Best Fish Oils for Dogs

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best fish oils for dogs

Last Updated November 2019

Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids for both humans and dogs alike. Like their owners, dogs can benefit from a daily fish oil supplement. Though a shiny, lustrous coat may be the most obvious benefit, fish oils for dogs have an array of other health benefits as well, including reduced inflammation, relief from itchy skin, and even less fatigue after a hard day of play.

If the food you give your dog is high in meats, grains, or vegetable oils, your pet may not be getting an adequate amount of fish oil from her diet alone. The majority of commercial dog foods, even those that contain fish, don’t provide enough omega-3 fatty acids. A lack of these essential nutrients can predispose your dog to inflammatory problems. Luckily, a daily fish oil supplement meant for dogs can bridge this gap.

Our buying guide has everything you need to know about the critical role fish oils for dogs can play in maintaining your dog’s good health. When you are ready to purchase a fish oil supplement for your pet, you’ll find our five favorite products in the matrix above.

For healthy growth and the development of cognitive skills, feed puppies a fish oil supplement for dogs daily. Follow the advice of your veterinarian when determining the correct dosage. Dosage depends on breed, age, and weight.

Key considerations

Benefits of fish oils for dogs

Fish oil is derived from a diverse array of both saltwater and freshwater fish, including salmon, bluefish, menhaden, sardines, herring, tuna, anchovies, mackerel, sturgeon, trout, and cod. Veterinarians recommend fish oils for dogs because of the supplement’s proven health benefits.

Fish oils for dogs can calm skin irritation and promote healthier, softer coats with more luster. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are powerful anti-inflammatories that can reduce skin inflammation, dandruff, dry skin, itching due to allergies or atopic dermatitis, and hot spots on your canine companion. Fish oils can also reduce inflammation and offer relief from painful, stiff joints. Fish oil supplements may improve cardiovascular function and reduce muscle fatigue after exertion as well.

But fish oils for dogs can do more than just keep your best friend’s coat soft and shiny. Studies point to evidence that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help dogs with kidney disease. Recommended diet plans for dogs with kidney problems usually contain fish oil supplements. If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, fish oil alone will not suffice as treatment, of course, but it may augment the effects of prescription medications.

Side effects of fish oils for dogs

Fish oil is a widely recommended dietary supplement for dogs. But before adding fish oil to your dog’s daily diet, talk to your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage for your dog’s breed, weight, and age.

While adding fish oil to your dog’s diet offers a diverse array of health benefits, adding too much fish oil to your dog’s food plan can produce a host of unpleasant and even dangerous side effects, including weight gain, diarrhea, blood clotting abnormalities, and wounds that are slow to heal. Fish oil may also adversely interact with prescription drugs your dog is taking, so be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your dog a fish oil supplement.

EXPERT TIP

Fish oils for dogs help reduce inflammation and relieve pain in dogs suffering from arthritis.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Formulation

Fish oil supplements for dogs are available in several formulations, including liquids, soft gels, and chewable tablets. Liquid fish oil is the easiest to administer since it can be mixed into dog food. Though some soft gels and chewable tablets have dog-friendly flavoring, your dog may not treat them as treats. For picky pooches, slather fish oil gels or tablets with peanut butter, and it’s a good bet that your dog will gobble them up.

Ingredients

Fish oils for dogs are either regular fish oil or salmon oil. Regular fish oil may be derived from several different types of fish, while salmon oil only comes from salmon. Salmon oil usually has the most omega-3 fatty acids. It also may be preferable if your dog has allergies to other types of fish.

Some fish oil supplements for dogs are 100% fish oil, while others include vitamin E or other helpful nutrients. When choosing a fish oil for dogs, read the label to ensure that the supplement you choose provides the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that your veterinarian recommends.

Quantity and storage

Fish oils for dogs are usually sold in 30-, 60-, or 120-day supplies. You tend to get more value for your money when you buy larger quantities, but be sure to calculate the price per dose before you buy.

