Ezine Head
October 18th, 2012     Volume 3, Issue 42 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 Editor's Note

Allergies are aggravating. So much so, that people will literally try anything to get their dog's allergies issues under control. One of the things that pet owners will do, beside changing the environment, using hypoallergenic shampoos and special medications is changing the protein in their dog's food.

This week's article focuses on one specific protein that many seek out for allergy issues... Fish! Robert Mueller, our raw food nutrition wiz, will explore the pros and cons of a fish diet for dogs.



Amber Keiper & the rest of the BARF World team
 Pet Alert!
10/13/2012 - Nature's Recipe - Oven baked biscuits with Chicken Jerky
10/2/2012 - Nature's Deli Chicken Jerky (Kasel Associated)
9/24/2012 - Dogsbutter Peanut Butter for Dogs
9/21/2012 - Boots & Barkley Beef Bully Sticks, Pigs Ears, Variety Treats
9/11/2012 - Avoderm Lamb Meal & Brown Rice (Breeder's Choice)
8/24/2012 - Bil-Jac Adult Select Formula
sweet potatoe
7/12/2012 - Nature's Variety Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble
On going - Sweet Potato Treats Added To FDA Watch List.
 Raw Knowledge

TO FISH OR NOT TO FISH: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Feeding Fish to Your Dog

Doctor Balance
Courtesy of SFRAW.wordpress.com
By Robert Mueller

For some time now, I have been asked whether or not it is okay to feed a fish diet to a domesticated animal.  Feeding fish to our pets can be a great way of providing valuable nutrients. It is, however, a controversial subject.  Some pet parents feel that fish have never been a staple of the animal’s diet, while others worry about potential contaminants.  There are pros and cons when using fish as a protein source.  This week, we examine the dos and don'ts of feeding a fish diet to your pet.

Whether they are fresh or frozen, whole fish provide adequate nutrition for dogs and cats.  In areas that have access to local sources of fish, it can be a readily available source of protein.  This can be a nice option for people who are looking to include another variety of meat into their pet’s diet.   It is important to note the importance of feeding whole fish (blood, guts, bones, internal organs, eyes, and of course, skin), as this is considered a well-rounded nutrient source.  Whole fish also provide high levels of Taurine which is a valuable component for cats and it is also an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Some pet guardians feel that it is safe to feed canned fish products. This is a fallacy because canned fish are generally not whole, and certainly not raw.  Canned fish have been highly heat processed and contain excessive levels of salt, which is unhealthy for pets. It is always preferable to feed a raw meat source rather than heat processed one.

Many consumers that feed fish want to include the bones.  It is a good practice to only feed bones from a fresh whole fish, and to only feed them raw, as the bones will be softer and the animals can crush them easier. They must be supplied raw rather than cooked because the heat makes the bones brittle. This can cause them to splinter, and that bone shard can cause puncture the esophagus or GI track.  The same philosophy applies to feeding bones from other animal sources, such as beef or lamb.

Potential concerns exist regarding the heavy metal content in fish and the possible pollution factors. A lot of fish contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals, and the continuous ingestion of these metals can be a significant health hazard. People that are lucky enough to have access to fresh whole fish in non-polluted lakes don't have to worry about this concern. 

Even thawing of fish is a concern because of the loss of blood, which is a very nutritious part of this protein source. Soaking in normal temperature water is a good way to preserve the blood loss.  Generally speaking, it is also a good idea to feed your dog a fish of proportionate size.  In other words, feed a small fish to small dogs, and larger fish to big dogs.

Others feel that as predators, dogs did not evolve by eating fish protein.  While it may not have been the main meal source, many wild animals did have access to lakes, rivers, and streams that were home to several varieties of fish.

A caution regarding feeding the same fish all the time- don’t. Feeding the same fish for every meal may lead to a vitamin deficiency. This is because some fish species have enzymes that destroy certain vitamins - so feeding a variety may eliminate this concern. The real message here is to offer a variety of proteins and eliminate all diets that are heat processed. This is the same whether or not it is fish or other meat sources. 

Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of "Living Enzymes: The World's Best Kept Pet Food Secret", and co-developer of BARF World's BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements - the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie - a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for "The Intelligent Pet" monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine
 Bark Out Loud

UC Davis Helping Hero Dog That Lost Snout in Rescue of Small Girls

Kabang, a Shepherd-mix, is internationally recognized as a hero after darting in front of a motorcycle, to protect two young girls. The accident has left the poor pooch without a snout, proving a challenge to properly treat, even for the experts at UC Davis.

The whole scoop - Click HERE


Wags of Wisdom

"The dog who meets with a good master is the happier of the two." -Maeterlinck

"No Matter how little money and how few possessions, you own, having a dog makes you rich." -Louis Sabin
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