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Best Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids Sources for your Pets

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Omega 3 essential fatty acids can do wonders for your cats and dogs. They are called essential because they NEED to be in your pet’s diet. They play key health roles, being responsible for your pet’s healthy fur and coat and could reduce excessive shedding. Essential fatty acids could also help with dry skin and dandruff which is pretty common in dogs. They are also a great natural anti-inflammatory that could help give relief to chronic inflammation like arthritis and allergic reactions in your cats and dogs.

There are several sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Marine sources include fish such as salmon, anchovies and mackerel, as well as algae and phytoplankton. Other animal sources include enriched poultry and eggs. You can also get it from plant sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seed. However, not all of these foods can (or should) be eaten by our pets. Some could be added to their diet but your cat or dog may not be able to absorb the essential fatty acid efficiently. The best way to make sure that your pet is getting enough fatty acids is through supplementation.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is probably one of the most common essential fatty acid supplements. This has been studied numerous times and has been proven to be effective. However, there have been recent reports of mercury exposure and other toxin exposure in fishes which are the primary source of fish oils. So, make sure you’re getting it from a reputable company or you may opt for other alternatives.

Dosage: 500-1000 mg per 10 lbs of body weight daily

Krill Oil

Krill Oil is fairly new to the game but is starting to gain popularity as an alternative to fish oil. This wonderful natural oil comes from tiny crustaceans called Antarctic Krill which is one of the main foods for whales, penguins, seals and other Antarctic birds. This is a better alternative to fish oil because of its higher bioavailability[ii] – meaning, krill oil is more easily absorbed by the body than fish oil. You also don’t have to deal with heavy metal exposure.

Dosage: 500mg per 25 lbs of body weight daily

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is basically the fish oil in the vegan world. It came from a flax plant, an ancient crop that has been cultivated for centuries. Just like fish oil, there are countless studies on the efficacy and benefits of flaxseed oil.

Dosage: 1 tablespoon per 50lbs of body weight twice daily.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of Omega 3 essential fatty acid, watch this video!


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Topics: Pet health | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Best Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids Sources for your Pets”

  1. Avatar Chris Gustafson Says:
    October 12th, 2020 at 11:56 am

    The National Research Council (NRC) has an interesting online article that states canines need 6 essential fatty acids and do not need meat to survive if they receive the appropriate amounts. My problem is finding a supplement that can be purchase in a local pharmacy (I do cash only & shop local due to Covid 19). What daily dosage is suitable for my 14 pound spayed 6 yr old Chiweenie who is now on day 88 of IMHA and is in remmission, being tapered to 2.5 mg Prednisolone every third day? I feel strongly the 35 mg of EPA & 45mg DHA in the daily of wild sockeye poached salmon I fed her during the acute phase helped her survival but it is not reliably available in northern WI


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM