Before you scroll down this guide, “I Almost Killed My Dog with Fish Oil,” you can check out these other similar questions we answered at We Love Doodles: Can Melatonin Kill a Dog and Does Alcohol Kill Fleas on Dogs?
Reason Why People Give Their Dogs Fish OilTo start with, why give your dog fish oil at all? Fish oil supplements are popular in dogs, cats, and humans too. Fish oil is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids and many other vitamins and nutrients. Here are the six main benefits of fish oil on your dog.
1. Fish Oil Will Give a Dog Better Heart HealthOne of the most popular effects of fish oil on your pet is to give them better cardiac health. The omega-3 acids carry many benefits that can enhance your pet’s circulatory system, strengthen their heart, and increase overall health. These benefits are especially effective in dogs with heart issues. Heartworms or pulmonary complications are less common when a dog has a healthy heart.
2. Fish Oil Helps Fix Dry Skin in DogsMany animals also suffer from dry or flaky skin. Sometimes, this is the cause of disorders or illnesses that can be hereditary in dogs. Skin conditions are often related but not exclusive to:
- Environmental or food allergies
- Yeast infections
- Dandruff or rash
3. Fish Oil Can Help Aids With Arthritis in DogsMany dogs have issues with their joints as they age. It’s especially the case in some breeds like Chow Chows, Labradors, and Retrievers. Medium or large dogs suffer with their joints more than small dogs, but any dog of any breed can suffer from the ailment. Fish oil and omega-3 can help to increase the health of the joints. If your dog has already developed issues with its joints, fish oil can help to alleviate some of the pain. It’s a fantastic option with other medications, provided your vet has approved the combination.
Related: Best Dog Bed For a Dog with Arthritis.
4. Fish Oil Will Give Better Cognitive Function For DogsVitamins help with countless functions, but omega-3 is crucial in helping with cognitive development. If your dog is young, giving them fish oil can help their neurological growth. Fish oil can remedy some neurological ailments as well. Your vet may suggest fish oil for panic and separation anxiety, though it likely won’t be the only treatment. Headaches are also often treated with fish oil to help with blood pressure.
5. Fish Oil Will Provide Healthier Blood For a DogSpeaking of blood pressure, the overall health of your dog’s blood is improved by fish oil. Fish oil bolsters the heart and the entire circulatory system benefits. Fish oil can help lower the levels of triglyceride in some dogs. This is a crucial benefit for pets suffering from issues with their bowels, hearts, or pancreas. As always, consult your vet, as this will not be the only treatment.
6. Fish Oil Will Give Stronger Kidneys For a DogThe final common benefit of fish oil in your dog is that it helps bolster the kidneys. Failing kidneys can cause higher blood pressure and the loss of proteins. Fish oil can help to lower blood pressure and retain lost vitamins and proteins. Furthermore, fish oil may help to reduce the production of inflammatory substances. These substances can harm or aggravate the kidneys, worsening your dog’s health and causing discomfort.
Related: Best Salmon Oil Supplements For Dogs.
Fish Oil For Dogs Risks and Side Effects“I almost killed my dog with fish oil” is going on in your mind, so it’s important to know the cause and side effects of providing fish oil for your dog. As with nearly anything else, there are some risks that you should be aware of. Here are some of the side effects that a dog fish oil overdose can cause.
1. A Dog Can Suffer From Diarrhea and VomitingOne of the most common problems you can find with your dog’s fish oil overdose symptoms comes from their stomach. There’s a high chance that the first thing you’ll find is your dog vomiting. A high amount of fish oil will severely aggravate your dog’s stomach. The amount depends on your dog’s size, but 1,000 MG is a good baseline. Along with vomiting, irritated bowels or unhealthy bowel movements are common. Diarrhea is one of the most common issues that you’ll find when a dog has had too much fish oil. In these situations, try to keep your dog outside in a healthy and safe location. The vomiting and diarrhea will pass with time while you work to fix the overdose. They should experience these symptoms in the grass or yard rather than on your sofa, but make certain they’re comfortable and safe.
Related: Why is My Dog’s Poop Grainy?
2. A Dog Could Have Delayed Wound HealingA prolonged period of having too much fish oil can manifest itself in many other symptoms. One of the more common that your dog may experience is an issue in their wound healing. If your dog has scratched or wounded itself somehow and the wound isn’t closing, you may have given them too much fish oil. A single dose of fish oil likely won’t cause this. Instead, giving them their fish oil too often or in too high of doses over a longer period would cause this issue. Wounds fail to heal because fish oil makes blood less likely to coagulate. Ironically, this is also a benefit, as it helps improve blood circulation and reduces the chance of blood clots. If your dog’s wounds aren’t healing, cover them and disinfect them as well as you can. Cut back on how much fish oil you’re giving them and, as always, raise the issue with your vet. Fish oil is far from the only thing that can cause this issue, so ensure you stay on top of it.
3. A Dog Will Develop Foul OdorFish oil should not cause errant smells or stench in small amounts. However, if you’ve given your dog too much fish oil, it’s likely to cause them to secrete an unpleasant smell. Their bowel movements or urine are certain to smell much worse. Their breath may also have a foul, fishy stench to it. In this situation, your dog’s body likely can’t absorb all the fish oil you’re giving them. Reduce the dosage, and the stench should fade over time.
4. Drowsiness Can Occur in DogsAnother common side effect of too much fish oil is severe drowsiness or sleepiness. These symptoms can further lead to lethargy, which can cause your dog’s weight to fluctuate. It also can have negative effects on their fitness and health. Extensive bouts of lethargy can cause muscle deterioration or strain on the heart. Reduce or remove fish oil from their health routine and see if the lethargy fades. If not, seek medical attention.
5. A Dog Will Likely Have Oily or Flaky SkinOne of the last common symptoms that a fish oil overdose can cause is oily or flaky skin. This is especially problematic in dogs taking fish oil to help with a skin condition or disorder. Because of this, it can also prove difficult to spot, as your dog’s skin may already be flaky. If a skin condition worsens after adding fish oil to their routine, stop giving them fish oil immediately. If your dog was healthy before and has developed oily or flaky skin after being given fish oil, the oil is likely the cause. The most common forms are dandruff, rash, or matted fur. You can help to ease this symptom with a warm bath. Do your best to be gentle with scrubbing and use soaps that won’t irritate the rashes on the dog. Additionally, try to keep them indoors so that dirt doesn’t stick to their oily fur and skin.
Related: Best Omega 3 Chews For Dogs.
How to Fix a Fish Oil OverdoseA fish oil overdose will rarely cause immediate issues outside of vomiting or diarrhea. If you’ve given your dog substantially more fish oil than is safe, get them to a veterinarian immediately. Otherwise, consider the following fixes:
- You should cease fish oil use for your dog immediately: The first thing you should do in the case of a fish oil overdose is to stop giving them fish oil immediately. Fish oil is not a crucial vitamin, nor is it addictive. While cutting it out of your dog’s diet can have some health risks, these risks should not outweigh the risk of continuing to give them something that is harming them. As always, consult your vet first.
- Try to provide your dog with the proper hydration: If your dog is experiencing symptoms of an overdose, it’s crucial to keep them hydrated. This is especially vital if they’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, as these symptoms can lead to severe dehydration. Keep a bowl of water near your dog. Ensure that it’s clean and at room temperature so your animal can stay hydrated without discomfort. Do your best to encourage your dog to continue drinking and eating.
- You should consult a veterinarian: With any issue with your dog, the best fixes will always include consulting your vet. That isn’t to say that you must rush to the veterinarian whenever you suspect a problem. Bills can add up quickly, and rushing them to the vet isn’t always an option. Instead, contact your vet’s hotline or a local emergency veterinarian. Calling with questions is often encouraged, especially in emergencies.
- You should switch food or treats for your dog: If your dog shows signs of a fish oil overdose and their food or treats have fish oil, consider switching to something else. These treats and meals may have too much for them to take. Every animal is different, so do your best to monitor its health.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWith everything we’ve covered, a few more questions remain. Here are the three most common questions about a dog fish oil overdose.
Does a Dog’s Size Matter for Fish Oil?Yes, a dog’s size matters for any medication or vitamin. Small dogs will naturally need less fish oil than large dogs. Your Mastiff will need more fish oil than your Chihuahua, for example.
Can Fish Oil Kill My Dog?Some dogs are intolerant to fish oil. Giving them fish oil can result in severe health issues that are sometimes fatal, but this is not common. Ensure your vet consults before giving them fish oil to ensure your dog isn’t intolerant. Furthermore, ensure the fish oil won’t conflict with any other medications your dog has. Otherwise, it’s highly unlikely that fish oil will kill your dog. Keep a lookout for intense side effects and keep dosage at a safe level unless you’re certain a higher dose is okay.
Do I See a Veterinarian If I Almost Killed My Dog With Fish Oil?Yes. No matter what the issue is, your veterinarian can help. Your local vet is an animal care specialist and can ensure that your animals are healthy and cared for. Do not hesitate to contact them with any questions or concerns you may have for your animal.
Conclusion For “I Almost Killed My Dog With Fish Oil”Though fish oil can have negative side effects, it’s a healthy part of a diet. With benefits from cognitive function to better kidneys and hearts, it’s easy to see why so many pet owners use fish oil for their dogs. Ensure you’re safe and always ready to contact your local vet if your dog shows negative symptoms. Please browse our extensive site for more informative articles on caring for your pet. If you find this guide, “I Almost Killed My Dog with Fish Oil,” helpful, you can check out these other guides from our team at We Love Doodles:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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