Medicinal Herbs and ADHD


Omega-3 Dosing in Pets

BookmarkBookmark bookmark Share

Notice: Undefined variable: fbIcon in /home/ndc9e95/public_html/wp-content/themes/wholisticmatters/includes/functions.php on line 218

About this PDF

As part of the Research Spotlight series on WholisticMatters, “Omega-3 Dosing in Pets” highlights the need for including omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of both dogs and cats, as well as the benefits associated with the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized in sufficient quantities in the body and conversion remains inefficient or nonexistent, providing DHA and EPA through the diet is very important. They have been demonstrated to help improve specific conditions often seen in dogs and cats and are essential for brain development in both puppies and kittens.

Targeting a safe and efficacious dose is vital to achieving benefits in cats and dogs. The minimum amount of EPA and DHA recommended for growth and reproduction is 10 mg/100 kcal for dogs and 3 mg/100 kcal for cats. Other dosage recommendations to achieve benefits vary depending on the condition, ranging from 69 mg/kg up to 810 mg/kg for dogs with osteoarthritis and heart failure, respectively.



  1. Biagi G., M.A.L., Cocchi M., Mordenti A. The role of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in the nutrition of dogs and cats: a review. Progress in Nutrition 6(2004).
  2. Dunbar, B.L. & Bauer, J.E. Conversion of Essential Fatty Acids by Delta 6-Desaturase in Dog Liver Microsomes. The Journal of nutrition 132, 1701S-1703S (2002).
  3. Sinclair, A.J., McLean, J.G. & Monger, E.A. Metabolism of linoleic acid in the cat. Lipids 14, 932-936 (1979).
  4. Freeman, L.M., et al. Nutritional alterations and the effect of fish oil supplementation in dogs with heart failure. Journal of veterinary internal medicine 12, 440-448 (1998).
  5. Mehler SJ, May LR, King C, Harris WS, Shah Z. A prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on the clinical signs and erythrocyte membrane polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations in dogs with osteoarthritis. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2016 Jun;109:1-7.
  6. Sarrazin, J.-F., et al. Reduced Incidence of Vagally Induced Atrial Fibrillation and Expression Levels of Connexins by n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Dogs. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 50, 1505-1512 (2007).
  7. Ramadeen, A., et al. Docosahexaenoic acid, but not eicosapentaenoic acid, supplementation reduces vulnerability to atrial fibrillation. Circulation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology 5, 978-983 (2012).
  8. Smith, C.E., Freeman, L.M., Rush, J.E., Cunningham, S.M. & Biourge, V. Omega-3 fatty acids in Boxer dogs with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Journal of veterinary internal medicine 21, 265-273 (2007).
  9. Mueller, R.S., et al. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on canine atopic dermatitis. The Journal of small animal practice 45, 293-297 (2004).
  10. Müller, M.R., et al. Evaluation of cyclosporine-sparing effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis. Veterinary journal (London, England : 1997) 210, 77-81 (2016).
  11. Logas D, K.G. Double-blinded crossover study with marine oil supplementation containing high dose eicosapentaenoic
  12. acid for the treatment of canine pruritic skin disease. Veterinary Dermatology 5, 99-104 (1994).
  13. Abba, C., Mussa, P.P., Vercelli, A. & Raviri, G. Essential fatty acids supplementation in different-stage atopic dogs fed on a controlled diet. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 89, 203-207 (2005).
  14. Witzel-Rollins, A., et al. Non-controlled, open-label clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of a dietetic food on pruritus and dermatologic scoring in atopic dogs. BMC Vet Res 15, 220-220 (2019).
  15. Combarros, D., et al. A prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the effects of an n-3 essential fatty acids supplement (Agepi® ω3) on clinical signs, and fatty acid concentrations in the erythrocyte membrane, hair shafts and skin surface of dogs with poor quality coats. Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids 159, 102140 (2020).
  16. Officials, A.o.A.F.C. Model Regulations for Pet Food and Specialty; Pet Food Under the Model Bill. 2017 Official Publication, 105-232 (2017).

Scientifically driven. Education focused. Healing Inspired.

Subscribe to Insights

Receive clinically driven nutrition insights you can trust.

Animated Newsletter WM

Join Our Community to Read Further

This is a premium article created for our Healthcare Practitioner readers. Create a free account to continue reading and gain full access.



WholisticMatters offers health care practitioners and nutrition enthusiasts alike the opportunity to create a free profile for access to site features like bookmarking. Enjoying an article you are reading or a video you are watching? Save it to come back to later! Sign up in seconds for continuous access to all that WholisticMatters has to offer.

WholisticMatters also offers health care practitioners who create a free user profile access to exclusive content and tools to utilize in clinical practice. Articles, tools, and downloads created specifically for practitioners to use in their office for better patient education in clinical nutrition and health. Sign up today with your email and credentials so we can confirm you as a health care practitioner, and you are free to peruse the resources unique to you and your colleagues in health.


Create Your Account:

show-pass Please use 8 or more characters with a mix of letters, numbers & symbols

Create a free account to use our great bookmarking tool

Once your account is created, you'll be able to save and organize what matters to you!

Already have an Account? Login Here

Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

Are you a Healthcare Professional? Sign Up For Free Access!

We'll verify your credentials and get you access to our great interactive tools.

Already have an Account? Login Here

Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.