Can I Give My Dog Fish As Food?
When shopping for dog food, you will surely notice that the list of ingredients usually includes fish. However, just because this is a common ingredient in commercial canine foods doesn’t mean that it is safe for your pooch to eat leftover fish. If you are wondering if you can give your dog fish, there are a few important things you have to keep in mind.
Fish and Its Benefits for Your Dog
There is actually a reason why dog love the smell of fish. Fish is great protein source, and this is usually a part of ingredients in commercial foods as an alternative source of protein. Fish also contains omega 3 fatty acids that can also have some health perks like decreasing inflammation. This is also an ideal alternative for canines suffering from food allergies to common ingredients such as chicken.
While it is a vital part of home-cooked diet, if you want to add fish to it, make sure you check with your vet or a professional veterinary nutritionist to ensure that you still meet all the nutritional needs of your dog. On the first time you give fish to your dog, give just a small amount until you are sure that your pooch could tolerate the fish with no gastro-intestinal upset or allergic reaction.
What is the Best Fish for Canines?
The sea is filled with different types of fish, yet the most common ones added to commercial foods are the shorter-lived species such as ocean whitefish, salmon, herring, lake whitefish, flounder, Arctic char, and flounder. Meanwhile, longer-lived species such as swordfish and tuna may contain some heavy metals such as mercury. Over time, mercury can build up in the body of the fish and can cause heavy metal toxicity. This is why it is more preferable to feed canines with shorter-lived species than swordfish or tuna.
How About Fish Bones?
Those fish bones may be small but it is their size and brittleness that make them dangerous. These can lodge in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and stomach of your dog, and sometimes, even perforate organ wall. This is not only painful as it can also lead to an expensive vet visit. Although there are a lot of anecdotal stories where canines eat fish bones with no problems at all, it is always better to play safe by listening to what the vets have to say.
Can You Give Raw Fish to Your Pooch?
Raw fish carries the risks of containing harmful bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. There are two reasons why this is a problem. One, this can make your pet sock, and the second reason is that this can also make you and other family members ill. It is particularly a serious problem for small kids who are often in close contact with your pet’s saliva compared to adults, as well as for people who have compromised immune systems. If you are planning to feed your pet with raw diet containing fish, follow the advice of the experts. Disinfect every surface and bowl properly after use and wash your hands.