It’s no secret that your salmon oil provides your dog with plenty of health benefits…
From healthy skin and shiny fur to improved brain development, there is a reason that salmon oil is a favorite among dog owners.
But what is salmon oil? And is it the right supplement for your dog? Read on to find out!
We have also reviewed dozens of different brands of salmon oil to find the best for your dog – why settle for less?
Best salmon oil for dogs
After reviewing dozens of different salmon oils, we narrowed down our top picks to 6 different brands – each great in their own way.
Let’s take a close look at the best salmon oils that delighted our team of doggy testers…
When it came down to picking the best salmon oil, one brand outclassed the competition, Zesty Paws Salmon Oil. This high-quality salmon oil hits the sweet spot between nutritional value and price – with a handy pump bottle to boot.
It seems like other dog owners agree. With over 4,000 five-star reviews, Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is the highest-rated salmon oil on Amazon.com
It’s easy to see why Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is a favorite. Made in the USA from wild-caught Alaskan salmon, this home-grown fish oil is a nutritional powerhouse.
There is no missing that bright orange bottle. Due to its modern branding doesn’t look like a bottle of salmon oil. Which can lead to confusion…
I’m going to let you in on a funny story. While I was reviewing different brands of salmon oil, I put the bottle of Zesty Paws Salmon Oil down next to the sink.
When my husband went to wash his hands, he assumed the bright orange bottle was soap. His reaction was priceless as the greasy salmon oil covered his hands – I’m still laughing as I type this.
While it may make poor hand soap, Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is exceptional as a dog supplement. It’s our top pick!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Most brands don’t make their own salmon oil. Instead, they source from a manufacturer who processes salmon oil for them – not that there is anything wrong with this.
That’s where Grizzly Salmon Oil is a little different. Grizzly is both the manufacturer and brand of their salmon oil – they own plants in Alaska that make salmon oil.
This ensures that Grizzly has strict control over the quality of the salmon oil. From rejecting inferior salmon to testing for mercury and heavy metals, Grizzly can guarantee that their salmon oil is of the highest quality through every step of the production line.
But don’t take their word for it. Grizzly has been audited by the National Animal Supplement Council for product safety.
Interestingly, Grizzly Salmon Oil contained the highest concentration of Omega 3’s of any brand we reviewed – a testament to their superior quality control.
Grizzly Salmon Oil comes in the widest range of sizes of any brand. From small 4 oz bottles all the way up to 64 oz jugs, there is an option for all-sized dogs.
The 4 oz size is perfect for small dogs, such as a Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier or Shih Tzu – for these tiny pups, even a 4 oz bottle can last for months.
The downside is that Grizzly Salmon Oil comes at a cost. Across all sizes, it was the most expensive liquid salmon oil when compared to other brands.
But you are paying extra for what is arguably the best quality salmon oil on the market.
Salmon oil, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)
38.1 Calories per teaspoon
Guaranteed Analysis (per Teaspoon)
|Crude Fat||99% (Min.)|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)||9% (Min.) (405mg)|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||10% (Min.) (450mg)|
|Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids||10% (Min.) (450mg)|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids||2% (Min.) (90mg)|
|Omega 9 Fatty Acids||8% (Min.) (360mg)|
While reviewing, we noticed that most cheap salmon oil brands cut their costs by offering a lower quality product – for instance, using farmed salmon instead of wild-caught.
We are not sure how American Journey has done it, but they offer wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil at a budget price.
Curiously, I found this salmon oil to be stinkier than the other brands we reviewed. However, the strong-fishy odor didn’t turn off our dogs – they couldn’t get enough of it.
The only downside is the packaging. The cap is like that of a ketchup bottle. Even with a gentle grip, I found it hard to precisely squeeze out a teaspoon of salmon oil.
You need to squeeze the bottle hard enough for oil flow through the dispenser. And when it does, it shoots out quickly- It’s impossible to measure out a few drops.
I’ll take a pump bottle over this squeeze bottle any day. But if you are on a tight budget or don’t care about accuracy, then the American Journey Salmon Oil is a bargain that’s too hard to pass up.
To add to the value, American Journey is routinely on discount. As I write up this review, there is a 25% further markdown on first-time orders. If you don’t need to buy salmon oil immediately, it may be worth holding out for the next sale.
