+44(0)1189 842871 9am-5pm weekdays support@ace-canine.com

Our Library of Dog Health Articles

Overfeeding Fish Oil to Dogs

 

Can I feed my dog too much fish oil?

We are hearing this question more frequently as the possible dangers of overfeeding fish oil are propagated on the net and in social media. It is of particular concern to us because we manufacture supplements containing fish oil fatty acids.

 

We are hearing this question more frequently as the possible dangers of overfeeding fish oil are propagated on the net and in social media. It is of particular concern to us because we manufacture supplements containing fish oil fatty acids.

So what’s the answer? Well the answer is to understand why we may need to feed fish oil to our dogs in the first place and what kinds and quantities of fish oil are to be avoided.

Omega 3 fatty acids (particularly DHA and EPA) are essential in the diets of our dogs because our dogs can’t make them. Omega 6 fatty acids that come from nuts and grains are also essential.

A dog’s natural diet of raw meat, fish and some vegetable content will tend to provide both Omega 3 and Omega 6 in a reasonable balance. However as soon as we feed convenient prepared modern pet food we move away from this ideal. The vast majority of pet foods contain too much Omega 6 as a result of the high carbohydrate content caused by the addition of grains (cereal and rice). Because Omega 6 is then excessive, our dog’s nutrition is damaged and we feel the real need to compensate with additional Omega 3 supplements.

So far so good; but which Omega 3 and how much?

Some vegetable oils are Omega 3 (flax for example) but they contain no DHA or EPA fatty acids and our dogs can only convert a tiny percentage (1-2%) to the required DHA/EPA. So they are pretty useless in this context.

Marine derived oils (from fish, crustaceans and molluscs) therefore form the most common source of Omega 3 supplementation. These different sources yield very different forms of Omega 3 and this is where dangers of over feeding may arise.

Fish Oils

Oils pressed from fish, often salmon, are a common source and they are rich in DHA/EPA. They can be sold in their relatively natural state or they can be refined and processed to increase the DHA/EPA content. They are absorbed best in their natural state, refining reduces absorption.

The dangers of overfeeding (feeding more than the manufacturers recommended dose or feeding combined products from more than one manufacturer) can be caused by:

  1. Toxins: Heavy metals and man made contaminants such as Mercury and PCB’s are present in fish oils. Natural unrefined oils from the larger fish contain the most. Refined fish oils of good quality may contain less of them however.
  2. Oxidation: Fish oils oxidise on storage, and taken to the extreme this is what we call “rancid”. Some oxidation is always present and the chemical bi-products are harmful. Refined fish oils oxidise more than the natural ones.
  3. Vitamin E depletion: Fatty acids react with Vitamin E in the livers of our dogs. The higher the level of Omega 3 the lower the level of vitamin E in the bloodstream and organs leading to vitamin E deficiency.

Fish oils in summary:

Excellent supplements but the downsides are that exceeding recommended doses can cause complications in high contaminant and toxin intake and vitamin E deficiency. Raw oily fish, even a small amount, may be better than fish oil supplements. Not as convenient though.

Krill Oil

Krill, a crustacean, is the source of an Omega 3 oil in a much more absorbable form than fish oil. It is a phospholipid and gives as much as 50 times better assimilation than say pressed salmon oil. It is expensive but far less intake is needed. Also krill oils are practically devoid of contaminants and toxins.

Green Lipped Mussel

Many supplements contain Green Lipped Mussel and this also contains Omega3 fatty acids. Like Krill oil they are in a phospholipid form and so carry none of the contaminants and toxins of fish oil.

So what’s the verdict?

Feeding  a small amount of raw oily fish a couple of times a week is the best way of ensuring your dog obtains enough Omega3 to balance the excessive Omega 6 that they are probably getting from their “modern” pet food diet.

If you don’t want the inconvenience of this then by all means use a supplement. The more expensive Krill oil and other phospholipid products (now also available from salmon) are the best because there are no dangers from contaminants and toxins. However a good quality pressed salmon oil is still good – just stick to the recommended dose.

Don’t feed whole fish and supplement as well – that is not necessary. With supplements don’t exceed recommended amounts or use more than one product at a time. The exception to this is Green Lipped Mussel supplements, they do not contribute to the risk of overfeeding Omega 3.

 

ace-canine healthcare

Animal Health Supplements For Dogs; We Believe Nature and Science Go Hand in Hand

 

 

© 2018 March Laboratories Ltd.


Latest Reviews

Trustpilot & Judge.me

Verified Reviews

Alycia James 8/4/21

Judge.me
Highly recommended, Flex Sprinkles Jointcare is fantastic!
I’ve bought the Jointcare for both of my dogs. My family has been giving Green Lipped Mussel to our dogs for more than 30 years now and it’s an amazing product. The sprinkles are fantastic and I put it on their food in the morning and no hesitation on eating, even with my fussy boy! One thinks it’s a treat he loves it that much. So much easier than tablets as well. A little goes a long way. Highly recommended.

