Are the omega-3s in krill oil good for your pets, too?
As yet, the research on krill oil benefits has all been done in relation to humans, not dogs or other pets.
That being said, however, krill oil is a powerful source of phospholipid-based omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the important anti-oxidant astaxanthin.
Omega-3s (EPA/DHA) are indicated as important for pets’ …
* healthy skin and fur
* immune system
* brain development (especially for puppies and kittens)
* pregnancy and lactation
* joints (especially those of aging pets)
One study found that fish oil reduced the frequency of ventricular arrhythmia in Boxer dogs with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.1
Many of the pet foods you will find have a stated amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in them because we know that these are needed as part of a healthy pet’s diet. These amounts should be listed on the labels, and should come from marine sources such as fish and fish oil.
Veterinarians’ pet-food products will usually carry a higher percentage of omega-3s by weight than other brands. The range will run between 0.03% and 2% by weight. This infers that more is better. Pets may suffer from the same omega-3/omega-6 imbalance from their diets as humans do, and this causes inflammation throughout the system.
Are there enough omega-3s in pet food?
Again, there is little specific research to be found on this, but there has been lots of research on the positive effects of omega-3s on various aspects of human health, such as joint pain, heart health, brain health and much more. Krill oil research has found that the phospholipid-bound omega-3s are absorbed more efficiently in humans than the triglyceride forms of omega-3s found in fish oil.
There are, however, anecdotal reports of increased amounts of omega-3s being helpful for such things as skin and joint problems in pets.
Some producers of omega-3 products also produce them specifically for pets. Nordic Naturals, for instance, makes 1,000mg capsules for dogs and cats, and suggest a dosage of one capsule per 20lbs.
Fish oil capsules can be rather large and thus difficult for pets to swallow. One possible advantage that krill oil capsules may have is size – they are very much smaller than fish-oil capsules.