Can Dogs Eat Sardines? – Are They Healthy?

How does your dear pup react when you grill sardines at home? Certainly, it must wag its tail, roam near the grill and show you its eagerness that sardines are making its mouth water. Since dogs have a strong sense of smell, they can smell fish cooking even in neighbors’ houses. They often demand that you share your food with them. But can dogs eat sardines?

Let’s look for the answer!

Can dogs eat sardines?

Yes, dogs can eat sardines. In fact, sardines are a good source of protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids—such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In addition, they are packed with vitamin D and B12 and have a minimal amount of mercury. So, let your dog eat sardines and witness its improving health.

Sardines, also known as pilchard, are silvery fatty fish from the herring family. When we talk about fish, sardines are comparatively smaller in size, around 6 to 12 inches in length, but nutritionally, they are giants. A small amount of sardines provide immense nutrients and multiple health benefits. Plus, they suit dogs’ tastebuds, and they do not give you a hard time while eating them.

Let’s break down the health benefits of sardines!

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What are the health benefits of sardines for dogs?

Adding a few sardines to dogs’ meal will strengthen your fur baby’s immunity, develop stronger muscles, enhances bone health, and improves cognitive abilities. Also, dogs appear dapper as the herring fish improve their coat.

Let’s learn more about how sardines improve dogs’ health!

Sardines enhance dogs’ skin and coat

Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Since these acids reduce inflammation, they improve dogs’ skin and coats. While you should continue brushing your dog’s skin now and then and bathing it, feeding sardines are also a great way to enhance your fur baby’s skin. Besides, if your dog has red spots or other allergies, sardines will eradicate these issues. So, feed your beloved pup sardines and let its fur shine.

They improve dogs’ heart health

Coenzyme Q10 in sardines enhances dogs’ heart health. Cardiovascular issues are common in pups, and they mostly rise because of dogs’ inappropriate eating habits. Ubiquinol is present in dogs’ bodies, and sardines boost its level, improving heart function.

Sardines support pups’ cognitive and retinal function

DHA is another omega3 fatty acid of sardines. DHA is vital to dogs’ cognitive and retinal function. Although it is a significant component of dogs’ diet, it is essential for pups and senior dogs. In addition, DHA minimizes the signs of aging and supports growth in dogs. If your dog already has cognitive and eye issues, feeding it sardines will help it cope with the health problem.

Sardines are great for dogs’ mobility

Older dogs and large breeds commonly suffer from hip and joint issues that limit their movement and cause persistent pain. Sardines reduce inflammation, which may be the primary cause of joint pain and hindrance in a dog’s mobility. Moreover, sardines provide phosphorus and calcium, supporting dogs’ skeletal systems and helping them move around. 

Sardines support dogs’ holistic health

The herring fish, sardines provide almost all the essential nutrients to dogs. They are a complete protein; which supports all bodily functions of dogs. Digestion, arthritis, inflammatory issues, or common allergies; sardines help with multiple health issues. 

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Also, sardines strengthen dogs’ immunity and help them fight diseases.

How should I feed sardines to my dog?

You can bake, grill, or cook the sardines; you can also just pop the can and add a few sardines to your pup’s bowl. However, you must ensure that you do not add any seasoning that might be toxic to dogs.

Never introduce a new food item to your dog in large quantities. Your furry baby’s body may not find it suitable and may react badly. Instead, add a small amount and monitor your dog’s condition closely. If your dog responds positively, gradually increase the quantity. Similarly, add some sardines to your dog’s regular food and slowly make it a part of your dog’s meals.

If you prefer purchasing store-bought sardines, double-check the label and see that the fish is not cooked with harmful ingredients.

Moreover, sardines for dogs should not be cooked in too much oil. Adding a tiny amount of olive, coconut, or plant-based oil is nutritious and provides health benefits.

Remember, sardines are calorie-dense. A small sardine can give up to 25% of calories. Thus, you must ensure you do not let your dear animal go overboard while eating sardines.

How many sardines can a dog eat?

You can give your pup a few sardines every week. 1 small sardine a day should be fine for an average-sized dog. However, if you have a large pup, you can give it 2 sardines a day.

What are the risks of feeding sardines to dogs?

If you excessively feed your dog sardines, it can suffer from digestive problems and weight gain. Besides, sardines are high-fat food. So, you must see that you do not feed other fatty food items with sardines.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might get vomiting or diarrhea after being introduced to sardines. Furthermore, if your dog is diabetic, has had pancreatitis, or is overweight, avoid feeding it sardines on your own. Consult a vet and do as per the vet’s recommendations.

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Sardines are safe for dogs unless your pup has some health issues.

Related FAQs to whether dogs can eat sardines

Are canned sardines safe for dogs?

Yes, canned sardines are safe for your pup. Sardines have low mercury content and are a rich source of protein, coenzyme Q10, and omega 3 fatty acids. Just ensure that canned sardines do not have any ingredients to harm your pup.

Can dogs eat sardines with bones?

Although dogs can eat sardines with bones, you should avoid them. Sardines’ bones appear harmless as they are very small. However, they carry the potential of harming your dog’s mouth and hurting its throat.

Can dogs eat sardines every day?

Yes, dogs can eat sardines every day; however, you should give an average-sized dog 1 sardine a day and a large dog 2 sardines a day at maximum. A dog under 30 pounds should eat half a sardine.

Can sardines deworm dogs?

No, sardines cannot deworm your dog or puppy.

Can I cook sardines in olive oil for dogs?

Olive oil is excellent for dogs. However, sardines are high-fat food already, so when packed in olive oil, they are not good for dogs.

What fish can dogs not eat?

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Canned tuna
  • Tilefish
  • Jellyfish

Can dogs eat shrimp?

Yes, they can, as shrimp are low in calories and fats and have fewer carbohydrates. However, shrimps have high cholesterol. A medium-sized dog should not be given more than a half cup of shrimp per week. 

Can dogs eat salmon?

Yes, indeed they can. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These acids reduce inflammation, strengthen immunity, and provide dogs with shiny skin and coat.

Concluding our thoughts on whether dogs can eat sardines!

The reddish-brown oily fish from the herring family, sardines, are perfectly safe for your canine friends. Whether you feed them raw, cooked, grilled, or canned, sardines will provide dogs with nutrients and enhance their overall health. Incorporate sardines with other food items and let your pup reap its benefits.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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