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The best fish oil for German Shepherds helps support your dog’s heart, joints, coat, skin, and immune system.
It’s a natural supplement that can become part of your dog’s long-term dietary lifestyle or used temporarily for a boost in nutrition.
Either way, adding fish oil to your dog’s diet can improve their overall health when added to a nutritious diet.
Let’s find out the best fish oils for German Shepherds, their benefits, and the right way to give your companion this nutritious powerhouse.
Is Fish Oil Good for German Shepherds?
Yes, fish oil is good for German Shepherds and contains a specific dietary fat that increases shine and softness in your dog’s coats, reduces dry and itchy skin, supports heart health, and can even help reduce or relieve allergies and joint pain. These dietary fats are an essential “good” fat type that is an important component for your German Shepherd’s optimum body and brain functioning.
However, your German Shepherd can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on their own. So, they must get these good fats from supplements in their diet (source).
Use Caution When Giving Fish Oil to Your German Shepherd
If your GSD has a sensitive gastrointestinal system or medical condition that could predispose them to excessive bleeding, discuss any supplements with your vet.
And, if your dog is already on a high fish, fish meal, or fish oil diet then you may need to adjust your dosage to avoid excessive levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’re thinking of including fish oil as a part of your German Shepherd’s dietary routine, here’s what else you need to know.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids Found in Fish Oil?
The “good” fat found in fish oil for German Shepherds is called an omega-3 fatty acid. This fatty acid creates important hormones that assist and regulate blood flow and decrease inflammation. But, these helpful fatty acids aren’t found naturally in your dog’s system.
Primarily found in cold-water fish, plant and nut oils, flaxseed, and even shellfish, omega-3 can become an important supplement for a German Shepherd with hip issues, arthritis, skin itching, and other forms of inflammation.
They also help balance out another fatty acid called omega-6. Omega-6 is commonly found in processed foods and many grains.
Some dog food manufacturers rely on meat products from corn-fed animals and refined oils (which are high in omega-6). This gives your dog an overabundance of omega-6 versus the healthy “good” omega-3.
Providing your dog with an omega-3 fish oil supplement can balance out your dog’s modern diet.
Benefits of Giving Your German Shepherd Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oils have several benefits for your German Shepherd’s health. Several studies support daily supplementation of omega-3 fish oil to improve your dog’s health.
However, the benefits from giving fish oil can take 3-4 months to see in your German Shepherd and you shouldn’t expect results overnight.
1. Fish Oil Helps Lessen Inflammation and Allergies
Many health issues in the German Shepherd Dog are caused by an excess amount of inflammation. Omega-3 supplements, found in fish oils, can help balance out this overactive inflammatory response and provide your dog with some relief and comfort.
The good omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements can reduce and alleviate inflammation in the body, in particular joints – including the knees and hips.
Inflammation is seen in many German Shepherd diseases, such as:
chronic kidney disease
German Shepherds are known to develop stiffening arthritis, especially in the back legs. Giving your German Shepherd fish oil helps reduce inflammation and autoimmune responses while simultaneously promoting blood circulation in aching arthritic joints.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce amounts of atherosclerotic plaque, which aids in the prevention of heart disease. Fish oils are also a very effective treatment for preventing heart disease, as the omega-3’s reduce the level of triglyceride in the blood.
2. Fish Oil Improves Dry and Problematic Skin
Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil helps reduce overall inflammation in the body, including the largest organ – skin.
Proving your German Shepherd the right amount of omega-3 and omega-6 balance may lessen the severity of their allergies, including:
allergies from contact dermatitis
flea bite allergies
and even seasonal allergies
Giving fish oil to your German Shepherd may allow owners to administer fewer doses of anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics when treating different skin conditions, but it is especially important to tell your vet that you are providing fish oil to your dog.
Dogs who are currently taking certain medications should not take fish oil without the consent of their veterinarian as occasional drug and supplement interactions may occur which might interfere with your dog’s medical treatment.
But, you’ll also want to know how to choose the right fish oil for your dog.
How Do I Choose a Good Fish Oil for My German Shepherd?
Choosing the best fish oil for your German Shepherd may seem overwhelming at first. And, flashy packaging and long aisles of products don’t help the situation.
It’s good to know there are basically three types of fish oil on the market:
Synthetic triglyceride oil – which as the name states, is synthetic in origin (man-made) and absorbs the least easily.
Ethyl ester oil – which is concentrated and distilled, removing all impurities. Although distilled it is not all natural. Consider this a semi-natural oil containing high levels of important pieces of omega-3: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Natural triglyceride oil – which is the most natural and easiest to absorb for your dog; however, it may contain a variety of contaminants since it isn’t purified.
Over the long term, giving fish oil as a supplement if your dog eats a grain-based diet may deplete vitamin E. So, your German Shepherd may need a vitamin E supplement too. Some fish oil brands include vitamin E to aid in the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish and salmon oil come in a variety of forms from various commercial and natural brands.
