Thursday, 5 January 2017

Fish for Your Dog’s, Cat’s Diet - Selection, Preparation, Recipes - Raw, Cooked

My dogs and cats raw diet includes raw, wild-caught fish, and fish broth. You can improve your dog and cat's daily diet by introducing wild-caught raw or gently cooked fish. This article will help you understand how to select, and prepare fish. You'll also find recipe ideas and tips to help you introduce raw fish to your dog and cat's diet.

Selecting the Best Fish for Your Dog’s and Cat’s Diet

Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Choose Deep Cold Water Fish
Deep, cold, open water – for example the Atlantic Ocean, the waters off of the Alaskan coast, and the Norwegian coast are less contaminated than other bodies of water. Fish that live in these cold deep waters offer high body-fat content, rich in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids and the lowest levels of contaminants. If you want your dog or cat to consume fish for the amazing health benefits offered by high-levels of omega-3 fatty acids look for product that contain only wild or wild caught, cold water fish. Sardines are a favorite for my dogs and cats.

The species of fish that offer the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, and herring. Wild-caught from clean water salmon, snapper fish, swordfish and tuna offer the highest levels of protein, however tuna. The fish offering the best omega-3 fatty acids are wild or wild-caught from clean water salmon, sardines, lake trout, swordfish, halibut (Alaskan), herring (Atlantic and Pacific), and mackerel. In making a selection, you should also consider mercury contamination.

Limit Exposure to Mercury Contamination
It is important to select fish that is relatively low in mercury contamination. Cold water wild or wild-caught fatty fish, not currently endangered from over-fishing and lowest in mercury are: Sardines, Arctic char, crawfish, herring, Pacific flounder, Pacific sole, wild Alaskan Salmon, wild Pacific salmon. The highest mercury contamination for wild and wild caught fish occurs in: Atlantic halibut, golden snapper, king mackerel, marlin, pike, sea bass, shark, swordfish, and tuna (albacore). Fish from the high-mercury contaminated category should be avoided. Pregnant and lactating dogs and cats, puppies and kittens should not be fed any high mercury contaminated fish.

Limit Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
The wild and wild caught fish lowest in POPs are Wild Alaskan Salmon and California salmon. POPs are pollutants that exist in the environment which bioaccumulate in the body of humans and non-human animals. POPs are toxic substances that pose extreme health hazards to humans, animals, including dogs and cats, and the environment. PCB’s and DDT are two examples of POPs. You can read more about POPs here.

Farm Raised Fish - Don’t Feed it to your Dogs and Cats
Whole fish from clean, cold open waters offers the best quality, low-contaminant nutrition and are preferable to farm-raised whole fish or fish meal. Farm raised fish is one of the most toxic foods in the world.

Canned Fish
Canned fish is good to keep on hand for an emergency, but I don't recommend using canned fish as part of a long-term diet. 

Short term use of canned food (several weeks) has been shown to elevate levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in dogs. BPA is a toxin and carcinogen - it leeches into canned food from the can lining material. Heavy metal and other contaminates can also leach into the food from the metal can and the can lining. Sadly, another problem with canned fish is mislabeling.

Mislabeled Fish - Seafood Fraud
In the last few years companies have been caught mislabeling fish - canned and packaged fish.The ocean conservation group Oceana, issued a report in 2013 exposing massive fraud in the sea food industry. You can read a brief overview of that report and download the full study here. You can also take a look at this article by the CBC.

Deciding How Much Fish to Include in Your Dog’s, Cat’s Diet

How often can you give your dog fish? Fish can be included in your dog’s daily diet, or you can choose to use fish several times a week, or just on occasion. But make sure you follow the tips provided above, to maximize nutritional benefits. 

Some dogs, and cats have a food sensitivity to fish – i.e. experiences diarrhea as his/her threshold for tolerance has been exceeded, you can choose to offer fish in smaller quantities or simply remove fish from the daily diet. A dog, or cat may have an adverse reaction to one type of fish – for example, salmon; but do well with a less oily fish such as sole.

Fish should never be used as an exclusive diet on its own – meaning you are not feeding your dog or cat any food item but fish. A diet that consists of fish, and no other food can result in thiamine deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizure, and in severe cases death.  Fish can represent up to 20% of your dog and cat's animal meat protein intake.

