Can I Give My Dog Sardines?

Can I Give My Dog Sardines?Sardines may be an excellent supplementary protein meal for dogs. This type of fish adds variety and could help your pet pooch maintain a nice shiny coat. That’s just the beginning since the nutritional benefits are numerous. Let’s take a closer look.

The advantages of giving the family dog sardines on a weekly basis far outweigh any negatives. Feeding some a couple of times per week is also a pleasant addition to your canines’s boring kibble.

Sardines can help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation if your dog has joint issues. It’s also good for the brain and may even protect against allergies. There are so many positive aspects so learn more!

Can I Give My Dog Sardines? Answer: Yes, they are healthy

Some owners mix this type of fish in with regular dog food.

There are those who say sardines may be harmful because most fish contain some level of mercury. That may be true but, in our view, it’s nothing to worry about. There are downsides to every food on the planet. The truth is that your dog will mostly benefit from consuming sardines in moderation.

Probably the best way to consistently provide this healthy fish is with a high quality sardine and salmon dry dog food.

The Advantages of Sardines

Sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which is linked to brain health. This type of fish, and its oils, can also help any dog maintain a great coat and skin. Canines with inflammation, due to allergies or arthritis, may benefit since sardines are known to be a natural way to relieve mild stiffness and improve mobility.

So, you see, it makes sense that sardines are ideal for puppies as well as senior dogs. In general, owners and their pet pooches are not eating enough fish and sardines are one way to go!

Home Cooked vs. Tinned

If you plan to feed your dog store-bought tinned sardines make sure they are in spring water. Avoid the brine or oil type as they usually contain high sodium. Purchasing fresh sardines and cooking them yourself is a super treat and a great strategy! Of course, one advantage to the tinned variety is that the fish may already be boneless.

Always Remove the Bones

It’s very important to serve sardines without the bones. This is the most dangerous factor, choking, despite what you’ve heard about mercury. Check the label on the tin to ensure your dog’s safety, but visually inspect regardless of what the product claims. If need be, you can remove any bones fairly easily. Once that’s confirmed, your dog is ready for feeding time.

Make no mistake, a small bone can easily get lodged in the throat which can be quite serious and scary.

Determining Portion Size

Your dog’s size is the main factor for deciding how many sardines they should get at any given serving. One tin, but not more than 200 calories, once or twice a week is ideal for breeds between 20 to 40 pounds. Larger dogs may benefit from bigger portions. Use your best judgement with moderation in mind or consider getting a freeze-dried sardine product made for pet dogs.

If your dog’s bowel movements are substantially changed then you are probably providing too much.

Some Other Fish Options

Dogs are omnivorous, like humans but to a lesser extent, so they are able to eat meat, fish and vegetables. Feeding Fido some tuna, mackerel or salmon occasionally is smart. It’s an easy decision anytime you can provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids as well as quality protein.

Conclusion on Sardines

This type of fish may not be appealing to you but your dog will likely love sardines. There are many health benefits associated with canines occasionally consuming sardines. Omega-3 is a very powerful nutrient. Just limit your dog’s portions, avoid the highly salted kind as well as remove any bones prior to serving. Mercury is not a real concern in our opinion. Sardines, more than ever, are being incorporated into quality commercial dog food for good reasons.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Darren October, 2014

I have been giving my 3-legged, ten year old jack Russell sardines for the past couple of months. Suddenly she can jump up onto the sofa and bed, something she hasn’t been able to do for about three years. It’s really weird, like it happened overnight. I can’t imagine this is coincidence.

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Peggy February, 2015

Darren, that’s very good to know. I have a once-active Jack Russell Terrier. He’s about 8 pounds overweight and with it being winter and knee-deep in snow, I can’t get him out for our daily walks. Changing him to a grain-free kibble, along with fresh ground broiled meat 5 days a week, and salmon and/or sardines 2 days per week seems to be helping. He’s lost 2 pounds! Plus the constant licking and nibbling at his skin and paws has decreased greatly.

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Mona July, 2013

Sardine bones are soft. The bones add nutrition. I’ve been feeding my dogs sardines with bones in them for years and have never run across one problem. Just mix them in with dry kibble. No need for bread.

Also olive oil is good for dogs, just make sure the cans are BPA free! Trader Joe’s has BPA free sardine cans and they are reasonably priced. I split one can of sardines twice a week between my Cockapoos while decreasing their kibble on those days.

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James July, 2013

Hi Mona. Thanks for sharing your sardine strategy with us. Trader Joe’s is great by the way!

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