Fish are excellent protein sources for dogs while being relatively low in saturated fats and calories. This fact alone makes fish a fantastic source of nutrition for dogs. However, there is more. An even bigger benefit for fish in your Dog’s diet is the fact that fish is one nature’s most natural sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Fatty fish such as salmon have high levels of Omega 3, which is good for aiding your dog’s joints and all round mobility. Fish is also known to have beneficial properties for your dog’s skin and coat. Omega 3 fatty acids don’t occur in the average canine diet (meat or kibble), so adding them to your dog’s daily diet can reap big rewards.
Types of Fish to feed
Some of the fish that are good for dogs include ocean whitefish, lake whitefish, herring, pollock, cod, mackerel, walleye, flounder, arctic char and salmon pike. You can also steam, bake or grill these types of fish at home for your dog (do not use seasoning or butter). When feeding your dog a piece of fish (or any at-home-prepared protein), keep it plain and simple, remember to buy boneless fillets and inspect the fish before and after cooking to be sure no bones were missed.
You can also buy salmon oil or fish oil capsules or pills for dogs. For certain types of fish it is recommended to first freeze them for 24 hours or cook them to remove any kind of bacteria. Canned fish can make a healthy treat for your dog. When choosing canned/tinned fish, look for fish packed in water without added salt.
Salmon is very good for Dogs due to the high level of the antioxidant selenium, making for a healthier skin and a shinier healthier coat and decreasing the risk of joint inflammation. A rich source of vitamins and minerals including Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it’s often recommended by vets as it is easily digestible and ideal for dogs with allergies as it is naturally hypoallergenic. Omega 3 essential fatty acids contained in oily fish have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids can greatly aid skin itching and other minor dermatological complaints in many dogs. If you purchase Omega 3 supplements you’ll often find that cod liver oil is the main ingredient (fish oil/salmon oil is better than cod oil). By feeding a dog on a diet that includes fish, you can ensure your pet is receiving these supplemental benefits as nature intended.
Herring are very high in the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. They are also a good source of vitamin D. Like other fish, Herring can help with a dog’s skin and coat, decrease inflammation, and aid the immune system. Herring is a low calorie source of both protein and fat: 3.5 ounces of herring have about 158 kcals, 18 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. Fun fact the Herring is also known as the Bulldog fish cause of its characteristic protruding lower jaw, that looks like the jaw of a bull dog.
Are there any negative effects of adding fish to a Dog’s diet?
Naturally, too much of anything is a bad thing. Imbalance of vitamins or too many calories is something dog owners should try to avoid. Heavy metals accumulate in long-lived fish like tuna and swordfish and can raise some health concerns, particularly when it comes to mercury. Because of the high levels of mercury found in these long-lived fish, as seen in this list of mercury levels released by the FDA, it might be wise to avoid giving your dog tuna and similar fish to eat. Make sure to buy high quality fish (where you know where it is caught and there are no high mercury levels) or try fish capsules or fish oils.
Benefits of adding fish to a Dog’s diet
Adding fish to your dog’s diet can make a very big difference. I would highly recommend adding fish to your dog’s diet especially for Bulldogs and dogs with skin/coat problems, allergies or cysts. But in general, for all dogs, adding fish to a Dog’s diet has the following benefits: a shiny coat, improve digestion, reduce join paints, less shedding, reducing or even completely healing: cysts or skin inflammation, itching and dry skin.
Tell us your experience with adding fish to your Dog’s diet, what types of fish do you feed or what kind of oils/pill do you give?
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