Benefits & Side Effects of Salmon Oil For Dogs + Best Recommendations

(Zesty Paws|

Of course, every owner wants all the best for their pets, especially when it comes down to picking foods and ingredients. However, just like humans, sometimes following a healthy diet is not enough to guarantee that all the nutritional requirements are met. Among the supplements that your dog might need for a healthy life is salmon oil—let’s find out more about this product.

Salmon oil is derived from wild or farmed salmon, and it is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These have anti-inflammatory properties, support heart health, and can help to build a robust immune system. However, following the correct dosage and picking the right products is essential.

Omega 3 fatty acids are just as crucial for your dogs as they are for you. Let’s find out how you can supplement your dog’s diet safely and efficiently.

What Is Salmon Oil?

Salmon oil is a supplement that can be fed to your dog as a dietary supplement, along with a nutritious diet. This natural oil derives from high-quality salmon, and it is possible to find on the market products that are suitable for human consumption as well.

Unlike standard fish oil, salmon oil is extracted from salmon through cold-pressing procedures completed at low temperatures. Minimal processing is the reason why this oil is so rich in fatty acids and other nutrients.

Salmon oil is incredibly rich in fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. These include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These can be extremely beneficial to protect your dog’s health by looking after his heart, immune system, joints and bones, blood circulation, and lungs.

These fatty acids found in fish can also be substantially beneficial to improve the look of your dog’s coat and improve specific skin conditions such as allergies and irritations. Thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, these supplements are a great addition to an already-nutritious dietary regime.

However, it is always recommendable to speak to your veterinarian before introducing a new supplement to your dog’s diet.

Find out more in the video below:

Feeding Salmon Oil to Your Dog: Dosage and Tricks

Now that you know a little more about the benefits of introducing salmon oil in your dog’s diet, you might be thinking about how to feed it to him. Of course, providing your pet salmon fillets might be among the best solutions to ensure they receive the right amount of Omega 3.

However, this might not be a viable choice in many aspects. Luckily, there are other tricks any owner can use. 

Salmon Oil Dosage

Like any other supplement, before feeding salmon oil to your dog, it is essential to consult your veterinarian. Indeed, a doctor who has been following your pet’s development and health is the best person for indicating the right quantities of salmon oil to feed your pet.

However, you should generally always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations that can be commonly found on the bottle or container of the product you have chosen.

But also, you should keep in mind that the dosage can vary depending on the weight, gender, and age of your dog. The correct quantity of fish oil can also be influenced by pre-existing conditions or digestive problems your dog might have been experiencing. 

How to Feed Salmon Oil to Your Dog

There are many ways to feed salmon oil to your dog, but the most common one is to add the recommended quantity to their meals. Indeed, it is easy to mix a portion of this supplement with kibbles or home-made foods.

Alternatively, you might opt for capsules containing salmon oil suitable for dogs and add these to their meals. This is a better solution if your dog does not seem to appreciate the flavor of salmon oil in his food.

Lastly, you might consider picking a type of dog food already enhanced with Omega 3 fatty acids or even salmon oil.

Benefits of Salmon Oil for Dogs

When introduced into your dog’s diet correctly, salmon oil can be extremely beneficial for his overall health, and the list of advantages is not limited. You can find an overview below. 

Supplements Your Dog’s Diet

Even if you are careful about feeding your dog a nutritional, healthy, and natural diet, it is not unlikely for our pets to suffer from certain dietary deficiencies. Signs of this condition include a change in the coat’s look and decreased vitality.

To ensure that your dog has all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients he needs is to speak to your vet and introduce supplements—such as salmon oil—into your pet’s diet. 

Promotes Skin Health

Like humans, Omega 3 fatty acids can be extremely beneficial to help the body prevent skin conditions such as rashes, itching, and allergies.

Especially in dogs such as Jack Russels and Golden Retrievers, these conditions can be widespread, becoming threats to your dog’s coat and general health. Salmon oil can help to create a layer of protection. So, when allergens such as dust and grass get in touch with your dog’s skin, the new barrier will protect it.

Maintains Your Dog’s Coat Shiny

As suggested by veterinarian Dawn Logas, DVM, Omega 3 fatty acids can be extremely helpful in promoting a silky coat. Indeed, our pets suffer the effects of following a diet constituted by commercial products that are often low in fat. This deficiency can easily show a decrease in the coat’s health. 

Fights Inflammation

The Omega 3 fatty acids contained in salmon oil are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties. So introducing this supplement in your dog’s diet can help relieve the symptoms of inflammation such as gastritis, painful joints, and inflamed skin.

Promotes Cognitive Functions

Especially DHA acids can support the development of young pets, promoting brain health and growth. However, all ages’ dogs can benefit from this property, which is something that can help your dog remain active and alert throughout all life stages. Omega 3 fatty acids are also helpful in preventing memory loss.

Might Fight Cancer

New research published by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine supports the theory that Omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent inflammatory diseases and certain types of cancer. At the same time, these supplements can also support your dog in fighting such illness by strengthening its immune system and responses. 

Contributes to Building a Strong Immune System

The benefits of salmon oil for your dog’s health don’t end here. This supplement can help strengthen the immune system by fighting inflammation and preventing conditions such as allergies. So, the dog’s immune system can focus on fighting more severe attacks of bacteria and viruses rather than waste energy on common allergic reactions. 

