Pet parents often wonder if their pups get enough nutrition from their food. With so many supplements on the market, it’s hard to know which ones your dog really needs. While nutritional needs vary, nearly all canine companions would benefit from a daily dose of fish oil.
Fish oil provides many health benefits, and the supplement is especially known for its role in promoting a healthy heart. Learn how fish oil protects your pup’s heart as well as tips for picking out the right supplement.
Benefits of fish oil for the heart
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil bolster heart health thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a leading risk factor for heart disease, strokes and heart failure among dogs. This is due to the fact that inflammation damages blood vessels and may restrict the arteries. Reducing inflammation around the heart can protect your pup from heart disease and allow them to enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Fish oil also has the ability to lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. Triglyceride is a type of fat that accumulates along the arterial walls. High levels of triglyceride can harden into plaque, which leads to high blood pressure and may inhibit blood cells from delivering vital nutrients. Dogs that take a regular fish oil supplement have healthy triglyceride levels that promote proper blood flow through the arteries.
This supplement is also effective at clearing away plaque. As a result, fish oil can help lower your dog’s blood pressure. High blood pressure is a precursor to heart disease because it means inflammation and plaque have narrowed the arteries, restricting blood flow to and from the heart. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil lower blood pressure by opening up the arteries.
Fish oil offers additional benefits for your pup’s heart, too. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the frequency of an irregular heartbeat. They can also prevent excessive blood clotting in the arteries, which further encourages healthy blood circulation. Overall, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil improve the cardiovascular system in many ways to keep your pet’s heart healthy.
Potential side effects of fish oil
Fish oil offers many health benefits, and it’s generally safe for most dogs. You can give your pup fish oil on a daily basis with zero complications. However, it’s worth noting that minor side effects may occur in some dogs. Upset stomach, oily coat, flaky skin and fishy breath are the most common side effects associated with fish oil. Side effects are more likely to show up in dogs that consume too much fish oil daily.
To avoid these side effects, consult your vet about proper dosage. The supplement will list dosage instructions, but they don’t factor in every dog’s age, weight, size and breed. Every pup is different, so they all need a different dose. Help your dog get the most out of fish oil by asking your vet about the right dosage first.
Keep in mind that not all dogs should consume fish oil. Since the supplement has anti-clotting effects, avoid giving fish oil to dogs that are taking anticoagulant medications. When combined, the anti-clotting properties from both substances may lead to bruising and excessive bleeding from open wounds. Use fish oil with caution if your dog is taking anti-inflammatory drugs since the supplement may dampen the immune response.
How to buy and store fish oil
Another way to avoid side effects is by purchasing from reputable brands. Always ask your vet for recommendations, as they will point you towards the best fish oil on the market. Supplements aren’t regulated for safety, and some companies get away with selling fish oil that contains dangerously high levels of mercury. Buying from reputable brands reduces the risk of heavy metal toxicity in dogs.
Fish oil requires proper storage to prevent it from becoming rancid. Fish oil is very sensitive to sunlight, so avoid buying translucent bottles that allow light to shine through. Whether you buy the liquid or capsule form, keep fish oil in the refrigerator or another cool, dry place. Keep the container sealed shut because open air can make fish oil go bad. Pour kibble infused with omega-3 fatty acids into airtight food containers to help it stay fresh for longer.
Fish oil is an essential part of a balanced diet. Not only is it safe for dogs, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil support the cardiovascular system in many ways to give your pup a healthy heart. Dogs can reap the maximum benefits when their pet parents consult a vet about proper dosage and reputable brands. Following a vet’s recommendations will put your pup on the right path to better heart health!