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Are Sardines For Dogs Ok?

November 16, 2020 4 min read

Adding supplements to our dog’s diet is always fun. It gives them something new to try. 

Many of us also look to add supplements in our dog’s diet because we’re trying to tackle a problem and improve their health. One of the popular supplements pet parents love to add to their dog’s diet are sardines. 

Canned sardines in water to supplement in dog's diet for benefits

Benefits Of Sardines For Dogs

The small fish packs a punch for its size with around 25 calories and 175 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Since sardines are a lot smaller than salmon, tuna, and other fish in the sea, they have less mercury which is safer to feed. Despite it’s a smaller size, sardines are still a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and coenzyme q10 like other fish. 

Omega 3

Omega 3 is one of the most common fatty acids that we KNOW is great for everyone’s health, including dogs.  This fatty acid is super beneficial because the three fatty acids included: Alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which have a list of benefits. 

One of the benefits is the anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces arthritis inflammationand essential for pets with cancer.

Puppies are recommended to be fed omega 3 supplements or a diet with extra nutrition because it will help their eye and brain development. Foods like Cali Raw´s puppy formulas have this extra nutrition to optimize a puppy´s growth. But you can feed your puppy sardines too!

Many pet parents add salmon oil or fish oil for its Omega 3 but feeding sardines to supplement the fatty acid is best becausenot all fish oils are equal

If you don’t have any sardines, you can also feed your dog anchovies, mackerel, smelts, herring, and salmon for the Omega-3 benefits. Just remember to keep it at a limit because of the mercury content. 

Read More: The Benefits Of Salmon Oil For Dogs

Coenzyme Q10 

This enzyme is an essential part of the mitochondria which is the famous “the powerhouse of the cell”.Coenzyme Q10 is credited by holistic veterinarians to improve a dog’s health. aids in a healthy heart and circulation. It serves as an antioxidant supplement and promotes cell growth. Coenzyme Q10 is also great for dental disease prevention which is a common issue for small dogs like Maltese.

Benefits of Sardines:  

  • Immune system boost
  • Reduce arthritis inflammation 
  • Supports brain development 
  • Improved skin & coat 
  • Heart and kidney health 
  • Muscle and connective tissue development 
  • Better teeth 
  • Kidney disease protection
  • Skin and coat improvement 
  • Mobility 
  • Cognitive Retinal function

How To Feed Sardines 

There’s no question that sardines have a large number of benefits, but you don’t want to feed your dog a school of sardines at once. Instead, it’s best to introduce it a little at a time because any new food can cause an upset stomach. 

Don’t feed sardines daily. Serving it every day can lead to an accumulation of mercury which isn’t good and limiting your dog’s intake of any kind of fish is important. They should only be given as a supplement to their main diet in small portions.  Most only feed sardines once or twice at most a week. If you want you can add other supplements such as eggs or goats milk

You can grab a sardine or two and add them to your dog’s meal once a week or so. If you want to feed them as a treat or a snack, cut the sardines into a few pieces and reward them with it. 

With the leftover water, you can pour a little bit of your dog’s meal as a gravy topper.  

Dogs under 5lbs can be fed about ¼ a can 

Dogs 6-15 lbs can be fed about ½ a can 

Dogs 16-25 lbs can be fed about ⅝ of a can 

Dogs 26-50 lbs can be fed about 1 whole can 

Dogs 51+ lbs can be fed about 1 ¾ a can 

Note: Fresh sardines are bigger than canned sardines 

Are Sardines In Oil Good For Dogs

A lot of canned sardines are packed with olive oil which is usually considered a beneficial ingredient.However, feeding these sardines aren’t recommended because they both are a high-fat source. Instead, go for canned sardine in 100% water, no salt, or any additional ingredients. 

Can Dogs Eat Sardines With Bones? 

The bones in sardines are no worries for dogs so you don’t need to worry about those! They´re safe for dogs and will serve as a source of calcium. However, if you do feel uneasy about them, start by cutting the fish into smaller pieces. 

Dried or Fresh? 

Dried sardines can be usually found in pet stores however it won’t have as much of the nutritional benefits as fresh sardines. Canned sardines are better than dried but fresh would be better. The fresh kind offers more nutrition such as more potassium but canned and dried are usually the easiest to keep around for longer. We recommend choosing the canned version with water!

We suggestThe Wild Caught & Sustainable Sardines in Water

Our team and our expert formulator love to recommend sardines for any dog mom or dad looking to add a boost in their dog’s diet. However, if you’re looking for good dog food with a strong nutritional foundation try Cali Raw. Our formulas meet AAFCO requirements and our ingredients are formulated to optimize your dog’s health!

Cali Raw formulas is raw dog food based on the BARF diet formula which takes no extra time out of your day. All you need to do is 5 easy steps: order, receive, freeze, thaw, feed.