Money Wags! Benefits of Fish Oil For Dogs!

Do you take fish oil pills? How about your dog? I bet you’ve never thought that fish oil could reduce your dog’s expenses. I mean how on earth is that possible? It could be a smelly fish tale, or is that tail? Heck, we’ve all heard a lot of weird things that are supposed to help with your dog’s health but never seem to move the needle. I’ve learned a lot about fish oil and how it helps my dog, Henry (and my pocketbook). Today, let’s dig into and discover the benefits of fish oil for dogs. 

NOTE: Before adding any supplements or changing your dogs diet, always check with your vet first. 

*Updated: May 9, 2024

cute dog loves fish oil and his dog parent loves fish oil cut dog costs and improves dog's health. it's a win-win!
Budget Tip:

It'll surprise you that for as little as $0.14 a day you can improve your dog's allergies, heart, kidney, and overall health. The price could even be less depending on your dog's needs and the fish oil you select. It can definitely have a positive impact on your dog budget and one you should consider with your vet. It could be a major winner for your budget and your dog's health.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil generally comes from fish or shellfish. It contains Omega 3 fatty acids. Going one step further there are two types of Omega 3 acids called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and  EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). I’ll go a bit deeper into these in a minute. 

What kind of fish does fish oil come from?

Generally, fish oil comes from cold water fish. The best kind of fish oil is wild-caught fish. More specifically, some sources of omega 3 fish oil include:

  • Salmon (wild Alaskan salmon oil is considered generally very good)
  • Trout
  • Mackerel 
  • Herring
  • Pollock
  • Sardines
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Crab

NOTE: Some non-fish omega 3 fatty acid sources are certain nuts, vegetable oils, and seeds (this includes flaxseed oil). This type of omega 3 is called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)

Is fish oil safe for dogs?

Again, always check with your vet before giving your dog any supplement or changing his or her diet. 

However, according to DMV360 fish oil is safe for dogs. 

What are the benefits of fish oil supplements for dogs?

Now, let’s get to the really good part of fish oil for dogs – the benefits! These can, of course, vary. But fish oil has been shown to improve and support:

  • Allergies
  • Cognitive functions
  • Inflammation (joint health)
  • Immune system 
  • Healthy skin
  • Shiny and soft coat
  • Heart health
  • Provides cancer-fighting aids
  • Supports kidneys
  • Aids with liver and digestive support 
  • Helps to keep a dog healthy and in turn, helps to reduce vet costs

Note: My dog, Henry’s vet recommended he start taking fish oil for a few health reasons. These included allergies and digestive issues. So far, it seems to be working well. 

Henry waits for his morning omega 3 treat and I know how fish oil cut dog costs. It's a win-win!
Henry asks for his fish oil every day. I love the benefits he gets and how I save on his dog budget.

Are there any side effects of giving a dog fish oil?

Most side effects will occur if your dog should get a high dose of fish oil supplement. However, there is at least one fishy side effect that will occur regardless, which can be smelly fish breath or odor. If you are concerned with any side effects or symptoms, always contact your vet for guidance. Some side effects of giving fish oil to your dog (especially too much) might include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Fishy breath or fishy skin odor (this could happen regardless of the amount of fish oil your dog receives)
  • Oily skin and coat
  • Flaky skin
  • Prolonged healing of wounds
  • More itchiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bleeding or bruising abnormalities

NOTE: Many dog food and dog treat products contain different types of fish oil, such as wild salmon. Thus, you’ll want to consult your vet to determine the right dosage of any added omega 3 supplement for your dog. 

Are there any precautions I need to know about before giving my dog fish oil? 

  • Always know where your fish oil is coming from before giving it to your dog (generally fresh cold water is best). 
  • If your dog is on NSAIDs or has issues with blood clotting, then you may want to avoid fish oil supplements. 
  • Consult your vet if your dog is prone to diarrhea, diabetes, or has any issue already identified as a possible side effect. 
  • If your dog is pregnant or nursing, definitely avoid fish oil supplements or give them with extreme caution and with your vet’s knowledge. 

Do you have a question for your vet but it’s late at night or you’re away from home? Try an online vet. In this article, I reveal how they are affordable (and sometimes even free) when you need help.

What to look for in the best fish oil for your dog?

As with most items you buy, read the labels. There are four things to look for in particular.

CoA – This mark will mean that the fish oil has a Certification of Analysis. Since fish can come from polluted waters or waters with heavy metals, this helps to eliminate those oils. 

Oxidation – This measures how fresh the fish oil is, which is vital. You’ll want to look for CoA anisidine and peroxide values, (this is the oxidation level) that is less than 5mEq/kg

Strength – This is where the EPA and DHA come into play. If you are trying to address your dog’s allergies or dry skin, then you’ll want a fish oil that has more EPA than DHA. However, if you are trying to help your dog’s heart and brain (cognitive function), then you’ll want a fish oil with more DHA than EPA. 

Natural – You want to give your dog fish oil that is in a natural triglyceride form. Some fish oil will say “synthetic”, “EE-based”, or “concentrate” those aren’t natural forms and don’t provide the same benefits. 

How much does fish oil for a dog cost?

Naturally, this will depend on the size of your dog and the fish oil supplement you purchase. There are many fish oils for dogs on the market. There are pill, treats, and liquid fish oil. As an example let’s look at one that’s a liquid fish oil and priced middle of the road. (Since I’m not endorsing the product, I’ll not name it. But it is a fish oil with great reviews and widely available). 

Here are the product specs:

  • 16 fl oz.
  • 1 pump a day for up to 19 lbs dog = 2ml/day
  • 6 pumps a day for a dog over 100+ lbs = 12ml/day

(Other sizes of dogs are also provided. I’m just giving an example of the low and high end sizes of dog).

This means that 16fl oz bottle lasts

  • 236.5 days for up to 19 lb dog 
  • 39.4 days for a dog 100+ lbs 

The cost of this particular liquid fish oil supplement bottle is $32, which means:

  • If your dog is up to 19 lbs the cost is $0.14 is the cost per day 
  • And if you have 100+ lbs (or dogs that add up to 100 lbs) the cost is $0.81 is the cost per day

Of course, you will be able to find cheaper fish oil prices, ones on sale, and ones that are more expensive. This simple example gives you an idea of the price so you can make an adjustment to your dog budget

Additionally, this example is a basic guideline. Some fish oil will suggest more or less or your vet may suggest a different dosage than is printed on the bottle. 

How does fish oil cut dog costs?

Finally, how does fish oil cut my dog’s costs. I know you’ve been waiting for this answer. Thus, for a moment consider the following possible expenses.

Possible IssueCost Est.
Allergies$250
Cognitive issues$1,000 – 1,500+
Inflammation (mobility issues)$170+
Skin issues$175+
Heart disease$400 – 1,000+
Cancer$10,000 – 30,000
Kidney disease$1,000 – 5,000
Digestive issues (more serious GI issues)$2,000 – 10,000
Healthy dog with the addition of fish oilPRICELESS!

Related articles:

Summary of Benefits of Fish Oil For Dogs!

If you’re like me and always are looking for ways to improve your dog’s health while decreasing your dog budget costs, then you may want to ask your vet about fish oil. The benefits can be amazing if your vet says it’s a good match for your dog. I know I’ve been pleased with the effects so far for Henry. Plus, he LOVES the taste. And yes, his breath does smell like a wild salmon at times, but I’m ok with that because I know that means he’s healthier.

beautiful husky has improved with fish oil after his dog parent discovered fish oil cut dog costs

Have you given your dog fish oil? Did you know if could cut your dog cost with fish oil? 

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