It’s an undisputed fact that fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements used for pets due to its health benefits. It supports skin health, kidney, joint, immune system, heart, coat and more likely serious problem like cancer. However, if fish oil is not used in the right formulation, it may have a detrimental effect on your pets.
This article will explain what fish oil are, the benefits of using fish oil, the agreed dosage and a few tips to stay safe.
WHAT IS FISH OIL?
Fish oil is made up of two main ingredients; eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. These two fatty acids are a long chain of carbon and hydrogen atom with a carboxyl group at the end, these two acids present in fish also called omega-3 fatty acid (the first double bond in the long chain occurs after the third carbon atom.)
HOW CAN THE FISH OIL BE GOTTEN OR EXTRACTED?
The major constituent of the fish oil are EPA and DHA and both can be gotten directly from Sardines, Black Cod, Salmon, Anchovies, Albacore tuna, Herring and Mackerel.
BENEFITS OF FISH OIL
The benefits of the unique supplement are not farfetched and there are few;
- Fish oil helps ease inflammation caused by allergies; it reduces dandruff and itchy skin. This simply means using fish oil reduces the incidence of hot spots on your pets.
- As said earlier, fish oil is a fatty acid. Like other fat supplements, fish oil also helps promote healthy shiny coat, it also reduces the shedding in dogs and fewer hairballs in cats.
- One of the two most important ingredients of the fish oil (DHA) is crème for proper eye and brain development in kittens and puppies. Administering fish oil to the nursing pets or the pregnant pet will help.
- One of the two most important ingredients of the fish oil (EPA) has anti-inflammatory properties that help with condition that may relate to arthritis or other heart, joints, skin or kidney inflammation.
- Lastly, research and studies have shown that this supplement helps slows down the growth of cancer which is the reason why veterinary doctors administer fish oil to pets with cancer.
Other benefits include;
- Enhances pet appetite
- Renewed Energy
- Increased stamina
- Improved the immune system
HOW DOES THE FISH OIL WORKS?
The two ingredients of the fish oil are natural components found in human and animal cell membrane acting as a signal to decrease inflammation. Inflammation causes pains; swelling of skins, joints, and redness but what EPA and DHA do is to reduce inflammation hereby reducing the resultant effect.
DHA in particular also helps promote the development of neuron, which is a reason why fish oil should be administered to kittens and puppies.
HOW CAN FISH OIL BE ADMINISTERED?
The supplement can come in capsule or liquid form. You are left with the best option that suits your pet. If your pet shows interest in swallowing the capsule, that’s fine. But if otherwise, use a clean pin to open the capsule and add onto the pet’s food.
Note; Liquid form is better when you want to administer large quantities of fish oil.
WHICH DOSE SHOULD I ADMINISTER TO MY PETS
Fish oil supplements have the dosage written on it but it’s advisable you contact your veterinarian before making the decision. Here is a general guideline that can help you figure out the right dose;
Multiply your dog weight by 20 pounds to get the target dose. Let’s take, for example, your dog weighs 30 pounds, the target dose will be 30 multiplied by which equal 600mg.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE FISH OIL? IS IT SAFE FOR DOGS AND CATS?
Taking too much dosage of fish oil won’t make it toxic but could result in uncomfortable side effects.
Here are tips;
- Contact your vet before you giving fish oil to an outdoor cat or dog who can get in scrapes or fights; because Omega-3s have shown to slow blood clotting.
- For the same reason, contact your vet before using fish oil with blood thinning cat or dog medication.
- Slowly introduce the fish oil into the diet of pets with gastrointestinal problems instead of full dosage.
- Don’t give fish oil to pets already on anti-inflammatory medication without first talking to your vet.
- Talk to your vet about the appropriate dosage if your dog is on immunosuppressive therapy.
In conclusion, fish oil is the supplement that can give the invaluable benefits explained above.