Can Dogs and Cats Eat Fish?
Health Benefits of Sardines and Other Small, Oily Fish for Dogs and Cats
You may be asking yourself, can dogs eat fish? What are the healthiest fish to feed a dog or cat? As with anything, that really depends on what your goals for feeding are. Today, I wanted to talk about the health benefits of sardines for dogs and cats. Sardines are full of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B12, coenzyme Q10, and amino acids.
Many dedicated pet parents are looking for natural joint supplements for dogs and cats. When possible, I try to feed Dexter the Dog or Nutter the Cat whole foods to address any kind of medical condition. I personally have been rotating small, oily fish such as sardines, smelt, and anchovies into their diet for as long as I’ve been preparing fresh foods for the two of them.
Small, oily fish such as sardines provide pets with healthy fats such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), otherwise known as omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients are vital to maintain optimal health. They are the building blocks of tissue in the brain and retina of the eye. As our pets age, their bodies start to produce less EPA and DHA, which decreases cognition and eyesight.
Omega 3 fatty acids provided by sardines play an important role in the cardiovascular system by providing healthy unsaturated fat that helps reduce inflammation that can damage the blood vessels leading to heart disease.
Feeding your pet small sardines is a great way to provide him with healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Because these healthy fish are small, they are lower in any heavy metals, and their bones are soft and can be fed whole, no deboning needed.
Sardines for dogs and cats can be found in a variety of forms. You can purchase sardines for your pet in a ground sardine “chub,” feed from a small can packed in water, find frozen whole, as dehydrated treats, or even fresh from your fish market! For small pets, one small sardine a day would be beneficial. For the larger dogs, two or a larger sardine is a good option. You can even feed your pet a whole meal of sardines once a week.
Here’s a quick healthy smelt treat recipe for both cats and dogs. Super easy.
- 1 pound small fish of choice
Place all the smelt in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate until the smelt are dry, approximately 8-10 hours. Allow to fully cool. Store in glass containers in the freezer until you are ready to feed your pet. Allow to defrost for about 10 minutes before feeding. Easy!
References: https://drhoffman.com/article/what-are-epadha-13/, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614, https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/07/28/pet-omega.aspx
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