Sardines are not just a healthy food for humans. They are also not just for cats, no matter what all the cartoons and TV shows have made you think. Did you know that you can feed sardines to your dog too? The great thing about it is that you can buy it almost anywhere today. Everybody knows that sardines are healthy for you, but did you know that they are also healthy canine food? Even though sardines are small compared to other fish, they are packed with healthy nutrients that can keep your canine healthy.
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Are Sardines Good For Your Dog?
This is probably the most important question so let’s get it out of the way first. Yes, they are good for your canine. And not just sardines, you can feed your pet other fish if you wish to feed him nutrient-rich food. This doesn’t mean that you should drastically change your dog’s diet and just feed him fish from now on. If you are already giving your canine a high-quality food than you don’t have to go overboard. Feeding Fido a couple of fishes over a period of a week will be enough to provide him with needed nutrients.
Health Benefits of Eating Sardines
It is a well-known fact that they are a great source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. These healthy proteins and fatty acids will make sure that your four legged companion’s coat and skin and shiny, smooth, and healthy. Also, your canine’s immune system will receive a significant boost after eating them. If your pet suffers from allergies, you should introduce them to his diet because they can reduce inflammation in the body which is usually caused by allergic reactions, arthritis, and various other medical conditions. In addition to that, studies claim that fatty acids can help your canine fight cancer and boost the development of a brain.
How Much Should Your Canine Eat?
When talking about the amount you should feed your pet, there are a couple of things you will need to keep in mind. First of all, the size of the pet is the most important factor. If you have a small pet, you should give him one each day. On the other hand, larger breeds should eat up to two per day. If you don’t like all the fuss with giving out a couple every day, you can feed smaller dogs with a whole can and larger breeds with two cans per week. Also, you can mix them with the canine food for a full healthy meal. Just make sure that you always buy smaller cans that your canine can eat in a day or two to preserve the freshness.
Keep It Under Control
Even though they are healthy for your pet, you need to know how much is enough. It doesn’t really matter how healthy it is and how much good proteins and fatty acids it contains if you are going to overfeed your pet with it. The best thing you can do is to give your vet a call before you introduce it to your pet. Your vet should be able to tell you how much and how often to feed sardines to your dog. Remember, this is extremely important if you care about your pet’s health. If you feed your pet too much, fatty acids can mess up his digestive system, prevent blood from clotting and even increase inflammations.
What About Canned Sardines?
Another important thing you need to know is which ones you can feed and which you can’t. Generally, speaking, yes, you can give canned ones. However, there are a couple of things you will need to keep in mind.
First of all, you should always look for the ones that are wild caught, salt-free and packed in water. Don’t forget these three things. Also, you will need to avoid canned ones that are full of sunflower oil, soy oil, ketchup, corn oil, and other omega-6 rich oils. The quality of every different food item varies. Always look for the packing oils full of omega-6 and check sodium levels. You should avoid both of those things.
Risks Of Feeding Your Canine Sardines
Now that you know about all the good things sardines have to offer, let’s talk about possible risks that come with them. Don’t worry, there are just a couple of things that can cause problems for your dog. First of all, there is always a chance of mercury poisoning. All fish contain mercury in traces, and if you overeat fish, there is a chance that you will end up with mercury poisoning. Same goes for your pet. Also, fish are strange creatures which mean that their skeletons are also somewhat strange.
There is always a risk of a stray bone when eating a fish. Due to these risks, some owners avoid feeding their dogs with fish, and that is totally fine. If you are responsible enough to make sure that you are giving a good quality sardines to your pet, he should be ok. They are generally safe fish to eat. You won’t find too much mercury in sardines because they are small and they don’t live for too long. Also, their bones are soft which means that there is almost no risk of choking on a bone.