Dog food has a come a long way in the past ten or twenty years, but unless you’re feeding your dog raw food, chances are the kibble that they’re eating is stuffed with filler and refined oils to act as cheap sources of nutrients; rather than natural ones.
Pet owners have started to turn to fish oil for dogs as a counter measure, ensuring their dogs receive an adequate supply of Omega fatty acids in their daily diets.
Omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies
Cheap dog food is more convenient and affordable for manufacturers and owners but can result in some nutritional deficiencies over the course of a few years if you’re not careful.
This is particularly true when it comes to the Omega fatty acids, and the effects of this can be seen in:
- flaky skin
- a coarse coat
- and consistent loss of fur.
Top up your dog’s diet…
Fish oil is a wonderful supplement that you can add to your dog’s diet to combat this by supplying them with a steady, regular dose of the all-important nutrient.
What are the supplements made of?
Fish oil enhancements contain two important fatty acids:  EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). Both of these are omega-3 fatty acids that can only be made naturally in a limited capacity in dogs. 
Benefits of giving your dog fish oil
The benefits of fish oil when it comes to dogs can be amazingly far-reaching.
A few examples of the benefits include:
- may support the health of the skin and coat and reduces shedding
- may boost the functions of joints, kidneys, heart, and immune system 
- may act as an anti-inflammatory and assists with conditions like arthritis
- may ease inflammation due to allergies and will reduce an itchy skin
- has been shown to decrease the incidence of hot spots in pets
- may be vital for brain and eye development in puppies.
Popular fish oil for dogs products
So you’ve spoken with your vet and you’re convinced your dog needs a fish oil supplement? But where do you start looking? With so many options available, it certainly can get confusing in choosing the right brand.
Ahead we cover the top five doggo friendly fish oils from different brands to give you a sense of what’s out there before committing yourself to just one bottle.
Grizzly Salmon Oil | Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The fish industry is not one that’s known for their honesty, so it’s important when you buy them for your pet that you know exactly what you’re getting.
Rather than sourcing cheaper fish from Asia, Grizzly oil is made from natural Alaskan salmon. That means there are no chemicals, no fake colors, and no toxic levels of mercury finding their way into your dog’s dish. The pump-top bottle is a great touch to help keep your countertop clean as well.
- Natural product
- Sourced and made in the USA
- On the expensive side
Price aside, customers are happy with the result of this oil on their dog overall and gave this product a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
After slowly introducing it to their dog’s diet, owners were happy to see that dandruff and loose hair were less noticeable, and coats were shinier than usual as well. Pets also take quickly to the product thanks to its smell and taste, so there’s little risk in your pet not liking it.
Just keep in mind that this oil won’t stop natural shedding, so unless your dog is losing hair as a result of a nutritional deficiency, this product won’t do much.
Zesty Paws | Omega Bites with AlaskOmega
It’s easy to go overboard when squeezing products from a tube, so if you’re worried about giving too much to your dog, then you might want to consider chews.
This package by Zesty Paws uses pollock instead of salmon for their oil which saves you some money without needing to resort to fish from countries with inferior quality standards.
One nice feature here is the inclusion of biotin, a B-complex vitamin that has also been linked to improved fur and skin.
- Biotin acts as a different vitamin source, improving the effectiveness
- Chews are easier to measure out for your dog than a liquid
- Bigger dogs require more of them, which will have them quickly depleting the contents of the bottle
This supplement earned a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Owners, but more importantly, dogs, love these chicken or bacon flavored chews.
Most pets will instantly gravitate to the treat after their meal and quickly process them thanks to the grain-free formula. After a few short days owners report that itchy skin and excessive scratching have become much more manageable.
Extreme cases still require a visit to the vet to look for an underlying source of the problem, but if you notice the problem popping up early, then this might be worth trying first.
