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What Are The Side Effects of Fish Oil For Dogs?

Like humans, dogs need proper nutrition to stay active, fit, and healthy. A complete and balanced diet includes protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Nursing puppies and older canines have special dietary needs since they’re more sensitive and have weaker immune systems than normal dogs.

Feeding your dog the right sources of fats and nutrients can fill the essential building blocks and energy components needed to help them grow. Fish oil is a great source of minerals and fatty acids for dogs if taken in the appropriate dosages. Read on to learn more about the health benefits and possible side effects of fish oil for dogs.

What is Fish Oil?

Commonly extracted from coldwater fish like salmon, fish oil is rich in anti-inflammatory agents such as Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) that can combat arthritis, skin allergies, kidney disease, diabetes, and more.

In the United States, the FDA does not regulate fish oil supplements, which means the efficiency of these products has no guarantee yet. However, veterinarians often recommend these dietary supplements as an added source of nutrients for dogs. If your dog has been prescribed fish oil, make sure to follow the instructions of your trusted medical professional.

Why Do Dogs Need Fish Oil in Their Diet?

One of the most important nutrients in fish oil is Omega-3, a fatty acid beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat that prevents osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases. According to extensive research, Omega-3 can improve mobility and help wounds heal faster.

These are the three types of Omega-3 fatty acids that can benefit canines:

    • Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA): Food sources of ALA include nuts and seeds. Meat and dairy are also important to add to your dog’s diet.
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): The most common source of EPA is fish oil. It is also present in anchovies and sardines.
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): Also known as good fat, DHA can be found in eggs, organ meat, and fish.
  • What are the Health Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs?

    Taking supplements and food rich in fish oil can reduce inflammation and ease joint pain for dogs. Aside from providing support for stiff and aching joints, it can also help improve a dog’s well-being and treat minor health conditions. Here are the health benefits of fish oil for dogs:

    Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

    Fish oil supplements aid in weight reduction among dogs with heart issues. Essential fatty acids also help maintain lean body mass. Unlike dogs without fish oil in their diet, canines fed with these health supplements have increased survival rates.

    Treats Chronic Kidney Disease

    If your pup is suffering from kidney failure, dietary supplements with fish oil can significantly slow the progression of kidney damage. Furthermore, it can treat kidney diseases associated with excessive protein loss.

    Helps Prevent Cognitive Dysfunction

    Besides joint problems, older dogs are also prone to acquiring Alzheimer’s disease. Fish oil can combat cognitive dysfunction among canines. It has Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, that can help reduce disrupted sleep patterns and disorientation.

    Improves the Quality of Fur Coat

    Canines equipped with essential fatty acids are less prone to allergies, itchy rashes, and flaky skin conditions. Fish oil can also enhance the appearance and softness of your dog’s fur. Furthermore, it can help fight inflammatory skin conditions, especially for those in the early stages of their skin problems.

    Promotes Nail Growth

    EHA and DHA are essential types of Omega-3 that boost hair and nail growth. Dogs with autoimmune diseases usually have brittle and weak nails due to fungal growth and other infections. Through the aid of fish oil supplements, they can re-grow their damaged nails.

    What are the Side Effects of Fish Oil for Dogs?

    Despite the proven health benefits of consuming fish oil, there are also minimal side effects to consider, especially if your pup has allergies. Side effects may occur particularly due to high doses. It’s best to consult your trusted vet before including these Omega-rich supplements in your dog’s diet. Here are some of the side effects of fish oil for dogs:

    • Stinky fur smell
    • Fishy breath
    • Oily coat
    • Diarrhea
    • Blood Clots
    • Delayed wound healing
    • Skin flakes
    • Itchiness
    • Vomiting

    Dogs taking other medications, such as anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory medicines, must take fish oil supplements cautiously. And those suffering from diabetes, diarrhea, and pancreatitis should take these supplements only at the prescribed dosage. Likewise, pet owners should beware of unreputable sources of fish oil to avoid heavy metal toxicity.

    Is too much fish oil harmful to dogs?

    Fish oil is generally safe for canines. However, giving the right dosage is tantamount to ensuring its efficiency. Most veterinarians recommend a 20 mg fish oil dosage for dogs per pound, depending on their body weight. While some studies suggest that overdosing on fish oil is not that harmful to dogs, it’s safer to stick to the right amount.

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