Can salmon oil benefit my dog?
In short, yes.
There are so many amazing benefits to feeding your dog salmon oil! Some are pretty straight forward and some are a little more interesting. We decided to take a thorough look into the world of salmon oil for dogs!
Let’s start by looking at what is it about salmon oil that is so good for dogs. Your immediate thought might be that salmon oil has a lot of healthy fats such as omega-3’s and omega-6’s, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
BUT did you know what the difference between the 2 omega’s are and why salmon oil is especially ideal when it comes to adding omega-3’s to your dogs diet?
We didn’t, that’s why we went a little deeper and found out that both omega-3’s and omega-6’s play very different but important roles in keeping our dogs healthy – as long as they are both consumed in a balanced way.
What we found even more interesting is that our dogs naturally consume a higher amount of omega-6’s because omega-6 is not as sensitive to oxygen, light and heat as omega-3’s are.
Whether they are raw fed, kibble fed or just fed in general – most foods carry some sort of omega-6’s in them, but rarely to they carry omega-3’s. And if they did have omega-3’s, the effectiveness of the nutrients would be poor to non-existent due to being exposed to oxygen, heat and light.
When a dog has too much omega-6’s and not enough omega-3’s the health effects go from healthy to somewhat dangerous.
Omega-6’s produce the hormones that increase inflammation which is perfect if your dog is wounded or suffering from skin irritations and conditions to name a few. The inflammation forces the white blood cells to rush to the area of concern and help with blood clotting or cell repair.
Omega-3’s act as anti-inflammatories. They actually do the opposite.
So together they balance each other out, allowing for both omega’s to do what they were designed to do. But if your dog has too much omega-6’s they experience dangerous levels of inflammation causing your dog a lot of health concerns, even making them more susceptible to cancer.
That’s why salmon oil has such an important role to play in your dog’s diet.
Salmon is naturally higher in omega-3’s and when added to your dog’s already high in omega-6 diet it allows for the 2 different fatty acids to work together effectively. Giving your dog the best chance of an overall healthy life.
Now this is just one of the ways salmon oil is beneficial to your dogs health.
Here is a list of other ways salmon oil can help your dog have a healthy and balanced life:
- Salmon oil has nutrients that helps to build strong cell membranes helping dogs who are naturally more prone to dry, itchy, allergic skin and other similar skin conditions
- It also helps to generally improve fur coats and skin, keeping your dog’s skin moisture levels up from the inside out
- You will see a reduction in overall body inflammation that can cause numerous health concerns such as gastritis and arthritis
- Salmon oil aids in brain development and also healthy cognitive behaviour
- Assists with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Regulates and boosts your dog’s immune system allowing their body to focus on what needs immediate attention
- For dogs with allergies and autoimmune diseases, salmon oil has a calming effect on their overactive immune systems
- Lowers blood pressure and triglycerides
- Provides added support for dogs with kidney disease and other kidney concerns such as frequent urination and loss of appetite
- Helps fight heart disease
- Has an overall effect on maintaining your dog’s heart, kidney, and liver function
- Can be used as a preventative for cancer as well as slowing down the growth of cancer if your dog has it, especially in the case of cachexic which is a condition caused by cancer
- If given in the correct dosages, salmon oil can help to promote weight loss
- Helps your dog’s body in producing more collagen for healthy and efficient cell turnover
- Joint concerns and conditions ease and are lessened
- Acts as a preventative as well as a support for renal disease
It’s amazing what one simple ingredient can do for the health and wellbeing of your dog!!
With all these benefits are there any side effects?
With anything, there is always good and bad. Most dogs take to salmon oil really well while some dogs just don’t have a happy relationship with salmon oil. Whether it be the taste or the nutrients are too powerful for their bodies, sometimes dogs experience a negative effects of salmon oil.
When starting something new it’s always advisable to start in smaller doses and allow your dog to build up to a full dosage. It’s also important to watch for the following signs that indicate that your dog might need a bit more time adjusting to the new dietary supplement:
- Salmon oil is high in fat so if you aren’t adjusting their food intake to account for the extra calories from the oil, your dog could very well experience weight gain.
- Salmon is a fish so your dog may experience some bad breath – make sure to take care of their dental hygiene on this one!
- Loose stool or runny tummies could be an indication that the dosage you are giving them is too high – they may need more time to build up to the full dosage
- Too much salmon oil can also slow down your dog’s healing process if they were to become injured or wounded, so you really don’t want to feed them too much of the oil – stick to the recommended dosages
These are things to be aware of and to monitor, but more often than not, with the right doses and a paced introduction of salmon oil to the diet, these signs will naturally go away.
The signs or symptoms that salmon oil is just really not for your dog at all is if they experience consistent:
- Stomach aches and pains
Even though these symptoms are uncommon, if they persist, you may need to stop adding salmon oil to your dogs diet.
With all this talk about correct dosages, I’m thinking you probably want to know what they are!
Here is a general rule of thumb to follow, but always consult the instructions with the product you are using.
A full dose for a very small dog is maximum 4ml while it will gradually go up to 16ml for the extra large dogs.
Is there such a thing as a better quality salmon oil? Yes.
The nutrients is salmon oil, namely the omega-3’s we mentioned earlier, are extremely sensitive to light, heat and oxygen. If not collected and stored incorrectly, the nutrients and benefits become non-existent.
There is also a difference in the quality of the fish itself. Wild salmon is much better for our dogs as they carry less impurities, mercury and pollutants. Salmon oil that is derived from salmon farms is going to be in far worse condition than fresh salmon.
Here are some really easy ways to know if your salmon oil is actually a high quality oil:
- It is 100% cold pressed
- There is a high concentration of omega-3’s and a low concentration of omega-6’s
- It is stored in an airtight, opaque bottle to protect it from air and light
- It must be stored in the fridge once opened
With so much goodness in salmon oil, you might be wondering where to start? Which brand do I use and is it good enough?
Whatever brand you choose, make sure it ticks at least all of the above list, that’s a good start!!
And if you want to know what Frank and Jellys recommends, click HERE to read about the latest on 100% cold pressed Super Salmon Oil! We are loving it and so are our Doggy Detectives!
Have you ever used salmon oil in your dog’s diet? What were some of the results your dog experienced? We’d love to hear from you! Information shared is a potential life spared. Leave a comment or email us at [email protected].
Paws of Love,
Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo
P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.
Did you enjoy reading this post? Help us spread the word by sharing with a friend who might enjoy it.