I'm Linda, the resident vet here at Pooch & Mutt. I qualified from UCD Dublin in 2013 and then moved to London where I have worked since. My main interests are in dermatology, nutrition and geriatric care. I've worked in a range of clinics including 24 hour hospitals and the RSPCA. I'm proud to be part of the Pooch & Mutt team and firmly believe that feeding the right food means a healthier and happier dog. My days are spent working, training my young Cavapoo Raffie and chasing after my toddler Leo.
If you’ve been ogling our specialist bottles of sustainably sourced, omega-rich Salmon Oil For Dogs, you may have wondered, ‘What does salmon oil actually do for my dog?’ Though Pooch & Mutt’s range of nutritional dog foods are designed to keep your pup happy and healthy, salmon oil contains vital ingredients that are essential for a dog’s development. In fact, for any animal, it’s one of the most beneficial supplements there is.
Read on for an in-depth guide on how salmon oil can benefit your dog and to learn some of the science behind salmon oil’s powerful, superhero ingredients.
Salmon oil is such a marvel because of its wonder-trio of fatty acids: Omega 3, 6 and 9. These powerful ingredients are really beneficial to your dog’s body and mind; they promote healthier skin and coat quality, improved heart health, and they boost immune system, brainpower and movement.
To dig a little deeper, Omega 3 was recognised as a molecular marvel when it was found to contain fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Really long in name and in nature, DHA and EPA are long-chain acids containing 20 or more carbon atoms, and in 1929, scientists found that they form the important structural components (1) of healthy cell membranes. In 2004, the US FDA made it official - Omega 3 and 6 were given ‘qualified health claim status’ for being beneficial to normal, healthy growth.
Here’s the most important bit - all mammal bodies, including humans and dogs - don’t produce DHA and EPA naturally. To receive these nutrients, vital for our mental and physical development, we have to get them from food… such as salmon oil.
There’s a full list of benefits, as salmon oil is a veritable wonder product. After feeding it to your dog for just a couple of weeks, you’ll start to see a happier, livelier, and healthier-looking pup.
Better brain function, mental development and memory
Salmon oil seriously makes your dog smarter - in fact, it’s particularly recommended for the brain development of growing puppies. Research carried out by Eukanuba found that 9 week old puppies fed on a high DHA diet became more intelligent, easier to train and had improved memory in tests which taught them how to recognise shapes that led them to a treat (3).
You can feed an older dog too, though, as cognitive development needs to be nurtured at all ages. There’s a lot for doggy-brains to hold, like house rules and how to be a functioning, well-behaved pooch in society, while a nourished brain also means they’ll stay alert, energetic and reactive to their owners (or a ball, or a squirrel, or that dog across the fence).
A glossy, healthy coat
The anti-inflammatory properties of salmon oil reduces scratching and limits shedding, making your dog’s coat smoother, shinier and more lustrous than ever. Just wait for passers-by to point in the street as your pup bounds along in slow motion.
No more itchy or dry skin
The fatty acids found in salmon oil help form a protective layer which moisturises your dog’s skin and acts as a barrier to allergens and irritants. If your pooch does suffer a skin infection, Omega 3’s anti-inflammatory superpowers include soothing the skin so they’ll be less itchy.
Boosted immunity against diseases
In a similar vein, the healing properties of DHA and EPA will supercharge your dog’s immune system, meaning his body will be naturally stronger in fighting off diseases such as kidney and liver disease and pancreatitis.
Improved cardiovascular / heart health
Long walks and off-the-lead runs, let’s go! The Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon oil protect your dog’s heart by managing cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels, meaning their overall stamina and cardiovascular health is improved and they won’t run out of breath as quickly.
Lubricated joints for better mobility
Another cause for more runs on the beach, salmon oil keeps your dog’s joints limber and lubricated so they can move around easily - an essential aspect to a dogs’ continued mobility as they grow and age.
