7 Benefits of Omega 3 in Salmon Oil Supplements for Dogs

7 Benefits of Omega 3 in Salmon Oil Supplements for Dogs

Regardless of what type of diet you feed your dog; salmon oil is one of the most important supplements that you can add. Salmon oil for dogs is extremely beneficial and has shown benefits in both older dogs and puppies alike.

Salmon oil is very rich in both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are key Omega 3 fatty acids. Dogs cannot make their own Omega 3 fatty acids because they are physiologically unable to. This is why dogs have a dietary need for Omega 3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Clinical studies show that Omega 3s are helpful in treating many disorders in dogs, including heart disease, inflammatory skin conditions, arthritis, and cognitive function. The best way to insure your pet is getting sufficient Omega 3 fatty acids is through a balanced, species-appropriate supplementation with a marine-sourced oil such as salmon oil.

The Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon oil supplements provide the following health benefits for dogs:

1. Alleviates inflammation.

Dog with tongue out

The main Omega 3 fatty acids found in Salmon Oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are long chain fatty acids.

Hundreds of studies suggest that Omega 3s may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases: cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Salmon oil reduces inflammation that can lead to autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and it helps with the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

2. Eases skin allergies for dogs.

Dog staring in the distance

Salmon oil is recommended for dogs with skin allergies as it helps various skin conditions heal faster. It will help reduce inflammation due to allergies and thus lessens the intensity of most types of allergies, including fleabite allergies, inhalant/contact allergies, and/or food allergies and reduce itchy skin and dandruff. This can also be an effective way to potentially decrease the incidence of hot spots on your pet.

Omega 3 fatty acids have a proven benefit to skin/coat conditions through an anti-inflammatory effect that can help potentially decrease the development of skin allergies and help aid in the healing of wounds. Dogs with allergy symptoms (atopic dermatitis) such as itching, scratching, hair loss, and chewing may benefit from Omega 3 supplementation.

Omegas 3s regulate the immune system, boosting those that are suppressed and calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies.

3. Improves skin and coat health.

Dog lying on a sofa

Omega 3 fatty acids are important structural components of healthy cell membranes and are vital for maintaining normal skin structure and function. Salmon oil promotes a shiny, healthy skin and coat and reduces shedding. It adds moisture to the skin and improves the coat and skin, making it soft and shiny.

4. Better longevity and cardiovascular health.

Dog standing on a tree trunk

Studies have shown that dogs receiving Omega 3 supplements benefited from longer lives and increased cardiovascular health. A diet high in Omega 3 was shown to reduce inflammatory proteins, cytokines, eicosanoids, and fatty acids in the body, reduce muscle loss, and have antiarrhythmic effects.

EPA and DHA also lower blood pressure and triglycerides and help to fight heart disease in dogs. In addition to improved heart function (including reduced heart rate and blood pressure), Omega 3 supplementation also improved the dogs' appetite and maintenance of lean body mass.

5. Improves neurological development and trainability.

Dog seated on grass

Feeding diets or supplements containing DHA may improve memory or learning in young dogs. A study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that feeding weaned puppies foods high in DHA improves several aspects of their development.

The researchers found that diets rich in DHA and other nutrients known to support neurocognitive development improved cognitive, memory, psychomotor, immunologic, and retinal functions in growing dogs. It may also help improve cognitive function in older dogs, keeping brain functioning sharp in aging dogs.

6. Helps boost senior pets' immune systems.

Dog lying on a carpet

 Senior pets often have weaker immune systems and are much more prone to inflammation and infection. Therefore supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids often benefits these pets. Due to the role of inflammation in many degenerative brain diseases, salmon oil and Omega 3 supplements can help lessen and even reverse brain inflammation in many senior pets.

7. Eases osteoarthritis.

Dog seated on a sofa

According to studies of dogs with osteoarthritis (OA), dogs can benefit from a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids sourced from fish. The University of Montreal conducted a study of 30 dogs with OA and concluded that a diet supplemented with Omega 3 fatty acids resulted in significant improvement in movement problems and performance of daily activities.

In addition to supplementing your dog’s diet with a high quality Omega 3 supplement like salmon oil, there are many other things you can do to prevent or manage your pet’s arthritic condition, including providing chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture. We also recommend talking with your general vet about natural supplements that promote cartilage repair and maintenance.

 Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are very vulnerable to damage from heat. So even if these fats were once present in your pet's commercial food (as per the ingredients label), they quite likely lost their bio-availability during the kibbling or canning process. It's one of many reasons why a balanced, species-appropriate fish oil supplement is ideal for your dog.

 Salmon oil should be protected from light, heat, and air. Store liquid salmon oil in a cool dark place. Purchase amounts that can be used within one or two months to avoid rancidity. If you notice an “off” odour, discard the oil. After opening the bottle, throw away any unused product after 12 weeks. Note that it often takes 3-4 months to see maximal benefits of salmon oil supplements in both the skin and rest of your pet's body. 

By giving your dog a high quality omega 3 supplement like salmon oil, you can help balance out the ratio of Omega 6 (found in their food) to Omega 3 in their diet which can help support overall health and vitality.

Information for this article was sourced from petmd.com and healthypets.mercola.com.