Dogs and Fish Oil Supplements

by Naomi Millburn
    Talk to your vet about doses for your pet's size range.

    Talk to your vet about doses for your pet's size range.

    George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    If you’re the loving owner of a dog, one of your main jobs is to make sure your cutie consumes well-balanced foods. Eating properly contributes to dogs' health and happiness. Some dogs benefit from nutritional supplementation via fish oils. Talk to a veterinarian before giving your pet any type of dietary supplement.

    Fish oils are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally beneficial for dogs. These acids are effective for assisting dogs with a broad array of health issues, including arthritis and skin woes, the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association asserts online. Fish oil also serves some elderly dogs as a means of helping enhance cognitive abilities. If you're interested in fish oil supplementation for your dog, discuss the matter with your vet before you do anything.

    Fish oil supplements offer anti-inflammatory benefits and are thought to slow cancer growth. For dogs with heart disease, fish oil is thought to prevent unusual heart rhythms. Whether or not your pet has any of these conditions, do not offer him fish oil without the explicit approval of your veterinarian. Not only can a veterinarian tell you if fish oil is indeed appropriate for your precious dog, she can tell you about suitable administration, and about safe and reputable fish oil options.

    Not all canines respond well to fish oil supplements, such as those with ailments that involve inordinate bleeding and to some dogs who have particularly delicate stomachs in general, according to the website for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Some dogs experience diarrhea after taking fish oil supplements. If a vet determines that fish oil supplements aren't safe for your dog, never give them to him.

    Some dogs get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their foods. If your pooch consumes a lot of fish meal or fish, he might be among dogs in this category. This is one reason why it's crucial to discuss supplementation with your vet beforehand. If you add supplementation to a diet for a canine who already receives a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, you risk giving your dog too much of the stuff. A vet can consider your pet's diet and determine the right amount for supplementation.

    Fish oil supplements aren't exclusive to the canine world. Many veterinarians recommend them for cats, too. Fish oil supplements are thought to be useful for cats with a range of medical problems, including heart disease. Just as with dogs, however, it's vital to talk to a veterinarian before allowing your feline to take this or any form of supplementation.

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    • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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