Fish is a food that is generally associated with cats, not dogs. They are, however, a very nutritious source of protein that has a host of benefits for your dog’s skin and coat. It is a great source of protein for dogs with food sensitivities that include the most common protein sources. Fish is also a good choice for dogs who have limited caloric needs, like those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, overweight dogs, and senior dogs. The type of fish you give to your dog is important because you can’t give all types of fish, and you certainly need them without bones.
What Kinds Of Fish Can I Give To Dogs?
Sardines live short lives and eat mainly plankton. Thus, they do not live long enough to absorb heavy metals and other toxins from the water, and neither do they eat food sources which would cause the buildup of these in their bodies. They are nutrient-dense, so be careful of the amount you feed! If you can’t find sardines, anchovies are an alternative.
While not technically a fish, mussels are an extremely nutrient-dense protein source for dogs. You can get benefits from small amounts in your dog’s diet weekly, without overfeeding your dog. In many places, mussels are an inexpensive way to boost protein intake without breaking the bank. You can soak live mussels in water to filter out toxins before adding them to food.
Tilapia is one of the cheapest and most plentiful forms of fish available. It is full of nutrients that support healthy skin, coat, bone, and joints. When you’re giving tilapia, make sure you remove all bones from the fish as they are a choking hazard in dogs.
Salmon is a premium fish that id dog-friendly. When choosing salmon, make sure it is wild-caught salmon and it is free from small bones that can get stuck in your dog’s throat. Farm-raised fish contain chemicals like antibiotics that can harmful to your dog, so always buy wild-caught salmon. Also, stay away from smoked salmon as it can contain other ingredients that are bad for your dog.
What Kinds Of Fish Should I Stay Away From?
Tuna is a common fish for humans to eat. However, because it has a longer life than sardines, heavy metals like mercury can build up in their bodies. Whether fresh or canned, you should stay away from tuna for your dogs. Canned tuna also contained high levels of sodium that are harmful to dogs.
Raw fish contains parasites that can infect and be potentially fatal for your dog. Whichever fish you choose, you should ensure that it is thoroughly cooked to food-safe temperatures. All bones must be removed otherwise your dog can choke. Additionally, if you are a fisherman yourself, then avoid feeding your dog your fresh catch. It is best to freeze fresh fish for a few weeks before letting your dog have it to kill any parasites in the fish. Salmon contains parasites that cause salmon poisoning in dogs. The easy way out is to buy frozen fillets!
Seafood is not poisonous or toxic to your dog per se. However, when you do feed your dog seafood, you should ensure that the shells are removed as they are a choking hazard and can contain toxins. Seafood is a fairly common allergy as well, and your dog may have it. If your dog hasn’t been exposed to seafood before, ask your vet before you plan to treat him to some.
If There Are Risks, Why Should I Feed Fish To My Dog?
If you feel unsure of cooking and feeding your dog fish, you can choose a pet food like Honest Kitchen Dehydrated fish recipe for dogs. Here, the worry about the type of fish and whether there are bones are all eliminated. You can also opt for dry kibble. When purchasing dry kibble, make sure the ingredients list contains actual fish as opposed to fish meal.
Fish can be an important part of a rotating diet. Rotating your dog’s diet has many advantages. If your dog is easily bored by food, and is not particularly food motivated, then changing up the diet will make him curious to find out what food you’re giving that day. This also transforms mealtimes into an engaging mental activity for your dog as he experiences something new.
Different ingredients bring different nutrients to the diet. By having a variety of food like chicken, fish, beef, and pork, you are making sure that your dog eats a balanced meal over the course of the week or month. Finally, and most importantly, feeding fish prevents your dog from building up an allergy to the food he is most frequently exposed to.