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What’s the best Seafood for your dog? The Seafood Buffet is open, bring on those Prawns!

Have you ever thought about feeding your dog seafood but were unsure of what he can actually eat off the buffet if anything at all? Should he skip the seafood line & head straight to the all-you-can-eat meat section instead & avoid those tasty-looking Oysters & pPrawns? Well, I’m glad you asked 'cause today I’m going to go through some easy-to-source common fish, molluscs & crustaceans that are amazing additions to your dog's diet, as well as give you the best way to serve your doggo his very own prawn feast that will cost you absolutely nothing, that’s right, zip, nada!

Well, I am going to cut to the chase, seafood is nothing short of amazing to feed your doggos, and I love that our dogs always will pick whatever it may be out of their bowls before they chow down on anything else. Seafood is a vital part of a raw food diet, and for the price offers so many additional vitamins & minerals that otherwise would be missing if you fed only meats like beef or chicken. I am 100% an advocate for feeding dogs in the most natural way possible, & this is why I firmly believe that the addition of some oily fish like salmon for example is a million times better than reaching for a supplement containing those Omega fats we know to be beneficial for things like joint & coat health.

The other kicker with these types of supplements is that more often than not they are synthetic. That is they are produced in a chemical lab, using a complex chemical process. Why are they synthetic I hear you ask? Simple answer it’s cheaper to make those fatty acids than extract them from the food source that these oils are found in!

Is Fresh or Frozen Seafood Better for Dogs?

Fresh or frozen makes very little difference, in fact, I buy seafood for our guys when it’s in season & on special, then I portion it out & freeze so we can continue to offer variety all the time. This is a great tip to remember, as this will save you a lot of money! For example, my Fish Monger had a case of frozen Sardines & the box was damaged, so I grabbed 10 kilos for half price!

Feed your Dog Seafood Safely

It’s important for our friends who live in areas generally north of the equator that a lot of your fish carry worms in their flesh. To kill these & render them safe to feed raw the fish needs to be frozen for a recommended period of 1 week at -4 degrees, or minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some parasites in fish found south of the equator as well including Australia, & once again freezing will kill them. Alternatively you can cook your fish & this will do the job as well.

All the fish I feed my dogs has either been frozen or has been farmed for human consumption like Salmon. All tinned seafood produced for human consumption are worm-free so don’t stress about them at all!

What's the best Seafood for dogs?

So let's go through my top suggestions for your doggos & a quick summary of their different nutritional benefits, they are all quite different, some with stand-out specific health benefits. I have included a range of seafood that anyone can source & afford, no matter how tight your budget may be! Seafood does not have to be expensive! In no particular order let's start with Fish.

Whole Raw Fresh or Frozen Sardines for Dogs

If you can get your hands on frozen raw sardines like I can you are on a winner!  They are Packed with calcium which is vital for healthy bones & heart health. Sardines are especially high in calcium as they have tiny pin bones that contain calcium. One of the highest protein-rich foods, these guys contain a whopping 17 grams of protein per 100 grams of fish. In comparison, 100 grams of red meat contains around 15 grams. They’re a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids & are helpful for our heart health. Salmon is a popular source of Omega-3’s, but don’t count out sardines! They are much much cheaper! They’re one of the best sources with up to 18 grams of Omega-3’s in a 100 gram serving. For our friends in the states, 100gm is around 4 ounces.

Tinned Sardines in Springwater for Dogs

Canned sardines are an excellent easy addition and are luckily still a nutrient powerhouse. Not only are they still rich in calcium, selenium, & protein, the biggest benefit is that they’re incredibly convenient and cheap. Make sure you always get the ones packed in Springwater, not oil, and use this water as well at dinner time.

White Flesh Fish for dogs

I love the Budget Friendly super cheap Basa or Cod you can get frozen at your supermarket or fishmonger. Don’t discount the nutritional benefits because it's white, and has a very mild flavour in comparison to salmon for example. Now this stuff is cheap as almost all of it is farmed & imported from places like Vietnam. Normally I wouldn’t recommend imported fish, but for the quality & the crazy cheap price, I am! These are strictly monitored because they are grown for human consumption, I don’t recommend other imported species unless you know their farming practices. Nutrition-wise these types of mild white flesh fish are great, super high in protein & Omega fatty acids and B vitamins. The other bonus here is they are very low in fat, great for those on a weight protocol diet. Cooked or raw is perfectly fine.

Atlantic Salmon for Dogs

This is the Gourmet option in the fish world as it most defininoutely is not the cheapest of fish but it gets an hounerable mention because of its healthy fat ratios. That being said use it in moderation as it contains a whopping 11 grams of fat per 100 grams of fish. But it's the good fats that benefit heart health & Thyroid health due to their high Selenium content. I give my dogs a small portion of Salmon on special occasions like birthdays & holidays due to its price tag, but they love it, particularly the skin. Again, raw is fine as long as it comes from farmed fish or has been frozen to kill any worms that may be present in the wild-caught fish. As part of the special occasion treat I cook it & serve it warm, just like I like it!

