There are few things as healthy for your dog as salmon oil. Filled with omega fatty acids, this oil can help promote a shiny and healthy coat, turbo-charge his immune system, and even help a puppy’s brain and eyes to develop properly.
Not all salmon oil is equally beneficial, however. Some is made from questionable sources, and can include harmful ingredients like mercury. Even worse, it’s hard to tell which supplements are trustworthy merely from reading the label, so finding a good one can be quite difficult.
In the reviews below, we’ll show you which ones we think are the best you can buy — and which ones are better left on the shelf.
Our top picks for the best salmon oil for dogs are the ones we’d give to our own pups, and that’s truly the highest praise we can offer.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Vital Pet Life Salmon Oil Food Supplement||
|Best Value||Best Paw Nutrition Salmon Oil Supplement||
|Premium Choice||Grizzly Salmon Oil Supplement||
|Active Chews Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil||
|Zesty Paws Salmon Oil Supplement||
The 10 Best Salmon Oils for Dogs
1. Vital Pet Life Salmon Oil Food Supplement — Best Overall
Vital Pet Life comes in a big pump jar, making it easy for you to dispense the perfect amount into your pup’s food bowl. This also makes it less likely you’ll accidentally spill some on yourself and walk around attracting cats all day.
If you’d rather not use the pump, however, it also sports a flip cap, so you can just squirt some in the bowl that way.
The oil is made from wild-caught Alaskan fish, so you don’t have to worry about a bunch of stray hormones and antibiotics making it into your dog’s system. It’s also filtered to be mercury-free.
The stuff does have a noticeable salmon odor, which can be either good or bad, depending on how your dog feels about fish. Some scarf it right down, while others need something mixed in to mask the smell.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that’s universally loved by dogs, though, so Vital Pet Life gets the well-earned nod for our top spot.
2. Best Paw Nutrition Salmon Oil Supplement — Best Value
Best Paw Nutrition ships in a tightly-sealed bottle, so you don’t have to worry about opening the box and making your home smell like the docks. It also has a cap that you can use if you want to take it with you while traveling, as well as a pump for use at home or when you reach your destination.
However, while it won’t leak during travel, we can’t say the same for regular use. The pump tends to create quite the runny mess.
This blend is full of EPA and DHA, which are excellent for dogs with skin conditions. This stuff can help with itchy paws, bald spots, brittle fur, and more.
Even better, one bottle lasts quite a while, and it’s not terribly expensive, making it the best salmon oil for dogs for the money.
One minor quibble we had was the fact that it needs to be refrigerated. This is a bit of a pain, but not so much as to knock Best Paw Nutrition down too far on this list.
3. Grizzly Salmon Oil for Dogs — Premium Choice
Each batch of Grizzly undergoes rigorous testing before leaving the manufacturer, ensuring that the supplement inside is pure, made with clean ingredients, and fresh. As a result, you’re less likely to get a bottle that smells rancid or that your pup refuses to touch.
Of course, you’d expect that level of due diligence from a product that costs this much. This is an expensive oil, there’s no getting around that — but it’s also a higher-quality supplement than most of its competition.
It’s made from salmon and pollock oils plus tocopherols as preservatives meaning that it is not only salmon oil, but the bottle can be stored at room temperature, which is convenient.
Besides the price, the biggest issue we had with Grizzly GRZ00003-KW is the fact that the pump is flimsy. If you’re too rough with it, it can snap off in your hands, sending oil flying everywhere.
You’d expect better equipment from a premium product like this. That’s not a huge flaw (you’re not buying it for the bottle, after all), but it is enough to knock it down a few spots.
4. Active Chews Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs
There’s more than just salmon in Active Chews Wild Alaskan, as their mixture also includes sardines, anchovies, and herring. While that sounds like it would make an absolutely disgusting pizza, it’s a great recipe for getting your pup all the omega fatty acids he needs to have healthy skin, a shiny coat, and a well-supported immune system.
All of the fish are wild-caught and processed in an American facility, so you don’t have to worry about any mysterious chemicals getting added to the mix. It’s also GMO- and mercury-free.
The bottle is extremely user-friendly, as the pump works well, doesn’t leak, and gives a consistent amount with every squirt. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a little thing that a lot of the competition gets wrong.
Our only gripe is that the bottle isn’t very big, and if you have a larger dog, you’ll have to buy a new one fairly often. Of course, being forced to buy more of a supplement because you like it so much is a good problem to have, which is why Active Chews Wild Alaskan ranks so highly here.
5. Zesty Paws Salmon Oil Supplement
Zesty Paws is just a couple notches below the Grizzly supplement in terms of both price and quality, and hence, it’s just a couple notches below it here as well.
The liquid doesn’t have a strong odor, so your entire kitchen won’t smell like salmon every time you feed your pups. You won’t have to deal with fishy doggy breath for hours after mealtime, either.
Even so, dogs seem to love the stuff, and it’s not unusual for them to lick their bowls clean when it’s added into their food. It’s a good choice for finicky eaters.
If you have a small dog, though, the serving sizes will likely be a bit tricky, as you’ll have to figure out exactly what constitutes a “half pump.” Meanwhile, the serving size for larger dogs is so big that one bottle won’t last you long.
Also, a little bit tends to dribble down the pump after each dispensation, and since this stuff is so sticky, that gets annoying (and gross) quickly.
