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7 best salmon oils for dogs in 2023, approved by vets

Updated October 11, 2023

These products will give your dogs those essential omega-3s they need. 

Between skin allergies during the summer and the dry, cold climate in many regions during the winter months, a dog’s skin and coat go through a lot. We’ve created a list of the seven best salmon oils to keep your dog’s skin and coat — and everything else — healthy all year-round. Browse our carefully selected and vet-approved choices today and find the best option for you and your pup.

Best salmon oil for dogs, reviewed

The best salmon oils for dogs

Before choosing which salmon oil to feed your dog, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Consider their breed, size, weight, and overall health — Salmon oil isn’t a one-size-fits-all for all dogs. If you aren’t sure what’s best for your pup, ask your vet for suggestions.
  2. Only buy high-quality products — All of our top picks were approved by board-certified veterinarians. Always buy dog supplements from reputable brands that clearly list the ingredients on the label.
  3. Look for products with sustainably-sourced or wild-caught fish — These fish tend to be healthier and less toxic compared to farmed fish.
  4. Avoid synthetic ingredients, preservatives and chemicals — These ingredients may cause adverse reactions or limit the effectiveness of the fatty acids.

Over the long term, using fish oil as a supplement to a grain-based diet may deplete vitamin E, so some dogs may also ultimately require that supplement, too.

#1 Best all-natural option: Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil by Natural Dog Company

Natural Dog Company’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is as natural as it gets, made with 100% pure salmon oil. We love that it doesn’t contain any fillers, additives, or preservatives. It’s full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to relieve allergies, reduce inflammation, and restore skin health.

  • Ingredients. Wild Alaskan salmon oil
  • Dosage. Up to 25 lbs, one pump; 26-75 lbs, two pumps; 75 lbs+, three pumps
  • Smell. Smells like concentrated fish — dogs love it.
  • Palatability. High — our vet’s dogs really liked it.
  • Natural or organic? Yes – wild-caught salmon
  • Packaging. Well-packaged and sealed, easy pump.

#2 Best all-around: Vets Preferred Salmon Oil

With every two pumps of this salmon oil, dogs receive 1228 mg of salmon oil, along with the rest of Vets Preferred’s proprietary blend of fish oil and vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherol). This blend promotes joint health, a good immune system, and shinier, healthier coats. Overall there are few drawbacks; the only real concern might be if your dog is allergic to fish oils that aren’t 100% pure salmon.

We’d recommend mixing this salmon oil for dogs in with their food, and while results do vary, you should see how effective it’ll be within a few months.

  • Ingredients. Salmon oil, mixed tocopherol, fish oil (from pollock)
  • Dosage. Up to 10 lbs, one-half pump; 11-20lbs, 1.5 pumps; 21-40 lbs, two pumps; 41-60 lbs, 2.5 pumps; 60 lbs+, three pumps
  • Smell. Reviewers didn’t really find the smell of this fish oil pleasant, but their dogs did.
  • Palatability. According to reviews, dogs really seem to enjoy the taste and smell of this fish oil. Their owners? Not as much.
  • Natural or organic? Yes
  • Packaging. The packaging for this product has been hit or miss, according to reviews. However, when it leaked during shipping. Vets Preferred was more than happy to provide a leak-free replacement.

#3 Best high-potency salmon oil: Catalyst Fish Oil Chews

In the past, Catalyst’s chews were only available at the vet’s office, but today they can be purchased over the counter. They are ideal for dogs that don’t have a big appetite, as they are palatable but small enough to ensure that the whole chew is eaten, not just part of it. It is, however, a great example of a product that needs to be discussed with the vet prior to purchase.

  • Ingredients. Flavoring, fish oil, purified water, vitamin E, rice bran, dextrose, sorbitol, calcium propionate, and sorbic acid
  • Dosage. For the initial dose: up to 30 lbs, one-half chew; 30-60 lbs, one chew; 60-120 lbs, two chews. After 4-6 weeks: up to 30 lbs, one-fourth chew; 30-60 lbs, one-half chew; 60-120 lbs, one chew.
  • Smell. Mild to moderate odor — our vet’s dogs were interested.
  • Palatability. Highly palatable — we tried these with several dogs and they all liked them.
  • Natural or organic? Catalyst doesn’t state that their chews are organic or all-natural.
  • Packaging. Well-packaged in a bag inside a container that makes for easy storage, freshness, and less smell from the product

👉 It’s important to talk to your vet to avoid the risk of overdosing your dog.

#4 Best on a budget: Plano Paws Salmon Treats

A great choice for pups of all sizes and ages, these salmon treats taste and smell good (by dog standards at least.) Plano’s treats help keep skin allergies in check, provide beneficial oils and vitamins for your dog, and they also improve coat quality. Plus, with 120 chews, you get at least a month’s supply for each dog. Our vet likes that this product has additional ingredients in addition to salmon oil that enhance pet health.

  • Ingredients. Kelp, salmon oil, omega-3, DHA, EPA, omega-6, omega-9, vitamin C, vitamin E, pea flower, palm fruit oil, garbanzo flour, flaxseed meal, sunflower lecithin, coconut glycerin, powdered cellulose, sorbic acid, and rosemary extract
  • Dosage. Up to 25 lbs, two chews; 26-75 lbs, three chews; 76 lbs+, four chews
  • Smell. Pet parents don’t care much for it, but dogs really love the pungent smell of these treats.
  • Palatability. Dogs respond well to Plano’s Salmon Treats and the strong fish flavors.
  • Natural or organic? Plano doesn’t claim that this product is all-natural or organic.
  • Packaging. The canister ships well. Because they are chews, there’s not a significant risk of spillage within the package.

#5 Best tasting: Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Not only does Zesty Paws Salmon Oil boost dogs’ immune system and promote healthy skin, it also supports their hips, joints, and heart. Plus it’s super easy to mix into their food for easy serving — just add a few pumps and voilà, ready to go.

One thing we do want to note, however, is that some reviews don’t report a positive experience. Whether it’s a packaging error or something else, some pet parents have reported leaking bottles and stale, rancid fish oil. We’d recommend that you inspect your bottle first to be sure that the fish oil has an orange coloring to it and smells like fish before giving it to your dog. Additionally, be sure to refrigerate the bottle after opening.

Veterinarian Dr. Erica Irish, likes the company’s track record of positive reviews That said, she did note the addition of palm fruit oil in this product, which can act as a laxative.

  • Ingredients. Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA, salmon oil, and antioxidants (natural mixed tocopherols)
  • Dosage. Up to 12.5 lbs, one-half pump; 12.5-25 lbs, one pump; 25-50 lbs, two pumps; 50-75 lbs, three pumps; 75-100 lbs, four pumps; 100+ lbs, six pumps
  • Smell. It has a very pungent smell to humans, but most (although not all) dogs really like it.
  • Palatability. Generally, dogs enjoy the taste of this fish oil. Some dogs refuse to eat without it being mixed into their food.
  • Natural or organic? Zesty Paws doesn’t make any claims about this being all-natural or organic.
  • Packaging. Generally, the packaging is secure with this fish oil. However, some reviewers report a leaking bottle, and these reviews are often paired with rancid oil. It’s a good idea to check the packaging and bottle before use.

#6 Best oil with variety: Grizzly Salmon Plus

Not only does USA-made Grizzly Salmon Plus have wild salmon in it, it also includes wild pollock and wild whitefish for even more nutrients. Thanks to these extra oils, you can expect support for your dog’s entire body — immune system, heart, vision, skin and coat, and overall organ health. It also has a medical-grade pump so you can be sure you get the perfect measurement of oil every time.

  • Ingredients. Wild Alaskan salmon oil, wild Alaskan pollock oil, Alaskan wild whitefish oil
  • Dosage. Up to 12 lbs, one-half pump; 12-25 lbs, one pump; 25-50 lbs, two pumps; 50-75 lbs, three pumps; 75-100 lbs, four pumps; and 100lbs+, five pumps.
  • Smell. Fishy — our dogs that tested it were drawn to it.
  • Palatability. Highly palatable
  • Natural or organic? Yes
  • Packaging. Well-packaged and easy to use

#7 Best for dogs and cats: Native Pet Omega Oil

Salmon oil products like Native Pet Omega Oil are undeniably beneficial for the overall health of both dogs and cats. Native Pet’s simple but powerful blend of pollock and salmon oils, as well as other beneficial ingredients, can improve your pet’s overall health, including allergies and skin irritation.

  • Ingredients. Wild-caught pollock and salmon, wheat germ oil, and biotin
  • Dosage. 1-20 lbs, two pumps; 21-40lbs, four pumps; 41-60 lbs, six pumps; 61-80 lbs, eight pumps; 81 -100 lbs, 10 pumps; 101-120 lbs, 12 pumps; 121-140 lbs, 14 pumps.
  • Smell. Pungent to pet parents, but dogs seem to like it.
  • Palatability. Most dogs (and cats) seem to really like the taste.
  • Natural or organic? Yes
  • Packaging. With Amazon, the bottom comes in a recyclable brown paper package if ordered alone.

What is salmon oil?

Salmon oil is a naturally derived product from (you guessed it) salmon. Salmon isn’t just good for humans, it’s also good for our pets! Salmon oil can help your dog reap a variety of benefits to improve their overall health. It may be sold in a few different forms:

Liquid. The most common type of salmon oil is a liquid that can be mixed with your dog’s food. If you are buying liquid salmon oil, betterpet recommends choosing a brand with a pump dispenser to make measuring it easy. Liquid salmon oil is typically fed as a food topper during mealtime.

