Ensuring your dog or cat is getting sufficient nutrients from their diet is important in raising a healthy and happy pet. Your pet may not properly absorb the fatty acids or may have allergies to certain foods that prevent them from getting proper nourishment.
A great way to ensure your cat or dog has a well balanced and complete diet is to add necessary supplements to their diet.
Oils are often used to supplement or add fatty acids to a pet’s diet as they offer a lot of benefits. It’s one of the easiest ways to add nutrients to your cat or dog’s diet as oils are somewhat discrete in food.
We have created the ultimate list of oils to use in your dog or cat’s diet. However, we recommend you consult your veterinarian before adding or taking away anything from your pet’s diet. Giving your dog the wrong dosage or supplement can lead to digestive issues and long term intestinal damage.
Please note that the dosages we recommend may not be accurate for your cat or dog, as there are many things to consider. Your pet’s weight, health, and age all factor in the dose of oil you should be adding to their diet. Always read the label on the back on the supplement and speak with your veterinarian for more information.
Now, let’s get into the eight oils most recommended for cats and dogs and their benefits!
Fish oil is packed with two essential fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two fatty acids help with inflammation due to allergies, itching, dandruff, and hot spots.
Natural triglyceride oil is the most common and the easiest for the body to absorb. Fats sourced from salmon, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and other fish higher classified in the food chain offer the most omega-3 fatty acids.
You can find fish oil in pump bottles or capsules, but make sure to store them in your refrigerator for the best longevity! Fish oil that has gone bad may not be as effective or may cause digestive issues.
The average dose of fish oil for a dog is 1,000 mg for every 30 pounds of body weight. However, you also need to take your dog’s diet into account as some foods are already rich in EPA and DHA. Too much fish oil can lead to an upset stomach or may cause blood thinning.
You can give your cat about 30 mg per pound; however, the dosage for a cat is a bit more touchy. A veterinarian’s recommendation will go a long way in finding the right dose for your cat.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil contains fewer levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids than oils from fish higher up the food chain such as salmon. However, it does contain high amounts of vitamins A and D.
These vitamins need fat to be adequately absorbed. Thus, it is best to add oil to your pet’s food. Cod liver is best for animals that don’t need a large amount of fatty-acids added to their diet.
Hemp oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes a healthy metabolism, weight, and can help with certain infections and the immune system.
Not only does hemp oil offer impressive benefits for your pet’s health, but it also provides pain and anxiety relief due to better-balanced metabolism. If your cat or dog struggles with joint or muscle pain, hemp is a great natural remedy.
Furthermore, hemp oil is helpful in calming your pet’s nerves, it comes in handy for cats and dogs that have separation anxiety or stress in general. If your cat or dog tends to get agitated and chew your furniture while you are gone, hemp oil will calm their nerves and help them feel comfortable alone. In other words, you won’t need to worry about coming home to a stressed dog or destroyed couch!
Furthermore, hemp oil promotes a healthy coat and moisturized skin. It is a great oil to use in your pet’s diet. With a healthy coat and skin, your pet won’t need to be bathed as often as dirt will fall off smoothly.
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Flaxseed oil is an excellent supplement for dogs and cats with allergies. It helps with mobility in arthritic pets, inflammation, blood pressure, allergy relief, and kidney function. It also offers fibret promote a healthy digestive system.
Ground flaxseed is the best and safest form for your pet because full flaxseed does not absorb properly. It is recommended to give a small dog (under 30 pounds) about ½ teaspoon of oil or ground flaxseed daily, one teaspoon for medium dogs, two teaspoons for large dogs, and one full tablespoon for very large dogs.
You can give your cat about half a teaspoon or about 20% of their calorie intake, depending on their weight.
It is recommended to start with a smaller dosage and build from there, depending on your cat or dog’s weight. To ensure your pet doesn’t get any digestion issues from the flaxseed oil, divide the dose between day and night.
Unlike most fish oils that come from higher up the food chain, krill oil is sourced from small shrimp-like organisms. Your pet is less likely to be contaminated with mercury as smaller fish have less mercury in their system. However, it is not typically recommended for pets as it may create an imbalanced amount of vitamins compared to fatty acids.
You can speak with your veterinarian for more information about krill oil and if it is right for your cat or dog.
