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10 things you can do if you feed your dog fish oil

I Almost Killed My Dog With Fish Oil

Finding The Truth: Did The Owner "Almost Kill His Dog With Fish Oil"

You have heard the story “I almost killed my dog with fish oil” and want to know more. If not, you can find it here or read below for a summary. After hours of research it was determined that Omega-3 causes a Vitamin E defieiency which can easily be counteracted with a supplement. The benefits of omega-3 outweigh the risk especially when there is a way to counteract its effects.  

In this article, I go over fish oil and its nutrient benefits. In this article, I review

  1. The side effects of omega-3
  2. How to avoid the harmful side effects
  3. Alternatives that you can use instead of fish oil

Cautionary Tale Of Neo, The 3-Year-Old Mastiff

Neo, a 3-year-old Mastiff, started showing lameness in his back legs. The owner went to many vets. All the vets confirmed that his dog should be on a fish oil supplement. They stated that fish oil supplements had joint-related benefits. The vets did tests, including X-rays and ultrasounds, which ruled out bone and tumor causes. They concluded the issue was soft tissue related. The vets recommended glucosamine and diagnosed Neo with arthritis. The illness progressed, and the dog could no longer use its back legs. The vets prescribed heavy painkillers to alleviate the pain. They informed Neo’s parents that there was nothing else they could do. The owner rejected the notion that his three-year-old dog had arthritis. So he turned to the internet and found that fish oil might be the cause. So he removed it from Neo’s diet and saw a considerable improvement. The dog could walk again. The owner found that fish oil created a Vitamin E deficiency.

Yegani Of Petanew's Story

Dr. Yegani (not a medical doctor) also heard about the story of “I almost killed my dog with fish oil.” This is what he had to add. He claims he took fish oil himself only to discover that it’s poisonous to dogs and cats and “to not be like him.” He provides four reasons why fish oil might be killing your dog. However, the reasons are lacking support. First, he claims that 1) Dogs are carnivores which is irrelevant. Second, vitamin E Poisoning is the cause when, in fact, it’s too little Vitamin E, not too much, that is the issue. Third, he stated that fish oil creates imbalances. This is true when considering that there is not enough vitamin E in the system. The last claim was that the fish contained toxic mercury. You will read below why this is unlikely due to environmental processes.  

Why Do We Give Our Dog Fish Oil Supplements?

Around 30% of fish oil comprises omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is other fats. In addition, fish oil can also contain vitamins A and D. The main purpose of giving a dog fish oil is to give them Omega-3. However, you can get Omega-3 from other sources such as Phytoplankton. 


Pet parents add omega-3 to their dog’s diet to balance omega-6 fats. Omega-3 is present in fish oil and phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is where fish get their Omega-3 from. 


Most dogs and people get too much Omega-6 in their diet. Kibble manufacturing companies use corn-fed animals or refined oil with lots of Omega-6. As a result, Omega-6 creates inflammation. This inflammation puts your dog at risk for:

  1. Allergy symptoms
  2. Joint pain,
  3. Chronic health issues.
Omega-3 Creates Free radicals which can be solved with vitamin E

Facts About Omega-3

To understand the claim made that “I almost killed my dog with fish oil” you first need to understand the benefits of fish oil. Below is an explanation of to why vets recommend fish oil for dogs. 

Like humans, dogs can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on their own and must get them from their diet.

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Some Cancers
  • Mood Disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney Disease
  • Improve Cholesterol
  • Decrease Triglycerides
  • Reduce Blood Pressure
  • Plaque Prevention
  • Improve Brain Function
  • Support Eye Health & Vision
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Reduce Joint Pain & Stiffness
  • Supports Healthy Skin
  • Improve Function Of Liver
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Reduces Risk Of Alzheimer’s
  1. Fish Oil Supplements (No Antioxidants)
  2. Fresh Fish (Heavy Metals)
  3. Phytoplankton (Antioxidants & No Heavy Metal)
  • Joint Pain
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Burping
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Bleeding
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid Reflux
  • Vitamin A toxicity
  • Vitamin E Deficiency
3 Sources Of Omega 3 in Dogs

Why Omega-3's Are Not Bad But Fish Oil Is

Next to asses the claim that “I almost killed my dog with fish oil” you need to understand that fish oil is a supplement containing Omega-3 which can break down and form free radicals. These free radicals are then destroyed by Vitamin E. So in reality your dog has a Vitamin E deficiency. 

