Health Benefits Of Fish Oil For Your Dog
By Aleza Freeman, Pet Lifestyle Contributor
We have some good news for your good boy. He too can benefit from the good fats omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil.
Commonly known as fatty acids, these good fats are more than just good for your pooch. They’re vital to everyday health, strong muscles and healthy joints.
“I am a firm believer in the benefits of fish oil,” said Dr. Bernadine Cruz, DVM, a veterinarian in Laguna Woods, Calif., who we interviewed for this article. “I recommend it to all of my clients no matter their age or physical status.”
We also think the benefits of fish oil are pretty fin-tastic. That’s why we include omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil in SmartyPaws.
A deeper dive into omega-3 EPA and DHA
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) … they’re tongue-twisters, for sure, and ones you’ll want to remember for the sake of your four-legged friend.
Both EPA and DHA are polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Polyunsaturated fat is different from monounsaturated, saturated and trans fats because...chemistry.
Basically, these omega-3s are fat molecules with more than one unsaturated carbon bond, also known as a double bond. They’re primarily derived from cold-water fish and shellfish like trout and oysters.
Ours is sourced from wild-caught anchovies, sardines and mackerel.
Omega-3 EPA and DHA are called essential fatty acids because they are just that...essential. Bodies use them on a cellular level to stay in prime condition.
Ah, but there is a rub (and we don’t mean the kind you give his belly). Dogs don’t manufacture these beneficial fats on their own. They have to get them from an external source like a supplement.
Good health from nose to tail
When dogs are given omega-3 DHA and EPA from fish oil, it can offer support for various health concerns including:
- Seasonal and Environmental Allergies
- Skine Health
- Joint Health
- Immune Support
Let’s take a closer look at how Omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil helps keep those furry tails wagging.
How omega-3s from fish oil can help your dog
- Allergies: Omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil help maintain a normal inflammatory response to seasonal allergies in humans and dogs alike. They also ease the occasional discomfort (and sad puppy eyes) associated with such allergies. It turns out that fish oil is so commonly used, it has become mainstream in the treatment of pet allergies by veterinarians.
- Skin Health: Most dogs don’t have their own skincare routine (that we know of), but that’s ok because omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil help to maintain the skin’s normal moisture content. These essential fatty acids don’t only support overall skin health, but they are also helpful if your delicate doggy has sensitive skin.
Joint Health: Stiff and achy joints due to normal daily exercise and activity are a common and frustrating part of aging for canines and humans alike. Fortunately, the EPA and DHA from fish oil help support your dog’s bendy parts.
These fatty acids promote cartilage development and maintain healthy bone and joint function, while also relieving occasional joint stiffness. In one study, dogs whose diets were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids significantly improved in their abilities to rise from a resting position, play and walk. Sounds like fetch is in your future.
- Immune Health: Without a healthy immune system, your pup could feel sick as a dog. The science is in his favor, though, since omega-3 EPA and DHA found in fish oil can help support his immune system function. A study of mice by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology shows that DHA-enriched fish oil may aid immune responses and dampen the totality of the inflammatory response. Studies were done on humans with similar results.
Even though fish oil is commonly used, always consult with your veterinarian before adding a new supplement to your dog’s diet.
Fishin’ for fish oil supplements
While there are a ton of supplements to choose from, SmartyPaws dog supplements provide a high-quality source of omega-3 EPA and DHA.
Instead of focusing on a single issue or area, our chews were created to help your dog lead a happy and healthy life by supporting their joint, gut, immune, skin, allergy and urinary tract health -- all in one convenient serving.
Our formulas were designed by vets and deliver premium ingredients to help maintain good health for dogs at every age.
They are also customized for their size and stage. With the many health benefits of fish oil and the drool-worthy peanut buttery flavor of our chews, don’t be surprised if your happy pup gives you a few extra slobbery kisses … and there’s nothing fishy about that.