of the same poor health conditions as humans. For example, they get inflammation, arthritis, dermatitis, cancer and heart problems just like we do – especially if they’re eating our table scraps.
Studies show fish oil can support the health of canines just like it can with humans. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dogs with heart failure had lower levels of EPA and DHA than their healthy counterparts. Supplementing with omega 3 oil rich in EPA and DHA improved the survival rates for all dogs. (Vol. 12 (6), 440-8)
There’s more too! Now you can stop yelling at Fido to stop licking himself raw. Fish oil has been shown to reduce the itchiness, redness, swelling and hair loss associated with those dry, raw, hairless patches they seem to fixate on. (Veterinary Record, Vol. 144, No. 15, 405-07)
Just give Fido salmon oil capsules and watch those patches go away.
And if he has arthritis – common in large breeds – then omega 3 is the most important thing you can do for Fido. Just like in humans, it will decrease the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
We once found a beautiful, unclaimed Golden Retriever who had terrible hip problems. Sedona couldn’t get up from a lying or sitting position without help.
But once we put her on daily salmon oil capsules, within several weeks she was jumping and running around like a puppy. Sedona turned out to be one of the best pets we ever had.
So, if you want better health for your “best friend,” feed her or him a raw food diet that includes omega 3 fatty acids. And, if a raw food diet is too involved for you and you plan on continuing to feed dry kibble, then by all means, also supplement the diet with high quality fish oil capsules.
After all, they’re a part of your family and deserve the best you can give them.