Raw meats are an excellent way to provide dogs with all the minerals, nutrients and proteins they require. Their diets and teeth lend themselves to meat, so it’s essential that you give enough of it to your precious pup every day. But, there’s a bit of a debate when it comes to raw fish.
Is it safe to feed raw fish to dogs and how do you prepare raw fish for dogs? Many vets are adamant about not giving raw fish to your dog because of the parasites, bacteria and mercury it contains. That said, in small amounts and in moderation, it’s okay for a dog to eat it on occasion. But you should never feed it as a whole meal.
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What Are the Dangers in Giving Raw Fish to Dogs?
The reason why so many vets warn against giving raw fish to dogs is due to parasites, bacteria and high levels of mercury. Unfortunately, worms and parasites are a common component to fish. Things like tapeworms, flukes and roundworms are almost always in a single piece of fish.
And then, there’s the matter of mercury and other toxins present in most fish. Therefore, any fish you do decide to feed your dog, you must source it and know where it came from. Plus, it’s a good idea to wash it before you freeze it and once it’s thawed.
What Kinds of Raw Fish Can Dogs Eat?
Fatty fish is the best kind of fish for dogs. This means they can eat things like anchovies, salmon, sardines, smelt, trout, herring and mackerel.
All these are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which provide antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory benefits. This means it’s good for your pup’s bones, muscles and joints. Dogs require about 330 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per day, so fish is ideal in meeting this requirement.
What Kinds of Fish Should You Avoid Giving to a Dog?
There are a few types of fish you should never give your dog. Things like swordfish, shark and tilefish will upset your dog’s stomach and harm its digestive system. Even if you cook it, don’t give it to your dog.
Never give a salted, smoked or seasoned fish to your dog. This means no smoked salmon. Even if the salmon is plain, there are an increased number of poisonings in dogs that consume salmon from the Pacific Ocean. This is why many pet owners will avoid feeding it because it’s difficult to know where it comes from.
Tuna, Canned Fish & Fish Skins
Don’t feed your dog raw tuna, you should always cook it first. In the event you want to give canned tuna, only serve the kind that comes unsalted in spring water. Do not give a dog canned tuna that sits in oil. This is also true for canned sardines and anchovies.
Also, there’s a prevalent practice among many dog owners of giving their canines raw fish skins. This isn’t advisable. A majority of the poisons and toxins that fish incur rests in the skin. Plus, the scales may cause your dog to choke. It’s better to serve pieces of fish without any skin attached.
How Do You Serve Raw Fish to a Dog?
First, freeze the fish for three weeks to kill off any parasites and bacteria living inside the fish. Then, debone it (if necessary). When you know it’s free of bones, grind it up or mash it down to add it as a supplement to their kibble or wet food. You can also add some of it to a homemade dog food recipe too.
Also the amount you feed your dog will depend on the size of your pooch. Small dogs can have up to 33 grams of fish for every 10 pounds of body weight. For medium to jumbo sized dogs, this goes up to 100 grams of fish per 30 pounds of body weight.
Spread this amount out over the course of a week, don’t feed it all to your dog in one day. Never serve raw fish as the whole of a meal. At the very least, mix it in or top their kibble with it.
Fish & Pork Recipe for Mature Mutts
The following recipe is for mature dogs that love to eat fish. This is for an average 50-pound dog and will last for about a week. When you make it, you’ll have just over 11 pounds total. This is simple, fairly quick and your canine companion is sure to love it.
There are a few notes to be aware of before you begin making this. If your dog struggles with its weight, be sure to give it smaller portions. This is because the recipe contains about 477 calories per pound. However, don’t change the ingredients too much because you’ll zap the recipe of all the rich vitamins and nutrients packed within.
Items You’ll Need
- Grinder or Knife with a Cutting Board
- Food Processor or Blender
- Large Mixing Bowl & Spoon
- Freezer-Safe Bags or Containers
- 5 lbs Ground Pork (96% lean)
- 3 lbs Pork Hearts
- 1 lb Pork Livers
- 1 lb Wild-Caught Oily Fish
- 12 oz Berries (blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries or a mix of all)
- 8 oz Kale (about 3 large stalks)
- 5 oz Broccoli (about one or two stalks)
- 4 oz Dandelion Greens (about 2 cups)
- 6 Tbsp Powdered Seaweed or Bone Meal
- 1 Tbsp Hemp Hearts
- 3 tsp Olive Oil
- Debone the fish you’re using, if there are any. Then add the fish along with the pork hearts and livers into the grinder or chop the meat up into tiny bits.
- In the blender or food processor, puree the berries, bone meal, broccoli, dandelion greens, hemp hearts and olive oil.
- Take the large mixing bowl and a spoon and blend together the ground pork and the chopped meat bits along with the berry-veggie puree.
- You can serve a portion to your dog and then portion out meals in freezer-safe containers.