Salmon oil, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)
45.45 Calories per teaspoon
Guaranteed Analysis (per Teaspoon)
|Crude Fat||99.9% (Min.)|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)||644 mg (Max.)|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||476 mg (Max.)|
|Omega 3||1,118 mg (Max.)|
|Omega 6||82 mg (Max.)|
Have you ever fed your dog salmon oil before? You’ll be all too familiar with its strong fishy aroma.
The fishy smell won’t worry most of you. But If you have a sensitive nose, it can make your eyes water.
A member of our review team gags every time she pumps salmon oil over her dog’s dinner. However, there was one brand that didn’t bother her…
Iceland Pure Unscented Salmon Oil
This salmon oil has been run through ultra-fine filters. These filters trap chunks of salmon protein, which are responsible for the fishy aroma. The result is odorless salmon oil. Well, sort of…
While the bottle claims that the salmon oil is unscented, that’s not strictly true. There is a light aroma but compared to the scent of the other brands we reviewed, it’s barely noticeable – sniff them side by side, and you’ll see what we mean.
We tested multiple brands of fish oil that claimed to be unscented. In a blind smell test, 8/10 testers agreed that Iceland Pure Salmon Oil was the most odor-free.
Where you really notice the difference of unscented salmon oil is on your dog’s breath. After feeding our dogs Iceland Pure Salmon Oil, there was almost no foul-smelling fish breath.
I also appreciated that Iceland Pure has gone to great lengths to keep their product fresh. The food-grade aluminum bottle ensures that no air or light can reach the liquid salmon oil – keeping the product fresher than a plastic bottle would.
Our only complaint is that the salmon used in this liquid oil may be farmed. This was one of the few salmon oils we reviewed that came from Icelandic waters – those around Norway to be precise.
You see, Norwegian waters have yearly quotas on how many wild salmon can be caught. And once this quota is reached, farmed salmon must be used. There is no guarantee which salmon your bottle of Iceland Pure Salmon Oil will contain.
But if you to say goodbye to salmon dog breath, then Iceland Pure Unscented Salmon Oil is exactly what you are looking for.
Salmon oil, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)
Approx 40 Calories per teaspoon
Guaranteed Analysis (per Teaspoon)
|Crude Fat||99% (Min.)|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)||12% (Min.) (418 mg)|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||10% (Min.) (465 mg)|
|Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA)||2.5% (Min.) (116 mg)|
|Omega-6||3% (Min.) (140 mg)|
Do you own multiple dogs? If yes, a 16 oz bottle of salmon oil won’t last long at all – it will barely last a week!
If you are supplementing the diets of multiple dogs, there is a lot to be gained by buying in bulk.
I’m sure you’ll agree when I say keeping multiple dogs healthy soon gets expensive. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. Typically, the larger the bottle of salmon oil, the more you’ll save.
Plus, large bottles last longer – no more buying a new bottle of salmon oil every other week.
When it came to value for money, there really is no going past Life Line Premium Salmon Oil. This bottle contains a whole gallon of salmon oil, The largest bottle on the market. It also had a higher concentration of Omega 3 than other salmon oil brands that offered a gallon size.
Like with all our favorite salmon oil brands, Life Line Premium salmon oil is made right here in the USA from wild-caught Alaskan Salmon.
Now, it is worth mentioning that these bulk bottles are heavy and don’t come with a pump. Unless you are really strong, and have steady hands, pouring the bottle without making a mess is tricky – I couldn’t do it.
Our solution was to buy a pump dispenser lid and replace the cap that comes with the bottle. We used a piece of tape to mark how low to pump for a single teaspoon.
Alternatively, you can buy a refillable pump bottle (like a shampoo bottle) and fill it with a funnel.
If you want a large bottle of salmon oil with a pump, consider the Glacier Salmon Oil At 64 oz, it’s half the size of our bulk recommendation. It doesn’t offer the same value for money. But for some of you, the pump dispenser will be worth the trade-off.
Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative) Capsule: Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Purified water
10 Calories per soft-gel capsule
Guaranteed Analysis (per capsule)
|Total Fat||1 g|
|Total Omega 3 Fatty Acides||210 mg|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||90 mg|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)||75 mg|
In the pet industry, the word ‘human-grade’ is thrown around too often. However, these salmon oil capsules can’t be called anything else but human-grade – these are the same salmon oil capsules you and I would take!
We noticed that salmon oil capsules designed for dogs failed to impress…
Most capsules were not made from wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Those that were cost considerably more than human-grade Alaskan salmon oil capsules and contained fewer capsules – You are paying more for less.
