Have you ever noticed that your dog’s fur isn’t as lustrous as some other dogs' fur is? It seems dull and maybe there's dandruff falling from your Fido's coat as they scratch an itchy spot. Then, you start to notice those itchy spots are everywhere. Your see your dog’s overall appearance to be less than optimal: nails are brittle, breaking, and cracking with ease; joints are a bit creakier than usual, maybe your dog isn’t jumping as high for the ball as they normally would.
The truth is that expensive dog food, exercise, and grooming alone isn’t enough to maintain your dog’s physical health, veterinarians say. Like us, our pets need to have access to additional supplements, preferably provided by nature rather than artificially manufactured. Oils that contain healthy fats such as Omega-3’s and Biotin keeps them feeling good inside and looking great outside. So here are some of the oils good for dogs.
Coconut oil is by far one of the most popular and effective oils available for your dog since it can be applied in so many different ways and has proven benefits. A “medium-chain-triglyceride” called lauric acid makes up more than half of the fatty acids found in coconut oil. Lauric acid improves digestion and contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to destroy destructive pathogens, which is why you’ll see it in holistic treatments and pet treats so often.
If you’re just starting to feed your dog coconut oil for the first time, ease into the process with 1 to 2 teaspoons and mix it in with their food, then gradually increase to about a tablespoon for every 30 pounds. Although consuming and digesting coconut oil is the most effective way to reap its benefits, your dog doesn’t have to eat it! If you scoop out pea-sized amount and rub it into your dog’s fur, deep down to reach the skin, coconut oil can serve as a topical treatment for dandruff and dryness as well.
When given with the proper dosage, fish oil is a universal treatment for more than just your dog’s hair and skin. While there isn’t enough evidence to prove that it can reverse cancer or lessen the effects, studies have shown that fish oil can in fact prevent and slow the growth of abnormal cells, which is just one of the hundreds of fish oil benefits.
Studies show that unaltered female dogs are more likely to develop breast cancer around age 7 or 8, so if you haven’t had your dog spayed yet, you should definitely consider introducing fish oil to your pet's diet. There's a number of benefits that fish oil provides to dogs, but one that it's mostly known for is that Omega-3 neutralizes the inflammation, improving joint health and mobility in your dog. Use 1,000 mg per 30 pounds when administering fish oil supplements; if it causes any upsets with digestion, cut back to 500 mg and see if it helps.
Fish allergies are far and few in between when it comes to canines, but if your pet is allergic to fish and subsequently fish oil, the next best thing is to try flaxseed oil instead. Considered to be a “superfood,” it’s a safe alternative for your dog’s Omega-3 fatty acids requirement in the diet. Keep in mind that the oil alone doesn’t replace the protein that feeding actual fish provides.
You can switch from flaxseed oil to ground flaxseeds on different days; the oil itself has no protein, but ground up seed contains about a gram of protein per tablespoon. Consider baking it into home-made dog treats. If you have an arthritic senior pup, you may start to see changes in their energy levels, veterinarians say. You may just find yourself going for longer walks and tossing a few more balls every day after including flaxseed oil.
If you haven’t heard about giving krill oil to dogs, you're not the only one. Since coconut and fish oils are so popular and widely used among pet owners, the benefits of krill oil go completely unnoticed and unspoken about. Krill oil is very different from your everyday fish oil;, whales, penguins, and squid eat it as a main part of their diet. These tiny creature can be absorbed at a much faster rate than fish, and contain about 240 mg of EPA versus the 180 mg present in fish. However, both have been suggested as a holistic remedy to assist the treatment of hyperthyroidism in dogs.
Last but not least, olive oil can be very healthy for both canines and people, not to mention delicious. Do not apply olive oil topically the way you would coconut oil, but EVOO can be added to your dog’s food or baked into treats. Aside from Omega’s and fatty acids, Vitamin E is also crucial to healthy skin cell development, you can find it in just about every popular skin product for humans.
Dogs need this too, or their skin can become scaly and parched. When you give your dog olive oil, you should keep in mind that there is the possibility of it causing diarrhea, which is why I recommend baking it into treats. If you do decide to give it to them straight, start with about ½ to 1 teaspoon of olive oil per 20 pounds and gradually increase if your dog can tolerate it.
Introducing New Oils for Dogs
When introducing anything new into your dog's diet – foods, oils, supplements – take your time and start with small doses no matter what type of edible it is. Oils especially can disrupt digestion in dogs, and cause vomiting and diarrhea if you give your Fido too much too soon.
Another issue people run into is doing too little research on the ingredients of dog food they buy while giving their dog additional oils and vitamins simultaneously. When administering dietary additives, you need to make sure you know how much Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats (as well as other nutrients) are already present in your dog’s daily meals. Then, compare that amount to the recommended dosage for the weight of your dog and adjust accordingly.
If you’ve tried using these oils already and aren’t seeing any difference in your dog’s health or looks, you may need to consider changing their food or taking them to the veterinarian for another look. Underlying issues like fleas and other parasites can wreak havoc on a dog’s body, and it shows in the appearance of your pet too.