Sardines are abundant in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean seas. They are revered for their nutritional benefits, as well as their lower levels of mercury. However, these soft boned fish are highly perishable, so they are most often found canned rather than fresh. Although they are not that popular in the USA, sardines are especially popular in the Mediterranean diet and, as well as being considered very healthy for human consumption, they are also considered a healthy food for dogs.
Health Benefits of Sardines
Sardines are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and are considered oily fish, which means that they have a high level of omega fatty acids. They are also rich in coenzyme Q10, vitamin B, and vitamin D. They also have the benefit of being easy to prepare and most dogs enjoy the smell and the taste of this little fish.
Their size, and the fact that they live primarily on plankton, means that they have lower mercury levels than a lot of other fish. Mercury poisoning can cause severe problems with the cardiovascular system, nervous system, kidneys, and digestive system. The bigger the fish, the higher the level of mercury they possess, and the greater the risk of mercury poisoning.
Sardines contain the following beneficial ingredients:
How To Prepare Sardines for Your Dog
As well as being healthy for your dog, sardines are blissfully easy to prepare. They can be fed raw or cooked. If you are feeding raw, you should try to remove the bones. Although sardines are considered soft boned, they can still be quite hard when the fish is raw as they haven’t been boiled to the point of disintegration like they have in canned sardines.
If you want to cook them before giving them to your dog, the best approach is to lightly steam them. This ensures that the fish retains most of its nutritional value, and it will retain plenty of flavor and oil that will make the food even more appealing for your pooch.
Are Canned Sardines Healthy For Dogs?
Canned sardines are prepared and ready cooked. They have usually been boiled, and they have been boiled so hard that the bones have turned to mush. This means that you can simply open the can and transfer the fish from can to bowl. However, you do need to take heed of what the fish is stored in.
Can Dogs Eat Sardines In Olive Oil?
Natural oils like olive oil and coconut oil are fine, but you should avoid processed sauces and brine. Brine is just salt water, which can dehydrate your dog and may cause sickness. Freshwater and spring water are common liquids, and these are also considered healthy for your dog.
How Many Sardines Can A Dog Eat?
Dogs can benefit from having sardines as little as twice a week, but they can cope with having the food every day. Similarly, the size of the breed will determine how many sardines you should feed. Small dogs can eat a single, small sardine a day, while larger dogs can have one large sardine each day, or even a whole raw sardine.
Alternatives To Sardines
Sardines are a healthy and beneficial source of different vitamins and minerals. They are a good protein source and, as such, they can form the basis of your dog’s weekly diet.
However, some dogs don’t enjoy them, and in some parts of the world, they could be difficult to find and prove expensive to feed regularly. Fish alternatives that you can give your dog are mackerel and wild pink salmon. But, if your dog doesn’t like the taste of sardines, there is a good chance they won’t like the taste of these other fish. Look for supplements and feed meat-based protein sources from their daily diet.
Are Sardines Safe For Dogs?
Sardines are not only considered safe for dogs, they are a healthy addition to their diet. They contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin. You can feed them canned, raw, or cooked sardines. If you know your pooch likes this treat, you can offer a small sardine a day to small dogs, and a large sardine a day for large dogs.
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