Tinned Tuna in Springwater for Dogs

Again, don’t overlook a great budget-friendly fish like Tuna. It’s super convenient and available in all supermarkets. It’s the chicken of the sea! Like sardines don’t buy the ones packed in oil, go for springwater instead & look for no added salt. Health benefits are similar, but there’s slightly more Vitamin D in tuna compared to say the white flesh fish.

Next up is the Mollusc selection on the seafood buffet. What are molluscs I hear you asking? The most popular and easy-to-source ones are Oysters, Squid, & Mussels.

Oysters for Dogs

Love them or hate them are nutritional powerhouses, packed full of Zinc, important for skin health & effective wound healing. Raw oysters are also an abundant source of several vitamins and minerals. They’re a particularly good source of vitamin B12, which research has indicated plays a big role in keeping your brain healthy. Other micronutrients include Vitamin D which is vital for bone development and strength, cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system. Fresh is always best, avoid tinned oysters like the smoked ones that are packed in oil. Smoked flavoured foods are not great as the chemicals used to produce this flavour are high in nitrites, cancer-causing nasties. This is also why we do not feed dogs things like smoked bacon or ham.

Squid for Dogs

Squid, or Calamari is often overlooked when it comes to feeding your doggos. Squid is an excellent seafood starter. If your dog has not had seafood before the mild smell & taste is is great place to start. It’s easier to tempt a fussy eater with this firm, mild flesh than a strong-smelling fish like tinned tuna for example! And the added bonus is it’s fairly inexpensive. Again a really high protein source.

Mussels for Dogs

Now, My mussels absolute favourite mollusc for doggos as they are one of the highest sources of a substance called Manganese. Manganese forms the building blocks of connective tissues, think tendons & ligaments, & as such are brilliant for preventing ligament damage like cruciate tears & CCL injuries.

I just need to mention that not all mussels are created equal when it comes to Manganese. The best bang for your buck is Green Lipped or Green Shell Mussels sourced from New Zealand and now some are farmed in Tasmania as well. The other species are also packed full of the good stuff, just not as much! Just a note on preparing Mussels. You can buy from your local supermarket cooked Mussels. Cooked is fine, but if possible source raw, BUT they are a bit of a pain opening the shells though. What may surprise many is that mussels contain more digestible protein & iron than finned fish or red meats. Mussels are an excellent source of vitamins, including A, B2 and B12. & also provide excellent levels of phosphorous, copper, iodine, omega 3s, zinc & selenium. They are very low in fat as a bonus!.

Prawns for dogs

Now for that promised feast that will cost you absolutely nothing other than a bit of prep. Crustaceans, in this case, prawns. Generally, wild-caught prawns are more expensive than their farmed cousins for obvious reasons. There are some slight nutrient differences, but nothing to sweat over. Prawns are fantastic raw or cooked - just make sure if you are feeding cooked prawns to watch the sodium, as generally they are cooked in salted or seawater. I feed mine raw, or if I can be bothered and I’m cooking prawns for us I’ll set aside some & boil them up in plain unsalted water and feed them as crazy high-value treats!

Winner winner Prawn-Head Dinner

The most important thing to note about prawns, after the sodium content that is, is the heads & shells. Dogs can eat the entire thing, shells & all BUT always remove the barb on the top of the prawn heads. It can cause punctures in their mouths or worse still punctures in their throats. Grab a pair of scissors & just cut them off & feed them whole, heads, tails & all. Benefits are again an amazing low-fat protein, high in trace minerals like zinc, Iodine & Selenium.

Prawn Recipe for Dogs

Now for the best nutrient-dense bowl-boosting hack you will ever see! I needed a megaphone to say that! Wait for it, Prawn Head pate!

Have you finished a big plate of prawns & you’ve got the shells & heads left over? Don’t chuck them out, making your bin smell! The heads are full of everything good you can imagine for your doggos, all you need to do is chuck all the leftovers into a blender, add a splash of water & give them a hard time. Pour the pate into icecube trays & freeze. Voila!

The best FREE meal boosters you will ever see.

You are so welcome for this game-changing life hack! ;)

All of this being said, are you time-poor or a bit inclined to take the easy way out like me? Check out your freezer section & look for a Marinara mix of frozen seafood like fish, prawns, mussels & calamari. It’s a winner & probably cheaper than buying the seafood individually.

I keep a couple of bags of this frozen mix handy & use a handful once or twice a week as a brilliant meal addition. No muss, fuss! So people, what are you waiting for, seafood is your doggos new best friend on rotation or as a meal topper!

Winner winner fishy dinner! Check out our YouTube Video for more!

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