- Ken Tudor DVM
A balanced homemade or commercial diet should contain all of the essential nutrients your dog needs for adequate health. But who wants just adequate health for their dog? The key to great health is a good diet. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, put it best when he said “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Two supplements can help transform your dog’s diet into a great diet.
Fish body oil contains two important omega-3 fatty acids. They are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These fats temper immune system responses so they:
Fish body oils or salmon oils are the richest and least expensive sources of DHA and EPA. Oils that contain vitamin E to avoid oil rancidity are the best. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that also reduces immune responses and is also thought to help decrease cell damage that can lead to cancer.
Krill oil has less of these fats and is more expensive. Oil from algae is a rich source of DHA but contains little or no EPA. Cod liver oil should be avoided in dogs because it contains excess vitamin D that could cause bone and skeletal problems.
Doses of 6-25mg of combined DHA & EPA per pound of ideal body weight are safe and effective for dogs and puppies. Always check with your vet before supplementing with fish oil. Too much fish oil or too little omega-6 in your dog’s diet can interfere with immune system function, blood clotting and wound healing. Some dogs are sensitive to fish oil and can experience diarrhea when started on it. Always start at lower doses and gradually increase over time to the greater dose.
You will immediately notice less itching in your allergic dog and more energy in your arthritic dog when you start supplementing fish oil in the diet. Enjoy the change.