Seafood in general is known to have good nutritional value. That’s why it found its place in the diet of pets, and dogs are no exception. Seafood content and flavor are seen in several forms of dog food including dry and wet food and treats. However, does that mean you can feed all kinds of seafood to your canine? Certainly not, some seafood may be healthier food options for dogs while others can turn out to be toxic or unhealthy. This blog will help you acknowledge the benefits of feeding right seafood to your dogs as well as health risks of getting them wrong seafood.
Can Dogs Eat Seafood?
Although there are numerous benefits of seafood for any living being, the important question is whether it is safe for dogs or not. The answer in simple words ‘Yes’ dogs can eat certain types of seafood, but it’s important to choose the right species and be cautious about the preparation method. You should carefully consider the types of seafood you offer your dogs and the appropriate way to cook or process to avoid any health problems.
Safe Seafood for Dogs
Fish are the best seafood that is healthier for dogs, while other food products like clams, shellfish, shrimps and aquatic critters come with precautions and warnings before serving.
Fish kinds that are usually used in dog food are shorted-lived fish species; this includes salmon, ocean whitefish, Lake Whitefish, herring, walleye, flounder and arctic char. On the other hand long-lived fish species such as swordfish can have adverse effect on your canine health because of heavy metal content like mercury.
Health Benefits of Fish
Fish is a superfood for dogs with several health benefits that contribute to their overall well-being. It is a powerhouse of healthy nutrients and vitamins that are most essential for them to live a healthy and happiest life. Some of the major health benefits of eating fish for dogs include the following
Muscle Strength: Fish is an excellent source of protein that is essential for muscle development and tissue repair. Fish proteins are considered novel or low-fat proteins, rich in antioxidant that aids in reducing food allergies in dogs.
Improves Joint Health: Fish contain calcium that boosts joint health in dogs. It is good for their bone and teeth. It is also effective in blood clotting and regulating the nervous system.
Eye, Brain, and Skin– Fish contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that boost brain and Eye health in puppies. It also improves skin and coat health, relieves itchiness and makes coat shiner.
Immunity Booster: Along with calcium, eating fish provides several vitamins and minerals to dogs that boost immunity regulating a healthier body. These doses of vitamins and minerals include phosphorus, iron, Vit A, Vit B group (B6, B12, and B13), Vit C, Vit D, and Vit K.
Easy to Digest: Since fish has low-fat protein and contains fibre that is easily digestible, making it a reliable food option for dogs with sensitive or weak digestion.
Risks of Feeding Seafood to Dogs
Although seafood can offer several health benefits to dogs, it’s important to consider the risks that come with it, so you stay prepared. Following are some of the health risks of feeding seafood to dogs:
- Seafood can contain toxins, heavy metals, and pollutants that can pose a risk to your dog’s health if ingested in large quantities, so it’s important to monitor their intake.
- Commercial pet foods that contain fish may also include harmful preservatives, which can be harmful to your dog’s health.
- Raw or improperly cooked seafood can expose your dog to harmful bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, as well as parasites such as roundworms and Tapeworms, which can lead to serious health issues.
- Some dogs may also have allergic reactions to certain types of seafood, so it’s important to introduce it gradually and monitor their response.
- Feeding your dog too much fish can lead to a deficiency in thiamine, an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in their nervous system function.
- Bones, shells, and scales can cause choking and intestinal blockage, so it’s important to remove them before feeding your dog seafood.
Fish is an excellent ingredient that you can incorporate into your dog’s daily diet. Dogs can safely eat fish in their diet; however, you just need to make sure you choose the right species. While you include fish in your dog’s diet make sure it’s in adequate proportion and balanced with other ingredients.