Why fish should be a core part of your dog's raw diet
When considering a species-appropriate diet for dogs, it's easy to focus simply on red and white meats. While these are a strong base for BARF and Prey Model Raw (PMR) diets, sometimes the role of good quality, fresh fish can be overlooked.
Is fish really part of a natural canine diet, though?
Check out these grey wolves, who sometimes opt to go fishing, even when there are plenty of deer available!
The right types of fish at the right quantities can be a very beneficial part of your pup's diet. Apart from them appreciating the bit of variety, here’s why:
Fish is a fantastic source of Omega-3 fatty acids, an important part of any diet. It plays a critical role in balancing levels of Omega-6, thereby helping prevent inflammation.
Omega-3 has also been shown to help with:
- Skin conditions
- Kidney function
- Cognitive function
- Regulation of blood-clotting activity
- Reduction of reaction to pollen and other environmental triggers
While fish oil supplements can be useful to hit your pup’s Omega-3 targets, we would caution against relying on them entirely. Fish oil concentrate is vulnerable to oxidation - exposure to light, heat and oxygen, which not only lessens its effectiveness but can also be a cause of cellular damage.
Instead, why not reduce your reliance on these supplements and introduce some good quality fresh fish? Mackerel is an excellent source of Omega-3 and we handpick ours as soon as they come ashore.
They don't get much fresher than that!
Fish is a fantastic source of clean protein, and is full of the essential amino acids your dog needs for optimum health. Along with this, it is:
- Comparably low in calories to other protein sources so is great for weight control
- An alternative protein for dogs who may have developed allergies
- Great for older dogs and those with tummy upsets as it’s so easily digested
- As always, balance is key. We like to use fish as a dietary ‘top-up’, once or twice weekly rather than every day
- Opt for wild caught rather than farmed fish to avoid contaminants
- We don’t recommend feeding raw salmon to dogs as it can contain a potentially dangerous parasite
- If you decide to feed canned fish, choose a variety packed in water instead of oil or sauce
- The first time you feed fish, start with a small portion to test for any intolerance
Our fish have been chosen specifically because they are smaller, shorter-living and lower down the oceanic food chain. This means they are some of the lowest mercury-containing varieties available!
If you’d like some advice about fish specific to your dog, feel free to contact us on email@example.com or on Facebook. We’re always happy to help!