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Q. Fish Oil for Dogs?

Is it harmful for dogs to take intended-for-human-consumption fish oil supplements for itchy skin?

A.  Fish oil is good for dogs – and cats! Veterinarians first used omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil to treat canine allergies but now recommend it for a wide variety of conditions ranging from kidney disease to arthritis and high cholesterol. Adding fish oil to your dog’s food provides anti-inflammatory effects and can help relieve itching due to atopic dermatitis, an allergy-related skin condition.

You can get fish oil supplements designed for companion animals from both Nordic Naturals and Animal Essentials (and, I’m sure, from other sources), but you also can use fish oil meant for humans as long as you choose the correct dosage. For example, Nordic Naturals recommends one capsule of its 1500 mg soft gel fish oil for large dogs weighing 20 pounds or more. Smaller animals should get smaller doses. If you use fish oil that is intended for humans, you can give larger dogs a capsule or two (depending on the dosage) and puncture a capsule to squeeze some of the contents into the food of smaller dogs or cats.

Click here to read the rest on fish oil from Dr. Weil…

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