Preparation, and Handling Raw Fish

Raw Fish in the Diet – Health and Safety Tips
My dogs and cats get raw fish as part of their regular raw, whole food diet.  Feeding raw fish is very safe and health promoting provided you follow a few basic rules…

Never feed your dog or cat raw fish that has not first been frozen for at least 21 days. Freezing for a minimum of 21 days helps ensure parasites that may be present in the fish, is killed.

Always defrost raw frozen fish in the refrigerator – don’t allow raw fish to defrost on the counter, etc.

As soon as the fish is defrosted its ready to be eaten by your dog, and cat. Once defrosted, use within two (preferred), up to three days.

How to Include Fish in Your Dog’s and Cat’s Diet

Your dog and cat can consume all parts of a fish, from head to tail including the skin. Small fish such as sardines can be consumed whole. Large fish such as salmon should be divided into smaller sections, for example the salmon head can be served as part of a meal. If you're preparing salmon for yourself don't throw the salmon skin in the garbage, include it in your dog and cat's meals.

As a Treat – Raw Thawed or Gently Cooked
Small-size whole raw fish such as sardines are perfect for smaller dogs and cats to consume whole (including the sardine head and tail). Sardines come in several sizes – from several inches long up to 5” to 6” long.  

Sardines are a great choice to begin transitioning your dog or cat to raw food. Start by giving your dog or cat a small sardine, (or piece of), as a treat away from other food, and meals. Don’t mix raw food including raw fish with a highly processed dry (kibble) or wet ‘food’ product meal.

Cooked Fish
If your dog or cat has never eaten raw meat, and you are not ready to transition to raw you can gently (at lowest setting on stove-top) cook the fish in a little healthy fat such as organic: coconut oil, or grass fed pasture sourced butter.

Fish As Part of the Main Meal
Fish can be used as the primary animal protein or as a secondary animal protein in your dogs and cats food -  prey model raw, bones and raw food diet, raw ground complete meal, or cooked homemade food.

Recipes to Get You Started

Homemade Food – Raw, or Cooked
You can find an example recipe for homemade raw and cooked dog and cat food here.. 

Broth and Bone Broth Recipe
Fish heads, fish tails and whole fish are excellent for making health sustaining broth, and bone broth gelatin.

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
🌿 Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ• 🐈
🌿 Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•

My Holistic Client Services are Available Worldwide:
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Canada
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK and other European countries
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Australia and other Oceania countries
πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Hong Kong and other Asian countries
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡· Costa Rica and other Central American countries 
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European countries
πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ή Trinidad and Tobago and other South America countries
πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦ South Africa and other African countries
πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Sweden and other Nordic countries
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ United Arab Emirates

Available Holistic Consultations and Sessions:
πŸ“± FaceTime
πŸ“± Facebook video or voice calling
πŸ’» Skype
πŸ“± WhatsApp
πŸ“ž Phone
πŸ“§ Email 
🚢🏻‍♀️ In-Person

Menu of Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
For more information go here.
✅  Maintain Health, and;
✅  Address Health Issues and Conditions:
✓ Treatment and Remedy 
Pre-Surgery holistic support protocols
Post-Surgery holistic healing protocols
Pre-Vaccine holistic support protocols
Post-Vaccine holistic support protocols
Natural Insect and Parasite Prevention
Natural Treatment for Insect, Parasite Infestation, Co-Infection, Disease
✅  Custom Designed Whole Food Diets - raw or gently cooked, and;
✅  Advice and Recommendation:
✓ Premade Diets - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried
✓ Supplemental Fresh Foods - raw, gently cooked
✓ Super foods
✓ Treats - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, gently cooked
✓ Herbs
✓ Alternative Medicines

Menu of Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•
For more information go here.
In-person Sessions - available locally
Voice and Video Sessions - available worldwide
✓   Obedience Training
✓   Behavior Modification
✓   Psychological Rehabilitation

Affiliations to Companies
✓ None.
✓ I don't sell food or supplements.
✓ I'm not aligned with any companies.
✓ I choose to maintain my objectivity in selecting best-solutions for my individual client's needs.

Contact me

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


No comments:

Post a Comment

Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Practitioner – Dogs and Cats
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer