While natural foods generally are a good source of daily nutrition, some people need added supplements to boost their health and immune system. As you have known, I really enjoy food in general. But as much as I eat foods that are a good source of vitamins and minerals, I still feel that I don’t get the sufficient nutrition that my body needs to be really healthy. I know that many people feel the same way; hence, the increasing popularity of vitamin or mineral supplements.
The same is true for animals. I have several friends who own pets and they really invest on food supplements for their dogs or cats to keep them in their prime health. One interesting fact I have discovered is that there are certain supplements that are beneficial for both people and animals, particularly dogs. One of them is fish oil supplement.
What is fish oil supplement?
Fish oil in supplement form is a good source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids. It is commonly sourced from the tissues of cold water fish.
What are the benefits of fish oil for dogs?
- Fish oil boosts the nervous system and immune system.
- The omega 3-fatty acids in fish oil are important in the brain development of fetuses and puppies.
- It promotes healthy coat and skin.
- Helps reduce the risk of inflammation
- Increases stamina
- Helps reduce joint discomfort
- Protects dogs from auto-immune diseases
Why is fish oil supplement important for dogs?
Omega-3 EFAs which are beneficial for dogs can be difficult to find in most dog foods and even in natural foods. They are easily perishable with exposure to light, air and heat. So even if they are added in commercial dog foods, they will not survive.
Are there any side effects when giving fish oil to dogs?
Generally, fish oil is safe for dogs. However, some dogs may develop side effects to fish oil especially if it is not administered properly or it is given excessively. One possible side effect of fish oil is that it can decrease platelet activity, leading to difficulty in producing blood clot when the animal is injured. It is a serious condition since your dog may lose more blood even with minor injuries. Fish oil may also interfere with the natural healing of wounds and production of new healthy skin. Allergic reaction is also possible, especially if your dog is allergic to fish.
While there are known side effects of fish oil supplement in dogs, many dog owners still find this type of supplement beneficial to their pet. The key to helping your dog enjoy the benefits of fish oil is by getting the right dosage which can be determined by your veterinarian. You can also determine it yourself by following the instructions in the product label. Proper handling and storage of fish oil is also important since the oil can easily go rancid when exposed to the elements. Most importantly, seek the advice of your veterinarian about fish oil supplement. As many dog owners ask their vet can dog eat bananas and other fresh fruits, the same question should also be raised regarding fish oil.