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Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #33
March 21, 2013
It's All About the Vitamins!
Wouldn't it be so easy if there was a vitamin that you could take that would solve all your health issues? I certainly have a whole shelf full of vitamins that are aimed to help different things but because I have so many I always forget to take them. I'm still in search for one single vitamin that would get me up right away in the morning without having to hit my alarm clock twice! Now what if I told you there is a vitamin that could help your dog in many different ways,not quite solve all life's issues but come really close? It's fish oil!.
But fish oil is for humans you say. And you would be correct. I do own some fish oil on that shelf of mine! But wait till you hear all of the ways it is useful for dogs. It's great for canine allergies, kidney disease, arthritis, high cholesterol, glossy coats,reduce shedding, regulating the immune system (boosting those that are suppressed and calming ones that are overactive), promoting weight loss in older dogs and just overall general health. What's not to love? You can get special pet based fish oil capsules that are sold online or in pet stores. The proper dosage can vary in accordance with the product that you are using, the size of your dog and the reasons for adding fish oil. Check on the back of the bottle. When using fish oil as a preventative supplement, a general guideline for a smaller dog should receive 500 to 750 mg per day. Look for supplements that have omega 3 (that means EPA plus DHA) to balance the diet. Or, you can also use human grade fish oil as long as you use the right dosage. Healthy dogs can be given 100 to 150 mg EPA and DHA per 10 pounds of body weight daily; dogs who have health problems can be given up to 300 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Capsules can be broken over your Jack's food.
High doses of fish oil however can actually interfere with platelets and lead to increased bleeding and too much can contribute to rather than reduce inflammation so please check with your vet first especially if your Jack has any health problems. It's especially important to check with your vet if your Jack is taking a blood thinner since fish oil in high doses can possibly interfere. Please also check with your vet if you are using fish oil for issues like allergies or serious illnesses like cancer. The vet might tell you a different dose based on that. Purchase amounts that can be used within one or two months to avoid rancidity. If you notice an “off” odor, discard the oil. Fish oil should be protected from light, heat, and air. The best place for storage is your refrigerator. There may be some minor side effects such as fishy breath and loose stools but those things usually resolve in a few days as your Jack gets used to this added element in his diet. However if it doesn't you may want to examine the dosage you are giving.
Don't be discouraged or give up if you don't see immediate results. Effects are cumulative and may not often be seen until 2 to 3 months in, especially in the case of allergies. Fish oil is a bit of a commitment. In order ensure continual health of your Jack you must be diligent about giving it to him everyday. But the benefits should be worth it. My Jack's get theirs everyday and I personally think it helps contribute to their glossy coats. Now if only I could be so diligent about taking my own fish oil!.
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'Til Next Time...
Take care - and take care of your JRT!
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