Sardines are probably not one of the foods that you would necessarily think of feeding to your dog, but maybe rather to your cat.
It turns out that this tiny fish, as well as being good for people, is also a great food option for dogs, providing many health benefits. Being rich in proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids, canned sardines can help support your dog’s health and wellbeing while providing a great alternative to regular dog food.
Keep reading to find more about can dogs eat canned sardines, and why you should consider adding them to the diet of your furry friend.
Protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Canned sardines are a very useful means of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which carry various positive health effects. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are considered as ‘brain food’ for your pet.
Omega 3 fatty acids, which canned sardines contain in large amounts, can help to reduce risk of inflammation and can provide some protection against other types of illnesses and diseases, they also help with maintaining the kidneys, heart and joints.
The only thing to keep your mind on is the high amount of oil in canned sardines, and when feeding canned sardines to your dog you should start off by giving your dog smaller amounts before gradually working your way up to bigger portions.
Other possible sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are: Krill oil, Calamari oil, and Cod liver oil.
Canned sardines have lower mercury levels
There is some controversy going on about people feeding fish to their pets because of the possibly high amounts of mercury inside them, and a general scare of their pet getting mercury toxicity.
Almost all forms of seafood and fish contain some level of mercury which comes from a variety of sources, mainly pollutants in the water, and it is inevitable that sardines will contain mercury.
Thankfully, when compared to larger fish, such as tuna, which is also available in canned forms, sardines contain much lower and therefore, safer levels, making them much more suitable for feeding to dogs.
Water over oil for canned fish
If we want to get to the specifics, buying sardines in water is a little bit better than buying sardines packed in oil.
It’s not like the ones packed in oil are harmful, it’s just better to not go overboard with the amount of oil we are giving to our dogs as oil can increase your dog’s weight and possibly upset his stomach.
Also, the water that comes with the sardines almost serves like a dressing for any other meal that you give to your pet; it can be poured over dog biscuits, for example, and serve like a kind of gravy.
Also, it’s a great way to disguise medicine to your pet; crush up the pills into a paste and mix with the sardine gravy, chances are they won’t even taste the medicine!
Portions depending on weight
Like many foods it is important to consider just how much we feed to our dogs, to prevent health problems and weight gain.
Canned sardines are a healthy option but too many can have the reverse effect.
Thankfully there are some guidelines out there regarding how many canned sardines we can feed to our dog based on their weight.
A dog below 5lbs can eat up to about 2 sardines, whereas a dog above 51lbs is able to eat about 14 sardines.
Again, nothing harmful will happen if your dog goes “over the limit” but it is more a matter of not overdoing it with the oils, the fats, and the salt, just like a human would not want to overdo it either.
Overall, if you haven’t considered it yet, you might as well start thinking about adding sardines into your dog’s diet.
It is probably one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that your dog can have, as this particular small fish has a very low amount of mercury in it when compared to other fish that might be available to your dog.
In addition to the many health benefits for joints, kidneys, and lowering the risk of illness, dogs also find sardines incredibly tasty, especially the water and the oil in which they are packed.
So, although you may think it strange feeding fish to your dog, they enjoy it immensely and you’ll find that your dog will love the occasional can of sardines every now and then.
Now you have your answer to the question can dogs eat canned sardines. Try it out and you will be surprised by the satisfaction a few tiny fish can bring.