Why All This Talk About Omega 3’s? When you ask a dog owner what is the ONE supplement that they feel their dog cannot do without, one of the most common answers is fish oil. To understand the importance of fish oil, one must first understand what it is that makes fish oil so special and so necessary. Fish body oil (not to be confused with cod liver oil) is a whole food substance that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA. Unlike Omega-6 fatty acids which are readily found in a variety of foods from meat, to grains to vegetables, Omega-3’s are harder to come by. Neither can be synthesized in a dog’s body and so both must come from outside sources. Fish oil is a perfect place to begin. Benefits of fish oil include: Improvements in skin and coat Immune support especially in dogs with heart and kidney issues or cancers A reduction in inflammation caused by arthritis or other joints issues, allergies and digestive issues Brain and cognitive function in dogs of all life stages but most especially in puppies and older dogs Regulation of the immune system. It acts as an immune booster for dogs that have a suppressed system and helps to calm the over active immune system of dogs with allergies and auto-immune disorders Aids in weight loss for obese dogs How much fish oil does your dog need? Generally speaking, the dosage is between 100-150 mg EPA/DHA per 10 pounds of body weight for a healthy dog and up to 300 mg for a dog who is compromised in some way (therapeutic dose). If using fish oil capsules for your dog, check the milligrams of EPA/DHA per capsule to arrive at the correct dosage. When using capsules it is advisable to pierce the capsule and squirt it directly on your dog’s food as the capsule may pass too quickly through their system to have time to dissolve. What fish makes for the best fish oil? Salmon is the Cadillac of fish oils, but nearly any cold water fish will suffice including pollock, sardine, anchovy and others. Fish oil is necessary for all dogs regardless of diet. In recent years, kibble manufacturers have recognized this by adding fish oil to their foods. Unfortunately, fish oil is far too volatile a substance to withstand the processing that goes into making a kibble dog. It breaks down quite easily in the presence of heat and/or light, both of which can render it inactive. Adding fish oil at the time you feed is the best way to ensure your pet derives the most benefit from it. While once upon a time, Omega 3’s were readily available by feeding grass fed meat. Sadly, this is no longer the case. At this point, our land has been so overused and depleted that the benefits of it are harder and harder to come by. Supplementing with a good quality fish oil can easily compensate for the loss and is a simple way to make sure your pet has all they need. See our selection of Salmon and Pollock Oils here. Do you use fish oil for your pets? What benefits have you noticed?