What is the best oil to add to dry dog food for healthier skin and coat?
Saint John, IN
I am not aware of any consensus on this matter.
A number of studies have shown that specifically and properly balanced omega-3 oils (fish oils) have statistically significant beneficial effects on skin, coat and joints. Another recent study showed that many omega-3s were contaminated with high levels of mercury and other toxins. Many clinicians now suspect that the risks outweigh the benefits. In truth, nobody knows for sure.
Plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that adding olive oil or flaxseed oil or canola oil or any type of oil to pet food can have beneficial (or deleterious) effects on pets. Anecdotal evidence sometimes is spot on (there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that cigarette smoking was dangerous before studies were run). Anecdotal evidence sometimes is completely wrong (before people thought smoking was unhealthy, they thought it was good for health; for centuries people cited anecdotal evidence that bathing and hand washing could have fatal consequences; you get the idea).
If you aren’t satisfied with your dog’s coat, consider gradually transitioning him to another food. That may make a difference.
If you’re happy with the situation, then I recommend that you not rock the boat. Or, more appropriately, I’d suggest that you let a sleeping dog lie.