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I read a review on Super Solvitax cod liver oil by the wonderful fourpaws and it sounded perfect to give to my little moggy Shadow. He has been suffering from dandruff which is common and harmless in cats and which is caused by him sitting for hours on the windowsill in sunlight so I was hoping it would help with his dry skin.
Super solvitax is a supplement for many kinds of animals to help them maintain a healthy coat and skin and help their joints. Many may be skeptical about the benefits of taking oils to supplement their diet but I have experienced brilliant effects myself by taking evening primrose oil so it seems logical that animals would benefit too. My grandma swore by cod liver oil and she was the healthiest old lady I have ever seen until she got dementia in her 90's, she never had any of the general aches and pains you would associate with old age so it obviously worked for her too.
I bought an 170ml bottle for around £3.50 from my local pet shop, larger bottles are also available which will work out cheaper per ml but since the dose for a cat is only 5ml a day I would rather buy a smaller bottle so it is fresher.
Shadow is not a fan of fishy things in general so I wondered how he would react to taking this oil. I poured out a spoonful and showed it to him and he happily lapped it up. Of course he didn't do this the second day so I resorted to plan B which was mixing it in with his wet food which he simply refused to eat. Plan C involved coating his favourite crunchies with some super solvitax which he ignored, I even poured some fresh crunchies on top and he managed to pick every single one of them off! Plan D involved buying a medicine syringe from the chemist and squirting it into his mouth, this is working fairly well as he is such a little wimp that he doesn't try and claw me or anything. He seems to accept it now as part of his evening feeding routine but he still doesn't look too happy when he sees the syringe.
The oil itself is a thick yellow colour and smells very fishy. This is what led to the question "mum....why does the cat taste fishy?" from my daughter. At first I thought she was just silly, after all you are not meant to eat cats. When I questioned her a bit closer though she explained that she had been giving him a big sloppy kiss (which he hates!) and the taste of fish entered her mouth. She then pushed the cat into my face and insisted I did the same, I refused but smelling him was enough as he definitely smelled like fish. This was on the first few tries when I gave him the oil, any cat owner will know that eating (even 5ml of oil) results in a full grooming session and he had obviously licked some over his fur. I've minimised this effect by giving it to him before food but after giving it to him for around a month he still has a faint whiff of cod liver oil which is not very nice. Whether this is from the fact that he manages to squirt some out of his mouth without swallowing or he licks it over himself I'm not too sure.
Apart from making my cat smell fishy I'm happy to report that his coat which has always looked good has taken on an extra sheen and now looks fantastic. His dandruff has cleared up too which is good news so the oil is obviously doing him some good.
I'm glad that the super solvitax is working but I don't think I'm going to buy a second bottle because the cat doesn't like it and I dont like him stinking of fish. I noticed there were other brands of oils for animals in the pet shops, not all of them fish based so when my bottle of solvitax runs out I will read up on some of those and decide which one is most similar in vitamin content and buy that instead. Obviously my review is based on use on one fussy animal only, I can tell that it is a quality product so it is worth trying if you think your animal will benefit.
*What is Super Solvitax Cod Liver Oil?*
This nutritional feeding oil is produced by Seven Seas, the world wide known manufacture of healthy oils and vitamin/mineral supplements for humans, this Super Solvitax range however is part of their selection of products designed specifically for animals.
*The product itself*
The numerous health benefits of regularly taking fish oils such as Cod Liver Oil have been recognised for years and is a supplement I'm sure many people take on a daily basis in capsule form to help with their joints and general well being. In recent years however, the benefits these oils have to offer to pets too have been highlighted in more detail, and specific oils have been produced with animals in mind, so they too, can reap the benefits of this fishy oil!
I give the majority of my animals cod liver oil regularly as part of their diet, and the brand I always choose is this Super Solvitax one. It's produced by the Seven Sea's company, who are famous for their large selection of vitamin and mineral supplements and cod liver oils for humans, although I didn't notice this when I first purchased it as it isn't displayed much on the packaging at all, and it comes in either liquid or capsule form, I use the liquid version, so this is the type I will be focusing on throughout the review, and is suitable only for animal consumption.
The liquid is a deep yellowy gold in colour with a very thick consistency and smells very strongly of fish as you would expect and is designed to be fed either mixed into your pets food or, if your pet will take it in this way, straight from a spoon or oral syringe and can be fed to pretty much any animal including cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, ferrets, horses, donkeys and ponies.