Other Benefits of Salmon Oil

Other considerable benefits of this supplement include:

  • It regulates the level of triglycerides (fat) in the blood.
  • It can help fight joint problems such as arthritis.
  • It can offer emotional support in dogs fighting depression.
  • It takes care of your dog’s lungs by fighting asthma.

Side Effects of Salmon Oil for Dogs

Undoubtedly, the benefits of feeding salmon oil to your dog outweigh the side effects. However, it is worth considering what the adverse reactions of this supplement might be. And remember, you should interrupt the treatment immediately if you notice any reactions in your dog.

High in Calories

If you are trying to create a nutritious but healthy diet for your dog, you should keep in mind that salmon oil—just like other fish oil—is very high in calories. Just one tablespoon of this oil contains 123 calories.

So, if your dog is fighting obesity or has dietary problems, you might need to consider limiting the amount to feed your dog or adjusting his diet accordingly.

Can Have a Fishy Smell

Salmon oil directly derives from salmon. So, even in the case of high-quality oils, it will have a strong fish smell. The most common consequences of this can be bad breath or your pet not liking the food as much.

Digestive Issues

While these don’t tend to carry on for long after the salmon oil is introduced in your dog’s diet, your pet might need a period of adaptation. When you first introduce salmon oil in your fish diet, your pet might start suffering from mild digestive issues such as diarrhea and upset stomach. 

Inflamed Pancreas

In dogs that are particularly sensitive to these conditions, it is possible to experience a more severe side effect—inflamed pancreas. Luckily, this severe condition does not happen often, but it can lead to digestive issues, vomiting, and dehydration when it does. If you notice any signs, you might need to immediately take your dog to the vet and interrupt the treatment. 

Might Interfere With Wound Healing

As reported by Dr. Ken Tudor on PetMD, too much fish oil in your dog’s diet can lead to interference with the wound healing process. So, if your dog is hurt or you are tending a wound, it is not recommendable to start a salmon oil treatment.  

5 Best Salmon Oils for Dogs

Here are the best salmon oils for dogs:

Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

This natural salmon oil for pets is ideal to properly look after the heart, joints, bones, and coat of your dog. It contains both EPA and DHA fatty acids, which amount to over 1,000mg of Omega 3.

This product comes in a shampoo bottle-like container with instructions at the back. Depending on your dog’s weight, you can easily measure the amount needed, specified in “pumps.” So, you won’t need to weight the product or lose time preparing the right portions.

The Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is made with Alaskan salmon oil, and it is produced in the USA with only natural ingredients. It is suitable for cats and dogs following a raw diet or needing soft-chew solutions.

Grizzly All-Natural Salmon Oil

This natural product is made by processing wild-caught salmon from Alaska and contains over 1,300mg of Omega 3. It comes in a medical-grade pump bottle that makes it easier to measure the portion sizes, without spilling.

If you need a specific product that is suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, this should be your first choice. Indeed, oils produced from farmed salmon might include up to 15% of other vegetable oils. And, the oil’s quality might be affected by the diet such salmon follows. Instead, oils produced from wild-caught salmon help you ensure that your dog gets only the highest quality products.

Vital Pet Life Premium Essential Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Also made from wild Alaskan salmon, this oil should be the top choice for pet parents interested in sustainable alternatives. Indeed, the Vital Pet Life salmon oil is GMO-free, sustainable, free of toxins, free of added ingredients and other oils, and 100% natural.

Each bottle contains over 25% of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as other essential nutrients such as fiber, fats, and Omega 6 fatty acids.

Iceland Pure Unscented Salmon Oil

If you are not sure your dog will appreciate salmon’s strong scent, this ultra-filtered product can be perfect. The process that this salmon oil undertakes ensures that the pungent fishy smell is kept under control, but the tasteful flavor is not affected.

Unlike the products seen above, this BPA-free brushed aluminum pump bottle includes only one ingredient: salmon oil extracted from high-quality Norwegian salmon. Each bottle contains over 1,100mg of Omega 3 and 82mg of Omega 6 fatty acids.

This product is ideal for dogs who are struggling with hip, bones, and joints problems. Moreover, the aluminum bottle prevents plastic contamination—something to consider if you are feeding this product to an older dog or a pet with high stomach sensitivity. 

Nutri-Vet Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs

Lastly, the Nutri-Vet oil is produced from wild, non-farmed Alaskan salmon and contains high Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. With over 1,300mg of Omega 3, this oil is perfect to guarantee a robust cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system.

Nutri-Vet is one of the most trusted companies when it comes down to buying high-quality products for your cat or dog. Their products are not only highly efficient and specific for certain dogs’ needs, but they also taste good. So if your pet has shown to be a little fussy toward fish or salmon oil, this is the product that can help you instill good habits.


Even if you have always opted to buy high-quality commercial foods for your pet, it is normal for them to suffer from some nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, introducing salmon oil into their diets can be an easy solution to supply your pet with the needed quantities of Omega 3.

These fatty acids can be extremely beneficial in promoting your pet’s overall health and protect the functioning of their joints, cardiovascular system, immune system, hearth, and cognitive functions.

You should always talk to a trusted vet before introducing a new product in your dog’s diet.

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