That’s why we recommend Amazing Omega Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil. For cost and quality, you won’t do better. Your dog won’t care that these salmon oil pills are for humans.
Made in the USA from wild-caught Alaskan salmon, these pills were happily gulped down by all our testers. We placed the capsules on top of our dogs’ regular dinner.
What I loved most about these salmon oil capsules is the lack of smell. Because the salmon oil is sealed in a gelatin capsule, there is almost no odor – and no chance of getting greasy salmon oil on your fingers.
My favorite part of using salmon oil capsules is the lack of mess. No more cleaning up salmon oil grease from my dog’s bowl after dinner.
Does your dog hate pills? Don’t worry. Salmon oil capsules contain a tasty oil, most dogs won’t reject them like they would medicine pills. We were able to toss salmon oil capsules at our dogs, and they would swallow them – as if they were a treat!
If you are struggling, check out these tricks to getting your dog to swallow a pill.
Kelp, Alaskan Salmon Oil, Krill, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, Salmon, Oat Flour, Palm Fruit Oil, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Flaxseed, Sunflower Lecithin, Cellulose Powder, Coconut Glycerin, Sorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols.
Guaranteed Analysis (per chew)
|Alaskan Salmon Oil||400 mg|
|Vitamin C||70 mg|
|Vitamin E||30 IU mg|
|Vitamin E||30 IU mg|
|Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)||76 mg|
|Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)||58 mg|
The OmegaSalmon Chews are an easy recommendation for me. I personally give them to my Golden Retriever after being advised to add Omega 3 to my dog’s diet. Since my dog started taking them daily, his skin and fur looks fabulous!
Packed full of Alaskan salmon oil, these bite-sized chews have a higher Omega 3 content than any other salmon oil chew we reviewed – And they are made here in the USA!
As an added bonus, kelp is used to give the chews their bulk. Kelp is a natural source of iodine, an essential nutrient for dogs.
While these heart-shaped treats are called salmon oil chews, I would use the term ‘chew’ loosely. Our bulldog and Husky tester swallowed them whole – A better name would be ‘gulps.’
Not that this is a problem. Salmon oil chews are used as a supplement, not a long-lasting chew. If you want a long-lasting chew, consider bully sticks, Himalayan cheese or a good chew toy instead.
Each bottle of OmegaSalmon contains 90 heart-shaped treats. For best results, it’s recommended that you feed your dog these salmon oil treats daily.
That’s a month of chews for a large dog like a Boxer or three months worth for a small dog like a Havanese.
If you are looking for the tastiest, most concentrated salmon oil treat for your dog, OmegaSalmon is a clear winner.
What is salmon oil?
Salmon oil is the fat that has been extracted from the body tissue of the salmon fish, usually from left-over heads.
If it wasn’t for the unmistakable fishy aroma, this oozing yellow/orange liquid could easily be mistaken for cooking oil.
Salmon oil is used as a supplement to add nutrients that may otherwise be lacking in your dog’s diet. It is a nutritional powerhouse, and many owners swear by salmon oil for its health benefits. I’ll go into detail on these health benefits in the next section.
Salmon oil is available in three dog-friendly forms:
1. Liquid salmon oil
The most common type of salmon oil, a greasy liquid that can be mixed in with your dog’s food.
If you are buying liquid salmon oil, I highly recommend choosing a brand with a pump dispenser. Pumps make measuring out salmon oil easy. Pouring is messy, squeeze bottles are inaccurate and spray bottles clog.
Liquid salmon oil is sometimes used as a food topper. Think of it as a seasoning for dogs who may otherwise refuse to eat dry kibble.
Dose liquid salmon oil mixing it through your dogs dinner
2. Salmon oil capsules
These soft gelatin capsules contain salmon oil inside. Because salmon oil is sealed inside, you don’t need to worry about your fingers smelling like fish or washing stinky salmon oil out of your dog’s bowl.
Due to the cost and amount of salmon oil in each capsule, capsules are better suited to small dogs.
Dose salmon oil capsules by feeding directly to your dog or placing it in his food.
3. Salmon oil chews
Salmon oil chews allow you to dose your dog with salmon oil and offer him a tasty, chewable treat at the same time – salmon oil treats are unlikely to be rejected by your dog.
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.
Out of the three forms of salmon oil, soft chews have the lowest amount of omega 3. They can also contain unnecessary filler ingredients.
What are the health benefits of salmon oil for dogs?
