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Fermented fish stock is one of the healthiest foods I add to my dogs' diet.  I order it by the case from Answers Pet Food.  But not everyone has access to food and other products made by Answers.

After several years of looking, I finally think I figured out how to make fermented fish stock at home.  Check out this DIY recipe - would you make it?

Fermented fish stock is one of the healthiest foods that I have in my dogs' freezer. We have five big dogs from 1-1/2 years all the way up to 10 years of age and each dog enjoys several tablespoons of fermented fish stock at least five days a week. Why not every day? Because there are times when I forget to thaw out a container.

I order the fish stock made by Answers Pet Food (by the case) through a local raw food co-op or through a local pet store. I've made fermented vegetables many times for my dogs, but I've never tried fermenting fish because I don't know if we'll ever get that smell out of the house. But if I could somehow make it outside, I'd be all over it.

Benefits of Answers Pet Food's Fermented Fish Stock

  • Joint health – fermented fish stock is high in glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin) and promotes an anti-inflammatory response in the body
  • Thyroid health – fermented fish stock is a great source of iodine
  • Digestive health – fermented fish stock adds beneficial bacteria to the gut while protecting the gut and easing symptoms of gut disorders
  • Helps with liver detox – fermented fish stock helps the body remove unwanted toxins and may improve liver health
  • Skin and coat health – fermented fish stock is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which boosts skin and coat health
  • Brain and cognitive health – those Omega 3 fatty acids also support brain health, making this a great supplement for growing puppies and senior dogs
  • Immune system boost – because fermented fish stock boosts gut health, it also boosts immune system health (healthy gut, healthy dog)
  • Great for dogs with kidney disease – fermented fish stock offsets the low protein diet and helps to reduce stress on kidneys
  • Supports heart health – fermented fish stock is rich in CoQ10

The fermented fish stock formulated by Answers Pet Food is also recommended for dogs with diabetes and seizures.

Fermented Fish Recipe

A friend of mine (thanks, Jack) sent me his recipe for fermented fish stock for me to share on my blog.


  • 5-7 very fresh sardines
  • 1-2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
  • 5-7 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • Fresh dill or some dill seeds
  • 1 cup of whey
  • Large knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Tea towel
  • Wide-mouth 1 liter mason jar


  • Descale the fish, cut the heads off, and clean the belly out.
  • Place them into the glass jar. Add all the other ingredients.
  • Top up with water so the fish is completely covered,
  • Close the lid tightly, cover with a tea towel and let it ferment for 3-5 days at room temperature. When the fish is ready take the meat off the bones, cut into bite-size pieces and serve with fresh dill and a wicked green salad.

So, with that last line about the “wicked green salad” this is obviously a recipe for humans, but we can adjust it for our dogs. None of the ingredients are toxic to dogs, however, if I were making this recipe, I'd cut the peppercorn (it's just pepper before grinding) in half for personal preference.

Now, we have fermented fish, we need to create a stock to have fermented fish stock.

Making the Fish Stock

There are several “fish stock” recipes on YouTube and they aren't recipes that I'd follow to make fish stock for my dogs. However, you can find tips on how to turn your fermented fish into a stock.

In the above video, the person is making what looks to be a yummy fish stock. What I would do to make fermented fish stock is:

  • Add water to a stock pot along with any other dog-safe ingredients
  • Simmer for 90 minutes then allow to cool.
  • Take the fermented fish created from the recipe above and add it to the stockpot.
  • Mix the ingredients, then remove the fish heads and other parts, and strain the broth through a fine sieve.
  • You now have fermented fish stock to feed and freeze.

I happen to have a friend who is familiar with the “real” recipe and he gave me some feedback on the above instructions so I'm confident that this will work. It won't be the same, but it's a good alternative.

Is DIY Better than Answers Pet Food?

Personally, I don't think so. And anyone who has fed food, supplements, or treats produced by Answers would agree. There is something about Answers – their sourcing, limited ingredients, attention to detail – that makes everything that they come up with better than anything I can make in my kitchen. So why the recipe?

Not everyone has access to products from Answers Pet Food. I've received many emails from people asking me if there is a recipe and when a friend shared his recipe, I realized that while this may not be the same as what I buy from Answers Pet Food, it may be similar. And, I wanted to share these recipes for folks who enjoy cooking, DIY, or don't have access to Answers Pet Food products.

I don't plan on switching from Answers Pet Food to the recipe shared here, however, I am curious about the recipe and others I found on YouTube. I love eating fish and I love eating fermented foods – could I be on to something that I could make for myself from time to time?

More Recipes for Raw Feeders

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