Every dog owner likes to offer different food treats to their furry friend. So, when they find a different treat or a food item, they look for its nutritional value and ensure that it’s not fatal for their dogs. In addition, they also outline a perfect balance treat to avoid feeding them excessively.
Now, if you are wondering what different treat you can offer your furry friend, you may want to consider Sprats. But, What are Sprats?
In general, sprats are referred to as a group of forage fish. They are 6-8 cm long in size. These fish retains a high nutrition proportion and is healthy for both human and animals. So, How many Sprats can a dog have a day? Let’s find out!
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How Many Sprats Can a Dog Have a Day?
In general, there is no precise guideline suggesting how many sprats can a dog have in a day. But, you can easily give your furry friend 2-3 dried sprats as a treat in a day. However, you can offer them more, if you feed them frozen sprats.
- Dried Sprats: these are quite common and are air-dried so, no use for heat. This helps make a crunchy, and crumbly treat for your furry friend. In addition, you can easily divide the dried sprat into little parts.
- Frozen Sprats: you can offer these as raw treats or as an entirely unprocessed treat. Regardless of what you choose, make sure your dogs ingest them quickly. Because if left out in the open, they will defrost.
The dried sprats treat that you offer isn’t suitable for young dogs. So, you can only feed them sprats, if it is 12 weeks old. You can start with small pieces, for instance, sprinkling them as topping into their regular diet.
How to serve sprats to your dog?
The serving of sprats depends on the type of sprats you decide to give your dogs. While we already saw the two common treats i.e. Dried sprats and Frozen sprats, you can also serve them the minced ones.
Here is a basic procedure you can follow to give your dogs the sprats:
- Rinse the sprats thoroughly
- Remove the guts, and cut the sprats into small pieces
- Boil the cut-down pieces for roughly 10 minutes
- Finally, drain the cooked sprats and let them cool down for some time
Once the sprats have cooled down, it is ready for serving. Also, remember, if you serve baked or fried sprats, avoid using spices or salts on top. These can cause stomach issues for your furry friend.
Benefits of Feeding Sprats To Dogs
Adding sprats to your dog’s diet is good. They have ample nutritious benefits if fed wisely. Following are some of the noteworthy benefits of feeding sprats to your furry friend:
- Skin and coat health remains good
The Omega-3 fatty acid proportion is high in the sprats. These fatty acids combat dry skin and help to improve the coat health of your furry friend. The also reduces the itching sensation and keeps the skin clean and dry.
- Inflammation control
The fatty acid not only improves the skin but, also assists your dog in processing possible inflammatory issues such as arthritis and allergies. In fact, they act as grease or body oil to minimise the effects and provide relief from allergies or arthritis. The sprats specifically benefit older dogs, because they show signs of arthritis more often.
- Heart health
With the help of sprats, you can help your dog in maintaining a healthy heart. The fatty acid helps to improve the functioning of the heart valves and other components to boost the overall functioning of your furry friend’s heart.
The heart disease risk gets less because the fatty acids facilitate proper circulation of the blood lowering the cholesterol in the blood.
- Improve cognitive capacity
The sprats help in improving the cognitive power of the dogs. The brain remains active and in a healthy state in older dogs. In addition, puppies who are learning and growing gain similar benefits.
Risks of feeding sprats to the dog
Any raw food poses a risk of food contamination and poisoning. The following are the risk factors associated with feeding sprats to the dog:
- Dried sprat treats have sharp edges and can cause choking
- The high fatty acid proportion in sprats makes it tough for overweight dogs to digest them
- Similar to overweight dogs, the dogs who are having bowel issues are also at risk because if they have inflammatory bowel disease the condition can get worse after ingesting sprats
- The mercury level in sprats is not high as the other fish but, it still can upset your dog’s stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhoea
So, to avoid any fatal situation, below are some of the precautions you can take while feeding sprats to your furry:
- You need to ensure the sprats you serve are of top quality. Buy them from a reputed store that maintains proper hygiene. Also, rinse the sprats before feeding them.
- Process the sprats properly. Remove the guts and head to avoid any stomach issues. In addition, make sure you remove the bones to avoid any potential choking hazard.
- Feed in small amounts, for instance, as a topping on a regular food treat.
- Avoid feeding every day. Regular feeding can cause diarrhoea.
Alternatives To Sprats
If you are uncertain about the idea of sprats then, you can use the following alternatives to feed your dog:
- Chicken feet: this natural treat is easily available. You can find dehydrated, puffed (air-dried) or frozen chicken feet in the market. They come with great benefits and the high concentrations of glucosamine and chondroitin help in maintaining good joint health.
- Liver snaps: these are small pieces of liver that are dehydrated. This natural treat is not only healthy but, also useful in using them for training because of the small size.
- Fish skin treats: come in handy when you don’t want to get an entire fish into the house. You can get dehydrated fish skins. The benefits are the same as the sprats. In addition, there are many forms of fish skin – skin rolls, fish skin jerky, fish skin batons, fish skin cubes, and only strips of dehydrated fish skin. Also, there are different types of fish you can use – salmon, cod, perch and any other white fish.
Dogs cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids themselves. This component is important, especially for puppies. Omega-3 assists in cognitive development and aids proper eye development as well. The sprats have a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids and this helps them in getting this benefit and other necessary nutrients as well.
Yes, sprats are good for dogs and are normally considered a healthy treat, if given properly. Providing the sprats in moderation will maintain your dog’s heart health, keep the coat and skin glowing, and also help with joint pain.
If you store dried sprats properly, they can last up to 12-18 months. So, to ensure this longevity, you need an airtight container or fridge storage. However, if you store them in a fridge, they will last this long.
Sprats are unpleasant in the house but are a great treat for your dog. If used in moderation, can provide significant health benefits. Follow the basics and you can feed sprats to your dog without any complications. Still, when you feed your dog the sprats, look for signs indicating stomach issues or choking issues. Consult a vet if you encounter such an issue.