Fish oil is one of the most important supplements you can give to dogs of all ages. In younger dogs it makes coats shine, in pups it boosts mental development and research has even shown that it can make fat dogs thin. But what are the benefits for older dogs?
As dogs get older they become more susceptible to illness, just like older humans. If you've ever felt the heartbreak of watching your trusted companion trying to pull himself up when his joints are stiff, you’ll know how difficult life can be for mutts who are going grey around the muzzle.
The Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are good for pretty much every body part. Research suggests that it improves eyesight, brain activity, gets rid of dry skin, helps heart and kidney function, and boosts the immune system. The older your dog gets, the more help he’ll need in all of the above departments.
As dogs grow older, their joints grow weaker. Fish oil has marvelous healing powers and there has been evidence to suggest that a good dose of fish oil each day can make joints stronger. This gives your dog a new lease of life, and helps them to enjoy long walks and an active lifestyle again.
Putting your dog on a special diet is fine when you’re around to take care of him, but if you do go on vacation you should consider an alternative to kennels. Although kennels can be very good at listening to your requests, it may be a difficult environment for your dog and they may have trouble feeding him his fish oil.
An alternative is asking a friend to care for your dog in your absence, or taking on a dog sitter (many people dog sit for free) and explaining the special diet to his new carers to make sure all of your hard work isn't for nothing.
There are a few ways to incorporate fish oils into your dog’s diet. The first is to buy specially designed pills from your local pet store. The problem here is that your dog may be reluctant to swallow a pill, and you might have to coat it in something tasty like a smear of peanut butter. The next option is to buy a bottle of cod liver oil, and drizzle some of it onto your dog’s food before serving.
Another option is giving your dog the real stuff. You can pick up canned sardines on the cheap at most supermarkets, and your dog will love these mashed into his dry food. Other Omega 3 rich fish are mackerel, trout, herring, salmon, and tuna.
If you combine a fish oil fueled diet with an elevated feeder which has been proven to take the strain off its hips and shoulders, your dog will be able to enjoy more of his twilight years in comfort.