Is your pet pupper getting chubby? Is their skin not feeling as smooth as it used to? Are they not as willing to go for walks as they used to? Are they limping or showing other signs of joint pain?
If you answered yes to any 2 of these questions, you might have an unhealthy dog on your hands. You see, dogs need a number of different things to be completely healthy and maintain that sheen on their coats, be energetic and feel soft or firm to the touch (depending on their breed).
Their diet is perhaps most important for them to be healthy.
What Should Your Dog’s Diet Have?
Like many of us mammals, dogs also need a healthy and wide assortment of proteins, good fats, vitamins and minerals to stay in tip top shape. They also need their fair share of exercise too. They might even motivate you to go out for a jog or walk after work, if they are healthy themselves.
Many times, the dog food you feed them does have these necessary things, but sometimes, you need something extra to help them get back into shape.
Joint pain is especially not a good sign for a dog as it can indicate poor health for them. Healthy and often expensive foods can provide your dog with the nutrients it needs to get rid of joint pains, (osteoarthritis, if you will), and return to its former state of good health.
Supplements are available for dogs as they are for us. We often see the elderly take fish oils for joint pain. Well, there are some fish oils and products specifically formulated with dogs in mind and can help them get rid of those joint pains.
Omega 3 and Omega 6
Dogs are like us in many ways. Like us, they need omega 3 fatty acids to stay in the best shape and grow naturally.
There are some acids that dogs can themselves make but they need to have others from their food sources. When these fatty acids cannot be found in regular dog foods, you may have to get it from fish oils.
They need both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The omega 6 fatty acids, like omega 3, help to control the hormones in a dog’s body. But Omega 6 have to be controlled as they can heighten the production of hormones that increase inflammation (which may worsen joint pains in active dog breeds), and that’s why its consumption needs to be controlled.
Omega 3 acids are required in gestation periods and for normal growth of your dog. Omega 6, on the other hand, needs to be there for normal reproduction, growth, immune system function as well as the sheen and softness of your dog’s coat and their skin health.
Two Important Fatty Acids
EPA and DHA, that stand for Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid, are two Omega-3 acids that are beneficial for a Dog’s body. You can find them in fish oils as well as some foods such as flaxseed oil and chia seeds.
But seeds are not nearly as good a source of these two Omega-3 acids as fish oils from Salmon, Anchovies and Herring are. You won’t need to feed fish to your dog. That might give hem bad breath and they might not eat it altogether.
Instead, there are fish oils that are available in the market that have processed oils from these fish that have these essential acids.
What Would Happen If You Don’t Use the Fish Oils Carefully
Under normal use, fish oil supplements are safe, things can get bad if you don’t use them carefully.
Omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA can cause the blot clotting mechanism in dogs to be disrupted if the fish oils are not administered correctly. So if your dog has suffered from an injury or cut that needs blood to clot and your dog is already getting medication for that, it may be a good idea to put a hold on the use of fish oil for the moment. If your dog needs to have surgery, you may also want to practice the same.
Inflammation reduction that comes about from omega 3 fatty acids can increase the time that your dog needs to recover from an infection or injury. White blood cell production can be reduced when omega 3 fatty acids are consumed, which may be good in relieving joint pain when your dog isn’t injured. Get your dog checked out first if you fear that they might have suffered an injury.
An intestinal upset may result from consumption of fatty acids in some dog breeds that are not able to digest fish oil supplements properly so consult your veterinary doctor before giving your dog fish oil supplements. This issue can resolve on its own normally on its own, however.
Picking the Best Oils and Supplements
If you go out into the market today you’ll come across many different fish oils and supplements that can overwhelm you as an owner. When you’re deciding which one to get for your precious pupper, take the following into consideration:
1. Is the Product Quality Controlled?
There are many products out there that have harmful and toxic chemicals that may endanger your dog’s health and yours as well. Like you do with dog food, don’t just go with any brand; make sure that there are strict quality control measures when it comes to testing for toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients.
Usually, developed countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and Western Europe have strict quality control standards on food products regardless of the species they’re being made and packaged for.
2. Wild Fish > Farm Fish
Wild fish are becoming somewhat a rarity in many grocery stores. These days, there seem to be far more farm bred seafood products than wild fish products.
Wild fish are in a more natural environment than farm bred fish that are raised in cramped spaces. The way they are bred exposes them to toxins and greater quantities of harmful metals.
Fish oils and supplements made from wild caught fish such as salmon and herring are less likely to have alarming levels of toxic metals and other harmful constituents as a result, compared to products made from farm bred fish products.
What Fish Oils are Best for Your Pupper?
1. Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil
It’s natural, it’s nutritious and your pupper will love you for it. That’s because there are omega 3 fatty acids in Zesty paws that will allow you to add it to their food when it’s feeding time. No need to swallow when they can eat it with their food. It’s made from wild caught Alaskan Salmon. No farmed fish are used, which means no harmful ingredients or toxic chemicals.
It’s manufactured in the US at FDA-registered facilities. It helps out with joint pain and gives your dog that lush coat of fur that you love so much about them. It also has Omega 6 fatty acids as well.
2. Nutramax Welactin Canine Capsules
These capsules are filled with salmon oil sourced from wild salmon Peruvian waters. The soft gel is made in the USA. Better Omega 3 Fatty acids including DHA can be found in the gel capsules. It is considered better as an alternative for fish oils directly coming from a pump.
You can feed it directly to your dog, or squirt the oil onto your dog’s food when it’s feeding time. They are known to reduce joint pains and swelling caused by inflammation as well as other health benefits.
3. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Soft Gels
Anchovies and sardines are the main source of the Omega-3 acids here. Nordic Naturals also has a human product range, but this product is made especially for your pretty pooch. The oil comes from some of the best wild Norwegian sardines and Anchovies and they’re transformed into gels here.
Dogs love this so much, they take these soft gels on their own without the need to mask them with some tasty treats. It helps with skin conditions and giving your dog(s) the soft fur they deserve, along with a little relief from their joint pains.
4. Pure Paw Alaskan Salmon Oil
A lot of Alaskan Salmon oils here but this one is also one that you can easily mix with your dog’s food. There’s no mercury in it, which is a toxic metal and could prove poisonous for your dog, so there’s no need to worry about that.
There are no additives preservatives and BPA and it’s made under strict regulations in the USA. You can even get it in soft gel form if the Liquid bottle form doesn’t suit you or your dog’s needs. It’s one product that your dog is going to appreciate.
5. Grizzly Salmon Oil
This one is also made from wild Alaskan Salmon and is a great source of nutrition that helps your dog recover from joint pains and swellings and can be easily added to dog food when it’s time to feed your dog.
Most dogs also like the flavor of this oil. It also has an all-natural recipe which plays a part in making it easy on your dog’s intestinal tract. It creates a more naturally thick coat of fur for your dog that feels great to the touch. It also has both Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids.
Now that you have more information on what products are out there, you’ll be able to keep your pup safe and away from any toxic chemicals. Remember to keep in mind what fish oil your pup will benefit the most from!
About the Author
Dale is a freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. With over 5 years of writing experience, Dale is always looking for new and interesting topics to cover. Dale is also fully employed at a drug and alcohol rehab in California.