Last week, a group member asked the following question on Random Question Wednesday:
“If my dog doesn't eat fish is there anything besides salmon oil I need to feed or give supplement wise?”
This is an excellent question because I'm noticing that a lot of people are raising dogs that aren't a fan of fish – raw or otherwise. Because I didn't have a source for raw fish for so long, I have a list of alternatives that I still add to my dogs' raw diet today to make sure they get the Omega-3 fatty acids they need for skin and coat health, joint health, and more.
Benefits of Fish for Raw Fed Dogs
But before I share my alternatives, I wanted to remind you of why our dogs need fish in their raw food diet.
The meat that we feed our dogs brings various levels of Omega-6 fatty acids to the table which promote inflammation. That inflammation is what contributes to joint issues, allergies, digestive issues, and more. Offsetting Omega-6 fatty acids with the Omega-3 fatty acids from raw fish brings our dogs' systems back into balance.
Omega-3 fatty acids act as a natural anti-inflammatory and support joint health, skin and coat health, brain development in puppies, cognitive functions in senior dogs, gut health, and immune system health.
If we're lucky, our dogs will lick their dishes clean when raw fish is added; but not everyone's dog is a fan.
Alternatives to Fish for Raw Fed Dogs
1 – In Clover Glow Chews
This is an Omega-3 supplement that I give to my dogs as a treat. They're shaped like small flowers, smell like fish, and the dogs LOVE THEM! If you are looking for an alternative to fish and your dog enjoys chew treats, this might be a good option. I give my dogs 1-2 chews a day, a few days a week.
If you are interested in trying In Clover Glow, you can save 10% on your order (and future orders) when you use the discount code KTTW10 at check out.
- CLICK HERE to order Glow at InClover.com.
1 – Bonnie and Clyde Fish Oil
You might be surprised to see me add fish oil when someone says that their dog doesn't like fish but Bonnie & Clyde is different from other fish oils. It doesn't have a strong fish smell or taste and may be able to be mixed into your dog's food without them realizing that you pulled a fast one.
What I love about BNC is that the fish oil is free of toxins, it's low in calories, and it includes a natural source of Vitamin E (from sunflowers).
- CLICK HERE to order Bonnie & Clyde Fish Oil
One of my friends recently called me out on Facebook for not warning her about how canned oysters smell. I laughed because they don't have a smell to me – but I'm not bothered by green tripe either. If your dog doesn't like fish, maybe your dog wouldn't mind canned oysters. I buy a brand called Geisha, and I swear it doesn't have a strong smell and they're small.
Oysters offer Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and manganese. Many raw diets are low or lacking in zinc and manganese, so this is a fantastic addition. Buy a can and see if your dog shows an interest and if he or she isn't feeling the oysters, I have an idea – keep reading. Don't get the smoked oysters – I always look for canned in water with the lowest sodium content. I rinse them well before feeding them to my dogs.
- CLICK HERE to order canned oysters
Green Lipped Mussel Powder
Green lipped mussel powder is great for dogs with arthritis, and it also supports skin and coat health – why? – because it has a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. GLM powder does smell like mussels, it's very strong, but it doesn't bother my dogs or me. The dosage of GLM powder is three teaspoons per every 15 pounds of body weight.
- CLICK HERE to order green lipped mussel powder
Veggie Mix for Dogs
And if none of those options work and you feed your dogs vegetables, then creating a vegetable mix that contains pureed oysters and green lipped mussel powder may work for your dog. I recently made a batch of pureed vegetables for the dogs using the following recipe, and they have been a hit!