Is That Fish Oil Really Doing Your Pet Any Good?
If you aren’t already giving your pets fish oil as a supplement, chances are you’ve heard about it and the benefits your pet might receive from some fish oil being added to their diet. For those who might not be aware, here are some of the ways adding fish oil to your pet’s diet can boost their health:
- Increased brain function
- Lowers bad cholesterol, raises good cholesterol
- Decreases risk of glaucoma
And that’s just a brief list. Research has shown that there are numerous ways fish oil can dramatically improve health.
It is the DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid, 22), which is the most common omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, that provides all of the benefits I’ve mentioned. The problem with most fish oils available on the market today is that they are highly processed, meaning that all of the fatty acids are stripped from the oil in varying degrees. Some further refine and distill their oils so that the consumer’s nose won’t be assaulted by that “fishy smell.” If your fish oil doesn’t have much of an odor, you can bet that it isn’t doing your pet as much good as you thought.
Think of fruits and vegetables. The less they’re processed, the more nutrients they retain. We know that eating an apple instead of eating apple sauce provides a much larger health benefit to our bodies. It’s the same concept with fish oil. The less processed it is, the better.
The best way to be sure you’re giving your pet a quality fish oil supplement is to research a few things about the company and their product before purchase:
- Where do they harvest the fish? Many are farmed in areas with higher quantities of pollutants in the water. Another thing to look out for is the food safety and inspection regulations in that area. We believe your best bet is to stick with fish oils made from wild Alaskan Salmon. Fish farming is illegal in Alaska, making any fish oil made from Alaskan fish a very good choice.
- What fish are they using in their oil? Just like the foods we eat, some are more beneficial than others. A can of tuna fish won’t be as good for you as some fresh salmon. Most use fish like Sardines, Mackerel, and Menhaden in their oil, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s more about where those particular fish are generally farmed or harvested from. Even farmed salmon isn’t a good choice for a fish oil product because farmed salmon are generally high in pollutants.
- How are they refining the oil? The more processed it is, the less it will benefit your pet. Look for unrefined, cold-filtered oils that undergo frequent testing (and pass said tests with flying colors) for pollutants.
One good product we’ve personally used and researched here at PetsWeekly is the Lifeline Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil. Their oil comes from only wild Alaskan Salmon, is cold-filtered, and regularly tests free of contaminants. Their facilities are located in Alaska, meaning the entire processing of their Salmon Oil is monitored by the tough rules and regulations of the state of Alaska. They are environmentally sustainable, meaning that they operate without harming the surrounding ecosystem. Also, once the fillets are removed from the salmon, they go directly to the processing plant, meaning no part of the fish is wasted.
That’s a pretty big deal in our book…
Check up on your fish oil today and see if it makes the cut. Visit the Lifeline Pet Nutrition website for tons of informative articles and information. Their website is what started us on our quest to find out more about the fish oils on the market today, and it’s definitely worth the time to read up on this commonly suggested supplement.