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Omega-3 Fish Oil for Dogs

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that help dogs with allergies, arthritis and skin problems. Omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat, reduces cell inflammation and helps damaged cells heal. The two primary omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Sources

Omega-3 fish oil naturally occurs in fish such as salmon, herring and sardines. Fish oil is extracted for edible capsules, chewable tablets and liquid products.

Dosage

Omega-3 fish oil is given up to 20 mg/lb as a daily dose. As a dietary supplement, label recommendations are basic guidelines and may be significantly increased by veterinarian advice. A 22.7kg. dog typically can ingest 1,000 mg of EPA daily for therapeutic treatment.

Benefits

Omega-3 has a calming effect on some nervous dogs. It reduces joint inflammation and the body's reaction to allergic irritants. Omega-3 inhibits growth of some cancer cells and kidney disease.

Synergy

Omega-3 fish oil helps antihistamines and glucosteroids work more effectively. This cooperative effect means the dog can take lower doses of these medicines.

Considerations

Some dogs get no apparent benefit from omega-3 fish oil. Others develop oily hair and yellow skin flakes. Dogs with bleeding disorders should not take omega-3 fish oil without veterinarian approval.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.