Dog seasonal allergies – does salmon oil help?
Spring marks the return of seasonal allergies. Dogs and cats can also suffer from them. Scratching, sneezing, and difficulty breathing are often a sign of a seasonal allergy. Plants are among the main culprits since both their pollen and the mite populations that they are hosting can trigger an attack.
Numerous studies have confirmed the effectiveness of omega 3 fatty acids in the prevention of environmental allergies and these are present in abundance in a high-quality salmon oil. In this blog we have created the ultimate guide to the most commonly asked questions about feeding salmon oil to dogs and cats.
Can salmon oil be harmful for my pet?
Fish oil is usually an excellent supplement for both human and dog diets alike. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful for your dog. If your dog is given fish oil daily, he may eventually develop negative side effects. Normally when given in balanced amounts, fish oil can promote healthy skin, coat and heart, and also promotes mental health. However, give too much fish oil to your dog, and it can lead to severe allergic symptoms such as lameness or internal bleeding.
Fish oil allergies in dogs however are extremely rare. In almost every case, it is considered to be a fish oil intolerance or overdose rather than an allergy. If your dog is acting abnormally or suffering any symptoms of an illness or injury without probable cause, take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Salmon oil as part of a healthy balanced diet
A healthy, balanced diet promotes positive health effects, and a wide variety of foods is required to create the optimal diet, including fish. The controlled consumption of healthy supplements, such as salmon oil, undoubtedly improves quality of life and helps to prevent certain diseases.
There are many brands and types of salmon oil for pets on the market, but to be 100% healthy, the salmon must be processed fresh and under optimal conditions to ensure its retains its high levels of nutrients and it’s health benefits.
What factors influence the quality of salmon oil for cats and dogs?
- Origin: The fish should be caught in cold water because the colder the water, the more nutrients the fish contains. Iceland and the other Nordic countries are major suppliers of high-quality salmon.
- Processing time from catch: The quality of the oil depends on the time between catch and processing. This should be between 6-8 hours for the best quality oils. The fish must always be refrigerated immediately after catching and should be processed whole. This type of oil is known as Super Salmon Oil. …see Green & Wilds Super Salmon Oil in the Woof Club shops.
- Processing method: The highest quality oil is obtained from the first press and this should be done cold. Subsequent presses and processing reduce the quality of the final oil in terms of its nutrient quality.
Salmon oil obtained from the first pressing is of superb quality: 100% nutritious, natural, pure and tasty; high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In addition, its mineral content can be up to 25 times higher than any other food of animal origin.
It also retains its natural pigments such as carotenes (astaxanthin and canthaxanthin), which give salmon meat its characteristic orange colour. Astaxanthin is a strong antioxidant and is beneficial for the eyes, heart and skin and has been shown to help prevent dementia in older animals.
- Sustainability: We should not forget that it is important to respect marine life and so choose oils that, among other things, are derived from sustainable fishing and carry the certifications to prove this.
Why is salmon oil beneficial for pets?
- Salmon Oil is a natural and rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids: EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids cannot be synthesised within the body by the dog and must be obtained from their diet. These main two fatty acids are found exclusively in crustaceans and fish. There are of course other foods that are rich in omega 3 but they do not provide EPA and DHA. An example of these are seeds, such as flax or chia. There is no doubt that they are beneficial to our health, but they DO NOT provide EPA and DHA essential fatty acids, which are essential for the proper functioning of the dog’s body.
The main benefits of omega 3 in the dog’s diet are:
- DHA: Supports health in pregnancy and lactation The anti-inflammatory effect it has also contributes to the female’s post-partum recovery. When given to puppies it improves the diet and studies also show an improvement in learning ability.
- EPA: improves heart health and strengthens the immune system.
- Salmon oil contains carotenes such as Astaxanthin which is one of the most powerful antioxidants A regular intake of carotenes is essential for the health of the dog. It is produced by different types of microalgae that form the basis of the diet of zooplankton and krill, which, in turn, are the preferred food of the salmon. The salmon then store the pigment in the skin and adipose tissue, and it is this that gives the fish it’s reddish colour.
A regular intake of carotenes such as astaxanthin contributes to eye health, especially that of the retina, and ensures a great overall antioxidant action.
What are the effects of frequent consumption of salmon oil in cats and dogs?
The first thing to evaluate is whether your animal really needs a supplement in its diet, because an excess of supplementation can have contraindications if not controlled properly.
If a dog has a good quality diet, high in Omega 3’s and carotenes and does not show any signs of health issues then no supplement is necessary. The Woof Club recommend the Natura Diet Salmon and Coconut Oil dried food which is processed at low temperatures and volatile or heat sensitive additives are added cold once the low temperature cooking is complete.
Giving supplements when they are not needed can lead to weight issues or liver problems.
Salmon Oil supplements are however recommended for senior dogs, even those on a healthy diet. This is because of the positive effect it has on many symptoms associated with chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or osteoarthritis This is due, to the anti-inflammatory effect of the DHA. DHA also helps reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias, regulates blood pressure and improves circulation.
We include Green & Wilds Super Salmon Oil in our Senior Woof Club Boxes because it is 100% natural, made from sustainable sources in Icelandic waters, and so is of a very high purity. It is also available to buy for cats and dogs in our Woof and Meow shops.
Should my Salmon Oil contain preservatives?
It may seem preferable that the only ingredient be pure salmon oil, but it will almost certainly turn rancid much faster without a natural preservative. Once opened, salmon oil is exposed to light, oxygen from the air and heat and thus undergoes natural oxidation every time it is used. This reduces the benefits and quality of the oil.
To slow or prevent this oxidation, salmon oil should contain a natural preservative. The most popular natural preservative is vitamin E. Other natural preservatives are rosemary extract, ascorbic palmitate, green tea catechins and astaxanthin.
What are the main benefits of a high-quality salmon oil?
- A healthier heart: DHA helps reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias, regulates blood pressure, and improves circulation.
- A stronger immune system: thanks to the addition of omega and astaxanthin.
- Smarter puppies: Studies have shown that puppies fed high levels of DHA are more docile and easier to train than those fed a diet low in this fatty acid.
- More agile animals: Improvements have been observed in many chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Regulated metabolism: DHA lowers the level of lipids (fats) in the blood and helps regulate insulin concentration. Therefore, a diet rich in DHA will help reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and control cholesterol levels.
- Perfect growth and development: Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, helps puppies grow and develop.
- Healthier skin and fur: Skin benefits occur due to the Omega 3 content.
- Improved eye health: DHA contributes to the development of the nerves in the retina.
- Better digestion: It improves intestinal transit and has a local anti-inflammatory effect.
- In cats, it also helps to eliminate hairballs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t forget that all these benefits will only be found if a high-quality salmon oil is used. It should be: made from cold water salmon, processed within 6-8hours of catching, refrigerated, made only from the first cold press of the fish, protected from oxidation and rich in vitamin E.
There are many varieties of salmon oil on the market, but there are very few that meet all the parameters mentioned above to create a high-quality oil. At the Woof Club we recommend Super Salmon Oil from Green & Wilds.
We should also not forget the importance of catching salmon under international regulations on sustainable fishing. We should also ensure that any oil we buy has not been tested on animals in any way. Certification exists to confirm both these things and as a responsible consumers and nature and animal lovers, we should be asking our suppliers for these certifications, so that we can be sure that we are feeding only the best quality product to our pets. Here at the Woof Club we certainly do, and if we recommend a product then rest assured that we have done our research!
The Woof Club team is always there to help you. We also like to hear your comments and experiences and see your pictures. You can contact us via our contact form or simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.