I regularly see posts on Facebook about supplementing dogs with fish oils. I meet new clients fairly regularly who feel they are doing the right thing by feeding fish oil supplements to their dogs as a source of Omega 3 and for anti-inflammatory support.
However, most owners seem unaware of the studies that most commercial fish oil supplements in New Zealand are oxidised – meaning that the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids is dramatically lower than claimed on the label. I’m not in favour of ingesting rancid oils!
In fact, this 2015 study found that only 8% of the supplements tested in the New Zealand market met the levels expected by international recommendations. And higher-priced supplements and those with brand name labels were no indicators of better quality.
Another study based on supplements available in Canada showed that 50% of the supplements tested were oxidised.
In keeping with my philosophy of food as a source of wellness, I’ve moved away from the concept of fish oil supplementation using commercial supplements and instead choose real-life salmon and sardines as a source of fish oils.
If I was a dog, I’d choose a few sardines over a fish oil capsule any day!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand