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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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fish: from the human vitamin section of a store

Customer Question

Can I give my dog fish oil tablets from the human vitamin section of a store?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 11 years ago.
Please list the exact ingredients in the capsules you have in mind and the amounts of the ingredients in a capsule.
What kind of dog do you have?
How old is it?
What is its regular diet?
How much does your dog weigh?
What condition are you trying to treat or prevent?
Has your pet been seen by a licensed veterinarian?

All of this info may better help someone answer your question.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Gen B.'s Post: I was looking at an Omega 3 Fish oil 1000 mg Omega-3 fatty acids

I have a shepard mix
1 1/2 years old
Yes a regular diet
weighs about 50 lbs
yes she sees the vet regularly.

I had noticed that I can purchase the same fish oil for humans at a much lower price.
Thank you for any help you can give.
Expert:  Gen B. replied 11 years ago.
We as pet owners must be very careful whenever trying to find a product which will also help us to be good consumers.

IF a qualified, licensed veterinarian has recommended a particular treatment or supplement which can also be found as a 'generic' item in the human market, a substitution can be possible.

You would want to be VERY CAREFUL to compare the ingredient panel of the veterinary-labeled product with the human-labeled the ingredient components and strength per dose. Investigate whether or not the company can provide information about freshness of ingredients and effectiveness of its product.

The price of veterinary-labeled supplements is a function of what kind of research and testing has been performed with the ingredients specifically included in the preparation. Your veterinarian would be able to procure and provide you with information from the supplement producer which outlines their production philosophy and whether testing during production and in-the-field have been performed on the product you have been using.

The dietary supplement production for human use in our country is still widely unregulated--this can mean that an item arrives on the market without a company making a commitment to its freshness and uniformity from one batch to another. As the government decides to take a greater interest in this field, prices of human-labeled supplements can be expected to rise as companies are required to verify its ingredient and effectiveness claims.

IF you have been able to make a dose-to-dose comparison of the product labels AND are confident that you have found the identical mg dose for your size dog, then you could give an alternate product a try. If you see that the results are poor, or it seems to disagree with Puppy's digestion, then go back to the original preparation immediately.

You may be able to get information about a human-labeled product from a store which has a pharmacist on duty. They might be able to tell you what popularity the product you are considering has--do customers repurchase the item, or do they return it!! Be sure to examine the expiration dates on the package carefully--IT WOULD BE UNWISE TO PURCHASE ANY SUPPLEMENT WHICH IS NOT EXP.DATE LABELED, OR WHICH IS OUT-DATED.

If you are not sure about what the ingredient panel on your veterinary-labeled product says, you can ask a staff member at the vet clinic to interpret the ingredients and strength for you. Many doctors are aware of how we all need to watch our expenses, although you may feel awkward about approaching this subject with them. You may try to discuss this issue by bringing a bottle of the store-brand with you to your next appointment or when picking up your next refill.

*"Can Doctor tell me if this product is the same as what Puppy is taking?" You need not mention the issue of price in this context. If the veterinarian has specific reasons for not using the over-the-counter product, they will be able to share them with you at that time.