More and more pet parents are looking for additional ways to support their dogs’ health that extend beyond giving them an optimal diet and life filled with plenty of exercise. And supplements like salmon oil and CBD oil are some of the first places they look to.
It’s not surprising either, as many have found both supplements to be literally life savers, whether they are helping to reduce inflammation, pain, anxiety, and other ailments many dogs struggle with daily.
So let’s look at how both oils can benefit your dog and the best ways to incorporate them into your dog’s routine.
What is Salmon Oil?
Giving your dog salmon oil is a fantastic way to supplement extra omega-3 fatty acids into its diet. Omega-3 fatty acids can have a world of benefits for our dogs. They help support a healthy immune system, promote shiner coats and healthier skin, while also protecting cognitive function and cardiovascular health.
Science Behind Salmon Oil
The omega-3 essential fatty acids that fish oils like salmon oil contain are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two long-chain fatty acids that are composed of 20+ carbon atoms. While they have their own benefits, omega-6 fatty acids are considered pro-inflammatory. However, when in the right balance with omega-3s, they work together in harmony, as omega-3s are anti-inflammatories.
“Right balance” is the key term here as omega-6s are predominantly found in meats such as beef and chicken, seeds, and oils. While our dogs’ food may have a balanced ratio between the omega fatty acids, the table scraps and treats we tend to overfeed are high in omega-6, throwing off that perfect balance. As you can guess, this is one of the big reasons we supplement fish oil for our health.
There are so many supplements we can take and give our dogs, but most of them haven’t received the research they need to prove their touted benefits. The same cannot be said about salmon oil and other fish oils that deliver omega-3 fatty acids.
So, let’s find out the best way to incorporate salmon oil into our dogs’ diet! But before, we need to talk about the side effects you should expect.
Side Effects of Salmon Oil
Salmon oil, like other fish oils, is touted for its low occurrence of side effects. Easily the most common side effect is fishy breath and burps, followed by minor digestive stress. These are pretty easy to avoid/limit by administering your dog’s salmon oil to them when they consume their regular food.
How To Incorporate Salmon Oil In Your Dog’s Routine
Salmon oil most commonly comes in gel capsules or liquid versions. The liquid version is great for dogs as most love the flavor and it’s very easy to incorporate into their regular food. Make sure to follow the product label for dosing, as weight plays the biggest role in determining how much you should give your dog.
What is CBD Oil?
Derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant, CBD oil is a non-intoxicating alternative to medical marijuana, making it safe for both kids and pets to consume.
Chemically hemp plants are identical to marijuana plants, however, due to various reasons, these plants only produce traces of THC, a chemical that marijuana is abundant in. And that abundance is the sole reason marijuana causes a high, while hemp plants can’t.
As you may suspect, CBD products share many therapeutic benefits we associate with marijuana. Now, they aren’t as prominent due to lacking notable amounts of THC, but again, this makes them safe to use anytime during the day without worrying it’s going to affect motor control or cognition. It also significantly reduces the side effects commonly seen with marijuana items.
Science Behind CBD Oil
So what are all those benefits that CBD can have? Well, thanks to CBD’s ability to interact with a special regulatory system that helps balance other regulatory systems when they are stressed, CBD can help with a seemingly endless list of diseases and medical conditions.
The most common reasons people take and give CBD include help with anxiety, pain (especially chronic pain), nausea, digestion stress, epilepsy, and to support general health.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Like salmon oil, which delivers an abundance of omega fatty acids, CBD oil is touted for its fairly safe side effect profile. Like salmon oil, CBD oil can cause minor stomach discomfort, but administering it with food can help. If stomach discomfort is a regular occurrence or it’s seen with another side effect, such as drowsiness, the most common recommendation is to simply lower the dosage.
If your dog is on a prescription medication prescribed by their vet, please consult them before giving your dog CBD oil due to concerns it may interact with the drug.
How To Incorporate CBD Oil In Your Dog’s Routine
Like salmon oil, mealtime is a great time to give your dog CBD. Unlike fish oil, CBD can be administered multiple times in a day. However, I recommend only giving CBD during mealtime for the first few weeks to help keep side effects, such as digestive stress, at bay.
You can experiment with giving CBD with and without food to see what works best for your dog. CBD is fat soluble, meaning it requires the presence of fat for the body to properly absorb it. Giving CBD with food can promote greater absorption.
However, some may find they need to increase the dosage due to the food ‘stealing’ some of that CBD away from the body. As well, CBD oils already come with a fatty carrier oil to help with its fat-soluble nature.
In a sea of endless supplements, it can be challenging to figure out which supplements are beneficial and which ones just drain your wallet.
More often than not, there just isn’t the research available for most supplements, but that can’t be said about salmon oil and CBD oil.
When looking to incorporate salmon oil and CBD oil into your dog’s routine, most pet parents find administering them around food works best.
Because the most popular forms of both are oil-based and work well when mixed into their regular food, many dog owners are making the switch to giving their dogs homemade meals that incorporate both supplements either during the prep or the cooking stage.
Thanks to dog food-making machines such as Chef Paw food maker, it has never been easier to make your dog’s food for them right in your kitchen. And you don’t need to have a degree in pet nutrition anymore either.