I got a chance to test Finnish nutritional oil for dogs, Dogi Oil. The product was completely strange to me before this, so I decided to check it out.
At first, I would want to compare this product to regular rapeseed oil and fish oil.
|Dogi Oil||Rapeseed oil||Fish oil|
|Fat (total)||97 g||97 g||94 g|
|Saturated||7 g||6 g||21 g|
|Monounsaturated||60 g||58 g||57 g|
|Polyunsaturated||30 g||33 g||16 g|
|Omega-3||11 g||11 g||20-35 g|
|Omega-6||22 g||22 g||10 g|
|Vitamin E||100 mg||19 mg||0-10 mg|
This comparison table shows, that there is no much difference between Dogi Oil and regular rapeseed oil when comparing fats. However, Dogi Oil contains much more vitamin E. Products contains only natural vitamin E, so no synthetic, which is good. Dogi Oil contains also phenol antioxidants, which keep the oil from being oxidized. That guarantees that oil can be stored at room temperature even after opening, unlike regular rapeseed oil which should be stored in a refrigerator. This is a huge plus for me, as my refrigerator is always full of jars and bottles, so I do not wish to add any extra in there if not required. The difference between Dogi Oil and regular rapeseed oil can be also seen in its color and smell.
So, do the vegetable oils really work for dogs? For this question, I had to dig some information from a dog nutritional bible, Katiska (unfortunately only in Finnish). I happened to find an article about vegetable oil comparison, which was written 17th April 2014, but I believe the information is still correct. The article says that vegetable oils do not work as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, as they only contain ALA-fat acid and not EPA and DHA-fat acids. This was new info for me. It is true that dog’s (and human’s) liver can somehow convert ALA to DHA and EPA, but not well at all. Also, a heavy dose of Omega-6 weakens this converting even more. This means we cannot only trust if the product says it contains Omega-3 and I would say that fish oil is still certainly the best source for Omega-3.
Instead of Omega-3, Dogi Oil contains much more Omega-6 than fish oil, and that is also important for dogs (especially coat). With Omega-6, it must be taken into consideration, that it affects to blood coagulation and it boosts infections. When it comes to humans, there might be even overdosing of Omega-6 and with dogs, we should know there is a risk for that. Especially if a dog is eating food that is based on corn, its food probably contains enough Omega-6 already.
If used raw materials cointain sunflower oil, maize or corn oil , it is likely that there are much Omega-6 fatty acids. (Free translation, Katiska 22.1.2010)
So based on the information I read, Dogi Oil is not the best source for Omega-3. However, it contains a noticeable amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E works as antioxidant and it is salutary especially for active dogs with stressful activities. Otherwise, lack of vitamin E is not very common among dogs.
Dogs need about 18 milligrams of vitamin E for every 35 grams of added fat (Katiska 1.2.2015). Therefore we can count, that 35 grams of Dogi Oil contain 35 milligrams of vitamin E, so there would be 17 milligrams of spare vitamin E. Daily dosage for dogs should be around 0,3-3mg/kg. For example, the daily dosage of Dogi Oil for a medium size dog (20kg) is three teaspoons (3x5ml). This contains about 15 milligrams of vitamin E (0,75mg/kg). If we notice also the oxidation load caused by added fat, there is only a bit over 7 milligrams of vitamin E (0,35mg/kg). So if there is an increased need for vitamin E (as there can be if a dog is injured, pregnant or stressed), it could be better to receive the extra vitamin E from a source that does not contain fat. For a dog that lives a regular life, Dogi Oil offers enough vitamin E as many dog foods also contain it (and also added fat).
Intake of vitamin E is not easy to calculate. It is a little difficult to get from food other than through vegetable oils and then increased fat intake increases the need for vitamin E itself (and other antioxidants). Simply said, the E-vitamin included in additional oil is mostly used for the increased oxidation load caused by oil (fat) itself. (Free translation Katiska 1.2.2015)
And finally, we will talk about the price of the product, which is the thing that concerns me the most. A bottle of Dogi Oil costs 8,69€/250ml, which means 34,76€ per liter. A teaspoon is about 5ml, so one bottle lasts about 2 weeks if used fo one medium size dog (daily dosage of 3 teaspoons). Regular rapeseed oil costs about 3-10 euros per liter, so compared to that Dogi Oil is quite expensive. Because of the added vitamin E, this product probably should not be compared to regular rapeseed oil. However, there are some products sold for horses (that can be used for dogs safely as well, if I have understood correctly) that contain vitamin E without fat, and cost about 20-30 euros per liter. Most of the dog owners want an easy solution, so I would say Dogi Oil is the choice for them.
I barely believe I will continue the use of this product in the future. The main reason it the price. If the price was lower, I could consider using this with some fish oil. My dogs luckily haven’t had problems with skin or coat, so I don’t see essential need for this either (or any other additional nutritional oil either), but if during this test I would see positive effects, I would probably change my mind and forget about the price. Every dog is an individual, so no matter what the recommendations of daily dosages of nutrients actually is, different products might help different dogs.
I would also like to give some feedback on the brand image of Dogi Oil, which shows man and English Bulldog. It might be, that regular person sees it differently, but I feel that if there is a product that is meant for dog well-being, it should not be advertised by an English Bulldog. The breed is probably the saddest breed in the world as they are prone to a multitude of serious health problems and many think buying and reproducing these dogs is unethical and has nothing to do with dog loving or animal well-being!
Here is also a video a made just for fun about how well Dogi Oil tasted for my dogs. 🙂