If you are like us and take fish oil capsules on a regular basis, you may have wondered if your pets can or should take them also (obviously we are not talking here about your goldfish!).
We had heard about all the great benefits of taking omega 3 into our bodies and so wondered whether our dogs and cats could take them as well. While there are some human foods we never give our pets, this seemed to be one that might be okay.
So we hit the internet and began reading a number of articles and talked to our local vet about whether there was any harm in giving a regular dose to the pets, or if there might be any adverse effects in doing so. The general message seemed to be that if the pet was receiving a perfectly balanced diet, rich in all the necessary vitamins and minerals, then just like humans, they probably didn’t need additional supplements. However, we were told that we should always be on the lookout for any signs which might indicate that they could do with a little extra boost, and in particular, be aware of any conditions like flaky or itchy skin, a dry coat, brittle nails and joint pain.
While these health issues could also relate to other medical conditions requiring the expert assistance of the vet, they might suggest to us that his or her diet could do with a boost of healthy or ‘good fats’ which help so many aspects of the pet’s health such as:
- a healthy skin and coat
- increased stamina
- lowering blood pressure
- decreased inflammation, and
- improved immune system.
And while you might be thinking that the same nutrition could be achieved from a big tin of oily sardines, a small dose of fish oil will be easier to add to the diet and prevent possible obesity caused by all the extra fish in the diet!
However the vet was quick to caution, that like any additional supplements, too much of a good thing can in fact be bad for the pets. If it interferes with the natural production of certain chemicals in the body, or prevents wounds healing then it can harm our pet and so proper dosages need to be considered before just adding large amounts of omega 3 into their regular diet. The easiest and safest way to do this is by making an appointment with your vet who hopefully knows your dog or cat well, and based upon its body weight, age, diet and health can determine the best way forward for you.
Do you feed fish oil to your pet? We would love to know if you do and any advantages you have discovered from doing so to share with our readers. Drop us a comment below if you have.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.