Can Dogs Eat Sardines? (With Dogs Nutritionist Comments Included)

It’s not that often when a delicious dog treat happens to be small in size, moderate in calories and also loaded with nutritional value. But that’s the exact case of sardines.  

“Sardines may be small, but they’re mighty when it comes to pet nutrition. Since sardines are small, they tend to have far less mercury than larger fish, which makes them an ideal choice for people, too.” – Explains nutrition counselor Celia Kutcher.

But let’s dig deeper into the dogs and sardines relations.

Are sardines good for dogs?

Sardines store quite an impressive quantity of Omega-3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), DHA,  and EPA, which are attributed to brain health. CoQ10 promotes a healthy heart and lymphatic system.

Those fats are also participating in the brain development process, which makes it especially good for younger pups. One reservation when we’re talking dogs and sardines: Skip sardines slatted in sauce–like oil, ketchup or mustard–and look for the options lowest in sodium.

“When buying sardines, make sure always to buy wild caught, packed in water. There’s no need for more oil, salt or any other ingredients — some of them could be harmful. Also, sardines should not be fed daily, as too much fish can form crystals in cats.” – Kutcher warns.

What to know when it comes to serving sardines to dogs

The next thing to consider when speaking sardines for dogs is that one little sardine holds about 25 calories and 175 mg omega-3 fatty acids. “Give them more proportionally when you have a larger pet,” – Kutcher advises.  

In case you were wondering, you don’t have to be worried about the bones in sardines. They’re safe for your pup, and they’ll also supply some calcium.

I’ve heard sardines were radioactive and filled with heavy metals…

There’s this guy “Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian” who’s running around the internet and seeding rumors that sardines are very radioactive due to unfortunate atomic bombs related events in Fukushima. Radiation was so intense there then when you purchase the US produced sardines from your local supermarket let’s say in Austin, Texas, many years after you are still at risk, according to Dobias.

We did some digging, and it’s not more than a PR campaign to sell more HairQ tests to dog owners since those tests are one of the major products Dobias sells on his website.

I think the summary and results of testing performed by the FDA emphasizes that (“The lead U.S. agency testing seafood for contamination is the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. As of June 20, the FDA has tested 1,313 samples of food imported from Japan, including 199 seafood samples. Of those, just one—a sample of ginger powder—exceeded the level considered safe for consumption”.) So, sardines are fine in radioactivity department.

Can dogs eat canned sardines?

One advantage for the tinned variety is that the fish might be boneless. It is best to find them in plain water or olive oil with canned fish. It is better to find the ones canned in plain water or olive oil. Some dogs may prefer raw, frozen, canned or dried sardines. Some pets may choose fresh, frozen, dried or canned sardines. Fresh or frozen sardines are often significantly larger than canned, so that small pups might want it to be cut to make it easier for tiny mouths to eat.

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How about sardine oil for dogs?

It’s better to stick with the fish. The fats in the fish itself are way less likely to go sour than derived oils. So it doesn’t worth taking this risk if your pup can get the same fish oil nutrients from an actual fish.

Is it ok to feed my dog sardines every day?

Dogs may appreciate sardines: as a part of their regular meal or as a rare treat. But keep in mind to always begin gradually when you decide to give your pet any new foods (such as sardines). They must not cause an upset of the stomach, but it’s always better to be sure that your dog won’t get sick. And after pup’s body became aware of a new product, remember the golden rule of “moderation.”

If it’s too much, there’s nothing great about it. And giving your pet sardines daily is an excellent example of excessive. Give your dog some sardines a few times a week. This fish can be mixed with typical dog food. It is a nice addition to the boring K9 kibble.

Sardines for dogs. Summary

Sardines are a major source of protein, omega-3, and coenzyme Q10 fatty acids. Due to the small size sardines contain minimal quantities of mercury compared to larger fish. Omega-3s enhance all health aspects, decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of disease. Coenzyme Q10 is an outstanding supplement to growing pups for brain development and dental health. All in all,  sardines are an amazing food for your dog.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to DanaTentis from Pixabay.