Fish Oil for Dogs: Benefits of Fish & Omega Oils for Dogs

We all want to ensure our pets live long and happy lives. Finding new ways to improve their health is always top of mind. Although you might be aware fish oil is known to help keep you healthy, you might not realize it is also an important dietary supplement for dogs.

Here we look at the fish oil benefits for dogs and why you should consider fish and omega oils for your furry chum.

Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs

Fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. Perhaps better known as omega 3 fatty acids, they are a powerful combination. Although your dog does produce EPA and DHA, the process is not efficient enough which is why they need to get more fish oil in their diets. Supplements may support the following:

  • Brain health
  • Nervous system development
  • Reducing inflammation to support joint health
  • Lowering risk for heart disease
  • Eye health
  • Improved brain and eye development for puppies
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Allergy relief
  • Reducing the risk of some cancers
  • Reducing metabolic endotoxemia and boosting bifidobacteria in the gut

Heart Health

You’ve probably heard that fish oil is good for your heart. However, it is also good for your dog’s heart, as it may reduce the risk for issues such as atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat. It is also an anti-coagulant, meaning it helps prevent blood clots.

Reduce Skin Issues from Allergies

If your furry friend suffers from dry, flaky skin caused by allergies, fish oil can help reduce itching. This is because the oils decrease the production and release of cytokines which cause inflammation in the skin due to allergies.

Support Cognitive Function

Many dog companions are unaware their furry chums can suffer from cognitive issues as they age. However, just like humans, they can suffer from behavior issues associated with aging. Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties which may support reducing signs of cognitive decline similar to what we experience from Alzheimer’s disease. Also, puppies may improve their learning and the retention of new skills with fish oils so it is never too early to offer fish oil supplements to your pup.

Support Eye Health

Your dog’s eyeballs contain DHA and EPA. When you help support that supply, it can support eye development and vision.

Reducing Dog Anxiety

New research shows omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids could also help dogs with anxiety. DHA plays a major role in helping regulate mood in dogs. Your dog might suffer from anxiety if they display the following behavior:

  • Barking
  • Chewing
  • Flinching
  • Startling
  • Heightened sensitivity to noise
  • Restlessness
  • Aggression

When faced with unfamiliar situations, or in specific situations such as being around new people or other dogs, dogs with anxiety can display unwanted behavior. These anxious feelings are very unpleasant for your pup and can cause undue stress. 

It can also make them unpredictable in stressful situations which can cause them to act out, or even become overly aggressive unexpectedly. Fish oil has been shown to help dogs overcome apprehension and anxiety. Although training and medications can assist with anxiety-related behaviors, fish oil presents a possible alternative to reduce anxiety and in turn unwanted behavior.

EPA and DHA Deficiency in Dogs

If your dog doesn’t have enough EPA and DHA, they can suffer from a number of issues including depression and cognitive issues. Omega-3 deficiencies can also be the cause of an unhealthy coat and skin issues, and as mentioned increased symptoms of allergies.

If your dog is injured, their wounds can take more time to heal, and they can also be more prone to dog ear infections. DHA deficit in dogs is tied to the compromised transmission of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters play a key role in depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline.

As you can see, there are many fish oil for dogs benefits that can help support your four-legged friend to live healthier and happier!