Salmon oil is high in Omega 3 fatty acids (good fats) in particular EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
These Omega 3 fatty acids that may offer your dog the following benefits:
Boost your puppies development
Do you want your puppy to reach his full potential? Feeding salmon oil can help your puppy to become the healthiest and smartest dog at the dog park. Introducing your puppy to salmon oil from 8 to 52 weeks may help boost his muscle growth, eyesight, memory, problem-solving, and immune system. Brain development as a fetus may also be boosted by feeding a pregnant mother salmon oil. Continuing to feed after birth will also benefit puppy development as they drink her milk. 
A healthy, shiny fur
Have you ever noticed how other dogs have glossy hair that looks like it came from a shampoo ad? Meanwhile, your pup has a dull coat? Salmon oil could be the answer. Omega 3 has been linked to an improved shine in dog coats and may even prevent hair loss.
Goodbye dry, itchy skin
Does your dog suffer from dry, flaky skin due to allergies or flea bites? Doggie dandruff could be a thing of the past. Salmon oil may help improve your dog’s skin problems due to its high Omega 3 content.
Treat arthritis in senior dogs
Is your elderly dog suffering from arthritis? Standing up from a resting position can be painful. Salmon oil may allow your dog to comfortably stand and also improve your old pup’s ability to walk. One of the most popular uses of salmon oil is as a joint supplement
A strong and healthy heart
Is your dog at risk of heart disease or arrhythmia? Salmon oil may prevent an early death in heart related health conditions and is often recommended for breeds with heart problems, like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Salmon oil and the omega 3 fatty acids it contains have been linked to slowing down the growth of certain cancer tumors
Lower blood pressure
Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon oil can lower blood pressure and decrease harmful triglyceride levels.
Treat kidney disease
If your dog has kidney disease, salmon oil is one of many supplements that may help treat it. Omega 3 found in salmon oil can help reduce inflammation and stop your dog from peeing as regularly.
Help with weight gain
Is your dog underweight? A teaspoon of liquid salmon oil contains about 40 calories. By adding salmon oil to your dog’s meal, the extra calories found in salmon oil can help your dog gain weight
While researching for our dog food topper review, we discovered that many owners add salmon oil to their dog’s food, to encourage them to eat their meal.
That’s a lot of benefits, right?
You should speak to your veterinarian about any of the above health reasons to ensure that salmon oil is right for your dog.
What are the side effects of salmon oil for dogs?
While uncommon, salmon oil has some potential side effects. These side effects include:
It should be expected, but the fishy breath caused by salmon catches many dog owners off guard. Stinky salmon breath can be reduced by choosing an unscented salmon oil or brushing your dog’s teeth after feeding. Otherwise, you’ll have to go without those doggy kisses for a few hours.
I know we mentioned this as a benefit, but if your dog is a healthy weight, then the extra calories in salmon oil can really add up. Especially if your dog doesn’t exercise regularly or already has an unhealthy diet. If you are supplementing your dog’s diet with salmon oil, you may need to adjust the portion size of your pup’s meals.
Diarrhea or Neusea
Some dogs don’t take to salmon oil. When they have it, bad stuff can happen at either end. Your dog may vomit, experience loose stools, or even diarrhea. The chances of this happening can be reduced by introducing your dog to a quarter dose of salmon oil before slowly increasing the dose.
If your dog suffers from any of these side effects (except salmon breath) you should contact your veterinarian for guidance.
Why is wild caught Alaskan salmon oil best for dogs?
You may have noticed that nearly all our top picks are made from wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
As far as salmon oil goes, it can’t be beaten.
Firstly, let’s look at why we recommend wild-caught…
Wild caught refers to any salmon that was caught in the ocean, where it was free to roam and eat a natural diet of other fish. On the flip-side, farm-raised salmon are kept in giant nets and are fed pellets.
It might seem like a small difference, but that natural diet causes wild-caught salmon to have up to a 30% higher Omega 3 concentration than farmed salmon.
As for why Alaskan Salmon? Well, these salmon are caught in American waters. And the fisheries and manufacturers need to abide by USA laws around food safety.
Another benefit is that the Alaska Department of Environmental control monitors the fish in its waters. Alaskan salmon have very low levels of mercury and arsenic, among the lowest levels in the world.
It is for these reasons that wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil is superior and should be the number one choice for your dog.
How much salmon oil does your dog need? (dosage)
If your dog has never had salmon oil before, then you may want to start with a 1/4 dose before working your way up. Some dogs can get sick, experience diarrhea or vomit if given a full dose for the first time.