Studies have found that those who intake omega-3 supplements in any form increase their ratio of free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for the oxidation of important cellular components. The oxidation process causes damage to proteins, DNA, and other vital structures. Antioxidants counter oxidation effects however fish oil supplements do not have antioxidant properties. Fresh fish does and so does fruits like tomatoes.  It is normal for free radicals to exist in our body and so is having antioxidants. This is why antioxidants diets are popular. If you use fish oil supplements you must supplement with antioxidants. But you can just as easily switch to a different form of Omega-3 (phytoplankton) which contains natural antioxidants. 

According to this study, Vitamin E was supplemented to puppies who had symptoms of muscular weakness & paralysis in the hind legs. As a result, the pups’ symptoms recovered. This study also supports the claim around Vitamin E being the cause to why the Redditor claims “I Almost Killed My Dog  With Fish Oil”. However, the problem is with the fact that Fish Oil supplement does not have any antioxidant properties. 

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Because omega-3 breaks down quickly, it becomes a free radical. This free radical causes oxidation—the free radical binds to other structures of the body, which causes damage. Antioxidants bind with free radicals, thus preventing them from attaching to important cells like DNA. Therefore, the more free radicals in the system, the more Vitamin E is used. When we supplement with ONLY Omega-3 we use more of our Vitamin E which causes deficiency. Vitamin E is used for other functions such as cell signaling, enzyme reactions, and neurological functions. Therefore, if Vitamin E is being used to counteract the oxidation process, the body can no longer complete these functions. As a result, there is some truth in the story that fish oil caused limping or neurological issues in his dog. Once the owner stopped giving his dog the omega-3, Vitamin E was free to do its job. But he could have easily added Vitamin E to his dogs diet or switched the form of his Omega-3 supplement.  The benefits of Omega-3 outweigh the side effects especially if you supplement with a Vitamin E or use better source of the supplement. Learn about the alterantive source of Omega-3 below.


Next to determine if “I almost killed my dog with fish oil” you need to determine what is your source of Omega-3. Some are natural and some are synthetic. The synthetic ones do not have antioxidative properties.  Does that mean we should use Fresh Fish? No and here is why. 

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Cod Liver

Our oceans are becoming more polluted every year. Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are byproducts of humans’ industrial lifestyle. They are not easily broken down and are found in the environment at low levels. However, almost all of the fish and shellfish we consume have traces of mercury. These tiny traces are not considered a health risk for humans but it is unknown for dogs. The highest consumption would be approximately 0.5/mg/kg/day. 

There are two types of fish farms: aquaculture farms and the ocean. Both are not suitable. Overfishing is detrimental to the ecosystem. In addition, other animals like whales, porpoises, and dolphins get caught and killed.  Farmed fish avoids the heavy metal issue but is still not sustainable. Farmers take juvenile fish from oceans with the same effect as ocean fishing. Also, farmed fish are more susceptible to disease, and Farmers pump them with antibiotics, similar to what land farmers do with livestock.

  • Dogs that weigh 5lbs to 10lbs should get 230mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 10lbs to 15lbs should get 450mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 15lbs to 20lbs should get 680mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 20lbs to 25lbs should get 910mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 25lbs to 30lbs should get 1140mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 30lbs to 35lbs should get 1360mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 35lbs to 40lbs should get 1590mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 40lbs to 45lbs should get 1820mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 450bs to 50lbs should get 2050mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 50lbs to 55lbs should get 2270mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 55lbs to 60lbs should get 2500mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 60lbs to 65lbs should get 2730mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 65lbs to 70lbs should get 2950mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 70lbs to 75lbs should get 3180mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 75lbs to 80lbs should get 3410mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 80lbs to 85lbs should get 3640mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 85lbs to 90lbs should get 3860mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 90lbs to 95lbs should get 4100mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 95lbs to 100lbs should get 4320mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 100lbs to 105lbs should get 4550mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 105lbs to 110lbs should get 4770mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 110lbs to 115lbs should get 5000mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 115lbs to 120lbs should get 5230mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 120lbs to 125lbs should get 5450mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 125lbs to 130lbs should get 5680mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 130lbs to 135lbs should get 5910mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 135lbs to 140lbs should get 6130mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 140lbs to 145lbs should get 6360mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 145lbs to 150lbs should get 6590mg per day
  • Dogs that weigh 150lbs Or More should get 6820mg per day

Every day 300 tons of radioactive water seeping into the ocean. However, fish are tested for Cesium-137 and Strontium-90. Therefore, it is doubtful your dog is consuming enough to make a difference. Even humans consume small amounts of radiation.

2) The Best Omega-3 Source: Phytoplankton

So if fresh fish does not prevent “I almost killed my dog with fish oil problem” then what does. Phytoplankton. It has all the benefits of Omega-3 and the health properties that prevent Vitamin E deficiency. 

