Sprats for Dogs
What are sprats?
Sprat is the common name applied to a group of forage fish, typically 6 to 8cm long. They are highly active, small, oily fish and travel in large schools with other fish swimming continuously throughout the day. They have been recognised for their nutritional value as they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, which is considered to be beneficially to both the human and animal diet.
Are sprats good for dogs?
Sprats are a great, delicious and nutritional snack/treat for dogs. Some of the benefits include
- Boosts and maintains heart function
- Improves overall skin and coat condition
- Reduces itching and dryness of the skin
- Provides some relief from some forms of allergies
- Improves overall joint health and arthritic pain relief
These benefits can be attributed to their high omega-3 content. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, dogs are unable to make this themselves and must obtain omega-3 from their food. It is vital for many bodily functions therefore a key nutrient for your dog’s diet. Fish provides the body with many essential nutrients which keep dogs running smoothly, including iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium. Iodine is important for the thyroid gland, and selenium makes enzymes which can help to protect against cancer. Fish are also excellent sources of many vitamins, including vitamins A and D.
Eating fish can improve circulation as well as protecting the heart from disease and lowering the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Eating more fish during the week in both your diet and your dogs can drastically reduce the risk of developing heart related issues due to the nutritional benefits, low in saturated fats and high in Omega-3. As little as one extra portion of fish per week can reduce the risk of heart disease in half.
A common issue with dogs as they get older is arthritis. It can be difficult to watch dogs suffering with arthritis which is why we recommend adding fish regularly into their daily diet. Whether this is through their daily food, supplements, oils or treats. Eating fish has been shown to ease the symptoms and aid prevention of arthritis in dogs. It is also great for brainpower, which is something that can impact both young and older dogs. This can be beneficial to older dogs to help maintain their brain health and remain active, as well as benefiting growing puppies who are just learning and developing.
Eating oil-rich fish regularly can help to keep the eyes bright and healthy. Fish also contain retinol, a form of vitamin A which boosts night vision. Not only does omega-3 help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the UV damage, but eating lots of fish can also help with the symptoms of skin conditions and itchiness. Fish is also a great source of protein, which is an essential ingredient of collagen, a substance which keeps the skin firm and flexible.