Salmon oil for dogs? Really? I know you're wondering why dogs need salmon oil. I mean, dogs and fish? What's that about? Or maybe you know about the benefits of salmon oil, but you thought your dog was getting plenty of the benefits from their kibble. Read below to discover why and how to buy salmon oil for your dog.
I choose salmon oil for dogs as a powerful way to promote skin and coat health, improve the dog's immune system, and fight and prevent a wide range of conditions.
Salmon oil for dogs:
Salmon oil does all of these good things because it is a natural source of essential fatty acids(EFAs). Dogs can produce some EFAs themselves, but they often need a wider range of EFAs that can only be gotten through their diet. Many types of dry and canned dog food promise the benefits of salmon oil and EFAs but the processing and storing requirements for both types of food render the EFAs pretty much useless.
There are several important tips I can recommend for buying salmon oil for dogs.
The most important thing to consider is preventing oxidation. Salmon oil that actually does its job has been carefully processed and stored to prevent oxidation which destabilizes and renders useless the effects of EFAs. This involves protecting the oil from heat, light, and oxygen.
Select salmon oil for dogs that meets the following criteria:
As mentioned above, salmon oil can become rancid when exposed to oxygen, light, or heat so is susceptible each time we use it. In order to safeguard against this, most salmon oils include a preservative that will slow or prevent the oxidative process. The most popular and natural preservative is Vitamin E but others can be rosemary extract, ascorbyl palmitate, green tea catechins, or astaxanthin. It may sound better if the only ingredient is pure salmon oil but it will almost certainly become rancid much quicker.
I also recommend that you check a potential salmon oil selection to see if it meets the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices(GMP) requirements.
The GMP makes sure that the company's every day policies and activities match the promises on their labels. You may check for a stamp on the container or do research into the manufacturer to verify the food is GMP compliant.
You can find more information on GMP here http://www.ispe.org/gmp-resources.
When buying salmon oil in the United States, I recommend buying it from Alaska. Their salmon are PCB free, and Alaska ranks pretty high on the sustainable practices scale as they are the only state to have included sustainable fishing practices in their constitution.
Geography also helps! Alaska is thousands of miles away from other polluted waters. In fact, Alaskan waters are among the cleanest in the world so it stands to reason that fish caught fresh out of these waters will be among the purest in the world.
In short, you want to ensure that your salmon oil is derived from salmon that is caught in the wild (preferably Alaska) and NOT farm raised.
Unfortunately farm raised salmon are fed on a diet of fishmeal which is ground up small fish that are full of cancer-causing contaminates such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs were banned in the USA in the late 70s and were cited as one of the "dirty dozen" toxic chemicals to be phased-out under the United Nations Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), see here for details, farm-raised salmon carried such high levels of PCBs that they determined farmed salmon are likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the current U.S. food supply. You can find more information here.
There is much debate online about whether to go with liquid or soft gel salmon oil. I find that it is sometimes difficult to get dogs to eat the soft gels. Also, there is a higher concentration of fatty acids in the liquid form because they didn't have to make the soft gel part of it to potentially aid in delivery.
Some people believe softgels are less expensive than liquid, and that does often seem to be true, but you get much more bang for your buck out of the liquid salmon oil. You will probably be buying the liquid less frequently than the soft gels so the price probably evens out.
Supplementing your dog's food with a good quality liquid salmon oil will help to relieve many issues with your dog's skin and coat. It also supports the immune system which helps with allergies, joint problems, inflammation, arthritis, as well as helping to fight other common diseases.
Salmon oil, like all fish oils,is fragile by nature so its important to take care to purchase only the purest quality from manufacturers that take care to ensure their products meet the highest standards.
Choosing one that meets or exceeds the good Manufacturing practices (GMP) will help with this, so too will only buying Wild Alaskan salmon oil.