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Can dogs and cats eat fish? Here’s why you should add it to their diet

You should know that not only can dogs and cats eat fish, but it is actually a super beneficial food for them.
Choosing a fish-based diet for our four-legged companions is definitely an excellent idea. In this article, we will explain all the reasons why you should!

1 -Fish is an excellent source of “noble” proteins for dogs and cats

Let’s start by saying that fish is an excellent source of proteins for dogs and cats.
Adding it to your cat's or dog’s diet will provide your pet with all the proteins it needs and essential amino acids!
Fish, in fact, contains all the essential amino acids in adequate proportions, in addition to having an excellent biological value.
Fish can be divided into:
  • lean fish (containing up to 3% fat), for example, bass, sea bream, sole and trout;
  • semi-oily fish (containing up to 10% fat), for example, carp fish, snapper, swordfish and tuna fish;
  • oily fish (containing more than 10% fat), for example, eel, mackerel and salmon.
This classification mainly highlights the calorie count of the fish (which directly depends on their fat content).
Also, the types of fish with the highest fat content are also highest in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, both crucial for the health of our furry friends.
In general, however, whether you opt for a fish-based dry food or wet food, it will be formulated so that the calorie count and amount of essential nutrients for dog and cat health is well balanced.
So all in all, fish as a food product is truly an excellent alternative to meat in the diet of our four-legged companions because of its very high nutritional value.
The two mainly differ in the amount of proteins and lipids.
Meat is generally richer in amino acids and fats. But the lipid quality of fish is far superior.
Fish also stands out for its reduced cholesterol content and abundance of essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6)
And, compared with meat, fish is definitely easier to digest, thanks to the lower amount of connective tissue.

 2 – Fish is very high in Omega-3 and Omega-6

Omega-3 and Omega-6 are found in abundance in fish.
These are the two categories of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids and they are critical in maintaining the health of the cells throughout the body and preventing cardiovascular problems.
Furthermore, since fatty acids serve as precursors of eicosanoid (EPA and DHA) synthesis, Omega-3 and Omega-6 also affect inflammatory reactions, immune resistance, lipid metabolism alterations, thrombotic processes, and neoplastic diseases. That should give you an idea of their huge role in the body!
However, the body is unable to synthesise them. This means they have to be necessarily supplied through the diet!
For a diet to be really adequate and balanced, the content of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids has to be properly balanced.

3 – Fish contains “good” cholesterol

Fish fat is considerably different from the fat commonly used to produce the majority of dog and cat food and definitely bears no relation to the fat sourced from bovine and swine meat.
The latter contains high levels of VLDL cholesterol, commonly known as “bad cholesterol”, while fish is rich in what is referred to as “good cholesterol” or HDL.
HDL cholesterol can induce a reduction in the overall level of cholesterol in the blood and is therefore very beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases.

4 - Fish is a source of valuable trace elements

Fish is a very rich source of vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium.
These are critical for the healthy growth and development of puppies and in an adult dog maintenance diet.

5 – The skeleton to muscle mass ratio in fish provides a higher contribution of high-quality parts in the feed

The percentage of skeletal structure in fish is much lower than that of the muscle mass and this is an advantage when it comes to converting fish to meal for dog and cat food production.
In fact, there is less ash and more of the parts considered “noble” in the final product.

6 – Fish is considered to be an adequate and healthy food in the diet of dogs and cats

In terms of pesticides and pathogens, fish is a safe food.
However, the presence of heavy metals in the fish needs to be taken into account; this varies depending on fish size and longevity.
For this reason, choosing safe fish farms or accurately controlled and selected wild-caught fish is crucial.
Forza10 employs fish proteins from wild-caught, small surface fish. Since they are at the bottom of the “food pyramid”, they have a shorter life than larger-sized fish and are less likely to build up heavy metals and toxic pollutants in their body and muscles.
As we have just learned, fish is a food rich in beneficial properties and dogs and cats can definitely eat it. We hope we convinced you how important it is to add it to the diet of your four-legged companions!