Sunday, December 22, 2013

Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs and Cats

By David Neuwirth
There are a lot of supplements available for your pet to help with a myriad of health issues. One commonly used supplement is fish oil; mainly because it's a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Some pet owners learn about it with skin or coat issues (such as dry or itchy skin, hot spots, etc.); however, dogs and cats with no known skin or coat issues will also see an improvement after using this supplement. Your pet's coat will become shinier and softer when supplementing their diet regularly with fish oil. You might also find that your pet sheds less when incorporating it into your pet's regular diet.

While many people have heard about benefits for the skin and coat, there are additional benefits to supplementing your dog or cat's diet with fish oil. The Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown to help reduce inflammation, making it useful for pets suffering from arthritis and stiff joints, allergies and even I.B.S (inflammatory bowel disease). Omega 3 fatty acids help regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, improve brain function and cognitive abilities. Research has found that Fish Oil with Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can reduce the risk of heart problems, making fish oil ideal for pets affected by heart disease. Pets with cancer and kidney disease can also benefit from regularly taking these supplements.

There are numerous types of fish oil products for pets on the market. Usually this supplement is administered to pets in a gel capsule or liquid form. I've used both with my pets, but found the liquid to be more convenient for me. Grizzly Salmon Oil is a good quality, all natural product that is easy to use. Grizzly Salmon Oil only uses wild caught Alaskan Salmon. It comes in a pump bottle so it's easy to use. Just pump the fish oil on your pet's food. A chart on the bottle tells you how many pump strokes to use based on your pet's weight. Grizzly Pollock Oil is another alternative with many of the same benefits as salmon oil.

For pets suffering from extreme itching and skin issues, Ark Naturals' Omega Mender! Itch Ender! combines wild fish oil with borage oil (a natural anti-inflammatory oil with benefits for healthy skin). This product is also in a liquid form and is administered with meals. Omega Mender, Itch Ender (formerly known as Royal Coat Express) is made in the USA. NaturVet's Unscented Salmon Oil is ideal for anyone who might not like to give their pet salmon oil without any smell. Also, some cats can be more picky about salmon oil; unscented oil might work well for finicky cats. Regardless of which salmon oil supplement you use, make sure you read the label for proper storage instructions and feeding guidelines.

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