Nutritionists say you should eat fish at least two times a week. The Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower blood pressure and reduce your chances of getting diabetes and cancer. Perhaps your dog could also benefit from fish servings? We’ll cover many of the pros and cons here.
In general, fresh fish provides a great source of amino acids which improves metabolism and can also help with weight loss. But is this even relevant for canines? In any case, with so many health benefits, people often wonder if dogs can be put on a fish-based diet.
Dogs and humans both need similar nutrients to survive and function normally. The main difference is that proteins for dogs have, over many thousands of years, been overwhelmingly been derived from consuming land-based animals.
Can I Give My Dog Fish? Answer: In small amounts on occasion
However, your dog probably shouldn’t have a diet based primarily on fish.
There’s no good reason to exclude fish from your dog’s diet altogether. You do, however, need to watch out for something called salmon poisoning. This can occur if your dog eats uncooked salmon containing potentially fatal parasites. If spoiled, all other kinds of raw fish may be equally harmful in this respect.
Fido & Fish Food
You can feed your dog many different types of cooked fish on occasion. It’s a great protein source for dogs as well as people. Naturally, there should be a limit. You shouldn’t give your dog their small fish servings more than, perhaps, twice a week. By doing that, you are avoiding mercury poisoning. You also need to be very careful not to include any tiny bones so fillets may be best.
Everyone knows that consuming fish offers great health benefits. People in North America probably don’t eat enough fish. I’d say people need fish more than dogs do. Try not to go overboard and be sure that your dog eats fish only in moderation.
Omega-3 & Amino Acids
The omega-3 found in fish contain what are considered good fats. In contrast, most meats have high levels of saturated fat. Fish doesn’t contain such unhealthy fats. Fish oil is great as well. It’s used for treating many different diseases plus it seems to have positive effects for dogs with aggression problems.
Regarding amino acids, some are produced in your dog’s body already. However, the most essential of them must be derived from their food supply. Meats, including fish, will help top up their amino-acid levels assuming they are lacking in these important organic compounds.
Different Types of Fish
Different types of fish are beneficial for different reasons. It can be confusing because there are a lot of fish varieties to choose from. As an example, salmon contains the required daily dose of vitamin D and about half of the recommended dose of vitamin B12. Generally, dogs can benefit greatly from occasionally eating salmon since it provides them with lots of essential proteins. However, as stated above, you have to make sure that salmon is cooked well enough before you feed it to your dog.
Another type is sardines which can contain soft digestible bones for a calcium boost. They also provide a quarter of a daily dose of magnesium which can help with mood, among other benefits.
Careful of The Bones
Unfortunately, the presence of fish bones are not so obvious and are often sharp which can certainly be harmful for your dog as they chow down. This is one down side to serving fish, besides edible whole sardines which are safe. These pesky fish bones can easily get stuck in the throat or further down your dog’s digestive system. Carefully provide your dog some fish by screening it closely for difficult to see bones!
Conclusion on Fish
Dogs love eating fish and you’ll be happy to know that cooked fish is okay to provide in moderation. You do, however, still need to provide well-balanced meals for your canine friend so limit their fish consumption to a couple times weekly. Certain fish species may be more beneficial than others depending on your dog’s nutritional needs. Finally, it’s best to cook the fish before feeding time while also carefully checking for bones prior to serving.