Which fish oil for dogs is best?
Our dogs don’t always get everything they need from their diet, no matter how good the food is that we buy for them. One key ingredient for a healthy dog is omega-3 fatty acids. Even if your dog’s kibble contains fish, there may not be enough to maintain a healthy level of these acids. That’s why fish oil supplements for dogs are so numerous.
The best is Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels. It’s high-quality, but the best part is it’s made with ethical and sustainable ingredients.
What to know before you buy fish oil for dogs
Fish oil for dogs benefits
Fish oil is proven to have a huge range of benefits, according to the American Kennel Club. Some of these are:
- Skin: The primary use of fish oil for dogs is to improve skin health. It can help to reduce itchiness from dry skin, reduce or eliminate dandruff and increase the health and softness of your dog’s coat.
- Inflammation: It’s an anti-inflammatory that helps inflamed skin but also soothes inflamed joints.
- Heart and muscles: It can improve heart health and help reduce muscle fatigue.
- Kidneys: Finally, it can help treat kidney disease in combination with medication.
Fish oil for dogs comes in four forms.
- Liquid is the most common as it doesn’t need to be converted into a solid or packaged inside a gel. it’s also easy to measure out and mix with your dog’s regular food.
- Soft gels are essentially pre-measured liquid doses. They’re usually large, so it can be difficult to get your dog to take them. If hiding them in tastier food doesn’t work you can puncture them to add the oil directly to their food. Once you run out, switch to liquids to save money.
- Chews are perfect if you want the fish oil itself to be a treat rather than using a treat to hide it. Just make sure it isn’t packed with yummy but unhealthy ingredients. Keep in mind that larger dogs need to eat several so costs can quickly add up.
- Tablets are like chews in that they’re, well, chewed. However, tablets are drier and harder. This means you may need to hide it in a treat rather than it being the treat. However, these are uniquely suited for the pickiest dogs. If you crush them into powder you can mix them into broth. Because it doesn’t float like oil, it should be so hidden your dog will unknowingly drink it up.
What to look for in quality fish oil for dogs
Quantity and dosage
Take care when shopping to triple-check how many servings are included in a bottle and compare that to the dosage instructions to find the best value.
- Quantity: Liquids are measured in ounces with common sizes being 8, 16, 32 and 64. Gels, chews and tablets are individually counted with common sizes being 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180.
- Dosage: Dosage varies, but is typically based on weight. As liquids commonly come with pump dispensers, a common dosage is a half or a full pump per weight class. Gels, chews and tablets are usually one per weight class.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The main ingredients to look for in fish oil for dogs are omega-3 fatty acids. The two best omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Many of the best oils list the mix of EPA and DHA acids alongside the total omega-3 fatty acid count.
How much you can expect to spend on fish oil for dogs
Cost varies mainly based on quantity and quality. Prices for a one-month supply can be as low as $5 to $10, though finding a quality oil in this range can be difficult. Better one-month supplies cost $15 to $20, with the best typically costing at least $20.
Fish oil for dogs FAQ
Will fish oil make my dog’s breath smell like fish?
A. It can, depending on the supplement. Products aren’t known to list potential downsides so check for this in the user reviews.
Do I need a prescription to buy fish oil for my dog?
A. No, but it’s wise to double-check with your veterinarian before you add fish oil — or any other supplement — to your dog’s diet.
What’s the best fish oil for dogs to buy?
Top fish oil for dogs
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels
What you need to know: This oil uses nothing but the best ingredients.
What you’ll love: It’s packed with EPA and DHA with a total of 330 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per gel. It comes in 90-, 120- and 180-count bottles with a dosage recommendation of one gel per 20 pounds your dog weighs. It’s made in a zero-waste facility.
What you should consider: Some dogs won’t swallow it no matter how well you hide it, though it can be punctured to get the oil out.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb
Top fish oil for dogs for the money
Pawstruck Natural Omega-3 Fish Oil for Dogs Soft Chew Supplement
What you need to know: This chew knows dogs are picky and offers a trial size of 10 for $1.
What you’ll love: Each chew has 270 milligrams of EPA and 180 milligrams of DHA and there are detailed dosage instructions for several weight classes. If your dog likes it you can order it in 60- and 90-count quantities. Pawstruck is owned and operated in the U.S. and doesn’t source ingredients from China.
What you should consider: Some customers reported the chews being soft and crumbly enough to fall apart in the bottle.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Grizzly Pollock Oil Dog Food Supplement
What you need to know: This fish oil is perfect if your dog’s need for it is long-term.
What you’ll love: It’s packed with both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids sustainably sourced from wild Alaskan pollock. A pump dispenser makes adding oil to your dog’s bowl easy and mess-free. It comes in 16-, 32- and 64-ounce sizes, and it’s made in the U.S.
What you should consider: A few purchasers reported it giving their dogs bad fish breath. Others reported their dogs becoming gassy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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