Yes, fish oil for dogs and cats is a thing! With the correct dosing, fish oil can indeed be very healthy for your pet. For the full benefits of fish oil, it’s important to purchase your fish oil from reputable companies. Such companies often carry certifications for exceptional quality.
We’ll spare you the nitty-gritty science. Just know that Eicosapentoaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids are the two primary, sought-after components of fish oil. These omega 3 fats are currently being held on a pedestal in the scientific community for their health benefits.
In this article, you’ll discover the health benefits of fish oil for dogs and cats. We’ll also go over proper dosing, best practices for administering the oil, and where to get a high quality fish oil product.
First, let’s get to the benefits (hint: they’re similar to the benefits you find in humans)!
Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs and Cats
Boost Heart Health
Improving heart health is a primary motivation for those beginning a consistent fish oil protocol. It’s no surprise that many are now turning to supplementing their pets so they can receive similar heart health benefits from omega 3 DHA and EPA, too.
Ever heard of a nasty thing called atrial fibrillation? It’s basically an irregular heartbeat, and it seems to be frequenting the hearts of humans and pets alike more frequently these days.
Good news! Fish oil has been shown to help prevent or even correct atrial fibrillation. Further, it works as an anticoagulant, preventing blood clots and heart disease.
Protects Against Arthritis
Arthritis is an unfortunate disease of the joints that plagues many dogs in their old age. Shepherds seem to be particularly prone to age-induced arthritis. It’s sad when people have to put their dogs down because their joints are no longer working.
In combination with a solid glucosamine supplement, fish oil can be very promising for the joints of your pet. This is because EPA and DHA work to reduce prostaglandins that wreak inflammatory havoc within joints.
Some pet owners notice a significant increase in the agility of their pets after they have been given fish oil for long periods of time.
Boost Brain Health
As with humans, it’s an alright idea for pets to take fish oil for an extra mental edge. A study was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association where a group of puppies took DHA from 8 weeks old to 52 weeks old.
The findings? “Dietary fortification with fish oils rich in DHA. . .implicated in neurocognitive development following weaning improved cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in growing dogs.”
It’s okay to give older pets DHA as well, for DHA seems to contain neuroprotective properties, too.
Aids Dry Skin in Pet Allergies
It’s been well documented in research that fish oil has “inhibitory effects on the acute inflammatory response [in mammals].” In fact, many people are taking fish oil for the primary purpose of reducing inflammation (which helps with the benefits listed above).
Many see great success in treating their allergy-suffering pet’s with fish oil. Fish oil works by decreasing the level of inflammatory, allergy-producing cytokines in the body. Thus, fish oil should in theory be handy for helping your furry friend’s skin to heal and itching to stop.
How Much Fish Oil Should Dogs and Cats Consume?
As with food, you should always start small to see how your pet responds to any supplements. A good launching point is to try 75 mg of EPA/DHA per kilogram of your pet’s body weight. From there, work your way up to 100 mg of EPA/DHA per kilogram of body weight.
By the way, converting pounds to kilograms is pretty easy. Simply take your pet’s weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2. So if your dog weighs 45 pounds, then they also weigh around 20.5 kilograms. In this case, 2,050 mg is the maximum amount of EPA and DHA your dog should consume per day. If your cat weighs 7 pounds, then they also weigh about 3.2 kilograms. In this case, 320 mg is the maximum amount of EPA and DHA your cat should consume each day.
How to Give Fish Oil to Your Dog or Cat
You have a few different options for administering fish oil to your cat or dog.
It’s fine if your pet consumes fish oil either with food or on an empty stomach. If taking it on an empty stomach causes digestive upset, try with food instead.
Fish oil for dogs and cats can be consumed in capsule form or as free-flowing liquid. If you have capsules and your pet is stubborn about swallowing them, try placing them in their food or a small treat or piece of cheese. We don’t recommend giving capsules to cats.
Liquid fish oil can simply be lathered over wet or dry food for easy consumption. This is the method we most recommend.
Where to Get fish Oil For Dogs and Cats
If you want a fish oil for both you and your pets that is safe, contains safe ingredients, and is great tasting, check out Wild Fish Oil. Better yet, Wild Fish Oil does not disrupt fragile aquatic ecosystems. Caught in U.S. Waters and processed in U.S. fisheries. We support fishermen that respect the fish that give us their wonderful oil!
Wild fish oil has both exceptional purity and guaranteed omega-3 content. Wild Fish Oil undergoes molecular distillation resulting in a concentrated omega-3 triglyceride form of EPA, DHA and DPA and carries the following certifications: ISO, FOS, SFSF, SQF and IFFO. Also, our bottles are BPA free!
At over 1,000 mg of DHA and EPA per 1 teaspoon serving of oil, Wild Fish Oil contains a whopping 94 servings per container. It’s sure to last you over the months, and sure to keep both you and your cats and dogs thriving.