Benefits of Fish-Based Diets for Pets

Everyone enjoys variety in their diet – this also rings true for when it comes to selecting an appropriate diet for your furry companion. Aside from the variety, fish is a great source of meat protein for cats and dogs. And the rich nutritional value is also a great incentive to start incorporating that into your pet’s diet.

Dr Natanya Smit, a Technical Veterinary Sales Representative at ACANA, breaks down a few ideas to encourage you to consider fish as part of a meat-rich diet for your beloved pet.




Fish is a great source of protein


Your pet needs protein. Protein is the body's building blocks. While plant and meat ingredients can contribute protein in the diet, protein derived from meat ingredients are generally more digestible and contain all the essential amino acids that your pets need.


Fish as a meat ingredient is a great source of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that your pets need in their diets to remain in tip-top health.




A fish-rich diet provides a solid source of omega-3 fatty acids


Fish based diets are a great source of animal-based omega-3 fatty acids, which have important health benefits for cats and dogs.


Omega-3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties, which makes diets rich in these fatty acids a great food option for dogs and cats suffering from inflammatory conditions, such as skin allergies and joint disease. It is also good for brain health and can be included as part of a patient’s cancer treatment.


When making a food purchase for your pet, choose diets with high levels of EPA and DHA to ensure that your pet is getting all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. These details should be disclosed on the packaging of pet foods, if it’s not, they might not be included in the diet.




Provides for rotational feeding options and variety


Rotational feeding refers to a rotation which provides pets with regular dietary changes. Not only does this keep them interested in their meals, by rotational feeding you add diversity to their nutrition.


By exposing them to different protein sources you can help decrease the chances of your pets developing food sensitivities, this is particularly impactful when rotational feeding is introduced at a young age.



Provides an alternative protein source for dogs with food sensitivities


Dogs with food sensitivities might itch or show gastro-intestinal signs such as diarrhoea and vomiting. In these instances, you might limit the reaction by feeding a limited ingredient diet with a ‘novel’ meat protein, or one your dog hasn’t had exposure to.


Look out for credible vet-based brands which offer at least 50% in fish ingredients and ones which don’t contain poultry or grains as these have often been linked to food related allergic reactions in dogs.


A brand readily available to the South African pet lover is ACANA. Their Pacifica and Wild Coast options meet this criterion and provide a suitable sustainably sourced option.


Acana is made with a variety of ranch-raised meats, free-run poultry, cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish and sun-ripened fruits, vegetables and botanicals to perfectly nourish your dog or cat of all breeds and life stages.






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