Fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, tilapia and trout are very nutritious. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s considered brain food and also eases arthritis. This fatty acid can also give you silky hair and supple skin. It’s good for us but how about our pets? Can dogs eat mackerel?
Absolutely, dogs can eat mackerel too. It’s a good addition to their usual food. This oily fish can provide a lot of essential nutrients to your pup. It can be offered as a treat or an additional ingredient in their food. Mackerel can be a delicious part of your dog’s diet.
Benefits of Eating Mackerel for Dogs
When you feed mackerel to your dog, moderation is the key. That will ensure your pup will benefit from it. This fish has good EPA and DHA levels. It’s one of the highest out of the oily fishes out there. Mackerel also contains high levels of vitamin D which your pup needs.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are types of omega-3 fatty acid. They are both essential nutrients. Dogs can’t produce omega-3 but they can absorb it from their food. Similarly to us, we also need to eat certain types of food to stay healthy.
Omega-3 is good for your dog’s brain and body. This nutrient will help canines to have healthy brain growth. While also helping with maintaining their heart health. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammation that can help dogs who suffer from arthritis. It eases achy joints and wires their brains.
Mackerel is great for senior dogs as well as puppies. This fish is also a great source of omega-6. It’s also a form of fatty acids like omega-3. This will help to keep their skin and fur healthy. It’s vital for cell growth and function. It will improve your pup’s health and development.
This fish happened to be a good protein source which is an important part of the canines’ diet. Protein is important for body functions such as cell growth, and wound healing. Canines need protein and fat to get energy. It will make your dog active and happy when they are healthy.
Risk of Eating Mackerel for Dogs
Eating mackerel is great for your pooch. However, there is some risk involved as well. It’s mostly when they eat this fish raw. When it’s offered raw, it can have bacteria and parasites. They can be harmful to your dog. It can put your pup’s life in danger caused by these pathogens.
It’s not just for canines but it also applies to humans since raw fish may harbor bacteria that can make us sick. The best thing to do is to freeze the fish for a week. You can also cook your fish so that whatever parasites or bacteria it may have will be dead by cooking.
Mackerel contains thiaminase which is an enzyme that breaks down thiamin or also known as vitamin B6. It’s good but too much consumption of thiamine can cause vitamin B6 deficiency. Cooking the mackerel will deactivate this enzyme. It will not harm dogs if fed cooked mackerel.
Fish such as mackerel contain mercury. It’s better to go for carnivorous fish instead. Tuna contains smaller amounts of heavy metal. It’s much lower compared to mackerel. But feeding your dog an occasional small amount of mackerel should be fine. Although it doesn’t apply to every type of mackerel.
The king mackerel is the fish to avoid feeding canines. It contains higher levels of mercury compared to others. Try the Atlantic mackerel instead since it’s smaller. It can be given to your dog but not regularly. Frequently consuming fish can result in Mercury build which will poison your beloved canine.
Different Mackerel Preparations Not to Feed Dogs
There are different ways to prepare mackerel for your dog. Not all of them will be ideal to feed canines. It’s best to stick with the safe way. That will ensure your pup’s safety. Below are the ways to prepare mackerel and see if it’s a good idea to offer your beloved pet.
1. Raw Mackerel
If you want to feed your dog, raw fish is not a good idea. Although technically, they can, it doesn’t mean that they should. It’s best to avoid offering raw fish to your pooch. As mentioned, it can contain pathogens. Parasites such as fluke or roundworms are present in raw food. They can do serious harm to canines and also to humans.
2. Canned Mackerel
If you don’t have a choice but canned mackerel, it should be fine to feed your dog with the canned version. If there are no harmful ingredients, it will do. However, the canned mackerel doesn’t match the frozen one. Canned mackerel contains additives such as salt, sauce, oil, and spices.
3. Mackerel in Tomato Sauce
No, you should not feed this to your dog. Usually, the sauce has additives that are bad for canines. The tomato sauce has salt and sugar added. Be careful with brands since they only put some words like “spices” on the label. It’s hard to tell if it contains ingredients that may be harmful to your dog.
4. Smoked Mackerel
Smoked mackerel is awesome for us but not for dogs. They should never eat smoked or cured mackerel. The fish is not the problem but it has too much salt. Some people may add black pepper or other spices. It can cause stomach aches in canines. If you want smoked mackerel, don’t share it with your pup anymore.
5. Mackerel Bones
It’s a big no! Dogs should not eat mackerel bones ever. Swallowing a fishbone can be an irritating moment. It may get stuck to their throat and need to go to the vet right away. The bones should be thrown away since your dog can’t benefit from them. Bones can also be a choking hazard.
6. Mackerel Skin
As long as the mackerel skin is cooked thoroughly, that should be fine for dogs to eat. Make sure it’s plain and has no large or sharp scales. Mackerel skin is smooth which will be easy for dogs to eat.
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