Still, Zesty Paws is an excellent supplement, and one we still recommend. It just doesn’t quite do enough to justify ranking it higher than 5th, however.
6. Paws & Pals Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs
If your dog’s coat is looking a little dull and lifeless, Paws & Pals Wild Alaskan can help bring it back to its former glory. It’s filled with the omega fatty acids necessary to keep coats looking shiny and lustrous, and may even help with bald patches and hot spots.
The pump bottle makes it easy to dispense, provided you’re ok with the occasional misfire. Be careful that you don’t knock it over, though, because the pump itself is very flimsy. Also, this stuff stinks to high heaven, so the last thing you want to do is get it all over your kitchen.
However, that smell may make it a good choice for picky dogs, especially since it soaks into dry kibble well. As a result, you shouldn’t have much of a struggle getting your dog to eat it.
Paws & Pals Wild Alaskan is a high-quality oil that could work wonders for your dog; however, there are several options above it that can be just as beneficial, but with fewer drawbacks.
7. PetHonesty Salmon Oil for Dogs
If you’ve had no luck getting your dog to eat food with oil mixed in, these chews from PetHonesty may be worth a shot. They’re more like a treat than a supplement, which may cause your pup to give them a chance.
This makes them much less messy than regular oil. Your hands will still smell a bit, but at least you don’t have to worry about an oil spill in your kitchen.
In addition to salmon, they also contain kelp, krill, vitamin E, and DHA. This gives your dog an amazing array of omega fatty acids; however, each treat also has sweet potato and rice syrup, which add more carbohydrates and could cause digestive issues in some pups.
However, their form makes it much harder for you to disguise the taste if your dog doesn’t care for it. If he turns up his nose at the first treat, you’ll have a completely worthless bottle on your hands. Also, they make doggy breath much worse, as bits tend to get stuck in his teeth, giving him fish halitosis for hours.
While these PetHonesty chews are a nice change from all the other oils on the market, they’re not quite ready for prime time, which is why they slot in the bottom half of this list.
8. Iceland Pure Unscented Salmon Oil
One of the primary benefits of Iceland Pure Unscented is right in the name — it doesn’t have an overpowering odor. Now, the manufacturers weren’t able to completely eliminate the fish smell, but it is far less pronounced than in other options.
This helps it preserve the natural fish flavor, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on how your pup feels about seafood.
We’re big fans of the aluminum bottle, which is much more durable than the plastic ones most oils come in, while still being eco-friendly. The pump isn’t as high-quality, though, and you’ll get a workout trying to coax any oil out of the thing.
It’s also prone to both leaking and clogging, although not in that order. Even though Iceland Pure Unscented doesn’t smell as bad as other oils, getting it all over you is still incredibly frustrating, and may be enough to cause you to ditch it for another option.
When the pump does work, it rarely gives out uniform squirts, so it’s hard to determine just how much you’re giving your pooch. This is unfortunate, as what would otherwise be a promising oil gets derailed by inferior packaging.
9. Alaskan Salmon Salmon Oil
The formula behind Alaskan Salmon is not as plain as its name, as all you’ll find inside is salmon oil, pollock oil, and mixed tocopherols, which helps it stay fresh.
About as much thought was given to the packaging as well, as the bottle leaks just about every time you use it. This wastes quite a bit of oil while also creating a stinky mess.
The pump is unreliable too, and you may find it easier to remove it and just pour the oil straight from the bottle. Of course, doing so creates problems with dosing, so you’ll have to pick your poison.
The good news is that the oil seems to help curb shedding and dander quite a bit — if you can find a correct, consistent dose, that is. However, that’s not nearly enough to make up for the frustration that the bottle causes, so Alaskan Salmon ANSO32 will have to be satisfied with a lower-tier ranking.
10. LEGITPET Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
One glance at the bottle for LEGITPET Wild Alaskan shows that this is a company that really plays up the “wild” angle, as they use creative, aggressive packaging to set themselves apart from the pack. Of course, creativity and aggression may not be what many people are looking for in a salmon oil.
The dosing is difficult to get right, as toy breeds will only require a half pump, while if you have a giant dog on your hands, expect to spend practically your entire morning pumping salmon oil into his food. This is incredibly tedious, and may cause you to give up on the supplement prematurely.
The smell is strong, even for a fish oil, so be prepared to hold your nose when dispensing it. Also, there’s no hiding this stuff in your pup’s food — he’ll definitely know it’s there. It’s not ideal for picky eaters as a result.
One positive thing we can say about it is that the only ingredient is salmon oil, making LEGITPET Wild Alaskan is one of the purest supplements around. That’s not enough to earn a higher ranking here, though.
Vital Pet Life is easy to dispense and it’s made from fish caught in some of the cleanest waters on the planet, so it was a clear choice to top our list of the best salmon oil for dogs.
Meanwhile, Best Paw Nutrition is a budget option that’s ideal for dogs with skin conditions, and it’s easy to take with you on the go.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s health, either of these two options would make a fine addition to your medicine cabinet. We hope our reviews have made it easy for you to see why we like these oils, as well as why some others didn’t rank quite so high.
Still, feeding your dog any oil on this list would be vastly preferable to not giving him the nutrition he needs to stay strong and healthy.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay