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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Cod Liver Oil For Dogs To Help Ease Joint Pain And Stiffness

                              Me running gracefully...

We've written numerous posts about caring for your pets, including how to help ease your dogs gracefully into their golden years, but what if you could also help ease the common stiffness and joint pain often associated with aging in dogs? Well, remember what grandma told you about taking your cod liver oil? Perhaps it was your great, great grandma, because cod liver oil (oil derived from the livers of codfish) has been around for a long time as an all-purpose tonic for a variety of human ailments. Because of its high levels of vitamins A and D, it was originally given to children to help prevent rickets, a disfiguring bone disease caused by too little Vitamin D. But science has caught up with grandma's common sense: Cod liver oil also contains high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are widely taken to ease the pain of arthritis in humans.Today, cod liver oil is derived from the entire bodies, not just the liver, of several different types of fatty fish, like salmon, and now, there's cod liver oil for dogs. 

Omega 3 fatty acids have been touted for the last several years as a natural way to help prevent or heal dog skin problems, like itching and scratching, that makes your dog not only uncomfortable, but could lead to more serious skin afflictions. There have even been several studies conducted on dogs taking fish oils, and one study in particular was published in the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association in 2010. This study found that "at least in the short term, dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids resulted in an improvement in weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis". 

Although no one can say with certainty whether any dietary supplement has a direct positive improvement on a particular disease, like osteoarthritis, or whether supplements in general can prevent or slow the onset of any disease, Parental Unit has always taken a proactive approach-she's taken vitamin and mineral supplements herself  since she was 14, in addition to eating a (fairly) healthy diet. And she gave her previous dog, the beloved Carson, vitamins and extra supplements to ease his early-onset arthritis following his knee replacement surgeries. 

So what about you. Do you give your dogs vitamin supplements and/or fish oils or other types of Omega 3 supplementation? Let us know!

Please Note: This is a compensated post. The amount of fish oil your pet might need will depend on his or her weight and other factors. Excessive amounts of omega-3 supplementation can have side effects for your pets, so always check with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.


Cowspotdog said...

I have fish oil supplements to help with my dry skin - it hasn't helped with my arthritis though

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