Discussing the Benefits of Salmon Oil with Cherish Morrison
One supplement Muddies often recommend is salmon oil. This type of fish oil is packed with healthy omega 3s that have proven benefits to the brain, skin and overall well-being. While owners have given their dogs and cats human fish oil capsules for years, now there are a wide variety of salmon oils specifically for the canines and felines of the household.
To find out more about the benefits of fish oil, we sat down with category manager Cherish Morrison. As a Muddy with nearly twelve years of experience overseeing different Mud Bay merchandise categories, Cherish knows a lot about the supplements that help dogs and cats stay healthy.
MB: What are the primary benefits of including salmon oil into your cat or dog’s diet?
CM: Salmon oil contains a high level of Omega 3s. These are longer chain fatty acids that can help with skin and coat health, swelling reduction and overall inflammation. Both people and pets tend to eat foods that have a lot of omega 6s. So, adding omega 3s can help bring a pet’s diet into balance.
Reducing swelling and inflammation helps with arthritis and hip and joint mobility. For older dogs and cats, salmon oil is a really good diet addition to keep them more active. Salmon oil also contributes to a healthier weight by supporting better mobility. Giving older pets salmon oil can also help in keeping their cognitive function high.
Adding a salmon oil supplement can also help create a healthier skin and coat. Potentially, it’s also another prevention tool for fleas. Salmon oil won’t help you get rid of an outbreak, but healthy skin can help prevent that initial infection. There’s also anecdotal evidence that salmon oil can help reduce shedding in dogs and cats.
And if you have a puppy or kitten, it’s a really good time to give them salmon oil. Studies show that salmon oil can help with brain and eye health for puppies and kittens. Kittens and puppies who get that higher level of Omega 3s: They develop faster, they have better memory retention, and they can react faster.
MB: So, if you decide to incorporate salmon oil into your dog or cat’s diet—how do you go about doing that?
CM: Most dogs and cats won’t have any problems adding it immediately to their diet. If there is going to be an issue, it’s more likely to be with a cat. But often, if a cat is already familiar with fish-based formulas, then you can introduce it easily. Even if it’s a fish species that they haven’t had, they’ll normally accept it. Just start by introducing the salmon oil as a single drop or two with every meal. Then you can slowly increase it over time.
If the cat is not a fish eater, it may be more challenging to introduce fish oil. Try the one-drop-per-meal approach. But one other trick is to put the oil on the paws, so he can lick it off. And most cats won’t avoid it because cats like to clean and groom. So, lots of cats will consume salmon oil that way.
Sometimes oil that has rosemary extract can be less likely to be received well by a cat—most cats don’t like rosemary. So just looking for a salmon oil supplement that doesn’t have rosemary can also be useful.
With dogs, they’re way less likely to reject any fish oil. But if they do, try squirting on a favorite treat. That way, they’re not focused on the oil, they’re focused on the treat.
MB: Why does one of Mud Bay’s salmon oils contain cranberry?
CM: I don’t remember whose idea it was to add cranberry, but here’s why we do it: Some people won’t give fish oils to their pets because they don’t like the smell. They don’t like handling it, or they don’t like smelling it on their dog or cat’s breath. And so, people won’t give it to their pets.
So, if the smell was the only barrier to feeding fish oil, we tried to offer another option. Cranberry helps change the aroma of the fish oil, which may make it smell better to some pet owners.
Cherish Morrison is Mud Bay’s first private label category manager. She spends her days thinking of new products to delight our customers and then works to make those dreams into a reality. She launched Mud Bay’s salmon oil and cranberry salmon oil in December 2017.