I thought it would be helpful to separate the two types of fish into oily and non-oily.
As discussed in the 'What about fresh fish' page, we include raw and whole (wherever possible) fish in the raw diet because they are a very good souce of Omega 3s and depending on your other diet choices, if you leave fish out of the diet, then your dog could be left lacking these valuable nutrients.
So when we choose a fish to include, we should be looking for the 'oily' types, as these are much higher in Omega 3s.
It is interesting to note that Tuna fish falls into both categories, if it is fresh, then it's an oily fish, but if it is canned, so much of the vital nutrients are lost it's omega 3 levels are now comparible with that of white fish
If you really must used canned fish instead of fresh, try to go for fish in spring water, rather than oil as unfortunately the oil surrounding the canned fish is usually sunflower oil and not only will cause free radical damage as discussed HERE will also cancel out the good fats in the fish, so you are basically wasting your money
A canned fish in tomato sauce also would be a better choice than in oil........
But by chosing to feed fresh fish, there is also the concern over fish which contain contaminents.
We need to choose a fish that is high in the much prized Omega 3s, but is also free from the contaminents associated with the industrial pollution of our seas. Fresh fish can contain high levels mercury and something called PCBs.
PCBs are carcinogens (cancer causing agent) that were banned over 40 years ago, but because they don't degrade they are in our seas and can be carried in the fat of the animal encountering and consuming them.
The more fat a fish has, the more PCBs it may contain.
Farmed salmon may be one to avoid as it is 50% more fatty than it's wild caught truly pink cousins. Farmed salmon is grey because it doesn't take on the pink tinge from the Krill wild salmon consume and so farmed salmon has pigment added to it to mimic this!!
Certain fish, such as Blue Fin Tuna can contain such high levels that it would not be safe for a child to eat it more than once a month or so.
A general rule of thumb is that the smaller and younger the fish, the less like it is of contaminating you!
Sprats are my number one choice of fresh fish to feed my dogs, they are cheap, oily, small and on the list!! Sprats are not available all year round, so I stock up my freezers when they are.
Fornunately, due to a report published recently an organisation called 'Sustain' analysed information from several sources, including the UK Food Standards Agency, we can be reassured.
Their task was to draw up a list of the top fish choices available which means the highest in Omega 3s and the safest to consume.
Different types of oily and non oily fish
Highlighted fish are recommended for being the highest in omega 3s, but also the safest and most free from pollution. These also represent fish which are sustainable.
I hope you find this helpful when deciding which fish will be on your dog's menu And when deciding how much fish to include, look at how many meals you dog consumes per week and how varied his diet is. Also is he small large or inbetween?
If you feed twice a day then you could easily include 2 fish meals per week, whilst still leaving plenty of opportunity for a wide variety of other foods. If you feed just once a day then it would be better to include added fish to certain meals, to mix and match with the right type of food again depends on which type of fish you are feeding. If it is whole fish, please remember it contains bones, so feed it alongside a meaty meal or with tripe. If it is a fish steak without bone, feed it alongside a bonier choice, such as chicken, either minced or on the bone.
As a general guide fish can make up a whole daily feed, or whatever the total days feed amounts to, or you can add a bit here and there to various meals to the value of a total of one full meal, per week.......... So in one week your dog may consume one fish meal, two smaller fish meals or several meals with added fish, whichever way you choose to do it doesn't really matter, fish is flexible too!