Dry winter weather dehydrates your pup's skin, just as it does yours. A natural source of healthy fish oils, sardines work to rehydrate a dog's skin and fur and prevent moisture from leaving the tissues. This translates to shiny, glossy fur and an overall improvement in skin and coat health for your bestie.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in sardines benefit a pup's skin and fur coat. The fatty acids can literally rebuild skin cell walls, making them stronger. The oil acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, which can soothe and moisturize dry skin. If your pup experiences skin allergies or seasonal dry skin, regular fish oil can help the skin feel better. You may see your pup's coat grow more glossy or shiny from the fatty acids.
Sardines -- and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids -- do so much more than boost skin and fur health. Their anti-inflammatory properties soothe arthritic joints in older animals. Sardines can improve the mental functions of young pups and cognitive abilities of senior dogs. Fish oils help regulate doggie immune systems, boosting those that need help and stabilizing overactive and compromised immune systems, such as those combating autoimmune diseases.
Fresh sardines come packed in either oil or water. Choose the water-packed version to keep this treat low-fat. Offer a small dog of 20 pounds or less one sardine, which contains approximately 25 calories. Feed a 50-pound dog two sardines. For variety, substitute jack mackerel or pink salmon or feed fish oil capsules to realize the same skin and fur benefits. For the latter, offer 150 milligrams of fish oils per 10 pounds of body weight for a healthy dog, and double this amount for a sick pup.
If you overfeed sardines, the oils can cause tummy troubles. If you notice diarrhea, gas or loose stools, cut back on the amount of fish you're feeding. If you choose fish oil capsules, store in a dark bottle out of direct sunlight. If the pills begin to smell fishy, the oils have turned rancid and you should discard them.
By Elton Dunn
About the Author
A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.