So you're thinking, is there a need to give your dog supplements if she is fed raw?
Well as a general rule, there is no real need to supplement your dog if she's healthy, (i.e. not suffering from any problems or diease etc), and if you're feeding your dog a good variety of meats, bone and organ in the appropriate ratio of 80:10:10 over time. So she should be getting all the nutrition that she needs.
However, the other exception to the rule would be where the majority of the meats that are being fed to your dog are your regular grocery store variety, i.e. not organic/free range, whereby the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is completely out of balance.
|100mg Salmon Oil & 100mg Fish Body Oils|
If you have a healthy dog and you're concerned that your dog may need some supplements to her raw diet, then consider getting a good quality Fish Body Oil or Wild Salmon Oil (both referred to as Fish Oil hereafter). Please note that this is quite different from cod liver oil.
Fish Oil is used to supplement or balance Omega 3 fatty acids which are usually lacking in commercially produced meats.
Cod liver oil, on the other hand, contains a high amount of Vitamin A & D (which your dog should get from the 10% organ meat esp liver in her raw diet) which your healthy dog does not really need; and usually has a much lower EPA + DHA content per gel cap. So you will need to give a lot more cod liver oil gel caps to achieve the required EPA +DHA content, but it will also mean that you will be giving your dog way too much Vitamin A & D.
|Please check the EPA + DHA values and not just the dosage of the fish oil!|
You need to make sure that you refer to the information/supplement facts on the back of the bottle. This is quite different from the dosage of the oil as indicated on the front label of the bottle.
Also, please ensure that the Fish Oil or Salmon Oil that you get is free from unnecessary additives such as soy, corn, sugar, colours etc.
Another important thing to look out for is Vitamin E or Tocopherols in the Fish Oil that you have purchased. These are almost always derived from soy. So if the Fish Oil that you have purchased contains either of these, do not feed it to your dog because we know our dogs are carnivores and cannot digest grains.
So for example, if Cleo (who is about 66 lbs) was perfectly healthy, she would get about 600mg of DHA + EPA daily, which means about 2 capsules per day based on the 1000mg Fish Oil that we have from GNC.
Dogs who are suffering from certain diseases or is recovering from illness should take a therapeutic dose instead. For example, heart problems, skin problems, ear problems etc. A therapeutic dose would usually be three times the normal dose. So my Cleo used to take about 6 capsules a day to get her 1800mg of DHA + EPA as she has a severely enlarged heart and a few other problems. (Update: She is now back to 2 capsules a day as her condition has improved significantly since. She also takes CoQ10, Hawthorne, Coconut Oil, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12 for her heart condition).
*Note: You will need to monitor the bowel tolerance of your dog when giving high doses of fish oil. If you find that it causes your dog to have diarrhea, reduce the dosage gradually till her tolerance level. Then after a few days or a week at the level, try to increase the dosage to the recommended therapeutic dose.
I will write a separate post later on about other supplements that you may want to consider for your dog if she has health issues.
**Note: This post is intended as a guide or reference and is not meant to replace veterinary advice. The information on this post is based on conclusions that I have made after extensive reading, advice from other raw feeders in particular the Raw Feeding and Raw Chat Facebook groups, and on my experience with my own dogs. Please consult your holistic veterinarian for advice on supplements for your dogs.