People are increasingly becoming aware of the health benefits of eating fish, but did you know that it can be a great option for your dog too?
Regularly eating fish is linked to numerous beneficial outcomes in humans, including lowering the risk of heart attacks and protecting against age-related brain deterioration. And for our pets, the nutritional benefits of fish are good, too, ranging from helping to heal damaged or itchy skin to reducing reactions to allergens. Like other types of meat, fish is a great source of protein, containing amino acids that are essential to feline and canine health. It’s also rich in many vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D, is relatively low in saturated fats, and is a great source of healthy fats. What’s more, most cats and dogs tend to relish the taste of fish.
Benefits of Omega for Dogs
One of the biggest nutritional advantages to eating fish are the omega 3 fatty acids.
Fish, especially salmon, is loaded with healthy fats known as omega fatty acids. In particular, fish is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are important, as they can only be obtained from the diet (the body can’t make them), and they are well known for having anti-inflammatory effects in the body. It is thought that increasing omega 3 intake might help manage inflammation in some conditions such as arthritis.
An Aid to Allergies
For animals with allergies to more common meat sources like beef and chicken, fish may be useful as a ‘novel protein’ – a protein that they have not previously been exposed to. Allergies develop with repeated exposure to allergens, so novel proteins are something the body is unlikely to react to. Given the growing awareness in owners of pet allergies to meat proteins, fish can be a great alternative protein source. Omega fatty acids are useful for animals with allergies unrelated to diet, too. This is because omega fatty acids play an important role in helping to maintain the health of the skin barrier. When the skin barrier is strong, animals are less likely to have issues with contact allergens (plants such as grass and wandering jew) that they may encounter.
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