How much salmon oil should you give your dog each day?
For the exact amount you should speak to your veterinarian, who will take your dog’s breed, diet, and lifestyle into consideration before making a recommendation.
Speaking to your veterinarian is essential if you are supplementing salmon oil to treat a medical condition.
But if you want an approximate guideline, the answer to this question can be found on your bottle of salmon oil.
If you check the label, you’ll see something like this:
These dosing instructions come from our top pick, Zesty Paws Salmon Oil. Your salmon oil may differ.
Are you dosing your senior dog due to arthritis? Then you may want to use the following instructions as outlined by the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University.
Please note that the dose is based on the combined EPA + DHA amount in your fish oil. Refer to the label on the bottle for the exact amount of EPA and DHA in your salmon oil.
What size bottle of salmon oil should you buy for your dog?
Liquid salmon oil is available in a wide range of sizes. Most typically, 8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz, and 64 oz. Which is the right size for your dog?
Buying the right size is important. A bottle of salmon oil that is too small will quickly run out. A bottle that is too large may go bad before you get a chance to use it all.
You may have noticed in the previous section that salmon oil is dosed by weight.
This means that larger dogs need more salmon oil than smaller dogs.
4 oz and 8 oz are made best for small dogs like a Chihuahua, Pomeranian, or Havanese. 16 oz and 32 oz are better suited to larger breeds like a Labrador, German Shepherd or Rottweiler.
If you have multiple large dogs, then the 64 oz size is our go-to recommendation.
While reviewing the different brands of salmon oil, we counted out how many pumps we got from each bottle size.
Here are the results, averaged:
How do you store salmon oil to stop it going bad?
The quickest way to ruin your dog’s salmon oil is to expose it to light or air.
You see, air and light cause salmon oil to oxidize. To put it simply, this ruins all the goodness in the salmon oil. Even more worryingly, oxidized salmon oil may be dangerous for your dog to eat!  
Fortunately, the bottles that your salmon oil comes in are designed to keep both air and light out. As long as you keep your bottles sealed, you won’t have to worry about oxidization at all.
Where do you store your salmon oil?
The answer may surprise you. Salmon oil doesn’t need to be refrigerated…
Not the answer you expected, right? I mean, if you have ever bought salmon to eat, you’ll know it needs to be kept in the fridge – otherwise, it quickly goes bad (and stinky!).
Fortunately, salmon oil is a little different to the fish it comes from…
When bottled, most brands mix salmon oil with vitamin E. The vitamin E acts as a natural preservative. You’ll see the vitamin E mix written as mixed tocopherols in the ingredients list of your liquid salmon oil.
A few salmon oil brands use rosemary extract as a preservative instead. Based on the brands we reviewed, rosemary extract is more commonly used in nordic salmon oils.
It’s these preservatives that allow you to safely keep salmon oil in your pantry. Unless…
The temperature rises above 86˚F.
You see, Warmer temperatures shorten the shelf life of your fish oil. If summer rolls around, or you live in a hot state like Arizona, you’ll want to store your Salmon oil in the fridge at all times.
Even if you live somewhere colder, refrigeration can extend the life of your liquid salmon oil…
For instance, Grizzly Salmon Oil lasts up to 4 months out of the fridge. However, if you keep it refrigerated, the same salmon oil can last up to 8 months.
A 32 oz bottle of salmon oil goes a long way, especially for small dogs. If you are struggling to get through a bottle, refrigerate it. This way, you’ll be able to finish the bottle before it goes rancid. Speaking of which…
You’ll know if your salmon oil has gone bad by the smell. The odor changes from a mild fishy scent to the unmistakable smell of rotting fish – you’ll probably gag if you smell it.
If your salmon oil has gone bad throw it in the trash – don’t feed it to your dog.
Phew, congratulations on making it this far! You should now know everything you need to about the fishy, nutritional supplement that is salmon oil.
A summery of our recommendations…
The best salmon oil for dogs:
- Zesty Paws – Best all-round Salmon Oil
- Grizzly Salmon Oil – Best Premium Salmon Oil
- American Journey Salmon Oil – Best Value Salmon Oil
- Iceland Pure Salmon Oil – Best Unscented Salmon Oil
- Life Line Premium Salmon Oil – Best Bulk Salmon Oil
- Amazing Omega Wild Alaskan Salmon – Best Salmon Oil Capsules
- PetHonesty OmegaSalmonl – Best Salmon Oil Chew
Have used salmon oil as a dog supplement? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!