Fishy Pet Foods
Many of us benefit from eating fish, as this ingredient quite often contributes to a well-rounded diet and contains nutrients which go well beyond just tasting delicious and fulfilling our need for protein. But did you know that fish ingredients can be a great option for your dog and cats too?
Regularly eating fish can lead to some wins in general health, and this article gives details on a few of these benefits.
Fish-Based Pet Food Provides a Great Source of Protein
Like other types of meat ingredients, fish is a great source of protein, containing amino acids that are essential to dog and cat health. It’s particularly rich in what we call ‘sulphur amino acids’, which are the protein building blocks responsible for making hair. Also, aromatic amino acids responsible for hair and skin pigmentation and others essential for many everyday metabolic functions are found in fish. All in all, they’re great at delivering protein nutrients, and generally highly digestible. This means that the body doesn’t have to work too hard to unlock their ‘goodness’.
Benefits of a Fish Diet for Dogs and Cats with Allergies
Apart from the nutritional support they lend to the skin and coat, fish ingredients may also assist pets with allergies. We need to be careful in classifying allergies, however, as sometimes dogs and cats are allergic to certain foods, but more often they’re allergic to select ‘allergens’ in their environment, including dust and pollen, or even flea bites, for example.
When food is the issue, it’s good to identify and try to move away from the ‘problem protein’ or ingredient as much as you’re able. For dogs, studies have shown that the most common foods are beef, dairy, chicken and wheat (Mueller, 2016). If you suspect an allergy, it’s best you have it diagnosed by your veterinary team, and you might find that avoiding typical protein sources and moving slowly to a fish-based diet, particularly when your dog or cat hasn’t eaten fish before, helps calm the skin and gut greatly.
Benefits of Omega for Dogs and Cats
One of the biggest nutritional advantages to eating fish is the naturally high levels of omega 3 fatty acids which they deliver. Fish, especially salmon, is loaded with healthy fats: the omega fatty acids, which have a certain structure that makes them particularly useful to the body. They help in the development of the neurological system (including the brain and eyes) of growing pups and kittens but also interact with the cells in the body to reduce their reactivity, when they’re in an ‘inflamed’ state. The skin and joints stand to benefit, as do a number of internal organs, and there is strong research to support the use of omega 3 fatty acids in managing the health of our four-legged friends.