Capsules. Because salmon oil is sealed inside these soft gelatin capsules, you don’t need to worry about your fingers smelling like fish or washing stinky salmon oil out of your dog’s bowl. You can feed salmon oil capsules directly to your dog (stuffing one in a treat can help make this easier) or hiding one in their kibble during mealtime.

Fish oil capsules for dogs are perfectly fine, but none of them made our list due to the difficulties associated with giving dogs pills. After all, why stuff a pill in a treat when you can use a salmon oil treat?

Soft chews. Salmon oil chews make it easy to give your dog salmon oil while offering them a tasty treat at the same time – most dogs are unlikely to turn their noses up at salmon oil treats. A significant benefit of salmon oil chews is that they often contain other supplements that are beneficial for dogs, such as hemp or flaxseed oil – they are like a dog multi-vitamin. However, out of the three forms of salmon oil, soft chews have the lowest amount of omega-3’s. They can also contain unnecessary filler ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredients prior to choosing a salmon oil chew for your dog.

Salmon oil benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient for dogs, and salmon oil is a great source. It is also one of the only sources of those super beneficial long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), that we mentioned in the product reviews above.

Some additional benefits of salmon oil are:

Boosts puppy development. Feeding your puppy salmon oil from 8 to 52 weeks may help boost their muscle growth, eyesight, cognitive function, problem-solving, and promote an overall healthy immune system.

A shiny coat and itch-free skin. Omega-3s have been linked to improved shine in dog coats and may even prevent hair loss. Salmon oil can also help improve your dog’s skin overall, including flaky, dry skin due to canine dermatitis.

Treats arthritis. One of the most popular uses of salmon oil is as a joint supplement to treat arthritis thanks to its mild anti-inflammatory responses. It may help your dog to stand comfortably and also improve your senior pup’s ability to get around.

Improves heart health. Salmon oil is often recommended for breeds with heart problems, like Cavalier King Charles spaniels, as it can support overall heart health.

Helps battle cancer. Salmon oil and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains have been linked to overall immune system health and response. This could potentially help slow down the growth of certain cancerous tumors.

Treats kidney disease. If your dog has kidney disease, salmon oil is one of many supplements that may help treat it. The omega-3s found in salmon oil can help reduce inflammation and help regulate their frequent urination.

Lowers blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon oil can lower blood pressure and decrease harmful triglyceride levels (which can lead to heart disease or metabolic syndrome).

Helps with weight gain. If your dog is underweight, the extra calories found in salmon oil can help your dog get to a healthy weight. One teaspoon of liquid salmon oil contains about 40 calories.

Stimulates appetite. For dogs with little or no appetite, salmon oil can help encourage dogs to eat. For senior dogs or those with health conditions that impact appetite, getting calories is essential.

Salmon oil risks

While uncommon, salmon oil has some potential side effects:

Bad breath. The fishy breath caused by salmon catches some dog owners off guard. Choosing an unscented salmon oil or brushing your dog’s teeth after feeding can help lessen the overall stink, or you can simply wait a few hours for the smell to subside.

Weight gain. For healthy dogs, the extra calories in salmon oil can really add up and cause them to be overweight or obese. If you are supplementing this into your dog’s diet, you may need to adjust the portion size of your pup’s meals or up their daily exercise.

Digestive issues. Some dogs don’t take well to salmon oil. Your dog may vomit or experience loose stools. The chances of this happening can be reduced by introducing salmon oil to your dog slowly — start with a quarter dose of salmon oil before slowly increasing the dose.

👉 If your dog suffers from any of these side effects (minus the stinky breath), you should contact your veterinarian for help and guidance.

Why trust betterpet?

The writers, editors, and staff of betterpet are pet parents, and we know the value of accurate, trustworthy information. Because of this, the content we create is reviewed and approved by our vets. We gave these salmon oils to our dogs, so that when we say a product is best, it comes from firsthand experience.

Frequently asked questions

Should you give salmon oil to dogs everyday?

You can give your dog salmon oil every day if needed. It’s best to check with your vet before giving your dog any kind of supplement and monitor them for signs of improvement as well as allergic reactions. Keep in mind that for some dogs, it’s best to start off small and give them time to adjust.

Is salmon oil the best fish oil for dogs?

The first study concerning the benefits of salmon oil was published in 2010. Since that study, scientists have learned that the best source of beneficial nutrients vital to dog health is salmon oil. These nutrients include vitamins D3 and B12, as well as omega-3, omega-6, fatty acids, and numerous other essential nutrients.

Will salmon oil help my dogs itching?

Because salmon oil contains so many vitamins and nutrients vital to a dog’s health, it can help balance the moisture in a dog’s skin as well as fight seasonal allergies caused by the environment as well as fleas.

Can dogs have too much salmon oil?

While salmon oil is highly beneficial, too much of it can have negative side effects. Signs that your dog has had too much salmon oil include digestive upset, like diarrhea, bad breath, or an oily coat. It can also cause slower wound healing, sleepiness, and in some cases, flaky skin.