Yes, dogs can eat kippers. High in essential proteins, Omega -3 fatty acids, and low calories, they make an amazing addition to a pooch’s diet. These specially smoked herrings are highly delectable and also safe for canine consumption like mackerels, anchovies, etc. However, given their high salt composition, kippers should only make up as occasional add-ons and that too in a controlled amount.
As beneficial they might be, these salty dried silver fish can also impact a dog’s health greatly. To know more, keep on reading till the end.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Kippers?
- 2 Can Dogs Eat Kippers?
- 3 Can Dogs eat all kinds of Kippers?
- 4 Are there any side effects of offering this dish to dogs?
- 5 How to make canine safe kippers at home?
- 6 Can I feed Kipper Oil to my Dog?
What are Kippers?
Derived from small silvery fish (herring) residing in the coastal waters, kipper is actually a human-grade dish that is also safe for little Fidos. This particular dish comes with whole herrings that are split from head to tail and coupled with either salt or pickles. Afterwards, they are cold smoked or left to dry in the open air, so that all the spices or seasonings seep into the fish properly.
Given their easy-to-prepare composition, many individuals choose to prepare their own kippers. Although, you can also purchase the same from your nearby seafood store or local retail malls.
Can Dogs Eat Kippers?
Yes, only if offered in mild amounts and after a thorough vet consultation. This dish, when offered in the right manner, offers intense nutritional benefits. Some of these include:
Dogs are omnivores, and hence need a constant supply of proteins for their optimal growth. And while most of these proteins are made available through their daily meals, a tiny bit of rarer proteins may be lacking, leading to stunted growth or dip in energy levels.
So, to ensure that the canine’s body is not missing out necessary elements, introducing a high-protein diet such as kippers can come handy. They consist of all essential proteins and other supplements that will ascertain good growth and proper muscular development.
Omega-3 fatty acids
A great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, careful administration of this fish dish in canines has been found to be highly beneficial against rough canine skin and coat. So, if your dog has had a history of rough or flaky skin, frequent skin issues or allergies, then kippers are definitely a dish that can come handy.
The nutritional composition keeps their skin amply moisturized, hair growth phase active and skin issues at bay. Various studies also show that the fatty acids prevent infestations by various microbes and parasites, thereby aiding in their proper development.
Apparently the best feature of kippers is their low calorie composition. Unlike other meat types, these small silvery fishes have nil or very low calorie counts, making them a good choice for all dogs, both obese and healthy ones.
Thus, when you feed your little Fido with this palatable dish, you can absolutely stay sure that the action won’t risk the occurrence of more fat layers. However, you will still be needed to consult with your veterinarian, and then only proceed ahead with the administration.
Smell and taste good
Finally, if your little one tends to leave food in his/her bowl, then adding a few kipper pieces will definitely leave them licking the plate clean. As they come bearing delicious add-ons and are thoroughly dried in open air or cold smoked, they retain the natural fish smell.
This in turn attracts fussy eaters as their little noses are overwhelmed by the sudden tasty smell. Hence, most often vets and canine nutritional specialists advise adding kippers to your pooch’s regular diet so that they get a perfectly well balanced diet.
Can Dogs eat all kinds of Kippers?
Even though the small silvery coastal fishes are relatively safe on your beloved fur baby’s digestive system, not all kinds of kippers are safe. Fishes are known to bear spiky bones and therefore offering this dish in only canned or fresh bone-free forms is best advised. This is because both of these forms come without the spiky skeletal structure and are also a little less salty than the human-grade kipper dishes.
When ignored, it risks the little one to extreme choking hazards, where the bones could get stuck in their intestines or worse esophagus. This in turn will induce a severe gag reflex that could fast grow wrong in all possible ways. Such a pup will require immediate veterinary attention, failing which will put a detrimental effect on their health.
Apart from that, if you really want to experiment with a salty fish dish like this one, seeking prior vet consultation is a must. Without professional help, there is no way to know if introducing the new diet would be a hit or a risk. So, only after your veterinarian green-flags the consumption, should you go for it. Some dogs may have a hard time digesting the heavy nutrient composition, hence making sure that the canine’s digestive system won’t be affected at all is a must do.
Are there any side effects of offering this dish to dogs?
The potential side effects of feeding kippers to your dog includes:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps and joint stiffness
- Extreme and fast dehydration
- Sodium ion poisoning
- Food sensitivities
- Skin rashes, infections, inflammation
- Dry, flaky skin
It is highly essential to remember that not every dog is made the same. Hence, a feed that one dog can digest easily could leave a disastrous impact on another Fido. And thus, consulting a qualified and experienced vet or a canine nutritional specialist is deemed necessary.
Most of the above-mentioned effects are caused due to the immense amounts of sodium in the dish. And although there is nothing you can do when it comes to canned or store-available kippers, you could always prepare your own freshly made coastal silvery fish dish at home.
How to make canine safe kippers at home?
For this you will only need:
- Fresh kippers
- Butter or a little canine-safe vegetable oil
Now coming on to the main preparation part:
- Wash the kippers thoroughly, making sure to cover easy to miss places like the fins, tail and other ridges. Usually running water is the best choice, although you can also dip the fishes in warm water for a while to loosen any dirt that may be sticking on to them.
- Once they are properly cleaned, cut them along the dorsal ridge from head to toe. You can leave a little space at the end, so the two sides stay interconnected or can separate both the parts.
- Remove the bones. Herrings usually have small sized bones which need to be carefully removed. Although big dogs have no issues munching down the bones, it is better to offer them without any of the spiky little things. Typically using a tweezer helps efficiently remove all bones without risking painful punctures to your fingers.
- Next once every tiny little bone has been plucked out, add a little butter or a tiny amount of vegetable oil to the herring’s body.
- There is no need to add any salt or other seasonings as dog’s don’t need the irrelevant taste of the spices we humans consume. Also it keeps the kipper comparatively safer for the canine to ingest without falling prey to a bad case of runny diarrhea.
- Grill the kipper or deep fry them until they are golden brown. To know if they have been properly fried or not, make a small gap through one of your forks or the cooking spoon you are using. If not ready, sizzle them for a few more minutes.
- Serve when cold.
Kippers are not only tasty but also healthy human-grade snacks that can be occasionally offered to your canine. However, for this you need to know how much of the dish is good for your pup, and what to do if anything goes wrong.
Can I feed Kipper Oil to my Dog?
Yes you can, but given that the oil is low in sodium. Much like the dish, readily available kipper oil in stores have intense amounts of salt in them which upon consumption can easily lead to sodium ion poisoning, also known as salt toxicosis.
The side effects of this medical condition are greatly demanding on the pup’s body. Hence, if you want to help your pupper get the benefits of Omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients, you will have to search for canine-safe kipper oil. On the other hand, you could also try and prepare your own homemade kipper oil, so that you have an idea of the ingredients.
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