Since summertime is approaching, you are likely going to eat more fish and grill some fish outside on those warm summer evenings. You may be wondering if you can share some of the fish you are eating for dinner with your favorite, furry friend. Good news is, your dog can enjoy most varieties of fish and it possesses some very healthy vitamins and nutritional benefits for your pooch.
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Sings of a Dog Liking Fish & Fishy Food
If your dog does not like the fish you give them, they will generally let you know pretty quickly that they are not a fan. Your dog may ignore the food completely after a few sniffs and walk away. Alternatively, your dog may sniff the food very intently for a while as if he/she is trying to figure out what this new type of food is and why it smells so bad.
If your dog doesn't like fish, they may also bark at the piece of food, paw at it, play bow in front of it, or give it the "ugly face" while they snarl and show their teeth. Some dogs will even fling the food around like they are playing with it.
If your dog does like fish, they will eat it without any issue, beg for more, paw at your leg to let you know they want more, lick their lips, and drool.
- Wag tail
- Lip licking
- Paw raised
- Ears up
- Pacing around you and the food
- Staring at you
- Excessive drooling
- Begging for more
History of Dogs and Fish
As dogs became domesticated and evolved into the animals we know and love today, their diets changed and the consumption of fish diminished even more. Today, we generally only feed our dogs a kibble-based diet and do not provide them with any whole, fresh, either cooked or raw, meats or fish.
People who switch their dog to a fully raw diet, or even a partially raw diet, tend to see a huge improvement in their dog's overall health or relief if they are suffering from a particular issue. Many dog owners claim that once they switched their dog to a raw diet - that often included fish - their dogs gas, stomach, and GI issues improved or disappeared completely.
Science Behind Dogs And Fish
Fish contains a high level of protein that is not fatty and is quite lean. It also has a lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep your dog's skin and coat strong, healthy, and shiny. It is also known to decrease inflammation in the body, so this is a particularly good food to include in your dog's diet if they suffer from conditions like arthritis. Just make sure to remember that you cannot just feed your dog fish alone, as they need other sources of nutrients as well.
Training Dogs to Like Fish
- Ocean Whitefish
- Lake whitefish
- Arctic char
These types of fish are great cooked and then fed to your dog along with other sources of nutrients. When cooking fish for your dog, avoid cooking with heavy, fatty butter or salt and pepper. Simply bake the fish in the oven on a non-stick surface with a little bit of healthy, organic and virgin coconut oil. The simpler the preparation, the better for your pooch.
You want to avoid feeding your dog fish that is considered a long-lived fish like tuna and swordfish. The longer a fish lives, the more heavy metals are able to accumulate within the fish's body. The metal of most worry is mercury, which can cause reproductive and neurological issues.
Most of the fish that is caught in the Pacific Ocean has the highest levels of heavy metals, mercury, and other radioactive materials that need to be avoided as much as possible in both you and your dog's diet. Therefore, it is best to stick to the low mercury level fish varieties like salmon and cod. You can find these kinds of fish for relatively inexpensive, especially when they go on sale. Make sure you are only buying wild-caught fish from the Atlantic Ocean and always avoid farm raised fish - this is a particular issue for salmon.
How To React If Your Dog Likes Fish:
Include it as a regular staple in your dog's diet.
Research into different types of fish that are best for dogs.
Consider using fish in homemade dog treats.
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Fish:
Talk to your vet before feeding your dog raw fish.
Avoid fish known to contain a lot of heavy metals.
Do not overfeed your dog fish.