Finest for Pets Omegease | 100% Pure Omega-Rich Fish Oil for Dogs
Salmon and pollock are great, but for owners worried about toxins in big fish, the ideal sources of oil are the small fries used as the basis for Omegease. The company uses a blend of anchovies, sardines, and more to create a healthy formula that has as little mercury and other contaminants as possible.
It’s also independently tested, which is ideal for making sure there aren’t any added preservatives or chemicals.
- Uses non-predatory fish which limits the number of toxins
- Offers a money-back guarantee
- Independently tested formula
- The bottle is reportedly not as “drip-proof” as advertised
For older pets that have trouble getting around, this product has proven to be the most effective at alleviating their joint pain and scored a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Owners report that even dogs that are ten or eleven years old love the flavor and start to run like puppies again after a few days on this formula, which still reaping the benefits of the oil for their skin and coat.
Unfortunately, many owners complain that the bottle is the biggest flaw in their purchase. The pump often leaks, wasting the product, and it’s difficult to consistently dose smaller dogs since they require less than one full squeeze. It’s more of a hassle than some other products, but at least the oil works.
Pawsitron | Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Oil
Pawsitron brings you all the benefits of salmon oil with seemingly none of the health concerns thanks to their molecular distillation process to remove as many harmful toxins as possible.
This complete formula is made to human-grade standards despite being one of the most affordable options on our list, which makes them ideal for hesitant first-time buyers.
- The company is communicative and approachable
- Some dogs aren’t a fan of the taste
This product earned a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and many customers feel that they can instantly see a change in their dog’s appearance after applying the oil to their food. Brushing them removes less fur, and their skin is much less flaky than it was before.
However, there are some reports of dogs who won’t eat the product, which is one of the rarer cases of this on our list. Still, for any concerns or advice customers appreciate that they can always contact the company directly since they’re easy to get a hold of and quite helpful.
Nordic Naturals | Pure Omega-3 Oil Formula for Dogs
One of the best value options available is this huge bottle of capsules to keep you going for longer periods of time before needing to stock up again.
Their anchovy and sardine based formula is sustainably sourced to leave a minimal impact on the environment, and they’re also one of the few companies that routinely test their fish for toxins and gets rid of them if they fail.
All of this quality assurance results in a more expensive product, but also one that you can feel good about using worry-free for years.
- Routine monitoring of their source fish
- Safety seals keep your product fresh and tamper-proof
- Large dogs need quite a few capsules, which makes these cost-ineffective
Customers concerned with quality have found a gem in this product and rated it with 4.5 out of 5 stars. They love that they never have to worry about recalls or subpar products thanks to their extensive QA process which lets users subscribe and save for long periods of time.
Vets even commented on the improved heart health of some dogs, which shows that this product is having its intended effects both inside and outside of your pet’s body.
Heat, however, wreaks havoc with this bottle and leaves behind a sticky clump of capsules that are unappealing and unusable, so they’re not ideal for shipping to warmer climates in the summer months.
Final take on giving dogs fish oil
Whether your dog is a puppy or a senior, chances are they can do with some added nutrients to their diet. Fish oil is a great supplement for Omega fatty acids and more that can result in:
- thicker, shinier hair
- healthier skin
- and lessened joint pain.
Not all dogs will experience benefits from these kinds of products however, but many owners have reported noticeable success stories. Only you and your veterinarian know whats best for your dog.
If you and your vet have decided that your pet is one of the latter, then one of the above products will do you just fine. Finding the right product is all about choosing a budget that works for you, and then buying your preferred brand and fish. Good luck, and happy fishing!
Another must read: Best Dog DNA Tests – Discover Your Dogs History
- “Ingredients: where pet food starts.” A. Thompson. August 2008.
- “Diet and skin disease in dogs and cats.“ T. D. Watson. December 1998.
- “Distinguishing Health Benefits of Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids.” D. Fraser. Russell and Corinna S. Bürgin-Maunder. November 2012.
- “Beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease.“ L. M. Freeman. September 2010.