Fed regularly cod liver oil can help your pet in many different ways- firstly, it's an excellent source of omega 3, and also very rich in vitamins A and D which can help to maintain strong teeth, healthy bones, a shiny coat, supple skin and bright eyes, as well as aiding the absorption of calcium and phosphorous and helps strengthen your pets immune system and boost your pets natural ability to fight infection. Secondly, is the most popular reason most people seem to take cod liver oil, and that how much it can help maintain joints- keeping them in healthy supple condition, or helping to ease joints which are already experiencing problems and stiffness, this makes the cod liver oil suitable for animals of all ages, but especially ones in their senior life stages.
As this product is pure cod liver oil, the amount you need to feed to your pet to get the full benefits is very low, making the product very cost effective and therefore making it a very cheap and efficient natural all-round general conditioner for your pet.
The cod liver oil comes supplied in clear glass bottles with a golden screw cap, and a bright yellow sticker which tells us the name of the product, and also full dosage instructions for every type of animal it can be fed to. The bottle is then packaged in a brightly coloured cardboard box, again with full dosage instructions on the reverse of the box. I really don't see the need for the box as all the information is printed on the bottle itself, but hey, at least all the packaging is recyclable, and the bright coloured design makes it eye catching and easy to spot on the shop shelves.
*Price & Availability*
Super Solvitax cod liver oil is available from most online stops and the larger pet shops, and comes available in two bottle sizes- 170ml for £3.29 and 450ml for £5.45. I purchase it from my local bulk pet food supplier, where I can get 3 of the 450ml bottles for £10, so if you have these kinds of shops near to you, be sure to make use of them as they really do save you a lot of money, especially if you have a lot of animals to cater for.
Cod liver oil, as much as it stinks, is one product I couldn't be without in my household. I feed it regularly to pretty much all of my pets and although a very simple product, it does a fantastic job of helping to keep the animals in great condition, with lovely shiny coats and hopefully helping to minimise the risks of joint problems as they grow older.
Firstly, I of course feed it to my dogs- the fluffy beasts that are Benson and Grace. Each of the dogs get just 5ml a day, split into two portions- one 2.5ml spoonful over their breakfast, and then the other half mixed in with their evening meal. They adore the fishy taste and if I forget to add it to their food, they're always happy to lick it right off the spoon and they seem to think it's a treat, so not only is it good for them, its also something they highly enjoy which is a great bonus. The dogs have fantastic coats anyway and are in top overall condition but I feel the cod liver oil does definitely help play a part in this, working alongside the other supplements they get.
Secondly is the cats- Jet, my adult moggie, and Meg, my young kitten. Jet suffers with quite dry and flaky skin at certain times of the year and I tend to only feed cod liver oil to him during these periods as the richness of the oil helps clear it up significantly and helps to restore the suppleness in his skin and reduce itching, I give him 2.5ml a day, which I mix in with his dry food and he's quite happy to take it like that. I've just started Meg on the fishy delight too, giving her only 1ml a day whilst she's still young.
Thirdly, I feed it to my two donkeys. As any owner of horses, donkeys or ponies will know- the food designed for these animals can be awfully dusty and powdery, and can in some cases cause respiratory problems in the animal. Adding cod liver oil to their feed reduces the dust a lot within the feed, making it healthier for both the animal to eat, and the owner to prepare and also increases the palatability of the food. When feeding to equine animals, the cod liver oil also helps to gloss up the coat and increase the water proof properties of the coat, helping to reduce water penetration in wet weather. For Mabel and Tilly, who are Standard Donkeys, I add 10ml to their dry feed each day.
Lastly, a number of my other animals also receive it, but in much smaller and less regular quantities. My Syrian Hamster, and Dwarf Hamsters have it very occasionally, to feed to them I'll dip one of those Armitages chocolate drops in the oil and feed it to them like that, the very small quantity of oil which will coat the chocolate drop is more than enough for small rodents, and I only need to give this once a week at the most. My two Macaws receive the oil also- a brazil nut soaked in the oil overnight and then hand fed twice a week, and the same for my African Grey Parrot. The Rabbits and Guinea Pigs get it in the same way I administer it to my hamsters, and lastly, my three Ferrets get it every other day- for two of them I'll dip a cube of boiled chicken in the oil for them to eat, and the other one will lick it straight from the spoon.
As you can see, around half of my pets get the oil frequently and still a 450ml bottle will last me a good couple of weeks, which makes the cod liver oil extremely good value for money, especially if you buy in bulk, and it works absolutely fantastically- it helps with the coats and joints of them all, and also helps maintain strong teeth and bones and general well being. My only gripe is the smell, which of course cannot be avoided though, and the fact that it is a nightmare to get the smell off your hands- so always wear rubber gloves when measuring out the oil, and make sure to buy an oral syringe, especially when measuring out very small amounts as the product doesn't come with one, or a measuring spoon.
Natural source of vitamins A and D and digestible energy / rich in polyunsaturates which help maintain the condition of skin / fur / feather.