Fish Oil for Dogs and Cats: Dosage, Safety, and Health Benefits
- Cats and dogs have a limited ability to synthesize the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and must rely on external sources
- Commercial pet foods typically contain higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and inadequate amounts of omega-3s EPA and DHA
- Supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can provide a wide range of research-backed health benefits for cats and dogs
Pets are the best. And as their owners, it is our responsibility to make sure they feel and function their best. to give them the best in return.
Well, what if we told you that your pet is probably deficient in key nutrients affecting everything from their cellular health to their behavior and trainability. (Because if they eat commercial pet foods, they probably are.)
Many commercial pet foods—whether dry, canned, or raw—contain lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils.1 This is a problem, given that an unbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has been shown to negatively affect the health of animals’ skin, hearts, brains, and kidneys.2 Woof.
But don’t worry, we can help. In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of essential fatty acids for pets, and what dose of fish oil to give cats and dogs.
Essential Fatty Acids
Despite fat’s reputation for being “unhealthy,” it is quite important for cellular health. Fats provide energy, support the absorption of certain vitamins, and help modulate inflammation.2
A particularly important type of fats are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Often referred to as “healthy fats,” omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are required for the normal structure and function of cell membranes. However, because mammals lack the desaturase enzymes needed to make omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body, these essential PUFAs must be consumed through dietary sources.3