I Almost Killed My Dog With Fish Oil

Fish oil is very beneficial to humans. So it is not a wonder that you thought of sharing it with your dog as a treat or supplementing his diet. But that was a terrible mistake that almost killed your dog! Even though we can consume fish oil safely, our dogs have a different digestive systems meaning they digest things differently.

Let’s discuss why fish oil could have killed your dog, its benefits and risks, and how to include it in your dog’s diet safely.

I almost killed my dog with fish oil

Below are some reasons your dog had adverse effects after taking fish oil.


Giving fish oil to a dog in large amounts can be toxic. Some symptoms of fish oil overdose include diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. If left unattended, it can lead to death.

Blood clotting problems

Fish oil supplements may change the way blood clots in the body, which may cause bleeding difficulties and even death.

Reacting to other medication

Supplements containing fish oil may interact negatively with several medicines, including blood thinners, and even result in death.

Allergic reactions

The chemicals in fish oil supplements may induce allergic responses in some dogs, resulting in anaphylaxis and even death.

Impaired liver function

Some dogs may get liver damage from taking fish oil supplements, resulting in reduced liver function and eventual death.

Poor quality

Poor-quality fish oil supplements may be mislabeled or contain pollutants, which could have fatal implications.

Does Your Dog Need Fish Oil?

Omega-3 fatty acids make up about 30% of fish oil, while other types of fats make up the remaining 70%. Your pet cannot synthesize omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so he may require fish oil in its diet because it is a strong source of omega-3.

The likelihood of the dog eating kibble getting a lot of omega-6 is very high. However, excess Omega-6 can cause allergies, joint pain, and other chronic ailments. The negative effects of omega-6 can be counteracted and balanced with a healthy dose of omega-3.

Dogs with an omega-3 deficiency may have the following symptoms:

  • Kidney diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Joint health
  • Mental health concerns
  • Certain cancers 

Fish oil may be advantageous, but it should only be added to the pet’s diet after consulting a veterinarian.

Benefits Of Fish Oil To Dogs

Improve Heart Health

Better cardiac health in pets is one of the most well-known benefits of fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have many advantages that can improve your pet’s heart health, circulatory system, and general well-being. These advantages are particularly useful for dogs with heart problems. When a dog’s heart is healthy, heartworms or pulmonary complications are rare.

Improve Joint Health

As dogs get older, many of them develop joint problems, particularly in some breeds, such as Chow Chows, Labradors, and Retrievers. Small dogs are less likely to experience joint problems than medium or large dogs, but any breed of dog might get the condition. Omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil can improve joint health. In addition, fish oil can assist in lessening some of the pain in your dog’s joints if they have already started to have problems. If your veterinarian has approved the combination, it’s a great alternative when taken along with other treatments.

Blood Health

Fish oil plays a great role in the overall health of your dog. The heart is strengthened by fish oil, and the circulatory system benefits. In addition, some dogs’ triglyceride levels may be reduced with the aid of fish oil. This is a major benefit for pets with bowels, hearts, or pancreas problems. However, always consult your veterinarian because this is not the only course.

Improve the Skin’s Health

Animals, like humans, suffer from skin dryness. This can occasionally be the root of problems or illnesses in dogs in the family. Skin conditions frequently involve, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental or food allergies
  • Folliculitis
  • Impetigo
  • Yeast infections
  • Ringworm
  • Dandruff or rash
  • Lupus
  • Manage

All of these illnesses and disorders are frequent in dogs. While consuming fish oil supplements won’t make them disappear, they can relieve the symptoms. Furthermore, the health advantages can prevent any of these illnesses from developing in the first place. Before giving your pet fish oil, check with your veterinarian if they think your pet has one of these conditions.

The most effective strategy is ensuring your pet isn’t harmed because various drugs or supplements can interact adversely.

Improve Kidney Health

Protein loss and increased blood pressure are two effects of failing kidneys. Fish oil can help you maintain lost vitamins and proteins while lowering blood pressure. Additionally, fish oil may contribute to a decrease in the synthesis of inflammatory substances. These substances might damage your dog’s health and cause discomfort by damaging or aggravating the kidneys.

Better Cognitive Function For Dogs

While vitamins have many roles in the body, omega-3 is particularly important for supporting brain growth. Giving fish oil to a young dog can aid in developing its nervous system. Additionally, fish oil helps treat some neurological conditions. Although it’s unlikely that fish oil will be the only treatment, your veterinarian may advise it for panic and separation anxiety.   

When Should I Not Give My Dog Fish Oil?

 If your dog has pancreatitis

Fish oil can occasionally increase the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes, which can be dangerous for dogs with pancreatitis. Therefore, you should avoid administering fish oil to your dog if they have a history of pancreatitis.

If your dog is intolerant to seafood

Dogs can develop allergies to particular types of seafood, including salmon, just like humans. Therefore, avoiding giving your dog fish oil if they have previously reacted to seafood is advised.

If your dog is on any prescription drugs

Some drugs, including blood thinners, NSAIDs, and steroids, can interact with fish oil. Therefore, before giving your dog fish oil, you must check with your veterinarian if they are prescribing any of these medications.