Bright eyes and sight
A dog’s eyes indicate their overall health (you know that), and salmon oil promotes bright, clear eyes and better sight. As one of the main ways a dog communicates is through her eyes, ensuring they’re healthy and free of redness and discharge is super important to their day-to-day comfort.
Healthy weight gain, especially for puppies
When rearing a puppy there’s nothing more encouraging than seeing them grow bigger and stronger. As salmon oil is a nutrient-rich source of fat, it’s the ideal way to induce healthy weight gain in a puppy, or an underweight adult dog, in a way that includes vital nutrition too.
Administering salmon oil to your dog couldn’t be easier - it’s got a strong fishy flavour so they love the taste. Following the guidelines for their size, just drizzle it into their regular food and mix well.
For maximum benefits, feed your dog salmon oil every day. For small dogs a teaspoon a day is enough; for medium dogs, 1-2 teaspoons; for large dogs, 2-3 teaspoons; and for giant dogs, 3-4 teaspoons a day. Clear instructions are on the label of each of our Salmon Oil For Dogs bottles.
All fish oils have an expiration date; after this its quality will gradually decrease, and in the worst case it could make your dog unwell. If you’ve had an unopened bottle of salmon oil for a while, check the expiration date before feeding it to your dog. A fresh bottle should be good for two years if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight - but use it up within 90 days once you’ve broken the seal, and throw it away if it smells rancid.
Short answer - yes, or you could risk any of the side effects listed below. Be sure to feed your dog the recommended daily amounts according to their size and age, as indicated on the label on the bottle
Most dogs will see the many positives of salmon oil, however with any supplement, there’s always a risk of side effects or allergies. If you notice your dog experiencing any of the following symptoms after taking salmon oil, it’s a good idea to book a visit to your vet and get them checked over, just to be safe.
Salmon oil reduces the chance of itchy or inflamed skin in the majority of cases, however if your dog is allergic, it could have the opposite effect. Keep a lookout for frantic scratching fits in your dog, or more itching than usual.
Salmon oil is very energy-dense and so it’s great for growing puppies or underweight dogs. If your pooch seems to be piling on the pounds (and there’s no change to his exercise or diet but the salmon oil), then you may need to cut back.
Constipation or diarrhoea
If your pooch has toilet trouble after you’ve introduced salmon oil to their diet, try a few days of just their regular food to see if it makes a difference.
If your dog shows the classic signs of pancreatitis - a hunched bag, sustained vomiting over hours or days, diarrhoea, lethargy and/or pain in the abdomen, take them to the vet for treatment. Salmon oil is known to reduce the chance of diseases such as this, but there’s always the risk of a bad reaction.
There’s plenty of other oil supplements for dogs that offer similar health benefits, but salmon oil is the cream of the crop, and here’s why.
Oils derived from other fish, such as cod liver oil, offer lots of the same benefits to dogs as salmon oil; improved coat and skin quality, a boosted immune system and decreased inflammation. However, this is mostly down to its Omega 3 content - something that salmon oil has a much higher concentration of. Salmon oil also provides superior Omega 3 absorption in a dog’s body, and it has a fishier taste, which dogs love. Put simply, other fish oils are great, but salmon oil tops them in terms of concentrated goodness (and tastiness).
As a plant-based alternative to fish oils, we humans often turn to natural oils such as olive, coconut and flaxseed. For dogs, this doesn’t quite work the same way. While fish oils contain the long-chain fatty acids DHA and EPA found in Omega 3, plant-based oils have more of the short-chain acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Though ALA is still beneficial to dogs and puppies, they’d have to eat a whole lot of plant-based oil to receive the more potent nutrients found in smaller amounts of salmon oil.
Sold on salmon oil’s dog-enhancing superpowers? To see the benefits in your dog, Pooch & Mutt’s Salmon Oil is sustainably sourced, of the highest quality and packed full of Omega 3, 6 and 9.
If you have any other questions about Salmon Oil that we haven’t covered here, you can contact us via email or leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.
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