Fish can be an excellent protein to give to your dog, especially if your pet is allergic to meat. Due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, fish can improve your dog’s health. Here are some reasons to include fish in your dog’s diet.
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients in your dog’s food or other brands of dog food in the store, you know that many of them contain fish. However, just because it is used as an ingredient in dog food does not mean that your dog can safely eat any fish. If you want to include fish in your dog’s diet, here’s what you need to know.
What Fish Can I Feed My Dog?
Fish come in many varieties, but those mostly used in dog food recipes are cod, salmon, whitefish, herring, catfish, toothfish, and char since they have a short life-span. Species with longer life spans, such as tuna and swordfish, may contain heavy metals such as mercury which is harmful to dogs. It can accumulate in the fish’s body and cause heavy metal poisoning, so it is best to choose foods that contain fish species with short lifespans.
What Fish Should Not Be Fed to Dogs?
Some fish are caught when they are larger, which may contain high levels of parasites and mercury. These fish should not be given to dogs. These fish are not suitable for dogs:
- King Mackerel
- Tomato fish
- Albacore tuna
Benefits of Fish for Your Dog
Dogs are fond of the smell of fish which is rich in protein and often found in commercial dog foods as an alternative protein source. Veterinarians also believe it beneficial to a dog’s health because fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, fish is a good alternative for dogs that are allergic to common ingredients such as chicken.
Here are some other benefits of including fish in your dog’s diet:
1) Healthy and Resistant
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to make your dog’s coat shinier, thicker, and firmer.
2) Improved Immunity
Vitamins and minerals are essential for a dog’s immune system, and some fish species, such as salmon and mackerel, are rich in these. For example, zinc improves the ability to absorb carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and enhances wound healing. Iron builds red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood and keep puppies active throughout the day. Iodine produces thyroid hormones and keeps the dog’s metabolism healthy.
3) Improves vision
Some ingredients found in fish, such as vitamin A in salmon, can help prevent the development of eye problems and diseases and improve vision in the dark.
4) Helps Reduce Inflammation
Fish oil can help reduce inflammation in your dog. Many dogs suffer from diseases caused by inflammation as they age. Eating fish can help solve these problems in dogs. Feeding fish to older dogs can help relieve pain caused by arthritis and swelling.
5) Reduction of Allergies
As mentioned above, fish protein is an excellent alternative for dogs allergic to chicken, beef, or turkey who suffer from dermatitis, itching, and swelling.
Are There Any Contraindications or Warnings?
Fish is an excellent food for your dog, but there are some precautions you should take to ensure that it does not cause problems for your pet.
Choose the right species: Opt for fish with short life spans. Fish with longer life spans, such as tuna, mackerel, and sea bass, may contain more heavy metals and toxins.
Watch the amount of fat: Fat is the best energy source for dogs, as long as it is the right kind of fat. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are a good choice. These can help lower your dog’s cholesterol, improve coat health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help them live longer.
Cook fish: Raw fish can contain large amounts of bacteria and parasites that can cause tummy problems in your dog. Cooked fish is safer and easier for dogs to digest.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!