Salmon Oil For Dogs
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Salmon Oil For Dogs: Benefits, Risks, and More

Lily Velez


Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec,DVM

Salmon oil is an incredible supplement and can have incredible health benefits for humans as well as dogs, but before giving it to your dog, there are a few things to take into consideration. As with any other decision we make on behalf of our fur-children, we need to be sure that we are making informed decisions and learning about all things safety, benefits, dosage, and dangers. We recommend Vets Preferred Salmon Oil!

What is Salmon Oil?

Salmon oil is an oil derived from salmon and is commonly taken as a supplement because it is naturally rich in omega-3s. It contains high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) as well as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), both of which are essential fatty acids (EFA), and if taken as a supplement to most diets, have a long list of benefits not only for humans but also for our beloved four-legged friends.

The Benefits of Salmon Oil for Dogs

From brains to bones in young puppers, to doggos who have entered their golden years, omega-3s can cure as well as prevent a myriad of conditions.

Giving your dog salmon oil can help to:

  • Prevent or cure skin allergies – Salmon oil is a godsend for dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers or Jack Russells, which are more prone to developing skin conditions or allergies. It helps to build a barrier of strong cells which prevent a reaction when the skin comes into contact with allergens such as dust, pollen, or grass.
  • Combat inflammation – The omega-3s help to reduce inflammation throughout the dog’s body from gastritis and itchy skin to inflamed and painful joints.
  • Aide the development and maintenance of cognitive functions– This holds true for dogs of all ages, but especially for puppies, as the DHA plays a big role in brain development.
  • Maintain soft and shiny coats – Salmon oil essentially helps to balance skin moisture (from the inside), and a healthy skin makes for a healthier, shinier coat.
  • Sustain a healthy immune system – By preventing conditions such as allergies and inflammation, your dog’s body will not be wasting any energy on healing said conditions.
  • Help the fight against cancer – It is said that salmon oil can help prevent cancer as well as help to slow the growth of cancer once it has begun spreading. It certainly also helps with conditions caused by cancer such as cachexia.
  • Improve overall health – On top of everything else, the omega-3s EPA and DHA help to maintain heart, kidney, and liver function. From the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, salmon oil can help improve your dog’s health.

Why Omega-3s for Dogs Matter

The benefits of salmon oil for dogs are plentiful. Healthy cells make for healthy dogs, and omega-3s help to keep cell membranes healthy throughout your dog’s body.

Many dog foods contain relatively high levels of omega-6 and not enough omega-3s. Omega-6 might have certain health benefits, but mostly just results in inflammation if the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is off. The current consensus is that the ratio should be between 10:1 and 5:1, any lower and your dog risks developing any of the many conditions linked to omega-3 deficiency.

Salmon Oil vs. Fish Oil for Dogs: Are They the Same Thing?

The fact that both salmon oil and fish contain the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA is not enough to justify calling them the same thing. Depending on the manufacturer, salmon oil is commonly made from only certain parts of the salmon such as the head and is cold pressed at relatively low temperatures. This ensures that the oil maintains a high concentration of essential fatty acids.

Fish oils produced for pet consumption are made from a variety of marine animals, such as sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies or krill although manufacturers will often supplement the fish oil with oils such as sunflower, wheat germ, and evening primrose. Unlike most salmon oil, which is cold pressed, fish oil is generally boiled, and sadly, during this process, many of the essential fatty acids are lost, resulting in a lower concentration of omega-3s that can be found in salmon oil.

Harmful or Helpful: Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Unless your dog is allergic to salmon, there is no reason why they can’t have the odd piece of salmon, as long as it forms part of a well-balanced diet. Be sure to check for any bones as they might be a choking hazard, or might lodge themselves in your dog’s digestive tract.

Also, be aware that feeding your dog raw salmon can be very risky as salmon can carry the parasite Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal. Feeding your dog salmon fillets every day is perhaps not the most efficient or cost-effective way of maintaining a healthy omega-3 ratio, so supplements might be a better bet.

How to add Salmon Oil to your Dog’s Diet

Adding salmon oil to your dog’s diet should be relatively easy. There are supplements in the form of treats, pills, and oil which would be added to their food.

In some cases, if the dog is very diet sensitive, your vet might advise a topical fatty acid treatment, but it’s best to give the others a go first because a topical approach would most likely be rather, well, smelly.

Best Brand to use?

Best Seller
Vets Preferred Salmon Oil
9.4/10Our Score
  • Helps with Dry Skin, Itching, Flaking, Shedding & Allergies 
  • Veterinarian Grade Fish Oil 
  • Omega-3 Skin and Coat Support for Dogs

Vets Preferred Premium Wild Alaskan is the best of the best when wanting to get your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

Waste not, want not. When the owners of Grizzly Pet Products saw that parts of the high quality wild Alaskan salmon were being discarded and going to waste, they decided to use these parts to make what is essentially a human-grade product for pets.

