Small is beautiful

Anchovies might be small, but they pack a real punch in the nutrient department. In many ways, anchovies for dogs are just about the perfect fish. They’re packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, and their small size and short lifespan means they don’t have time to accumulate large amounts of toxins from today’s increasingly polluted oceans. Want to include anchovies in your dog’s menu? Read on!

About anchovies

Anchovies are a small, brightly-coloured salt-water prey fish. The species contains more than 140 types of anchovy and they are found in various seas and oceans throughout the world. Feeding mainly on plankton, anchovies are low down in the food chain. So unlike larger, longer-lived fish, they don’t live long enough or grow sufficiently large for their bodies to become engorged with mercury and other toxic metals. This makes anchovies amongst the safest and most nutrient-rich fish to add to your dog’s food bowl.

Benefits of anchovies for dogs

Of all the fish in the sea, anchovies are right up there with other fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines in terms of their richness in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are exceptionally important to man’s best friend. They can:

  • Improve skin and coat
  • Manage inflamation
  • Benefit heart health
  • Ensure good cognitive function
  • Offer thyroid protection
  • Benefit eye health

All these facts are well supported by numerous scientific studies.

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Nutrients in anchovies

The principal nutrients in anchoves are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – promotes brain, heart and joint health, benefits thyroid metabolism
  • Selenium – reduces the risk of certain forms of cancer

But anchovies also contain trace amounts of vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B3.

How to feed your dog anchovies

Naturally, fresh anchovies would be best for your dog. If you do feed fresh anchovies, as with all fish, lightly cook them to remove any possiblity of harmful bacteria making your dog unwell. If you can’t find fresh anchovies for dogs, perhaps you local supermarket might stock frozen anchovies. These would be just perfect. Otherwise, tinned anchovies will do just fine. Ideally, your dog’s tinned anchovies should be packed in water or olive oil. You won’t need to cook these and your dog can enjoy the soft bones as well.

If you need help with feeding your dog fresh food, please contact me for further assistance.

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.


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