Yes, you read correctly…FISH for dogs. Although commonly associated as being a tasty treat for felines, fish is rapidly becoming a go to treat option for many dog owners due to its high nutrition value and overall health benefits. So, let us scrap the status quo and get down to why fish really is so important in your beloved pooch’s diet.
Just like humans, dogs require a range of nutrients from different food groups, and this includes seafood (fish in particular). Fish unlike meat, provides unique essential fatty acids known as Omega-3 and Omega-6, sound familiar? Fish is also an excellent source of protein consisting of essential amino acids. Loaded with a range of health benefits, Omega-3 and Omega-6 found in fish is a must have in your pooches’ diet, so let us unpack exactly why that is.
#1 HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT
Packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6, fish is particularly beneficial for promoting healthy skin and coats in dogs. Not only does it boost coat quality and feel, but it also aids in lessening dry skin AND is hypoallergenic. And what’s better, hydrated and healthy skin = less itching and skin irritation, 2 notoriously common issues hard to combat for many dogs and dog owners. More shine and wayyyyyyy less dry. In saying this, these essential fatty acids do a tonne more than just providing a glossy and healthy coat, so let us keep the ball rolling (literally).
#2 EYES ON THE PRIZE
Just like for humans, the nutrients found in fish (such as Omega-3) is vital for the successful development of eyesight. The same goes for dogs, especially when they are puppies, which is such a crucial developmental stage in their life. Puppies’ brains grow at a rapid rate and so it is vital that during their first few months of life they are provided with the appropriate nutrition that will support their brain and vision development. Docosahexaenoic acid also known as DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is notable for its key part of the gray and white matter in the brain. This part of the brain is critical for memory, learning, nerve signal transmission and of course vision. Without adequate levels of this fatty acid (found in fish), it can lead to poor brain and vision development. This is so crucial because vision plays a key role in a dog’s experience on earth and without it, or without a high quality of vision, a dog’s life would be severely different.
A visual representation of how quickly a puppies brain develops and therefore the importance of providing them with the appropriate nutrition early in life.
#3 HEART HEALTH
Studies involving dogs consisting of a range of breeds, genders, ages, etc showed evidence that fatty acids found in fish had a positive effect on their cardiovascular health and overall heart health. These positive effects included lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, improved heart function, increased appetite and reduced muscle loss. The conclusion of this study was that dogs who consumed the fatty acids found in fish are reported to live longer and healthier lives. So, what are you waiting for? boost your dog’s life by implementing fish into their diet today.
#4 DON’T FORGET THE SENIORS
Whilst we have mainly focused on the importance of fish consumption during the early years of a dog’s life, Omega-3 found in fish is also extremely beneficial for more senior dogs too. Not only does it help to boost their immune system, but Omega-3 also helps to combat common conditions that arise with age such as arthritis, joint inflammation and other autoimmune diseases. Fatty acids found in fish help support joint health, decrease inflammation and in doing so aid in diminishing the occurrence of blood clots and other relevant age related health issues.
So, there you have it, delicious and nutritious, fish treats are beneficial for all doggos big and small. Whilst we have listed the main health benefits of incorporating fish into your dogs’ diet, some other notable mentions are that fish treats are:
- Suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Low fat and less dense which aids and eases digestion
- Acts as a chew toy (great for mental stimulation and teeth cleaning)
- Great source of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, phosphorous, iodine and iron
This wide range of health benefits from the consumption of Omega-3 and Omega-6 are not to be missed. Let your beloved pooch in on some natural loving and watch them thrive, there are plenty of fish in the sea for all.