We have a little tradition at my house that we like to call Sardine Sunday. My dogs probably count down the week days to Sunday like the rest of the human world counts down to Friday! I look forward to Sardine Sunday just as much as they do because I know how much they love the tasty treat, I love watching them get so excited, and I know how many health benefits are packed into each tiny, little can!
I’m in no way a scientist, a nutritionist, or a veterinarian, but I’ve spent many, many hours over many days, months, and years researching canine health and well being. It’s important to me. My dogs give me all of their love and loyalty, and they look at me as their leader, their hero. Providing the best in health and nutrition is the least I can do for these devoted companions.
According to dogster.com, sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids range from cancer prevention, to reducing inflammation, and even giving the immune system a boost. The DHA and EPA are great for brain development and help improve the skin and coat. CoQ10 supports a healthy heart, improves circulation, and is great for preventing dental disease. When buying sardines, be sure to get cans of the fish packed in only water. Sardines packed in oils and other types of substances can contain ingredients that could be harmful to your dog. Also, always look for the lowest sodium content and purchase those sardines. Your dogs don’t need the extra salt.
Now, I’ll be honest…sardines can leave your furry little friend a bit gassy and if fed too many, too often, they can start to smell a bit fishy! Most dogs don’t need an entire 3.75 oz can every day, and according to mercola.com the fatty acids are fragile and will perish quickly, so the sardines should be eaten immediately or frozen. Because of these reasons I started feeding sardines once a week instead of daily and Sardine Sunday was born! My adult labs (weights ranging from 55-75 lbs) get one can of sardines each, once a week. For my puppies, I open one can and split it between them. They get one fish per 20 pounds of body weight each.
After putting kibble in their bowls I dump the fish, and the water it’s packed in, over the food. In order to get all the smelly goodness out of the can, I fill the tin up with water, swish it around, and pour it over the kibble, too. All the while my dogs are lined up, ready to devour their special treat, drool dribbling everywhere from their anticipation.
Be sure to wash your dog’ bowl after they finish eating the sardines! The smelly, mushy treat leaves quite a mess in the bowl, even after the dogs lick as much as they can out!
If you decide to give your dog sardines, let me know how much they enjoy it! I know they’ll be beside themselves with excitement. Sardines are the closest treat to a wild caught, fresh fish they can get!