Dog Dry Skin Treatment with Fish Oil

When a dog has dry skin, it not only impacts the condition of his skin, but can affect his coat and potentially develop into sores and infections. Supplementing his food with fish oil provides nutrients that are essential to the health, not only of his skin, but of various other systems in his body.

Fish Oil Nutrients

The primary components of fish oil are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are highly beneficial to your dog’s system in a variety of ways. Fish oil also contains Vitamins A and D, both contributing to the health and durability of your dog’s skin.

Fish Oil Benefits for Your Dog’s Skin

  • The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, along with Vitamins A and D, help to promote healthy skin cells. The fatty acids help to build the integrity of the cell walls, making them moist and resistant to damage. They also help to reduce inflammation that can occur with dry skin. It is important to add Vitamin E to your dog’s diet when supplementing with fish oil. Although the Omega fatty acids can be beneficial, there must be sufficient quantity of Vitamin E in your dog’s diet in order for his system to break down and use the fatty acids.
  • Vitamin A is also highly beneficial to skin health. Not only does it help with the integrity of the cell walls, Vitamin A helps the cells to retain moisture and helps skin to resist injury. If an injury does occur, Vitamin A also helps to improve the healing process.
  • Vitamin D is a major player in skin health. It promotes skin growth and metabolism, increasing the skin’s ability to produce healthy cells in order to replace those that are dry and damaged.

Fish Oil Dosing Guidelines

If your dog is already experiencing dry skin, he will need a higher dose of fish oil than if his skin were already in good health. For a dog with healthy skin, providing 200 mgs per 10 pounds, every other day provides a solid base for skin health. If his skin is dry and irritated you can double the dosage in order to achieve healthy skin and then drop back to normal dosing once his skin has returned to good health. Other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and eye health can change your dog’s requirements for these supplements so it is important to consult your veterinarian to ensure the dosing is appropriate for your dog’s needs.

Side Effects and Overdosing

Most dogs do not experience side effects when taking fish oil. If the dose they are receiving is too high they may experience stomach discomfort, gas and loose stools. If this occurs, drop the dosage down to allow his digestive tract to settle and gradually increase the dosage so he no longer experiences negative  effects.

Winter weather, indoor heat or air conditioning and other environmental causes can dry your dog’s skin. Using fish oil as a dietary supplement can help to bring your dog’s skin back to a healthy state and provide additional health benefits as well. Many dog owners regularly use fish oil as a way to help keep their dog’s skin and coat healthy, while at the same time providing support to many of their body’s systems to slow the aging process.