Often I hear people say that fish is good for cats, or that cats like fish, though never have I heard anyone say dogs like fish or fish is good for dogs.
Well that was until I started feeding raw.
This is when I learned that fish is a great protein to add to their diet, and probably one of the most important ones you can feed for both cats and dogs.
Fish is rich in the best two omega 3 fatty acids for dogs and cats EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are found in the oils of fatty fish.
This means that feeding fish has many benefits for your pet’s health like aiding your dog’s/ cat’s joints and all round mobility due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fish is also known to be beneficial for your dog or cat’s skin, and it is low in saturated fats.
When fed with other meat sources, fish will be a brilliant source of nutrition to feed.
Together with eggs, fish should be one of the last proteins to be introduced to their diet.
As with everything else, introduce it slowly to begin with or you might see it reappear as fish is a rich protein (moderation is key).
You can spread a whole days allowance out over a few days, so if you feed 300g per day, feed 300g of fish spread out over Monday Wednesday and Friday for example.
Whole fish is classed as whole prey and thus is a fully balanced 80/10/5/5 ratio meal.
All fresh fish needs to be frozen for 3 weeks before feeding, this is to kill any parasites.
What if my pet refuses to eat fish?
For most dogs and cats Fish is not a natural prey and therefore they might refuse to eat fish, this could be due to texture, smell or even taste.
If you have a pet that does not like fish, here are a few ideas to get them to eat it:
- Cut the fish in to little pieces or even put it through a blender and mix it through their food (mixing it with tripe seems to work with mine) and slowly build up to larger pieces from there.
- Some pets might not eat fish when it is defrosted but might eat it when still frozen, so you could try that.
- Flash frying: this might work; if your pet takes to fish when fried, slowly fry the fish a little less each time you feed it until you can feed it raw.
- Another option is to buy tinned sprats, sardines or other in water (not oil, brine or tomato sauce) and mix some raw fish in with that. Add a little more raw every time you feed fish until the tinned fish has fully been replaced with the raw fish
If all fails, don’t panic as you can always supplement with a good salmon or krill oil, but feeding fish would be preferred.
Feed fish that is medium in mercury levels in moderation, and avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury, this because of its toxicity.