Ask Fish4Dogs Nutritionist

Posted on February 15, 2016


Is there any risk of feeding your dog only fish? Should you vary their diet with other proteins for a more complete diet?
So long as the diet is correctly formulated to provide all essential nutrients, and is correctly balanced, there is absolutely no problem in feeding fish as the only protein source. In fact, it is one of the most nutritious and balanced proteins available, and also contains omega-3 essential oils.

Some people think the Fish4Dogs range is so limited in ingredients it amounts to an exclusion diet, which they feel can't be good in the long term. What do I reply? 
So long as the food is correctly balanced and contains all of the nutrients required, dogs do not need a huge range of ingredients, which are often added purely for marketing purposes. In fact, your dog is more likely to encounter an ingredient it does not like if the food contains a huge array

My dog was just diagnosed with struvite crystals. Our vet prescribed a big brand diet food but i feel uneasy with the contents of such food (too vague compared to the Fish4Dogs we use AND contains grain). Any recommendations on how to adapt his diet keeping Fish4Dogs?
It is really important to feed a diet that has a moderate and balanced level of minerals, as these make up the struvite crystals. I would recommend avoiding any food that does not declare the ingredients by name, as they commonly include mammalian meats, e.g. beef, which have a high mineral content 

Can you tell me the difference between the Finest Range and the Working Dog Range? 
The nutritional content of the working dog foods is similar to the foods for pets. This is because most working dogs, such as gun dogs or guard dogs, do not necessary require food that contain more nutrients, they just require larger quantities during their working periods. They are zero-rated for VAT. 

I have a dog with colitis, what food would you suggest?
It is important to feed a diet that is very digestible and does not contain ingredients commonly associated with allergies/intolerances, as they will further irritate the digestive system. Fish & potato are ideal for this and omega-3 from fish will also help to reduce inflammation in the intestines.

I often read online that a fish based food "has to contain higher content of sodium, magnesium and potassium". Is that true?
Fish contains good levels of all three minerals, and they are in a very digestible form as they primarily come from the naturally occurring bone. So long as the food is correctly formulated so that it is balanced and contains sufficient but not excessive levels, it will be perfectly suitable.

I have a dog suffering with itchy skin, what would you recommend?
Itchy skin is often caused by inflammation, making the skin hot and irritated. There can be many causes, including dietary intolerances and allergies, so it is worth trying different diets to see if this corrects the problem. Also, a diet high in omega-3 oils will help to reduce the symptoms.

My dog is very fussy, what products do you suggest?
A great way to try different flavours is to offer your dog treats or rewards containing different ingredients. Also, the flavour of most dry foods is increased by adding a small quantity of warm water. You could also try adding something like the Fish4Dogs' mousse as a topping. 

Does Fish4Dogs contain any grain/wheat/additives?
The entire range of Fish4Dogs' foods is free from wheat and grain however, all are supplemented with essential vitamins and trace minerals which, although classed as additives, must be included to produce complete, balanced diets. 

My dog frequently eats grass and sometimes vomits. Is this a sign of a serious stomach problem?
Although it is very unlikely to be a serious problem, it is always advisable to consult your vet if you are concerned or if your dog is doing this frequently. Nobody really knows why dogs eat grass, but it is not thought to be linked to any nutritional deficiency. It is more likely to be behavioural.

I think that my dog's shiny "clean looking" coat and his still very white teeth at nearly 3 are due to his food (Fish4Dogs) - is it possible?
A dog fed a nutritious, balanced diet that is rich in omega-3 should certainly give your dog fabulous coat and skin condition, as well as strong white teeth, well into his senior years. Fish4Dogs foods are this and more, so it is certainly possible. 

Any tips on encouraging a dog to drink more? Soak his dry food? Add wet food?
It is sometimes surprising how much water your dog should drink. Always offer clean, fresh water near his food and ensure that the bowl is cleaned regularly. You can also moisten the dry food with some water, but never gravy or milk, and wet food can also be offered instead or as a topping.

Is superior weight control food the best food for a dog with limited exercise?
Even though your dog may not receive as much exercise as you would like, you can still feed him a standard adult food however, it is important to feed according to the feeding guide and monitor his body condition regularly. If he starts to put on weight then Superior Weight Control would be ideal 

I walk a 7 year old Rottie. He has always had loose, running and sometimes watery pooh, going to the toilet and squatting as if to go upto 10 times in an hours walk. I have spoken to his owner and suggested a check up at the vets but his owner doesn't really look after the dog so I don't imagine he will take him. Hi seems happy enough in himself, and looks well (to my untrained eye) .. I have suggested getting some hyper allengenic dog food as the biscuits he is fed may not suit him.. Please could you advise?
If it is that frequent and loose he really should visit a vet. It is possible that he has a dietary intolerance, so varying his diet to see if it goes away would be a good start. Also cut out snacks and treats for a period to see if that helps. It could well be one of these that is causing the issue 

My elderly pekingese - now minus a few teeth - is now not so keen on the fish4dogs small bite she used to love - what could I put on top or mix with it to tempt her again
It is worth trying to add a small quantity of warm water to the food. As well as softening it, it will also boost the flavour and aroma. A dog's sense of smell decreases rapidly in older age, so strong smells are as important as flavour. You could also try adding a little Fish4Dogs Mousse on top 

Many complete foods list "animal derivatives" as a protein source. Does fish4dogs do this or do you use whole fish?
The term "animal derivatives" is used to encompass a wide variety of animal ingredients. It is not necessarily a sign of poor quality ingredients, but it does not provide clarity to the purchaser. Fish4Dogs clearly state all of the ingredients individually, along with percentages for many.

I currently feed a raw diet, various types of meat, bone, offal various fish and vegetables. Would just a fish diet be better?
Raw fish is perfectly suitable for feeding to dogs however, you do need to take extra care, as some raw fish contain substances that can cause harm. It is not possible to explain fully in my 300 word response, so please contact the Fish4Dogs team if you would like more information on this. 

You've just mentioned Fish4Dogs mousse, what exactly is that?
It is a moist food in a pouch that contains only salmon and seaweed, and can be used to add a little extra moistness and flavour to dry food. It is great for introducing fish to dogs on a different diet, and also for more picky dogs that are perhaps less enthusiastic about mealtime 

When I feed my dogs fish, I use herring, mackeral, sprats, sea bass, salmon either whole fish or minced. I also feed fish skins. What fish do you use? 
Fish4Dogs foods and treats contain Norwegian salmon, and mackerel, sardine and white fish (such as pollock and haddock) from the North Atlantic ocean. We select these sources as they are sustainable, fresh and of the highest quality. 

Can Fish4Dogs be used as the sole treat for my dogs? Should I also use a seperate non-fish treat?
It is always important to offer treats in moderation, since they can reduce your dogs appetite and consumption of his main meal. Being so palatable and low in calories, Fish4Dogs treats are ideal as treats and rewards, and can certainly be given as the only treat for your dog 

Are dogs that are prone to bloat less likely to suffer from it fed on a Fish4Dogs diet?
There is nothing intrinsically in the fish that will reduce/prevent bloat, but it is important to feed a diet that is digestible and nutritionally balanced, and Fish4Dogs' foods are certainly suitable for this. Undigested food remains in the digestive system longer, contributing to gas production 

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