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fish based diet
  • arina83arina83
    Posts: 8
    I'm still in the research phase as far as exactly how I'd feed a Shiba, but I'm heavily learning towards raw. Unfortunately, I'm severely allergic to beef, lamb, pork, turkey & chicken...I can't even walk by the meat case at the supermarket without having an allergic reaction. In my case, my airway starts to swell shut. I'm fully open to trying alternative proteins (ostrich, rabbit, goat), but fish is the safest for me since I'd be the one feeding. I'm fine with eggs and dairy.

    How do Shibas do with diets where most of their protein comes from fish? Can I feed fish skin and bone in addition to fish meat? I eat a lot of fish and buy fillets from whole fish from a high quality fish market. Sometimes, I'll cut the skin off the fish before I eat it and some of the fish have bones that are difficult to remove from the fish, so I just cut that portion out. Since I buy so much, I freeze everything before I eat it.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    I definitely wouldn’t recommend an exclusively (or even majority) fish diet for a raw fed dog. It’s easy when feeding raw to feed what is most convenient (like some people get in the habit of feeding only chicken), but the balance of a raw diet comes from variety. I only feed fish once a week, and you have to be cautious about some stuff like feeding fish with low mercury levels and freezing them for at least 24 hours to kill bacteria and parasites. Salmon poisoning disease can be fatal for dogs, so salmon should be frozen for a week or more or cooked. Bones are okay if the fish is in a whole, raw form. Cooked fish bones are much more dangerous.

    But I still wouldn’t feed fish more than twice a week. Though fish can absolutely be good for dogs, feeding any protein exclusively would cause issues for a raw fed dog. Especially with fishy reputations for containing toxic metals. Omega 3 is good, but probably not in huge quantities. I think fish have pretty high magnesium and phosphorus levels, which is another good in moderation thing. Too much fish could be harmful, though.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-05-11 17:23:07
  • arina83arina83
    Posts: 8
    Yeah, I feel like a bit of an idiot now for posting that. After I made the post I read about the issues with feeding raw fish, so now my plans are cooked fish.

    I've done quite a bit of research into the whole issue of fish and heavy metals like mercury, and issues can be avoided. I'm also fortunate in that the fish market I buy from tests their fish for mercury.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    I do feed some fish raw. I think the bigger concern would be achieving a balanced diet with only one protein. It’s easier for humans since we’re not carnivores, but variety is very important for raw feeding. I’ve read that there should be a minimum of 4 “staple” proteins that you feed regularly, and additionally others should be added occasionally. That doesn’t mean 4 different kinds of fish.

    Here’s an article addressing the issue with feeding only chicken:
    https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2016/11/19/dont-just-wing-it-chicken-only-raw-diets-are-not-balanced/amp/

    I don’t know the specifics about what fish has too much / too little of, but I am confident that it would not be a balanced long-term diet. Variety is really important for raw feeding. Most raw feeding guides specify to feed fish only once or twice a week.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-05-13 00:12:12
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 131
    Post edited by JackState at 2018-05-16 21:08:02
  • arina83arina83
    Posts: 8
    Post edited by arina83 at 2018-05-18 03:56:33
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 131
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    Also, just because a raw diet is biologically appropriate and what dogs ate in the wild, it doesn’t mean it’s always more healthy. Many wolves only live until the age of 3 and have plenty of nutritional deficiencies. We definitely want our dogs to live longer, healthier lives hahaha. But feeding only one protein on a raw diet isn’t a healthy way to feed raw and negates the entire purpose of raw feeding. Unless you’re aiming just for survive rather than thrive.

    Definitely look into some premade raw options. If it ends up not being a feasible option for you to feed raw, that’s okay! You could still supplement their diet with fish or maybe pull off a half raw diet, where one meal is raw and the other is kibble. Since we travel a lot, Ozzy often eats kibble or freeze dried for his dinner meals when we’re visiting family or camping.

    People criticize kibble or other convenient food because eating the same meal twice a day every day for years would create some serious boredom with food. I’ve seen a lot of raw feeders refer to it as the “mac and cheese diet,” when even raw feeders just get caught up in preparing huge batches and feeding the same thing day in and day out. But when it comes to raw feeding, that can be much more dangerous. Every meal is not necessarily perfectly balanced with every piece of nutrition that a dog needs to thrive. Some days they might get more bone, some days they might get more organ, and the aim is for balance over time. The few studies done on raw feeding are usually pretty critical about it because they don’t look at a balanced raw diet. They look at a German Shepherd and her pups who died after being fed “a raw diet,” aka the same protein every day with some rice or bread. I think it’s generally safe for most vets to advise against a raw diet because, if not done right, it can definitely be damaging.

    Also, if you would be cooking fish, the bones wouldn’t be safe to feed. So you would have to find another way for them to get their bone content.

    Unless you can find like a knowledgeable, professional holistic kind of vet to help you make sure that your pup would be getting all of their nutrients and not be overdosing on ingredients that would be safe in moderation, I don’t think it’s advisable at all to feed a raw diet consisting of mostly one protein. Especially for a growing puppy. I would never have fed Ozzy raw as a puppy on my own hahah... I didn’t know much about raw feeding when I first got him, and it’s so important for growing puppies to get all the nutrition they need. Ozzy was weaned on raw and I fed premade raw that I ordered and had shipped to me monthly for the first 8 months of his life. Super pricy, but they had done all the work to make sure that a growing puppy was having all of their nutritional needs met. I’m still unsure if I will order from the same raw company ($120 per month) when I get a second pup, or if I’ll feed kibble or freeze dried and supplement with raw until she has matured.

    Just because a diet is healthy for one group of people doesn’t mean it’s healthy for everyone. Feeding a raw diet to dogs is not always better if it’s not well balanced. Maybe explaining your situation to some premade raw companies that you’re researching could help point you in the right direction. I think they would likely have some fish formulas or tips about balancing a fish based diet, or maybe they’d even have access to some more unique proteins that might be safer for you to handle.

    Also, I’m sure you probably are familiar with this by now, but the body doesn’t have a reaction the first time you’re exposed to an allergen. So if you find a good source for something exotic like kangaroo meat or something and don’t have a reaction to it, make sure to be just as cautious the second time you’re exposed to it. From what we were taught in my anatomy class, it’s normal to have no reaction upon first exposure, but every time after that will continue to cause an increasingly more severe reaction.

    My iPhone is having some annoying nonstop autocorrect issues typing this hahaha. Tried to go back and fix the ones I noticed. Sorry if I missed some.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-05-21 22:14:45
  • JackStateJackState
    Posts: 131
    Yeah I'd feed kibble if I needed an epipen at the butcher.

    For my own geeky curiosity, have doctors ever told you exactly what the allergen is? Like with most people's fish allergies, it's the β-parvalbumin family of proteins that's the trigger.