Omega Oils for Dogs



This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Essentially Dogs


Omega Oils for Dogs

There is content in the following article that comes from Essentially Dogs which is a blog published by Janie Lerner. It is focused on holistic care for dogs and reveals the secrets that the pet industry and many traditional vets keep from pet owners. There are also articles about pet tech, health insurance, and provide important information and resources for dog owners.


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Omega oils are very beneficial for dogs. I have recommended marine sourced oils to many people who have various health issues with their dogs. I can usually notice the need for a diet change and the need for omega oils within 5 minutes of examining a dog. The symptoms are often loud and clear. Here are some signs that omega supplementation is needed:

Dog Itch Scratching

Dogs with dry, scaly, flaky, irritated, sensitive skin, dry coat, excessive shedding, and dry brittle nails are in need of these oils in their diets. Those symptoms (amongst others) are typical of dogs who lack necessary oils.

When I see a dog with joint issues they show signs of mobility problems. Some symptoms of joint issues include difficulty getting up, walking with a strange gait or favoring one leg over another, becoming fatigued easily, amongst others. Studies on omegas have been performed. Marine sourced omega-3s have been shown to improve osteoarthritis in dogs. The University of Montreal studied the effects of omega-3s had on dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis. The study showed that adding omega-3s to the diet improved mobility significantly for dogs with osteoarthritis.

Marine derived oils (stuff that swim around in the ocean) are the best sources of complete omega nutrients and the body is able to absorb it most efficiently. You can also add various ingredients yourself. I haven’t tried cod liver oil or pollock oil, but I plan on doing so. On occasion I add salmon skin, sardines, and anchovies. It is best to make sure it is wild caught with no salt added. I don’t do this often because I want to limit the possible toxins that are naturally occurring in fish (yes, even fish has crap in it including mercury). The plant and grain-based omegas do not contain EPA or DHA, but some of those oils have health benefits as well. I rotate the oils I give to my dogs. The plant-based oils I give include coconut oil and camelina oil (a relative of flaxseed). The marine-based oils I give include salmon oil and krill oil. I just add whatever I feel like giving them for that particular meal – eeny meeny miny moe. I like to give them more of the marine-based oil more often than the other oils. I follow the recommended instructions. Remember that too much of anything is not good.

Not all Fish Oils are Created Equal

Many pet food manufacturers use cheap sources for the omegas that are added to their food. Some examples include grain, corn, soy, and chicken fat amongst others that do more harm than good. Vegetable-derived oils, including flax and olive oil, do not contain EPA and DHA as marine life-derived contains. Furthermore, the manufacturing process kills the nutrients, rendering the omegas and other important nutrients useless. Look for wild fish oil so it is GMO free. Many cheap fish oils contain genetically engineered fish, farmed fish, high concentrations of heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and other highly toxic impurities.

I used to use salmon oil, but I have stopped. I found out that oil oxidizes very quickly when exposed to the air. I now shy away from salmon. I stick with anchovies and sardines because they are less toxic than predatory fish like salmon. I have begun to use Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil for Dogs which is made from 100% wild anchovies and sardines. What is really unique about this product is that it is the only fish oil supplement that I know of that is specifically dosed for dogs and is encapsulated like human fish oil products.

The Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

  • Improving the health of your pet’s skin and coat
  • Helps alleviate skin allergies and other irritating skin conditions
  • Helps to relieve bacterial infections
  • Maintains eye health
  • Good for the heart
  • Good for maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Helps to keep “bad” cholesterol in check
  • Helps with blood-clotting
  • Slows down the spread of certain cancers
  • Keeps certain hormones in check

Too much of a good thing is not so good. Many oils (human grade in particular) are refined and processed so much that it depletes the vitamin e content. Dogs require a less refined product. over-processed for the use in our dogs. It is important to get an oil that is closest to its natural form. Using highly processed human grade oil can have bad effects because it depletes the dog’s body of vitamin e which can lead to severe health issues which could be almost impossible for many conventional vets to diagnose. This is why a give this sparingly to my dogs.


Becker, Karen. “The Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids for Pets.” 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 9 Feb. 2015

“Can Fish Oil Kill Dogs? – Dogs Naturally Magazine”. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Dogs Naturally Magazine, 15 May 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“Fish Oil And Omega-3 For Dogs: Safe Or Not? – Dogs Naturally Magazine.” Dogs Naturally Magazine. Dogs Naturally Magazine, 16 May 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.

Gauthier, Kimberly. “Why I Give Our Dogs Salmon Oil and Not Fish Oil Keep the Tail Wagging – Raw Feeding, Dog Supplements and Raising Littermates.” Keep the Tail Wagging. Kimberly Gauthier, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“Krill Oil – Is This the NEW #1 Source of Omega-3?” 19 Jan. 2020. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.

Moreau, M., E. Troncy, J. R. E. Del Castillo, C. Bédard, D. Gauvin, and B. Lussier. “Effects of Feeding a High Omega-3 Fatty Acids Diet in Dogs with Naturally Occurring Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (2012). Web. 9 Feb. 2015.

Essentially Dogs is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.