Why should I feed my dog Sardines?
Fish is the best source for the animal-based omega-3 fats : EPA and DHA.
Fish, and its oils, can help any dog maintain a great coat and skin. Canines with inflammation, due to allergies or arthritis, may benefit since omega-3's are known to be a natural way to relieve mild stiffness and improve mobility.
But due to increased pollution one has to be very picky about which types of seafood to eat.
Most major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals, and chemicals like dioxins, PCBs, and other agricultural chemicals that wind up in the environment. This is why it is no longer recommended to get your omega-3 requirements from fish.
However, there are exceptions, and the key is to understand which types of fish are the least contaminated.
Dr. Mercola of Mercola Healthy Pets says
Fortunately for us, the types of fish that tend to suffer the least amount of toxic contamination also happen to be some of the best sourcessources of fat and antioxidants. So, by choosing wisely, the benefits of a diet high in fish can still outweigh the risks.
The answer is smaller fish with short lifecycles.
A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will have accumulated. This includes:
In this post, we shall focus on Sardines.
Sardines are a small schooling fish that roam the open oceans eating plankton and small crustaceans. They are in turn eaten by, well, just about everything. Including people.
Sardines are high in protein, and provide a complete range of trace minerals, including natural forms of zinc; a full complement of vitamins including D, B12, E and K; a full range of antioxidants; and other known nutrients.
The triglyceride and phospholipid forms of DHA found in sardines are more absorbable and stable than the ethyl ester forms in most fish oils, and may be more effective for improving brain functions and preventing cancer.
An important warning to remember : Don’t overdo it!
Steve Brown via Whole dog journal warns :
EPA and DHA provide wonderful health benefits in small amounts, and are detrimental in excess amounts or without sufficient antioxidant protection. Feed small amounts (0.2 to 1 gram of high-quality EPA + DHA per day for a 20 Kg dog) and you’ll probably make your dog smarter and healthier. Feed much larger amounts and your dog will probably slow down mentally and age at a faster rate.
What is it called locally:
Malayalam : Mathi
Tamil : Mathi , Salai
Telugu : Kavallu
Sardines rot faster than almost any other fish -- its all those omega-3s -- so buy a bunch and eat them the day you find them, because sardines do not freeze well.
The oils in them turn rancid even in a freezer, and the flesh becomes a mushy mess when thawed so they don't freeze well.
If you get fresh sardines, be mindful of the bones.
What can I do if I don't get fresh sardines?
The answer is canned sardines.
As per whole dog journal :
The best canned sardines for dogs are those in water with no salt added. Avoid sardines packed in soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, or other omega-6 rich oils. Use the entire can of sardines within two days after opening it, and refrigerate the open can, so that the fragile fats do not go rancid.
Here is the Whole dog Journal sardine recommendation for adult dogs. Feed twice this much to puppies and pregnant or lactating females.
Dog’s 106 gram (3.75-oz) can
2.26 kg ~5 lbs 1/4 can per week
6.8 kg ~ 15 lbs 1/2 can per week
11.33 kg ~25 lbs 5/8 can per week
22.6 kg ~ 50 lbs 1 can per week
45.32 kg ~100 lbs 1 3/4 cans per week
A 3.75-ounce can of sardines has about 200 calories, so reduce the amount of dry food given on “sardine days” accordingly.
Rule of thumb: One can of sardines in water has about the same number of calories as ½ cup of most dog foods.