Fish sticks (or fish fingers) are quite popular with children (and parents) as they are somewhat healthy, easy-to-prepare food.
If you’re serving fish sticks at home and have a dog, we bet it’s curious and begging with its “puppy eyes” for a bite.
If you’re hesitant to give your dog a fish stick, we’re here to help. The following article will explore the pros and cons of letting your dog eat fish fingers and inform you of the potential consequences fried fish sticks might have on your dog.
What are Fish Sticks, and How do you Make Them?
Fish sticks are popular as a side dish or snack. The preparation is relatively easy – coat the fish in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs.
Add salt, pepper, herbs, and spices to the breadcrumbs to give the sticks a unique taste. Once the fish is coated, fry it in oil.
Fish sticks can be served with dipping sauces like tartar or ketchup. Many restaurants offer a side of vegetables or mashed potatoes along with the fish.
Types of Fish Sticks
Cod is the most common type of fish stick. This white fish is low in fat and calories and is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are essential for maintaining healthy skin. They can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Haddock is another type of white fish often used to make fish sticks. Like cod, it is low in fat and calories but high in protein.
Haddock also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to improve your (and your dog’s) skin and coat.
Tilapia is also a popular choice of fish when preparing fish fingers. Again, it is a white fish low in fat and calories but high in protein, making it an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Lastly, you can prepare fish fingers with salmon. It is pink or orange in color and has a high-fat content.
Like other fish on this list, salmon is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce body inflammation.
Should Dogs Eat Fish Sticks?
Many people are hesitant to feed their dogs fish sticks because they are unsure of the nutritional benefits.
Not just that, but unhealthy seasonings and too much grease also raise concerns among dog owners. However, you should know that fish sticks are a healthy and delicious treat for your pup.
In addition to being tasty, fish fingers can be beneficial for your dog. As mentioned before, fish is high in protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which help with the wellness of your dog’s skin and coat and healthy joint function and comfort.
It’s also essential to point out that contrary to popular belief, fish sticks are relatively low in calories, so if your dog is on a diet, giving it a stick or two won’t do it any harm.
While some risks are associated with feeding fish to dogs (such as mercury poisoning), these can be easily avoided by researching or consulting your veterinarian.
How Do I Know if my Dog can Safely eat Fish Sticks?
Most dogs love the taste of fish, and fish sticks are a convenient way to give them a little seafood treat. However, before you share your dinner with your furry friend, double-check what it’s made from.
Pre-packaged, deep-frozen fish sticks you buy at the grocery store contain onion or garlic, which can be toxic to dogs.
In addition, the breading may contain wheat flour or other ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs.
If you’re unsure whether your dog can safely eat fish sticks, it’s best to ask your vet for advice.
They will be able to tell you whether the ingredients in the fish sticks are safe for your particular dog and provide guidance on how many, if any, you should give them.
Benefits of Fish Sticks
As mentioned earlier, fish sticks are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining a healthy heart and cognitive function.
Another benefit is that fish fingers can be cooked in various ways, making them an excellent option for busy families. You can bake, grill, or fry them, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
Lastly, fish sticks are also an affordable option for families on a tight budget.
Drawbacks of Fish Sticks
Overall, there’s no harm in sharing a fish stick with your dog, especially if they are homemade and do not include any harmful or artificial ingredients.
However, store-bought fish fingers are usually high in sodium, which can be dangerous for dogs if they have too much. It can easily cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even organ damage.
Store-bought fish fingers also contain onion or garlic powder, which is toxic to dogs. Lastly, if the breading is too solid, it might become a choking hazard for dogs.
Ways to Feed Fish Sticks to Your Dog
If you are having fish sticks for dinner and you want to give some to your dog, here’s how to do it:
- Make sure that the fish sticks are cooked all the way through, as raw fish can make them sick.
- Avoid giving breaded or fried fish sticks to your dog. They are high in fat and can cause digestive issues.
- Share a tiny bite with your dog at first to see how they will handle it.
Fish sticks can be a nutritious and convenient addition to your dog’s diet. However, make sure you read the ingredients if you decide to buy them deep frozen from the store.
Most dogs love the taste of fish, and fish sticks are a great way to give them a little seafood treat. Still, If you’re unsure whether your dog can safely eat fish sticks, it’s best to ask your vet for advice.