Fish oil supplements are packaged in opaque plastic or dark-colored glass bottles that help keep the product fresh. Many fish oils for dogs require refrigeration.

EXPERT TIP

Dogs with kidney disease can benefit from fish oil supplements. But be sure to check with your veterinarian first.


Staff  | BestReviews

Fish oils for dogs prices

The price of fish oil supplements for dogs depends on the quality of the ingredients, the quantity purchased, and the brand. When shopping for fish oil supplements for your pet, you’ll find that the top fish oils are 100% natural, unscented, and often offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Inexpensive fish oils for dogs cost $6 to $12 for a 30-day supply. Mid-range fish oils for dogs range from $15 to $20 for a 30-day supply. For the highest-quality fish oils for dogs, like 100% pure wild salmon oil, expect to pay $22 and up for a 30-day supply.

Tips

  • Fish oil supplements for dogs can vary substantially in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids they provide. Always read the label closely before buying.
  • If improperly stored, fish oil can turn rancid in a short time. Most fish oils, even gels or tablets, need to be refrigerated. Always stick to the expiration date on any fish oil for dogs.
  • A prescription for fish oil for dogs is not required. However, your veterinarian may suggest a preferred brand of supplements.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils for dogs contribute to the cognitive development of puppies and may help improve cognitive function in older dogs.
  • Fish oil supplements can cause clotting problems when added to your dog’s food in large amounts. However, this should not be a problem if the supplement is given in recommended dosages.
EXPERT TIP

If your canine companion has a dull coat and dry skin, fish oils for dogs are ideal for soothing irritated skin and adding luster back to the coat.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

The Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats is salmon oil in liquid form that’s easy to add to your pet’s diet. Formulated for both dogs and cats to support immune system function, prevent inflammation, provide energy, and relieve the symptoms of painful arthritis, this tasty supplement will also make for a lustrous coat. The Golden Trail Supplies Wild Salmon Fish Oil for Dogs, Cats, and Horses is available in 16-ounce and 32-ounce sizes. This liquid salmon oil provides all the omega-3 fatty acids your pet needs to stay healthy and happy. This fish oil for dogs is also 100% natural and contains no fillers or additives. The SavvyBeast Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets is unscented and foolproof. Because it’s a liquid, you can easily add the right amount to your dog’s food to relieve arthritic symptoms and soothe dry, irritated skin while helping to maintain health and vigor.

When shopping for fish oils for dogs, choose a supplement that is unscented to help your dog avoid fishy breath and an upset stomach.

FAQ

Q. Which omega-3 fatty acids have the most health benefits for dogs?
A.
The omega-3 fatty acids with the most health benefits for dogs are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). When purchasing fish oil for your dog, read the label to make sure these two crucial fatty acids are included in the formulation.

Q. Is it safe to give fish oil to a dog with diabetes?
A.
Clinical tests indicate that fish oil does not raise blood sugar levels in dogs with diabetes, so it is safe to give fish oil supplements to diabetic dogs. However, it’s best to check with your veterinarian to be sure that fish oil does not conflict with any other medications or supplements your dog is taking.

Q. Do fish oils for dogs give dogs fishy breath?
A.
They can, but this smelly problem is easily remedied. When choosing a fish oil supplement for your pooch, select one that is unscented to avoid issues with bad breath and also diarrhea, which is a common reaction some dogs experience when the supplement is first added to their diet. Unscented fish oils are also easier to add to your dog’s food or treats as they won’t change the flavor.

Q. My dog has dry skin and a dull coat. Will fish oil supplements help?
A.
Fish oils for dogs are ideal for skin and coat concerns. They can soothe troubled skin, stop hot spots from developing, and add softness and luster to your dog’s coat. That said, some dogs develop oily skin and fur when they first start to take fish oil supplements. This side effect is temporary and will not be noticeable after the fish oil is in your dog’s system for a week or two.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Marlene
    Marlene
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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