Kathie 2/3/21

Judge.me
So helpful and products realy work
I used the carnicare for my cavalier, for may years, sadly hes no longer with me, but he lived to be an ammazing 14, Im sure the carnicare helped his heart, and there is always a real person at the end of the phone should I need help, I still use carnicare for my other Cavalier, and the joint supplements, for my Lhasa Apso when he had a massive back operation, and more recently the hypercillin, now I use that for everything, I clean their eyes and ears with it, and if they ever get a poorly its my go to for them .
Brilliant company thankyou

Janice Dexter 9.3.21

Trustpilot
BEST CANINE HEALTH SITE I HAVE SEEN
THIS COMPANY ARE A GOD SEND FOR ALL PET LOVERS, I BUY CLARIFYE FOR MY DOGS EYES AND THANKS TO BEING ABLE TO BUY FROM ACE RATHER THAN THE VET, I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CLEAR MY DOGS EYES 95%, STILL JUST A SHORT JOURNEY TO GO, BUT WHEN I THINK LESS THAN 7 MONTHS AGO HE COULD NOT SEE PROPERLY AND NOW HE CAN GET HIS NOSEY LITTLE BEAK INTO EVERYTHING, I AM REALLY HAPPY. THE OTHER GOOD THING IS YOU CAN ASK FOR ADVICE TOO. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Jaquie Barker 8/3/21

Trustpilot
As always, Excellent service. Amazing product. Our dog has been taking these Flexi sprinkles for about 3 years now and he is like a puppy again! He's 7 today. Keep up the good work Ace Canine

KA 8/3/21

Trustpilot
We were told about this product by a friend (it’s the flex jointcare sprinkles) I was a bit sceptical to be honest, but my big oldish dog was struggling to get up in the mornings so thought it was at least worth a try. And honestly within a week he was back to his old morning self!! We saw a difference in him within a few days really. It’s a shame they don’t sell smaller sample pots as when you’re sceptical you don’t initially feel like trying it (just an idea!) I’ll continue to buy for him, it’s helped his big old joints immensely

Chris Wakeham 14/1/21

Judge.me
Great company very helpful and knowledgeable. After a long chat on the phone I placed an order just before Christmas and it arrived next day. My 2 labradors love the Flex sprinkle and are showing signs of the benefits by moving more freely. Just placed my second order.

Su Brown 1/1/21

Judge.me
You can't beat the best.
My little papillon has been on the Flex Jointcare for a number of years due to various life-long joint and ligament problems. Just recently it was really to prove its worth to me all over again! Buddy has been pretty poorly over a number of months and despite a CT scan nothing conclusive could be found. He was on pretty heavy drugs which I have now weaned him off and onto a natural oil. He was doing really well but then out of the blue started to show signs of distress! Realised that due to him not wanting to eat when he was poorly he had missed out on his Flex Sprinkle for nearly a month! Immediately started him back on a half dose to restart the routine he has been on for a number of years, and to which I have no doubts I owe the fact he is now approaching his 11th birthday and is still with me. Literally within 3 days my little Buddy started to perk up again, and now a week down the line and now back on his full dose of Flex Sprinkle, I have my adored bouncing Buddy back to his old self. I honestly cannot thank Ace-Canine enough for producing this miracle in a tub. I have recommended to so many friends, I have lost count.

John 19/11/20

Trustpilot
Flex Sprinkle
I've used Ace-Canine's Flex Sprinkle for my Goldie for years; ensuring she stays as supple and mobile as possible.
From ordering to delivery, within 24 hrs!!! Excellent service.

Nathalie S 19/11/20

Trustpilot
Instant relief for our dog
Our 11 years old Keeshond started having joint issues and has an early stage of cataract. I contacted Ace Canine through their social media, asked for more information on which medication was best for our dog. Not only were they very helpful, I also got a discount code.
Our dog is relieving through her medication although if it's not given on time, she can relapse with fatigue and limping.
I've been giving her Clarifye for her cataract 4 times a day for a month, I think it helps but can't really tell for sure, also no changes on her eyes discolouration.
She's also taking Trimega as a multivitamin, Flex Celadrin and Flex Sprinkle Joincare. Now this combo has made a huge change on her overall health. She's back to being playful, even runs, seems more happy and has good appetite.
I used to give her as well Plaque Away, that definitely worked especially with foul breath but I stopped it as I didn't want to overload her with supplements.
All in all, would highly recommend Ace Canine products, it sure works on our dog.

Rachel 15/11/20

Flex Sprinkle Jointcare
Love the stuff ! The dogs do really well on it rate it. The company staff really helpfully and delivered without delay. One of the best company’s I have dealt with
Read more...