Read This Before Feeding Your Dog Sardines!

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Do you want to share some sardines with your pet dog?

Great news! Canines can also benefit from consuming this nutrient-rich fish.

Can I Give My Dog Sardines?In fact, you may even begin to notice that your dog has healthier fur once getting into a routine of feeding sardines weekly.

And for older dogs in particular, mobility could improve a bit due to the anti-inflammatory properties.

Feeding Your Dog Sardines is a Great Idea

This fish is great for your pet’s immune system.

Perhaps you’ve heard that sardines are harmful because they contain mercury.

While that is true, in our view, it is nothing to worry about. Overall the benefits outweigh that downside and sardines are healthy.

A Fabulous Fish For Dogs

Sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA which is linked to brain health.

It’s these same oils that could greatly improve your dog’s coat and skin.

And, as previously mentioned, animals with allergies or arthritis-related inflammation may also benefit. Basically, consumption of this fish is a natural way to relieve mild stiffness and improve mobility.

Bottom line: Sardines offer benefits for all dogs, from puppies to seniors.

Home Cooked Versus Tinned

Are you planning to feed your dog store-bought tinned sardines?

Make sure they are in spring water.

Avoid the brine or oil type because they usually contain high sodium. Better yet, get fresh sardines and cook them yourself!

Of course, one advantage to the tinned variety is that the fish may already be boneless.

Recommendation: For consistency, consider holistic sardine and salmon dry dog food.

Must Remove Any Hard Bones

Serve sardines without the bones unless they are in a softened state.


Choking is the top concern, not the mercury levels.

Ensure your dog’s safety by visually inspecting the bones.

Once confirmed, your dog is ready for feeding time. Simply mixing sardines in with regular chow is one way to do it!

Warning: A small, hard bone can easily get lodged in the throat. This can be quite serious.

Determining Portion Size

Your dog’s size generally will determine how many sardines they should eat.

One tin, but not more than 200 calories, once or twice a week is ideal for 20-40 pound breeds. Larger dogs may benefit from bigger portions.

Have a policy of moderation, especially at first.

You are likely giving too much if your dog’s bowel movements are substantially different.

Feed Fish With Fatty Acids

Dogs are omnivorous.

Like humans, but to a lesser extent, they are able to eat meat as well as fish and vegetables.

It is smart to feed tuna, mackerel or salmon occasionally. It makes sense anytime you can provide omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and quality protein.

Most owners and their pet pooches aren’t eating enough fresh fish!

The Bottom Line

This fish may not be appealing to you, but your dog will love sardines.

It is healthy for canines to consume sardines. Omega-3 is a powerful nutrient.

Nevertheless, limit your dog’s portions and try to keep sodium intake to a minimum. And be sure to remove any potentially dangerous bones.

Mercury, thankfully, is not a major concern.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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14 thoughts on “Read This Before Feeding Your Dog Sardines!”

  1. Trader Joe’s also has tinned sardines in spring water. I’ve been mashing a small pinch into my 17 pound dog’s food and he’s obsessed!

  2. I began feeding my dog sardines because she had a terrible dry skin problem. Within a month her skin improved dramatically, but she now has acid reflux. While researching that I discovered that sardines can cause acid reflux because of the very high oil content. So I have sadly quit feeding her sardines. I’ve never read about this potential problem anywhere else. Everyone talks like sardines are so good for dogs!

    1. We drain sardines in oil and you could wipe of any excess with a kitchen towel. We don’t because the oil is good for furballs. Sardines also come in tomato sauce.

  3. Can dogs have sardines in spring water if they have pancreatitis?

  4. How much a portion of sardines should be fed to a Chihuahua?

  5. I have been giving Wally, our Australian Kelpie/Bull Terrier, around 50 grams of sardines a day. He weighs 43 kilograms. Is this an acceptable amount?

  6. My Patterdale Terrier has a sensitive tummy and eats grain-free dry food. The vet said her skin was very dry so I give her sardines daily, while decreasing her dry food.

    I just mash them up with her dry food and she loves it. The scratching has virtually stopped and it doesn’t affect her tummy either.

  7. I’ve been giving my 9 year old, 33 kilogram rescue Lurcher a small tin of 120 grams a day with a quality complete dog biscuits. Am I giving her too much sardines?

  8. Have started feeding my young Saluki tinned sardines, after a bit of research, to try add a bit of fat to his kibble which is wheat, dairy and soya-free due to a sensitive tummy. He is extremely high energy and therefore not gaining weight, just burning it off. How much should I supplement to assist with weight gain?

    1. Wheat, dairy and soy have nothing to do with a sensitive tummy. Those ingredients don’t belong in any dog’s tummy. They are not a healthy part of a canine diet. Period.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

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

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