Benefits of Fish Oil Supplement for Your Dog

What is Fish Oil All About?

Fish oil is extracted from the skins of albacore tuna, anchovies, black cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are known to provide health benefits to people and animals. Dogs don't naturally synthesize much omega-3 so supplements are given.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Anti-inflammatory/ joint health: Fish oil reduces inflammation caused by arthritis. It lubricates joints, helping ease pain. These benefits may decrease use of pain medications.
  • Cognitive functions are improved through the lowering of triglycerides and increase of anti-oxidants.
  • Allergy relief, reduced shedding, and better skin health reduce itching, dandruff, and "hot spots".
  • Improved vision due to the omega-3s.
  • Kidney and heart health due to less inflammation and fewer triglycerides.
  • Immune system support to ensure less auto-immune disease.
  • Preliminary tests show that Fish oil supplements may slow the growth of cancer.

When given to pregnant and nursing mothers, fish oil has been shown to improve the growth of brain and nerve cells in puppies. These pups also develop better vision and cognitive functions as they grow.

Fishy Facts to Keep in Mind

Omega-3s are fragile fatty acids that oxidize readily, compromising their benefit. The oils should be protected from heat, light, and air by storing them in dark glass bottles in a cool place, and used within a month or two.

The dosage is important. Colorado State University has set guidelines for dosing dogs and cats safely. It will take at least three weeks for the effect to become evident. If not, the dosage may be increased. There is no "toxic" level, but too much can cause fish breath, diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. Just back off the dosage and things should be fine in a day or two.

Fish oil can slow down clotting, so don't supplement if your dog is on blood thinners. Cod liver oil is not the same as fish oil, and should not be administered. Be sure to check with your vet before making any changes.

Keeping July 4th from Being Your Dog's Nightmare


The 4th of July is one of the most exciting times of year for people, but the same cannot be said for our canine friends. This holiday is the top holiday for dogs to get lost, especially in the busy Chicago area with its many festivities. Animals in these situations are very likely to end up at Chicago Animal Care and Control. In May 2016 alone, CACC took in over 600 dogs as strays, and it is likely that July will see a bigger number.

Since many dogs brought in as strays are lost, rather than abandoned, this is a fate that could await your dog if he or she isn't kept in a safe, secure area during the 4th. Boarding your dog may not be possible during this time because many people are out of town and boarding facilities likely to be full. Besides making sure your dog has a collar with current tags, as well as a microchip, you should keep your home as stress-free as possible for your dog during this time.

Even if your yard is fenced, keep your dog leashed when she or he needs to go out. Some people set off firecrackers well before it gets dark, and the noise from these tends to frighten dogs. Taking the dog on a leash is a good precautionary measure if you have company that may not be careful about closing gates. Try to give your dog a potty break before any major fireworks displays start.

Some dogs who sleep in their training crates at night may feel a little more secure being in their crate. However, make things extra comfortable for them so that they won't associate the crate with a bad experience. Consider putting their crate in a room where the family is gathered, and the TV is on. Make sure everyone knows not to let the dog out while the fireworks are underway.

The best solution for a dog unaccustomed to crating is a quiet room with a door you can close. Make sure any windows are closed, because a dog is likely to go through a screen to get out. If the room has a bed, couch or another piece of furniture for the dog to go under, your pet will be more likely to feel secure. Consider having a TV or radio on tuned to some program that involves quiet talk or music to minimize some of the noise outside.

The 4th is likely to stress your dog out but doesn't have to be their worst nightmare. Showing them, there's nothing to fear helps them feel more confident. Providing them with a quiet space, they cannot escape from also makes a major difference.

A Walked Dog is a Happy Dog


By Girl & the Dog

Many dogs enjoy lounging on the sofa as much as their people, and sometimes it is easy to forget that they need to exercise. Your lazy dog might seem satisfied to stick around the house, but it is up to you to get him up and moving for the sake of his health. One of the best exercises for dogs is simple walking. Here are the top ten reasons your dog needs to be walked.

1. Your Dog Will Remain Trimmer

Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can carry too much extra weight, and this can lead to diseases including canine diabetes. Walking is an ideal way to burns off calories from those extra doggie treats.

2. It is Excellent for Heart Health

Like people, dogs can suffer from heart ailments. Exercise helps keep the heart and circulatory system healthier. Walking is a gentle aerobic exercise that increases the heart rate and helps make the heart muscle stronger.

3. Dogs Were Meant to Move

Your dog curled up in his little bed might not seem it, but dogs come from a long line of hunters, fetchers, swimmers, herders and rescuers. Dogs are not built for a sedentary life. They do best and feel the best when they get to move around.

4. Better Bowel Function

Exercises like walking stimulate and increase blood flow to all the organs, including the bowels. It is like giving the bowels a gentle, healthy massage. This can help keep your dog regular and prevent constipation.

5. Walking Outdoors Stimulates the Brain

All animals need sensory stimulation to develop and maintain healthy brains. Dogs are no exception to this rule. A dog that goes on walks regularly will be a smarter and happier dog.

6. Your Dog will be Less Anxious

Exercise helps relieve excess tension and promotes healthy glandular function. This means that dogs that are walked tend to be calmer in general than those who are not walked, and they often sleep better.

7. Better Behavior on Outings

Dogs that get to go on walks tend to associate getting out of the home with pleasant things. This can mean that getting your dog ready to go visit the vet or to visit grandma becomes easier. Nervousness associated with leaving the security of the home is lessened when dogs understand that the outside world can be filled with fun things.

8. Improved Muscle Tone

Most dogs don’t have a gym membership, and even if you have a nice big yard, it is likely your dog won’t get enough exercise to develop a well-toned physique. Muscle tone is important not because he cares about looking handsome to other dogs but because muscle tone helps stabilize bones and joints. This stabilizing effect can prevent dislocations and other problems down the road.

9. Less Aggression

Aggression is one of the most serious behavior disorders in dogs. In some cases, aggressive behaviors arise because a dog is restless and bored. Getting walked helps these dogs work off extra tension and receive the sensory stimulation they crave, which can make them calmer.

10. Develop Better Social Skills

During a walk, a dog is exposed to many different sights and scents, including those of other animals. He can learn to get used to these new scents and be less excitable around other dogs.

When you have added walks to your dog’s schedule, you should start seeing improvement in her mood, and even health, in just a matter of weeks. This is especially noticeable in dogs who were previously couch potatoes. Remember that even most elderly dogs can benefit from an occasional stroll, so don’t hesitate encouraging your senior pup to join in on the fun.