Are Sardines Good For My Dog’s Health?

Health, Nutrition

The simple answer is ‘Yes’, your dog can eat sardines. Sardines are not only good for humans, but dogs too.

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Why Would You Feed Your Dog Sardines?

Sardines can make a nutritious, healthy and high value treat for dogs, because they are packed full of nutrients that will benefit your dog’s health.

The nutrients found in sardines are;

  • Protein ~ sardines are a great source of protein, which helps your dog to remain healthy.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids ~ Omega-3 fatty acids helps to keep the immune system strong, is used in developing muscles (particularly good for puppies), boosts health and helps to reduce inflammation.
  • Co-enzyme Q10 ~ Co-enzyme Q10 is found in every cell in the body and can help with your dog’s heart health, dental health, gastrointestinal health, liver health, brain health as well as being immune boosting.
  • Vitamins D ~ Vitamin D helps develop and maintain healthy muscles and bones.
  • Vitamin B12 ~  Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays an important role in within the body of dogs including the function of the brain and nervous system, cell growth, protein synthesis, metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, and the formation of red blood cells.
  • Sardines are low in mercury because they are small-sized fish.

Which Sardines Should You Give Your Dog?

The best canned sardines to give to your dog are the ones in water, with no salt added, or ones that are in natural oils such as olive oil or coconut oil. Even better if you have fresh sardines! Sardines are soft-boned fish and so you can feed them whole to your dog.

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Avoid giving your dogs canned sardines in the following liquids;

  • Sunflower Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soy Oil
  • Tomato Sauce (or any type of sauce)

Keep your sardines as natural as possible.

How Many Sardines Can I Give My Dog?

We give Barney & Sandy half a can each, once a week (usually on a Friday with their evening meal). Or you can feed small dogs one small sardine, canned, per day and large dogs, one large sardine, canned, per day.

Our Sardine Snicky Snack Recipe

This recipe might cause some discussion because of the ingredients, aside from the sardines!

Turmeric and Black Pepper ~ Turmeric is becoming more popular, in cooking and for its natural healing abilities. Turmeric is has anti-inflammatory properties, which are believed to be a result of the ingredient curcumin. Black Pepper helps the body absorb the turmeric better. The amount used in these dog biscuits is very small.

Garlic ~ Many people believe that garlic is poisonous to dogs. Garlic in small amounts is safe and even beneficial to dogs. You can read more about garlic for dogs here.

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What You’ll Need for the Sardine Snicky Snacks

  • 1 can of sardines, in water (we use Fish 4 Ever Sustainably-fished Scottish Brisling Sardines in Spring Water)
  • 250g of almond flour (or any other gluten-free flour)
  • 1 small clove of garlic (peeled, crushed and finely chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (I used the tip of a teaspoon amount)
  • Pinch of black pepper

How To Make Them

  1. Pre-heat the oven 180ºC (I had my oven on fan).
  2. Drain the sardines, make sure they are drained well.
  3. Put the sardines, egg, garlic, turmeric and black pepper into a food processor (I used a mini magimix, first time I made these, I used a blender but the magimix is easier because you can take the blade out). Whizz up the mix into a thick consistency.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl.
  5. Add the flour and mix in. If the mixture is going into silicon molds, then the above amount of flour should be perfect. However, if you are going to roll out the mixture you may find you need more flour, I added another 60g of flour, and sprinkled flour on the mixture, work surface and rolling-pin to stop it sticking (it’s sticky!) in order to roll it out.
  6. I used a bone shaped cutter to create the biscuits and put them on a silicon baking tray (if you don’t have a silicon baking tray, use parchment paper on a baking sheet), you can make them any shape, dogs don’t care (haha) or roll into small ball shapes.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, till they start to turn golden and firm to touch.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the biscuits for an hour to harden.
  9. Once they are cooled, give your dog one. If he is anything like our two, these Sardine Snicky Snacks won’t last long, but store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

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As you can see these sardine biscuits are very easy to make and I’m sure your dog will love them! Do you make your dog sardine treats? Let us know what you make in the comments below. Thank you!


Barney & Sandy x

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  1. Michelle Stern

    My dogs LOVE sardines…and other fish too! This recipe looks great too – we will have to give it a try!

    • Michelle

      Ours love sardines, salmon and mackerel we haven’t tried them on other fish but I’m sure they’d love that too! Hope they like the sardine biscuits.

      • Colin

        Garlic. Dogs are not supposed to eat garlic?

        • Michelle

          Hi Colin, thanks for your comment about garlic for dogs. Whilst large amounts of garlic can be very toxic for dogs, there is a lot on the website that garlic in small amounts can be good for your dog. A good source of information is Rodney Habib, who is a vet and has done a lot of work with Dr Karen Becker.

  2. Cindy

    Unfortunately, Sardines in the U. S. come from the pacific ocean and have been found to contain Cesium D and Strontium Radiation from Fukashima. A naturopathic vet with a Dog clinic, was noticing a lot oral-B-cell tumors in his dogs so he investigated and found that all the dog’s parent’s were feeding them sardines. He went out and bought several brands and sent them off for testing and found Cesium D and Strontium Radiation in all of them.

    I’m trying to find the URL for it again but having a hard time. I found it when I was looking up cures for my cat who also now has oral B-cell cancer in his mouth and for whom I had been feeding Sardines for 2 years.

    • Michelle

      Hi Cindy!
      Thank you for your message, this is really interesting and I wasn’t aware of this at all. The ones I use for our dogs are from the waters around Scotland (although this doesn’t mean they are safe from Cesium D and Strontium Radiation!). I’m sorry to hear about your cat ~ Michelle x

  3. neo

    why not get the one with olive oil (good for you and dogs) and sea salt (good for you and dog)

    I dont understand why people think salt is bad for you, yes table salt which is made in labs is bad but sea salt is amazing you do need 1 tbsp of sea salt a day

  4. Michelle

    Can you freeze the treats? If not how long go they last please? Such a great idea

    • Michelle

      Hi, I wouldn’t freeze them as they are biscuits, 2-3 days in an airtight container.


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