How Much Omega-3 Should I Give My Dog? Fish Oil For Dogs

Written by: Aditi YS
| Published on January 12, 2019

From the shine of their fur coat to the way their joints help them move around, you want your pup to look and feel their best, because you know it’s a reflection of their health. Fish Oil for dogs or krill oil for dogs – both can contribute key omega-3 fatty acids that they need.

Chronic health issues including joint pain and itchy skin negatively impact your dog’s quality of life, but a dietary supplement of omega-3 fatty acids with EPA and DHA could help. Usually derived from fish or krill oil, omega-3 fatty acids are something your dog can’t produce on their own. They get what they need from their diets, and supplements fill in the gaps.

senior old boxer

How Much

Before you start dropping pills into your dog’s food, get a close estimate of their weight. A general guideline is to give dogs 300 mg of EPA/DHA combined per 30 pounds of body weight. Remember, however, the EPA/DHA are the important parts, and 300 mg of fish oil doesn’t equal 300 mg of EPA/DHA. In addition, some oils have better absorption rates, such as krill oil.

Dosing will ultimately depend on your chosen supplement. Typically, 1,000 mg of fish oil will meet that 300 mg requirement, but always read the product label before feeding anything to your dog.

dog lick ball

How You Give it to Them

Even more important than the dose is the way in which you give your dog omega-3 fatty acids. The nutrients are found in everything from vegetables to flaxseed, but research has shown a noticeable difference in effectiveness in regards to what kinds of supplements are available and how they’re used. The omega-3 found in most plants, for example, has a property that prevents canine bodies from converting it to all-important DHA.

Nuts and flaxseed are a better option, but fish body oils, particularly krill oil, are known to offer the best absorption and health effects. Ideally, you want to supplement your dog’s diet without adding too many calories. Capsules of or supplements containing fish or krill oil added to your dog’s regular food is an efficient way to give them what they need.

Related: 10 Best Dog Multivitamin Products

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How to Get the Most From It

While fish oil supplements are generally considered safe, they’re highly susceptible to oxidation. This means exposure to oxygen can damage the omega-3 fats and drastically inhibit its ability to do good. If oxidation happens, taking the supplements is basically pointless, and it could even cause problems.

The good news is a new study shows adding an antioxidant called astaxanthin to the supplement helps the important parts stand up against oxidation. The fatty acids maintain their potency, and your problem is solved. Many people choose krill oil as their dog’s source of omega-3 over fish oil because krill already has astaxanthin built in. Krill oil holds up even better when it is contained in krill meal, which is minimally processed.

Omega 3-6-9
The Happy, Healthy Omega-3-6-9 Select soft chews are a great option that can be given to dogs as treats (dogs LOVE them) or crumbled over their food.

If you’ve decided to help your pup keep their fur soft and shiny or want to maintain their joint health and flexibility, a supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids is a good place to start. As always, your veterinarian is your best resource for information. Talk to them about dosing instructions and which products your pup will best benefit from.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.

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