Anchovies: Are They Good For Your Dog?
Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes
Summary: In this blog, we look into the benefits of feeding your dog anchovies, what makes them the perfect addition to your pup's diet, and how to add these powerful fish into your pet’s life.
Let’s face it, our furry best friends know how to eat! From eggshells to poop from other animals, our pups will try to consume pretty much anything they can get their paws on - but not all of it is good for them.
As puppy parents, we want to always make sure we’re giving our pups food that will benefit them and keep them healthy - rather than an emergency trip to the vets! Well, turns out there might be a small, silvery fish that you can add to your dog’s diet, supporting their health in more ways than one...
Anchovies; you’ve no doubt heard of how good these tiny fish are for us humans - especially the oil they produce. Well, turns out these nutrient-dense fish are great for your dog, too!
Packed with healthy fats and a plethora of vitamins and minerals, anchovies are small, silvery fish with blue and green flecks along their backs. There are over 100 species of anchovy, which can be found in shallow tropical seas - often linking to river mouths. Ranging from 5-6 inches, these tasty ‘oily’ swimmers grow quickly and live their lives in huge schools, consuming plankton, which helps them to gain their health-benefiting properties.
Just like sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon, anchovies are classed as an ‘oily fish’, which produce a great natural source of omega 3 - perfect for supporting your dog’s brain, skin, coat, joints, and overall health.
Take a look at some of the incredible health benefits anchovies can offer your dog...
A lot of health difficulties our pups face can be linked to inflammation; joint pain, allergies, itching, and gum problems - which is why anchovies are perfect for supporting your pup’s overall health.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in anchovies have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to combat stressors that could lead to dangerous chronic inflammation (the first stepping stones to some illnesses and diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and digestive problems).
Now, you must have heard over and over again how good omega-3 fatty acids are for us humans - well, they offer the same health benefits to our pups, too, including supporting brain functions and development. When your dog is young, it is extremely important to give support as much as possible during the high growth periods - our pups don’t stay puppies forever, unfortunately! Anchovies are perfect for helping your dog’s ability to learn by providing vital fatty acids.
These tiny fish are packed with fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the latter makes up 10-20% of the fats in your pup’s brain. DHA is very important for memory, brain development, and overall cognition. So, by adding anchovies to your pet’s diet, the DHA fatty acids could help support their brain health and functions.
Anchovies offer a multitude of nutrients - not just omega-3! These bountiful, tiny fish contain calcium, iron, and other important minerals that can benefit your pooch. Plus, they're also a great source of essential vitamins; A, B12, K, E, and B6, that can offer support to your dog’s brain, heart, and natural defenses.
Another wonderful benefit provided by anchovies is their ability to support skin & coat health. The magical omega-3 comes into play again, maintaining coat conditions whilst providing moisture to dry, itchy skin. Plus the platter of vitamins and minerals can help to keep your dog’s coat thick and shiny.
As mentioned above, anchovies contain high levels of DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid that supports brain functions - including memory. Particularly when it comes to juvenile dogs, their brain is continuously developing, so it is imperative to aid their growth and development in this vital stage - that’s where anchovies can come to the rescue and offer natural support.
Of course, it is also important to remember that anything you give your dog should be in moderation and some anchovies are sold in ways that can be super unhealthy...
Anchovies packed in salt, large amounts of oil, or doused in spice are definite no-nos as they can be toxic! High volumes of sodium found in salt is bad, so should be avoided at all costs when it comes to adding anchovies to your dog’s diet.
So, is fish good for dogs? Well, when it comes to anchovies, the simple answer is, yes! And, anchovies might just be the best option for your pup. A lot of fish are unfortunately tainted with pollutants and toxins - especially fish further up the food chain; salmon, tuna, and mackerel. However, anchovies are at the bottom of the food chain and live only for a short period of time, meaning they are less likely to harbor these toxic pollutants - perfect for your pup to eat and only gain the awesome health benefits.