The 7 Best Fish Oils for German Shepherds You Need Right Now

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. As a Chewy affiliate, we earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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?

is fish oil good for german shepherds
Does fish oil give your German Shepherd any health benefits?

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

benefits of fish oil for your german shepherd
There are several positive benefits of adding fish oil to your German Shepherd’s diet.

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:

  • canine arthritis
  • chronic kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • brain 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

german shepherd with dry, itchy skin
Does your GSD suffer from dry skin, itchiness, or even allergies?

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:

  • food allergies
  • allergies from contact dermatitis
  • eczema
  • inhalant allergies
  • 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.

Read more about how to help a German Shepherd with dry skin to give your dog the comfort they deserve!

3. Fish Oil Helps Boost Your German Shepherd’s Immune System

Some dogs have weakened immune systems which makes them more prone to catching disease, developing infection, and overall inflammation.

Supplementing your German Shepherd’s diet with fish oil helps to boost their immune system, lessening inflammation, and deterring degenerative diseases.

Fish oil shows improvements in:

  • decreasing brain inflammation
  • helps reduce the effects of age-related inflammation, such as canine cognitive dysfunction in older and senior Shepherds
  • helps German Shepherd puppy’s eye and brain development so they grow healthy and strong

Science shows how good fish oil is for German Shepherds and adding in this supplement may help their health and daily living.

But, you’ll 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?

types of fish oil supplements for german shepherds
Decide on which supplement your German Shepherd prefers – liquid, capsule, or treat.

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 comes in a variety of forms from various commercial and natural brands.

Some of the forms you can give to your dog include:

  • liquid oil
  • gel capsules
  • 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

best fish oils for german shepherds
Which fish oil should you give to your German Shepherd?

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

zesty paws pure wild salmon fish 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 German Shepherd, then check out these amazing health benefits for your dog.

Benefits

  • 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.

2. Best Pill: Vetoquinol Care Triglyceride OMEGA Omega-3 Fatty Acid Large & Giant Dog Supplement

vetoquinol triglyceride omega-3 fatty acid for large dogs pill supplement

Perhaps you prefer to give your dog a pill supplement rather than liquid fish oil. Some owners don’t like the smell of liquid fish oil and some dogs don’t like the flavor in their food.

But the Vetoquinol Care Triglyceride OMEGA Large & Giant Dog Supplement has all the health benefits of fish oil liquid without the highly scented odor.

Benefits

  • Full of EPA and DHA with sardine and anchovy oil for a thick, silky coat and soft skin
  • Formulated for optimal absorption
  • Perfect for relief from seasonal skin allergies
  • Triglyceride OMEGA contains the only fish oil to achieve USP ingredient verification

Triglyceride OMEGA makes a great supplement to most veterinary prescribed diets for pet allergies and helps improve mobility, ease joint pain, and increase heart health

3. Best Liquid Supplement: PetHonesty Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil Dog & Cat Supplement

pethonesty wild-caught fish oil 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.

Benefits

  • 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

grizzly fish oil supplement for dogs

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.

Benefits

  • 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

fera fish oil with vitamin e

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.

Benefits

  • 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.

6. Best for Healthy Skin: Zesty Paws Salmon Bites Skin & Coat Dog Supplement

zesty paws salmon bites for skin health

This supplement from Zesty Paws is specially formulated for skin health and allergy support.

The first ingredient is potent omega-3 and the skin support formula also includes healthy additions of algae and kelp, known for their effectiveness in reducing itchy and dry skin.

iSold as soft chews, these supplements have a rich salmon flavor that dogs love. They go down like a treat rather than a pill.

Benefits

  • Contains Biotin, a powerful B-complex vitamin that helps revitalize dry and itchy skin
  • Restores shine to dull, brittle coats with a mixture of fish oil and plant oil – including nutrient-rich flaxseed oil
  • Tasty soft chews with a rich scrumptious salmon-flavor that your dog will think is a luxury treat
  • Formulated with proprietary Algae (DHAgold®) and Kelp to provide extra nourishment for healthy skin

Say goodbye to itchy, dry, flaky patches and hello to soft, smooth, supple skin! Just offer the supplements by hand for a flavorful, wholesome, and beneficial treatment.

7. Best for Coat Shine: Iceland Pure Pet Products Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil Liquid Supplement

Iceland pure salmon oil for dogs

Does your find the smell of fish oil too stinky, but want to help your German Shepherd’s coat?

Then, this pharmaceutical grade salmon oil supplement is for you. It’s been specially filtered to reduce the fishy smell, but still provides a therapeutic level of omega-3 for a shiny, thick coat.

Benefits

  • Reduces a dull coat that is thin from skin issues and scratching
  • Helps clear up dry, patchy, or scaly skin
  • Easy to use with a convenient pump and comes in a brushed aluminum bottle that’s an eco-friendly and non-toxic

If your German Shepherd’s coat has lost its shine or suffered through allergies and become thin, this pharmaceutical formula can aid in giving your dog back its coat’s shine and softness.

Can I Give My German Shepherd Fish Oil Supplements Meant for Humans?

can I give my german shepherd fish oil supplements meant for humans
Are these human supplements safe for your German Shepherd?

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?

📘 Then you’ll want to have on hand a copy of The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs: Safe and Effective Alternative Treatments and Healing Techniques from the Nation’s Top Holistic Veterinarians

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.

Did you know that having a well-trained dog also benefits their physical and mental health?

brain training for german shepherds
Did you know that training your GSD can increase your bond and their health?

🐾 For an interactive training course take a look at Brain Training for Dogs, a step-by-step online training program you’ll need to keep your intelligent breed mentally healthy and well-behaved throughout their lifetime.

This comprehensive course teaches you how to meet the intelligence needs of your dog along with including fun games to teach your dog their basic obedience commands…

And more!

Don’t miss out on having a well-trained German Shepherd!

References and Resources

Fish Oil for Dogs, American Kennel Club

National Research Council of the National Academies, Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs – A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners, PDF

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease, authors: Penny M. Kris-Etherton, William S. Harris, Lawrence J. Appel, and for the Nutrition Committee. Originally published1 Feb 2003

Healthy Foods Checklist: Fish Oil for Dogs, PetMD