Krill are small shrimp-like crustaceans that travel the ocean in large swarms. They’re popular food for whales and other sea creatures but that’s not all. When made into krill oil, they’re a highly beneficial supplement for dogs (and humans) and have similar benefits to fish oil.
What is krill oil?
Krill oil is an extract made from krill. They’re rich with omega-3s, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA).
Omega-3s are well-known for their many health benefits that help the heart, kidney, brain, eyes, skin, coat, and joints. The omega-3s in krill oil could be more beneficial for dogs than fish oil, since krill oil can be more easily digestible.
In addition to DHA and EPA, krill oil has astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is what gives krill their pink-orange coloring; it’s an anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
What are the specific benefits of krill oil?
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, EPA and DHA provide your dog with a variety of benefits.
These omega-3s can:
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Lower the risk of arthritis
- Stop inflammation in blood vessels
- Slow plaque buildup in blood vessels
- Provide anti-inflammatory benefits for joints
- Shrink tumors
- Prevent heart and autoimmune disorders
The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University provides similar information on why fish oil—which is similar to krill oil—can be helpful for your pet’s health. The anti-inflammatory properties present in these oils benefit organs like the kidney, heart, and joints, while the healthy fats support your dog’s coat.
Interested in krill oil for your dog?
If you’re interested in giving your dog krill oil, consult your vet. Always check with any doctor before choosing to introduce a supplement into your pet’s diet.