Their salmon oil is of the highest quality because they also use only wild Alaskan salmon (meaning the salmon is free of added hormones and antibiotics), and as an added bonus, they also practice sustainable farming methods, which should be high on the priority list of every consumer.

What It Does

  • Helps relieve dry, itchy skin → no more excessive itching
  • Moisturizes and soothes your pet’s skin from the inside out → helps achieve a soft, glossy coat
  • Perfect for dogs struggling with seasonal allergies → less itching, runny nose, and overall irritants
  • Acts as a natural anti-inflammatory → desire & ability to be more active

High in Omega 3’s, Vets Preferred Premium Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is the way to go when considering what salmon oil and supplement to get.

Salmon Oil Dosage for Dogs

You should always closely follow the dosage on the packaging. If you are planning on using the oil to treat a specific condition, there is a chance that you might need to increase the dose, but if that is the case, be sure to consult your vet first!

If you are merely adding it as a supplement, the recommended dosage is calculated according to your dog’s weight:

Dog’s weight Dosage
0-26lbs 4ml
27-53lbs 8ml
54-106lbs 12ml
107lbs + 16ml

Know the Dangers of Overdose

As much as people may sing the praises of salmon oil, overdoing it with the liquid gold can have devastating consequences.

For example, because it is such an amazing anti-inflammatory, if you give your dog too much salmon oil while they have an injury or have just had surgery, the white blood cells which would usually be sent to the inflamed area, will be diverted. This would mean a much slower healing process as well as a much higher likelihood of infection.

Giving your dog too much salmon oil can also result in weight gain, gastric issues including nausea and a runny tummy. Although these symptoms may not necessarily be due to an overdose, it is important to monitor your dog s reaction to the supplement.

Some reactions may disappear after using it for a while, and others might become more serious in time, in which case it is best to take a trip to the vet.

High-Quality Salmon Oil vs. Low-Quality Salmon Oil: What’s the Difference?

We’ve all heard our fair share of horror stories in the food industry, so why would the salmon oil industry be any different?

The difference between high-quality salmon oil such as Grizzly Salmon oil and other reputable “Wild Alaskan” brands, is that by choosing them, we are choosing to give our dogs the best and healthiest option. Many pet owners won’t make compromises when it comes to making sure that their pooches get the best possible care.

A high-quality salmon oil will have a high concentration of omega-3s and a low concentration of omega 6. It will be pure in form and not have been supplemented with other oils. It will have been cold pressed from fresh salmon only. High-quality salmon oil will generally be made with wild salmon, which contain fewer contaminants and will also have undergone molecular distillation, a process which removes further contaminants.

This really is more a matter of high vs. low quality, and not of expensive vs. cheap salmon oil. High-quality salmon oil ticks every box and wins every time.

Salmon Oil Offers Pain Relief and A Healthier Life: Are There Other Supplements Like This?

There are a lot of supplements out there that claim they have the same benefits as salmon oil or fish oil. But one to really consider is probably one you didn’t initially think of.

CBD Dog Treats

There are a thousand and one reasons pet owners are turning to CBD dog treats.

Not only can it help with certain issues a dog faces, but the treat is actually a treat and tastes like heaven to your dog’s taste buds.

So here’s our recommendation on the best CBD dog treat product that hits all the categories above.

Honest Paws Pain Relief CBD Dog Treats

What if your dog experiences anywhere from mild to severe pain?

Might be from cancer, arthritis, any joint and mobility problems, inflammation, or just overall pain.

What if they are prone to certain diseases like liver or kidney disease? All of it hurts for you to see them in that condition, especially with all the prescriptions, surgeries, and countless vet visits that rack up.

With Honest Paws Pain Relief CBD Dog Treats, you can help ease that pain and give them comfort without the excess pills and whatnot.

We know this treat can’t cure cancer or diseases, and we are not encouraging you to stop all the medicine prescribed to your dog (that’s up to your vet), but it can help them feel better and lead an easier life like all doggies should.

Don’t Knock it Till You’ve Tried it!

There is a very good chance that by supplementing your dog’s diet with salmon oil, there will be nothing but benefits. And many of them at that.

Whether to help cure or prevent conditions, salmon oil will improve their overall health and give them a better chance at having a longer and happier life, and who doesn’t want to have their dog around for as long as possible?

Advertiser Disclosure 

The products featured on this page are from our partners. We may be compensated for purchases made through these links. However, this does not influence our reviews and ratings. We independently research and test the products we recommend and our opinions are our own.