The Effects of Fish Oil on Dog Food

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    • Fish oil has benefits for bones image by Janet Wall from

      Fish oil supplements were once thought of as holistic care for animals, according to Veterinarians are now using fish oil to treat certain ailments in dogs so regularly that it is considered conventional. Fish oil, like in humans, has a variety of health benefits in animals, and more specifically in dogs. Most commonly, fish oil is used to treat allergies and skin conditions, but also helps promote a healthy coat in dogs.

    Immune System

    • Adding fish oil to your dog's food provides anti-inflammatory effects and can boost a dog's immune system, according to Dr. Andrew Weil. Dogs with extreme allergies benefit from fish oil as it reduces the inflammatory effects that cause allergic symptoms such as itching, redness and discomfort. Dr. Weil recommends consulting a veterinarian to discuss the appropriate dose for each dogs needs.

    Skin Conditions

    • With dogs that suffer from chronically itchy skin and other skin conditions, "fatty acid supplements made from fish oil are effective in reducing symptoms of itching and inflammation in 11 to 27 percent of allergic dogs," according to Larger doses of fatty acids are recommended when treating atopic dermatitis in pets as it reduces the symptoms greatly.

    Healthy Coat

    • The look and feel of an animal's coat is a good indicator of the pet's overall health and happiness. A thick, smooth coat is a sign of a healthy dog. According to, one of the most frequent reasons that pets are taken to see a veterinarian is coat problems. Fatty acids such as fish oil are often recommended to reduce shedding and flaky skin, sooth irritated skin from the inside and provide a thick, shiny coat.

    Other Conditions

    • Dr. Weil states that though fatty acids were once used only to treat allergic skin conditions in dogs, they are now recommended for a wide variety of conditions. Some of the most frequent include kidney disease, arthritis and high cholesterol. Health benefits in dogs are similar to those in humans. Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in reducing elevated cholesterol in some cases and can provide a longer, happier life for dogs.

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