According to The Bark Magazine, more dogs than ever are experiencing allergies, and the reason may be due to aggressive vaccination protocols, poor breeding practices, or even feeding poor-quality pet foods. However, giving your dog fish oil capsules actually may help to combat allergies, especially itchy skin allergies.
Why Fish Oil?
Fish oils contain essential fatty acids (EFAs), including omega-3s (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which dogs need for good health. However, they must obtain these chemicals via food or supplements. EFAs help dogs to battle cancer, improve cognitive function, control blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and aid in treating asthma or inflammatory bowel disease. In particular, fish oil helps keep inflammation, the root cause of allergies (especially skin allergies), in check.
Dosage for Allergies
A recent study revealed that changing a dog's diet to include a 5-to-1 ration of Omega-6 to Omega-3 provided a good to excellent response to 45% of the test group with inhalant allergies. The Bark recommends giving dogs 5 to 20 mg of fish oil per pound of body weight per day, but you should check first with your veterinarian before supplementing with fish oil capsules.
Fish oil, especially given in higher doses, has been known to aggravate pancreatitis in dogs prone to the condition. Also, oils can cause diarrhea. In either case, it's best to start with low doses and gradually work up to a desired level.
Debra Levy has been writing for more than 30 years. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in various literary journals. Levy holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.