With Dogs and Sardines Our Dogs Get More than Fishy Breath

December 12, 2012

Dog Nutrition

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I’m always looking for fun ways to make feeding time more enjoyable for our dogs.  Can you say “spoiled?”  Yes, I know, but they’re so adorable and if giving them a healthy treat along with their daily kibble creates three happy dogs, then I’m all for it.

Recently, I started feeding our dogs fish oil.  I purchase the capsules, cut them open, and drizzle one capsule over each dog’s food (three capsules, three dogs).  When I was doing my research on the benefits of fish oil, I came across dog owners who give their dogs olive oil and coconut oil.  I also learned that dogs can get some of the benefits they receive from fish oil from sardines.

Dogs and Sardines and Olive Oil?

On a trip to Costco, I saw a package of canned sardines in olive oil and decided to give them a try…

  • Sardines are high in omega-3 oils, which are great for our dogs’ skin and coat
  • Sardines are great for brain functioning, making them ideal for puppies and senior dogs
  • Sardines are great for arthritis; the oils loosens stiff joints
  • Sardines are great for the immune system
  • Sardines are lower that other fish in heavy metal contamination  due to their size
  • Sardines can be high in sodium

How many sardines should we give our dogs?

I read that 1 tin of sardines a couple times a week is great for a small dog, larger dogs can eat more.  Since we’re serving our dogs sardines as a treat, they split 1 tin a few times a week (3-4 sardines in a tin).

Won’t my dog smell like sardines?

Our dogs do have fishy breath immediately after eating sardines, but it goes away quickly.  Of course, this is our experience.  To be honest, I have fishy breath too, because I love sardines.  My boyfriend stays away from all of us for about 30 minutes.


So, buy the sardines in olive oil?

I’m going to say “it depends.”  The sardines I picked up at Costco (Wild Planet) are packed in olive oil.  The brand that I picked up at the grocery store (Brunswick) had less olive oil.  If you do go this route – watch that you’re not picking up sardines in soybean oil.  In my research, I found some who say dogs can’t digest soybeans and others who say it’s great for their skin and coat.  I chose to stay away from that oil since there are others that are beneficial to our dogs in small amounts.

If you’re not certain about sardines in olive oil, purchase the ones in water, not oils or other flavors (including lemon).  In each article recommending olive oil for our dogs, the writer recommends drizzling the oil on their food.  So, to be on the safe side, I give them the sardines (we did buy a case of them) and only add a drizzle of the oil to their food.

I mix the sardines and the oil drizzle to their kibble 2 times a week.  What I like about this option is that it saves us a lot of money.  We were feeding them canned food as  treat, the sardines are just as yummy and healthier.  I think I’ll try tuna next.

If you have dogs and sardines, then this recipe by Kim Clune is for you…

What do you mix with your dog’s kibble to give them a little treat?

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16 Responses to “With Dogs and Sardines Our Dogs Get More than Fishy Breath”

  1. Andre Joe Says:

    Hi Kim,
    I did not know that sardine has many nutrition in it.
    Do you think i should feed my dog with some sardines?
    Please let me know.
    You know, that’s why i don’t feed sardine to my dog. He will soon smell like sardines.
    Andre Joe recently published..Dog Behavior Problems: Tips for Dealing with Excessive ChewingMy Profile


  2. Ann Paws Says:

    I’m sure my dog would just love those. She loves all kinds of stinky treats. Great idea!
    Ann Paws recently published..Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Pet OrnamentsMy Profile


    • Kimberly Says:

      It’s been fun researching food and trying new things with our dogs. With the sardines, we learned that the ones in water are best (we also tried the ones in olive oil, but it’s too hard to limit the amount of olive oil, although it’s supposed to be good for them too). We give them the sardines as a treat once a week. They each get one fish mixed into their kibble.

      They love it!
      Kimberly recently published..Our Dogs Love Them, but Are Raw Bones Safe for Dogs?My Profile


  3. Carolyn Says:

    I’ve been giving my dogs sardines for, gosh, well over a year now – maybe 2. They love them. I give them all varieties – in soybean oil, in water, lightly smoked, in mustard, in tomato sauce… I usually get them at Grocery Outlet – they’re .79/can, or well, I think they’ve gone up to maybe .89/can now. I add some to their breakfast every day. My little one (8 lb chi/poodle mix) went to see the vet not long ago and said his teeth looked absolutely wonderful for not having had them cleaned (she said small dogs typically need their teeth cleaned fairly frequently) and said to keep doing what I’m doing. Perhaps that’s got something to do with the sardines – but not sure.


  4. Jen Says:

    Interesting:) I’ve heard a lot of people give sardines to their dogs. I’m so not a fish person, but the dogs get salmon and cod liver caps everyday. The smell bums me right out. I don’t know if I could do the sardines, I’m not sure if I can handle that much fish!. Maybe one day I’ll try it:)
    Jen recently published..Wordless Wednesday. This Year Santa’s Driving A HarleyMy Profile


  5. Jana Rade Says:

    Jasmine’s food, while not pretty looking, is yummy enough (home cooked). Sometimes, to make it more special, I put whole chunks of meat on it (as hers is normally blended), particularly when we’re having steak, roast etc.

    When JD gets his freeze-dried raw, I don’t add anything to it (and he thinks that’s yummy as it is. When he gets some kibble, I add a bit of Jasmine’s food on top. He thinks that’s awesome.

    And then they both get desert, of course. Can’t have dinner without a desert.
    Jana Rade recently published..Cookie’s Platelet Rich Plasma TherapyMy Profile


    • Kimberly Says:

      Jana – I’m really considering cooking for our dogs. I know that it’ll be better, but I worry about them receiving all of their nutrients. I have my first cookbook and I’m going to order a second. Do you save money by cooking?
      Kimberly recently published..Keep the Tail Wagging, The Premier Pet Blog for Dog LoversMy Profile


      • Jana Rade Says:

        Well, there are a number ways to make sure all nutrients are there in right proportion. Dr. Becker’s book is good. Still waiting to get the Dog Food Dude’s book. You can also work with http://www.balanceIT.com. Or you can work a nutritionist to get a custom-tailored recipes.

        Do I save money by cooking? Depends on what you’re comparing it with and where and how you get your ingredients. When we get meat from a farmer, then it’s relatively cheap. It’s also good because it’s organic and includes all kinds of organ meats.

        Overall, no, I wouldn’t say I save money. But it’s working for Jasmine and that’s the important thing.
        Jana Rade recently published..Cookie’s Platelet Rich Plasma TherapyMy Profile


  6. Corinna Says:

    My dogs are huge fans of vegetables…but maybe that is because I have never given them fish. I will try adding sardines to their kibble this weekend. Thanks for the tip!
    Corinna recently published..Holiday Baker: White Chocolate Cranberry CookiesMy Profile


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