Boost Your Pet’s Health with the Omega-3s and Probiotics

No matter what you feed your pet—from kibble to a raw food diet—your four-legged family members need vitamin and mineral supplementation just like humans do. Yes, you read that right—giving supplements to your pet is a great way to fill in nutritional gaps to help them thrive and live their best, most active, happiest lives for many faithful years to come. Specifically, EPA and DHA from fish oil and probiotics provide targeted and comprehensive support for Fido and Fluffy where food falls short.

Boost Your Pet’s Health with the Omega-3s and Probiotics


While there may not be a one-sized approach to what and how you feed your fur babies, these well-studied supplements are a great addition regardless of your pet’s age, breed, or size. And most animals can benefit from taking these supplements right away, whether they’re spring chickens (kittens or puppies that is) or wise beyond their doggy and kitty years.

EPA + DHA From Fish Oil Can Help Your Pet In A Multitude of Ways

EPA and DHA From Fish Oil Can Help Your Pet In A Multitude of WaysPaws down, fish oil, comprised of the essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is one of the best supplements to add to your pet’s diet. Similar to the benefits seen in humans, fish oil is good for their heart health, brain health, and kidney health; promotes a silky, shiny coat; reduces itching and skin issues; supports a robust immune system; and can alleviate allergies and joint discomfort, including osteoarthritis.1 2 It’s also been linked to trainability and behavioral health in pets.3

One study including osteoarthritic cats found that 10 weeks of omega-3 supplementation (1.5 grams EPA and .31 grams DHA daily) lead to “higher activity level, more walking up and down the stairs, less stiffness … more interaction with the owner, and higher jumps…” compared to the cats taking a placebo.4

Like humans, cats and dogs can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on their own and must get them from their diet. What’s more, commercial pet foods typically contain higher amounts of omega-6s, derived from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and animal meats, compared to the omega-3s EPA and DHA from fish oil. This can lead to an imbalanced ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet; this is problematic, as omega-6s tend to be pro-inflammatory and there is too little of the health-promoting omega-3s.5 6 7

Supplementing your pet’s diet with fish oil containing a targeted ratio of DHA and EPA is an excellent way to boost their health and improve those ratios. To reap the full benefits, the following weight-based amounts are suggested: 50-75 mg of EPA/DHA per kilogram of weight for dogs and 30-50 mg per kilogram of body weight for cats.8 9 As specialized as your pet’s diet can be, there are also many factors that come into play when determining how much fish oil to give your pet, altering the amount that your pet may need—and those needs may change over time. Factors like age and stage of life, size and breed, health status, and the number of fatty acids already consumed in the diet can determine if your pet needs more or less fish oil.

Probiotics Provide Your Pet a Foundation for Good Health

Probiotics Provide Your Pet a Foundation for Good HealthWe have become increasingly aware of the vital role that gut health plays in overall human health, and researchers are realizing the same is true for our four-legged companions. When the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota is imbalanced, it can have a negative impact on host health and lead to health issues such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and even neurological conditions, including anxiety and depression.10

This translates to pet health and even their behavioral health as well. In one cross-over study of 24 anxious Labrador retriever dogs, researchers examined the effects of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium longum and observed that it had an anxiety-reducing effect. Following six weeks of probiotic supplementation with 1 gram of B. longum, 90 percent of the anxious dogs in the study improved their day-to-day anxious behavior, which included a reduction in barking, jumping, spinning, and pacing in comparison to a placebo supplement.11 12

But the benefits of probiotics don’t stop there. As a pet owner, there’s nothing worse than witnessing—and having to clean up after—your dog or cat going through a bout of digestive issues, whether that be vomit or diarrhea (nothing gets you out of bed faster than sound of your pet hacking or whimpering to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night). Adding probiotics to their diet may be “barking” up the right tree.

A 2019 study conducted on 47 different breeds and sexes of dogs, ranging from five months to seven years, including 27 suffering from acute diarrhea and 20 healthy dogs, showed efficient treatment against canine acute diarrhea with a multi-strain lactobacillus-based probiotic. The strains included Lactobacillus plantarum, L. bulgaricus, L. rhamnosus, and L acidophilus. Results from the study showed reduced recovery time, enhanced liver functions, and improved fecal consistency in the dogs treated with probiotics.13 An earlier study that included adult cats with chronic diarrhea found that 21 days of a multi-probiotic supplement significantly improved symptoms, with 72 percent of the owners seeing an improvement in their cat’s diarrhea, including reduced frequency. The strains included Bifidobacterium bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and L. bulgaricus.14

Our pets give us unconditional love, relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, and bring us comfort sometimes like no human can. Not to mention, they ease our loneliness and truly make our family a family.15 16 There’s just nothing quite like coming home to a dog—the way they let us know with their “smile” and tail wag that we’re loved no matter what—or the purr of a cozy cat on our lap after a long, stressful day. The way we feed them, treat them, and foster their overall health are a few ways we can return that affection and show them we care.


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