Using krill oil for dogs can be of great worth as an addition or supplement to dog foods. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid (“Any of a class of yellow to red pigments, including the carotenes and the xanthophylls”) supplement which is even more beneficial for dogs than vitamin A. Astaxanthin is made from plants, but because it is red in color it is often mistaken for beta-carotene and lutein. Astaxanthin is formed by microalgae which are then eaten by krill. Krill are then harvested for their oil which are added to various food products for dogs and humans. The benefits of krill oil for dogs include the potent antioxidant nature of the astaxanthin. Antioxidants remove toxins and free radicals from the body which helps to prevent various types of cancer.
Astaxanthin is reported to be the most powerful antioxidant in existence as it is able to move through the body faster than any other. In addition, krill oil for dogs can increase immune defense, improve eye health, optimize skin health, improve the condition of the dog’s coat and stave away arthritis which improves their flexibility. Particularly active dogs are constantly playing and being exposed to different germs. This means they are just as vulnerable to germs and bacteria as their humans.
Prevention now is better than medicine later. Putting appropriate krill oil for dogs into their food can stave off a lot of problems that might plague the dog in its lifetime – including eye, skin and joint health. The mitochondrial functions in dogs (mitochondria are present in both plant & animal cells – and the most important function of the mitochondria is to produce energy) are improved with astaxanthin reducing nitric oxide. In older dogs it improves chemical functions in the cells, tissues and organs.
There are some noted side effects with providing krill oil for dogs. Lowered calcium levels appear to be the biggest worry, but calcium supplements can be provided to off set this. Increased absorption of astaxanthin can lead to decreased absorption of other carotenoids (antioxidants). With higher doses, the skin can take on a reddish pigmentation. These risks are considered to be almost negligible as long as the dog has a balanced diet otherwise and are much improved over the side effects of synthetic dog supplements.
What is krill oil?
Ever wondered why krill oil is receiving so much attention and what it is used for? Krill oil is made from krill – a tiny ocean crustacean resembling a shrimp that is the primary food of baleen whales and other animals that filter their food from seawater – and is used as a health supplement because it has 3 main components that are very beneficial to health. These components are omega-3 fatty acids, which are very similar to those found in fish oil, antioxidant type nutrients, and phospholipids that help with the absorption of omega in the body.
Benefits of Krill Oil
This type of oil is very beneficial in helping with high cholesterol which in turn helps with the functionality of the heart and cardiovascular system. This oil also has been proven to help with brain activity, such as functions including focus and memory, which are driven by DHA omega 3. This is why this type of oil has been linked to helped people manage ADHD due to the focus improvement and also in Alzheimer’s suffers as it helps with memory. It is also useful to help reduce the effect of diabetes as it helps manage the levels of glucose in the body. Low phospholipid levels in the brain is also linked to depression so can help as these are vital to help the functionality of serotonin receptors.
Krill Oil for Dogs
This type of supplement is not just aimed towards humans – there are also dog supplements that can be used to improve dogs’ health, just in the same way as it is used to help humans. Krill oil for dogs is usually taken in pill form and mixed with food. Salmon oil for dogs is another supplement with similar properties and these supplements are used because of their helpful properties.
General info on dosing krill oil for your dogs
While deciding on krill oil dosage for your dog you need to keep in mind the two main principles of dosing omega 3 fatty acids:
- Fatty acids carry calorific value, so make sure you’re not overfeeding your dogs which can cause further problems;
- The main goal of adding omega 3 fatty acids to a dog’s diet is to balance out omega 6 fatty acids.
Keeping the above principles in mind we can say that it’s important not to overdo krill oil or any other omega 3 fatty acids source. Omega 3 fatty acids are not given to a dog based on its’ size or age, but on the amount of omega 6 fatty acids in its’ current diet. IF the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is too high the dog is in danger of chronic inflammation and other effects of omega 6 overfeeding.
The best and recommended omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is 4 to 1.
For a generally healthy dog with a more or less balanced diet proper omega 3 supplementation would require just about 150 mg of krill oil per day. If a dog’s diet is leaning towards omega-6 rich products heavily, then the krill oil dose should increase. These are the products that contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids and thus require balancing with more omega-3, contained in fish oil and krill oil:
- lots of chicken and chicken-based dog food;
- lots of processed foods or “treats” from the human table”
- bread or durum wheat products
- lots of vegetable oils
If, moreover, the dog is suffering from inflammation processes, muscle and joint aches or arthritis, you should increase krill oil dosage. A dog with omega-6 related problems should be getting up to 1000 mg of krill oil or other omega 3 sources.
How to feed krill oil to dogs
Generally you can give the whole capsule to your dog. There is nothing harmful in the capsules especially remembering the fact that krill oil is a human food supplement. So just giving the capsule is fine.
If a dog refuses to eat whole capsules, you can pinch the capsule with a needle and squeeze its’ contents into dog’s food.
Make sure you use up all of it in one serving, because omega-3 fatty acids are really fragile so krill oil will lose its’ value soon after the capsule has been opened.So spread a capsule between several dogs or give a double dose one day skipping the next day’s one.
General info on possible krill oil for dogs side effects.
You should keep in mind that when you start giving fatty acid supplements to your dog there may be side effects.
The worst case scenario is very rare but still might occur: it is pancreatic. Outside symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, followed by a quick dehydration.
So if you notice any of those symptoms, please contact a veterinarian, describing dog’s preceding diet in detail. It’s very possible that the cause of this condition is different than the krill oil capsules you’ve given your dog. Most probably improper nutrition has led to that over time and you need to balance out the diet for your dog once and forever, so do that with a veterinarian.
You can avoid these side effects by shaping the dog’s diet better. If you start supplementing fatty acids, i.e. start giving your dog krill oil or fish oil, you might want to cut down on other high-fat foods. This way you will reduce calories by feeding your dog a lower calorie food.