It is no secret that adding fish to your dog’s diet has various health benefits. However, it has to be properly prepared and certain fish only qualify for it. So according to veterinarians – yes – fish is not only delicious but can form the basis for a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your dog.
So what are the benefits? We’re glad you asked! Here are the top 5 benefits of fish for dogs:
1. Nourishes the skin and coat of your pup
Fish is known for its bountiful source of fatty acids known as Omega 3. This fatty acid can help our pups achieve that shiny and healthy coat.
It also helps the skin by reducing itchiness and rashes especially with dogs who have certain skin conditions/allergies. Besides, Omega 3 acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and is beneficial for dogs with joint pains and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In addition, it keeps the lining of the nose healthy, which is essential in your dog’s excellent sense of smell!
Now let’s have a look at why fish also can be great for your pup’s joint health:
2. Promotes joint health in dogs
If prepared properly, a whole fish can be a great source of nutrition for your dog. This is due to the mineral, Calcium, that’s commonly found in fish bones which have benefits for dogs such as:
- Strengthens bones and teeth
- Helps with blood clotting
- Regulates muscle contractions and nerve functions
- Keeping a normal heartbeat
- Helps maintain healthy joints and tendons
Most fish are also abundant in vitamin D, and they are essential for your furkid’s health. This vitamin helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorous and in return, reduces the risk of heart complications. To put it in simple words, these nutrients contribute to keeping your pup strong and active either young or old.
Speaking of keeping your pup strong; Let’s see what fish can do for your dog’s immunity:
3. Strengthens immunity
The vitamins and minerals listed below are crucial for your dog to strengthen overall immunity, which is all found in salmons and mackerels! How amazing is that?
- It produces new cells and enzymes.
- Help process carbohydrates, fat, and protein in dog food.
- Has wound healing properties.
Vitamins B6, B12, and B13
- These vitamins help to deconstruct and release energy from food.
- Keeps the nervous system and skin healthy and helps form hemoglobin.
- Produces red blood cells that transport oxygen across the body thus keeping your pup active 24/7.
- Produces thyroid hormones which keep your dog’s metabolic rate healthy.
Selenium (Salmon and Sardine)
- Sustains cells and tissues.
So what if your dog struggles with allergies to various proteins? Then you may want to have a look at the next point:
4. Serves as a potential alternative for dogs with allergies
Having fish as a protein source may work well for dogs with allergies and intolerances. A few examples of intolerances are:
- Skin rashes and itching
- Ear infection
- Stomach ache
- Wind and diarrhea
Fish can be a good alternative for dogs with common food allergies to ingredients such as chicken, turkey or beef. Since the protein source in fish is not commonly used in dog food, there’s a possibility that the dog’s system won’t be able to recognize it as an allergen, therefore, minimizing an allergic reaction. As mentioned earlier, Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect which helps counter any inflammation caused by an allergic reaction. The benefits of fish for dogs just go on and on in the list.
That being said, it is always better to consult a vet before making any major changes to your pet’s daily diet.
5. Enhances vision
Vitamin A sourced in salmons are known to have 3 main benefits for dogs which are:
- Slows down age-related sight loss.
- It helps in the treatment of various eye diseases.
- Promotes good vision in low light.
Other than that, It also protects your pup by fending off illness and infections.
Another bonus is that …
Fish can be beneficial for older dogs too since it doesn’t overburden their digestive system. Feeding a fish diet helps to supplement the loss of collagen in older dogs. By doing that, they stay healthier and are more active throughout the rest of their life.
Fish has been known for its ability to impart so many good nutrients. It is a wonderful source of protein that is easily digestible for dogs, especially ones that are prone to tummy aches as quoted by Moddie. Since it is also relatively low in saturated fat, it may be able to help dogs who have weight issues. The benefits of fish for dogs are simply too good to be overlooked.
Naturally, too much of anything is a bad thing – whether it be fish, kibbles or any type of food. It is important to have a well-balanced diet, this basic concept doesn’t only apply to dogs but humans as well.
That being said, we always recommend to gradually add anything new to a dog’s diet. By doing that, we can help them avoid tummy aches that are uncalled for. As every dog is different, each owner has to consider certain factors when determining what diet will best suit your dog’s age, size, and lifestyle. It may take a lot of trial and error for some but the process will definitely be worth it.
Thanks for reading and feel free to let us know your thoughts down below!