  • Algae
  • Photosynthetic Bacteria
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Zooplankton

Phytoplankton is half omega-3 fats by weight, double the amount you find in fish. Phytoplankton is where fish get their omega-3 fats. This level of omega-3 means that phytoplankton has all the benefits listed for Omega-3 fats. Besides, it has added benefits which I explained below.

  • Essential fatty acids
  • Trace minerals
  • Chlorophyll
  • Antioxidants
  • Essential amino acids
  • Protein
  • Carotenoids
  • Vitamins

Phytoplankton contains a powerful antioxidant called Superoxide dismutase (SOD). This antioxidant is called the “king of antioxidants. Research shows that animals with the largest amounts of SOD live longer. In addition, the phytoplankton will reduce the risk associated with Omega-3 free radicals.  

Phytoplankton does not need to be digested because the body’s membrane can absorb it. As a result, phytoplankton delivers energy directly to the body cells.

Most dogs are deficient in trace minerals. This deficiency is especially true for dogs on kibble. This is because brands focus on protein, filler, or grains. Recently, there has been concern about mineral deficiency in grain-free diets. But, again, this is the case for most brands. Trace minerals are critical for good health as they support crucial biological functions. Essential functions include digestion, growth and hormone regulation, enzyme function, and thyroid health.

The high level of Omega-3 makes it a winning supplement for joint health for sports and aging dogs.

The poor quality of commercial foods and lack of exercise have caused heart issues in dogs. Phytoplankton has been proven to strengthen cardiovascular function within days.

Phytoplankton has a superb effect on eyesight, sharpening and clarifying vision.

The oil and nutrients in phytoplankton create a natural shine to your dog’s coat. 

Pet parents report that phytoplankton has helped their dog’s canine diabetes. This is due to its general immune-boosting properties. In addition, it helps detoxify the pancreas and balance blood sugar. There’s a lot of evidence that essential fatty acids play a role in alleviating diabetes. 

Phytoplankton seems to aid dogs facing allergic reactions in boosting overall health, reducing inflammation, and restoring the system to integrity and wellness.

Phytoplanktonic blooms cover the world’s oceans and are one of the most environmentally sustainable organisms globally. In addition, because phytoplankton lies at the top of the water, there is no need to use nets which avoids destroying reefs and accidentally catching other fish and mammals.

Because phytoplankton absorbs easily in your dog, your dog only needs small amounts. 

  • Dogs that weigh 1lb to 10lbs should get 1 gram per day
  • Dogs that weigh 10lb to 25lbs should get 1.5 grams per day
  • Dogs that weigh 25lb to 50lbs should get 2 grams per day
  • Dogs that weigh more than 50lbs should get 3 grams per day

*Dosage will be dependent on age, breed, level of health, age, weight, metabolic type, etc. Consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog phytoplankton.

In some cases, an animal’s immune system will be overburdened. As a result, they may feel under the weather for the first few days as the body adjusts to the flood of nutrition. As a result, your dog’s poop may be green and slightly soft in rare cases, but this will pass with time.

No, therefore, there is a risk of contamination of the powder.

These side effects are rare occasions as Phytoplankton is one of the most valuable sources of nutrition. A large dosage of Phytoplankton can lead to side effects such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Urination
  • Prolonged bleeding times.

What To Do If You Feed Your Dog Fish Oil?

  1. Store It In Closed Container
  2. Don’t Buy Bottle If It Has Been Tampered With
  3. Buy Pure Essential Fatty Acids
  4. Choose Vitamins Made For Dogs
  5. Consult With Vet First
  6. Follow Dosage Instructions
  7. Start Slow And Build Up Over Time
  8. Check Labels
  9. Keep Them Out Of Reach To Prevent Overdose
  10. Seek Help From Poison Control If Your Dog Gets A Hold Of The Bottle
  11. Supplement With Vitamin E
10 things you can do if you feed your dog fish oil

Should You Stop Giving Your Dog Omega-3?

No. However, omega-3 does cause oxidation which means you need to combine the supplement with a Vitamin E supplement. Overdose is rare and only if you do not follow the correct dosage. The benefits of Omega-3 outweigh the side effects. This is especially important when considering that the oxidation process is negated with a Vitamin E Supplement.

Instead, Change The Form Of Your Supplements

How your dog gets his omega-three supplements is clear. Fish oil is not the answer. It is not environmentally friendly. It does not have natural antioxidant properties, unlike phytoplankton. Using phytoplankton instead of fish oil is ideal. Make sure to add Vitamin E as it will reduce the risk associated with free radicals. 

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