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Here Fishy, Fishy....oils

by User Not Found | Mar 02, 2013
  1. Reduces inflammation from allergies, arthritis and irritable bowel disease.
  2. Decreases Blood Pressure
  3. Promotes weight loss
  4. Support for kidney and heart disease and aids in fighting cancer
  5. Improved coat and skin
  6. Reduces inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, renal disease and inflammatory disorders of the skin (atopic dermatitis)

Sounds good right?  Sign me up, oh and my dog too.  No problem, just head out to the store and pick up some Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Ok, my work here is done…

WAIT! What the heck is that?

These two crazy words are better known as Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and have been the center of a flurry of medical studies.  Omega 3’s are known as essential fatty acids (EFA) and have been shown to have therapeutic benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.  Omega 3’s are in high concentration in cold water fish, so Fish Oil is the best source for these good fats.  Who knew we would ever use the word good before the word fat?  Recently I was reading about several studies in the North American Veterinary Community journal….I know people, there is no end to my “nerdom’…that showed use of these EFA’s may reduce the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).  This is good news…less NSAIDs means less nasty side effects.

Many commercial dog foods are now claiming that they have added Fish Oil or Omega 3 to their products, however just like the glucosamine we talked about, it is not present in therapeutic amounts.  Also, these kinds of fats are unlikely to survive in storage, especially in kibble because they are sensitive to light, heat and air.  So when purchasing them, buy in quantities that are used within one to two months.  The best place for them is in a dark bottle in the fridge, otherwise they can turn rancid.  Note to self, if they smell “off”, toss them.  There are a number of things I recommend Fish Oils for, most of which are allergies, dry skin, weight gain and old-timers disease or arthritis.  I buy for myself and share with my dogs, just pop the pill in their dish and away it goes.  My sister can give hers straight to her dogs like a treat and they gobble it right up.  The moral of the story is: you don’t need to fancy it up for them by popping open the fish oil capsule and squeezing it onto their food.  If your dog has an affliction to them, you could try drizzling it on their food.  Just be careful with these liquid forms, they go bad faster…be sure to check your expiration dates often! 

Remember that sign by the pond that says “Don’t eat the fish”? Thanks to polluted runoff, our water can be contaminated with not just mercury but PCB’s.  The bigger the fish, the more likely they are to harbor levels of contaminants that are high enough to cause harm.  Many of these supplements have been tested for things like mercury.  The good news is no detectable levels were found as fish oils are typically made from small oily fish like sardines and herring.  If you are still worried about Salmon Oil, you can talk to your vet about switching to krill oil or even coconut oil.  I’ve got nothing against Salmon, they are perfectly nice fish, they just made my dogs smelly.  Owner operator error with the liquid version also caused them to put on a bit of weight, at the time, so we’ve switched back to the convenience of fish oil in a capsule.

One pill per 20#s of dog is what I usually recommend, but since I’m surrounded by good inquiring dog owners, they wanted to know, well what does that mean?

Healthy dogs can be given 100mg-150mg per 10lbs and those with health problems (cancer, joint issues, etc.) can be given up to 300mg per 10lbs.  If you flip over the bottle of Fish oils (which average around 1200mg total) you will see that they break it down to Omega 3s and Omega 6s.  Omega 3s are the ones that we want because we get plenty of 6s in our diet.  A good fish oil pill can contain up to 720mg of Omega 3 DHAs and EPA so your 65 pound dog could get 1 to 3 a day.  This is pretty average so I just say give 3 Fish Oils!  Now you have super sciencey info on Fatty Acids you can share with your friends.  =)  Trust me, you’ll be a huge hit at dinner parties…..you’re welcome!  Oh and your dog will thank you too.

Cheers!

Katie

Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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