Not only will it make your dog’s breath smell better, but coconut oil is mainly known for maintaining proprer digestion and a healthy coat. It also helps with inflammatory bowel disease and poor bowel absorption. Some pets, such as Bulldogs, are prone to digestive problems and can benefit from an oil supplement like coconut oil as it will help with the absorption of the nutrients in their food.
Coconut oil has high levels of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which help with brain health and energy. It also doesn’t have high levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, coconut oil is a safe choice to add to your cat or dog’s diet as It will not interfere with the level of fatty acids in their food.
Coconut oil is also quickly metabolized and boasts more than 90% of healthy saturated fats with smaller amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. It is a healthy alternative to add healthy fats to your pet’s diet if they deal with weight or health issues.
Opt for organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, available in most grocery stores, as this is the purest form. For your dog, a fourth of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds, twice daily, is a rule of thumb. However, keep in mind that coconut oil adds more calories (40 for every tsp). If your dog is not very active, it may be best to opt for a different oil.
For an average-sized cat, start with about ⅛ of a teaspoon until you eventually reach up to ¼ or ½ of a teaspoon. Keep in mind; cats are not as active as most dogs so make sure the extra calorie intake works with your cat’s lifestyle.
Olive oil is rich in antioxidant capability due to the polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids. It helps improve the immune system and is effective in lessening the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Olive oil does not contain an impressive amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is not the best option for increasing your cat dog’s intake of fatty acids, but it does help improve their calorie intake. There are about 40 calories per teaspoon. This is beneficial for cats and dogs that are active or have weight problems.
Furthermore, olive oil is good for pets that struggle to tolerate omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids due to gastronomical intestine issues. It is also great for younger pets that can’t easily digest the high amounts of fatty acids in other oils.
Look for 100% olive oil, nothing mixed, as this is the purest form. You can add half of a teaspoon to the food of a small dog under 20 pounds, a full teaspoon for dogs weighing 30 to 40 pounds, and up to a tablespoon of olive oil to dogs of 50 pounds or more.
Moreover, it is recommended to give a small cat three tablespoons of olive oil a week. A medium-sized cat can have up to half a tablespoon a day. A large cat can have up to half a spoonful a day. As with most oils, start small and build-up to the full amount to observe how your cat is adapting to the new addition in their diet.
Sunflower oil is commonly used to keep skin moisturized as many dogs and cats cannot properly synthesize linoleic acid (LA), a dietary source or supplement is necessary to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
Sunflower oil also promotes energy, healthy immune function, heart health, and normal organ function.
This superfood oil is already found in a lot of pet food and treats as it contains the necessary amount of omega-6 fatty acids needed for your pet’s diet. It also contains lower saturated fat compared to animal fat.
Though sunflower oil has sufficient levels of fatty acids, it doesn’t have enough levels of arachidonic acid (AA and ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid only found in animal fats. Thus, sunflower oil should not be used as a stand-alone source of fatty acids.
It is recommended to use sunflower oil with a home-cooked diet. A medium dog can take up to one teaspoon daily; this offers about five to eight grams of omega 6. However, keep in mind that all fats are calorie-dense, with one teaspoon of sunflower oil coming to about 40 calories. Also, take into account omega-3 supplementation as sunflower oil doesn’t provide a sufficient amount.
In regards to finding the right dose for your cat, we recommend asking your veterinarian as they will be able to measure better the correct amount based on your cat’s age, weight, and health.
Choosing the Right Oil for Your Pet
There are many things to consider when choosing the right oil and supplement for your cat or dog, including their energy level, allergies and sensitivities, age, diet, and nutrient deficiencies.
With so many options, it may seem daunting to decide which oil is best for your cat or dog. We recommend always discussing your options with your pet’s veterinarian as they will have the most accurate answer based on your pet’s needs.
The list we have created should help in gaging what your pet needs. You may notice your cat has a weight problem, or maybe your dog has pain in their hips. There is an oil available to help promote a healthy lifestyle and diet for your pet.
If you have any questions about choosing the right oil for your pet or want to learn more about the benefits of hemp oil, contact us today. We are always happy to help your furry friend!
Have we missed any oils you feel need a spotlight? Comment down below your favorite and how they have helped your pet!