The Slippery Subject Of Oils For Dogs

Dog surfing on oil chasing fish

If you are going to buy fish oil, give it to your dogs. It’s a waste for those of us who eat meat or fried foods, drink coffee or alcohol, or have stress in our lives. We can convert ALAs to DHAs and EPAs – inefficiently – but we can convert. A dog’s ability to convert plant-based omega 3’s is very limited.

I would suggest that you rotate your oils and not use fish oil on a daily basis, especially not in a prophylactic fashion. It’s likely to come to a decision of whether you love your dogs or your grand dogs more. Small-fish populations are collapsing: Most fish oil is made from small “prey” fish. The reason prey fish and sometimes squid are targeted is they’re low on the food chain and have short life spans, so the accumulation of pollutants is less than it would be in larger, longer-lived fish.

There are grim problems with using prey fish. For one thing, there aren’t enough of them for us and for their natural predators, which rely on them for food. Their populations are crashing. Current consumption is wiping out prey fish, which also leads to starvation and extinction for tuna, salmon, dolphins, seals, penguins, birds, and whales. Many of these species are already under serious stress from over fishing and other sustainability issues. Without adequate food they can’t recover.

Our collective appetite for fish also complicates things. The oceans can’t provide the fish we want without the help of aquaculture, or farmed fish. Farmed fish are fed prey fish. Lots of prey fish. It takes approximately 20 pounds of small fish to create 1 pound of fish for your dinner. That industry is frantically looking for alternative food sources.

A recent report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that 80% of all marine fish stocks are currently fully exploited, overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion; including stocks of the seven most important prey fisheries…

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