Some of the forms you can give to your dog include:
various flavorful treats
Liquid oil is usually the easiest to administer supplement because you easily stir it in with any dog food. Capsules are difficult for most dog owners to give due to their dog’s lack of participation.
There are several flavorful treats that contain fish oil, but you must ensure you give your dog enough of them to administer the therapeutic amount.
Speak with your veterinarian to decide if adding fish or salmon oil to your German Shepherd’s diet is right for you.
Best Fish Oil for German Shepherds
The form of fish oil you choose to give to your German Shepherd largely depends on convenience and your dog’s opinion of the product.
As long as you check to see that the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are present in the product, and the product is specifically pet-safe, you can’t go wrong.
Here are some of the best fish oils for German Shepherds to help you decide which fish oil product to use.
1. Best Salmon Oil: Zesty Paws Core Elements Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
The top pick for best fish oil overall is the Zesty Paws salmon oil. Sourced from wild-caught Alaskan salmon, it contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and is rich in compounds that give your GSD a softer coat, better brain health, and a happier heart.
If you’re looking for the best salmon oil for a German Shepherd, then check out these amazing health benefits for your dog.
Easy to dose pump bottle to quickly add to your dog’s meal
Full of healthy nutrients for your dog’s hips and joint function
Increases immune health
Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs
The liquid supplement is easy to digest for senior dogs and helps improve arthritic conditions, as well as decreasing itchiness and coat dullness.
3. Best Liquid Supplement: PetHonesty Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil Dog & Cat Supplement
PetHonesty Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil Dog & Cat Supplement is made using a trifecta of wild-caught fish. Full of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids it strengthens cell membranes in the skin, which makes them less prone to itching, and works to reduce inflammation.
Purified – so there’s no stinky or unpleasant fishy taste and smell
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids from sardines, anchovies, and mackerel
Supports healthy joints and skin, and a luxurious shiny coat
If you’ve got picky eaters or those who refuse to take anything in pill form, this liquid supplement without any fishy taste or smell is just the right product. Further, the company uses a variety of sustainably sourced fish oils to keep fish stocks, and your dog, healthy and well.
4. Best for Allergies: Grizzly Omega Health Omega-3 Fatty Acids Food Supplement
Loaded with EPA and DHA—the only omega-3 fatty acids that are readily absorbed by your dog’s metabolism—this supplement contains wild salmon oil from the clear waters of Alaska. It’s high in natural antioxidants and trace vitamins, which aid in a healthy coat and soft skin.
Improves brain, vision, immune and reproductive health
Made of wild, not farmed, salmon which are lower in calories and higher in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids
Benefits skin health so it’s great for itchy dogs who scratch constantly
If you prefer wild-caught salmon then this is a brand for you, especially if your German Shepherd suffers from dry skin and seasonal allergies.
5. Best for Joints: Fera Pet Organics Fish Oil + Vitamin E Dog Supplement
A German Shepherd with stiff joints may have inflammation, and fish oil can help loosen up those achy and stiff joints, keeping your dog more comfortable.
Fera Pet Organics Fish Oil + Vitamin E Dog Supplement uses a blend of non-GMO fish oil, including wild-caught sardines, anchovies, herring, and mackerel, along with sunflower oil to give the formula vitamin E.
Great ingredients and no fishy smell.
A liquid formulation easily mixes with food for quick dosing.
Improves joint mobility by reducing inflammation.
Adding fish oil to your German Shepherd’s diet is a great way to support joint health in older and senior dogs, especially for owners of large breed dogs who may be more prone to hip and joint issues.
Can I Give My German Shepherd Fish Oil Supplements Meant for Humans?
No, you shouldn’t give your German Shepherd fish oil supplements meant for humans. While some pet owners will give fish oil capsules meant for human consumption to their dogs as an alternative to a dog-specific supplement, it is not recommended. Capsules intended for humans are not dosed according to a dog’s needs and don’t contain the amount of fish oil your German Shepherd needs.
Further, many supplements made for humans include ingredients that are not necessary or recommended for dogs.
Always seek your vet’s advice before giving your German Shepherd anything that is not specifically meant for dogs.
Fish oil for a German Shepherd is specially formulated to meet their canine health requirements, without unnecessary human ingredients that could harm your dog.
Want More Help With Your German Shepherd’s Allergies and Joints Naturally?
Are you interested in learning more about your German Shepherd’s health and how to improve it?
Not only is it an introduction and a guide to the vast world of natural healing methods, treatments, and foods now available for dogs, but it’s a great resource for those times when your German Shepherd is ill or under the weather and you’re looking for safe, natural options.
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Catherine Krasavin owns Shepherd Sense, a dog website aimed at German Shepherd owners and lovers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, and has been training dogs for over a decade. Catherine’s currently attending continuing education courses to keep up with the latest in animal science, as well as earning her diploma in dog training. She owns a plush coat German Shepherd who was awarded Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award - the highest level of achievement.
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