If your dog has a bleeding disorder

Fish oil may worsen bleeding issues in dogs since it thins the blood. Before giving your dog fish oil, it’s crucial to check with your veterinarian if they have knowledge of any bleeding issues.

If your dog already consumes a balanced diet:

Dogs can benefit greatly from fish oil supplements, but it’s crucial to remember that your dog shouldn’t eat exclusively fish oil. You might not need to offer your dog fish oil if they are already consuming a balanced diet.

What happens if I give my dog too much fish oil?

Diarrhea and vomiting

One of the most typical symptoms of a dog overdosing on fish oil is diarrhea. Try to keep your dog outside in a clean and secure environment during these times. While you strive to correct the overdose, nausea and diarrhea will subside over time. Additionally, your dog can have stomach pain since fish oil contains a lot of fat, which your dog’s digestive system may find challenging to process in large doses.

Develop Foul Odor

If your dog eats too much fish oil, it may cause poor breath and a fishy body odor. This is because fish oil contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which your dog can expel through his skin and breath.

In this case, your dog’s body likely won’t be able to absorb all of the fish oil you’re providing them. Reduce the dosage, and the odor should gradually disappear.

Delayed Wound Healing

You may have fed your dog too much fish oil if the wound isn’t healing after it has been scratched or injured. Fish oil won’t likely produce this after only one dose. In contrast, giving them their fish oil too frequently or in excessively high amounts over a prolonged period would result in this problem. Because fish oil reduces the likelihood of blood coagulation, wounds do not heal. Ironically, this also has a benefit because it enhances blood flow and lessens the likelihood of blood clots. Cover and disinfect your dog’s wounds as best you can if they aren’t healing. Reduce the amount of fish oil you are providing them, and discuss the situation with your veterinarian.

Nutrient imbalances

While your dog may benefit greatly from fish oil as a source of essential fatty acids, it is also crucial to balance it with other nutrients in its diet. Overconsumption of fish oil by your dog may cause nutrient intake imbalances and have a negative impact on their general health.

Risk of pancreatitis

Your dog may be at risk for pancreatitis, a serious and sometimes fatal condition, if they consume large amounts of fat, such as the kind contained in fish oil. Pancreatitis signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Getting your dog to the vet immediately is crucial if you think it might have pancreatitis.

 Oily or Flaky Skin

Oily or flaky skin is one of the typical final symptoms of a fish oil excess. This is particularly problematic for dogs using fish oil to treat skin ailments. As a result, it may also be challenging to detect because your dog’s skin may already be flaky. Stop providing them fish oil immediately if a skin issue worsens after you start giving them fish oil. If your dog was previously healthy but started to exhibit greasy or flaky skin after taking fish oil, the oil is probably to blame. Dandruff, rashes, or matted fur are the most typical signs. A warm bath can assist in alleviating this problem.

Oily or flaky skin is one of the typical final symptoms of a fish oil excess. This is particularly problematic for dogs using fish oil to treat skin ailments. As a result, it may also be challenging to detect because your dog’s skin may already be flaky. Stop providing them fish oil immediately if a skin issue worsens after you start giving them fish oil. If your dog was previously healthy but started to exhibit greasy or flaky skin after taking fish oil, the oil is probably to blame. Dandruff, rashes, or matted fur are the most typical signs. A warm bath can assist in alleviating this problem.


Too much intake of fish oil can lead to lethargy and sleeplessness. These signs may also contribute to fluctuations in dog weight. Additionally, it can affect their health and fitness. Long periods of inactivity can wear out muscles or put stress on the heart. See whether the lethargy subsides by reducing or eliminating fish oil from their daily health regimen. If not, get medical assistance.

Alternative to fish oil for dogs

Coconut oil

For dogs, coconut oil is an excellent substitute for fish oil since it contains many lauric acids, which have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. Additionally, it can promote digestion and enhance skin and coat health.

Flaxseed Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in flaxseed oil, which can help dogs have healthier joints, coats and less inflammation. It is also a great substitute for dogs who might be allergic to fish.

Chia Seeds

Since chia seeds are an excellent source of Omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants, they make a fantastic substitute for fish oil in dogs’ diets. In addition, they can strengthen the immune system, lessen inflammation, and help dogs have healthier coats.

Kristin Oil

Due to its abundance in Omega-3 fatty acids and strong antioxidant content, krill oil is yet another fantastic substitute for fish oil in canine diets. In addition, it can boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve joint health in dogs.

Hemp Oil

Being rich in Omega-3s and Omega-6s, vital fatty acids that help strengthen the immune system, promote coat health, and reduce inflammation, hemp oil is a perfect alternative for fish oil in dogs. In addition, it is a fantastic choice for anxious dogs because it is a good source of protein and has anti-anxiety effects.


Overall, canine fish oil can be a helpful supplement with many health advantages. However, before beginning a new supplement regimen, you must speak with your veterinarian to ensure it’s the best option for your dog.

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