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Shark?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Winston- Miles

Where 're we- goin??
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 24, '12 1:48pm PST 
I’ve recently happened upon a very enthusiastic source of shark (mostly Mako) and scraps of other Atlantic Ocean fish, fresh-caught off of the NJ coast. I’m all for free wild-caught food, but want to make sure we do it safely.

Today Winston (18lb Cavalier) had a meal of shark before I could actually intervene...it was Mako “bloodline” (the really dark fishy-tasting muscle) and a bit of bone. I would have rathered it be frozen for a few weeks/month ahead of time but what happened happened.

Soo, a few questions:
is there anything is particular to watch out for knowing that he at fresh raw shark today?
Once it’s been frozen, is shark one meal / week reasonable and safe? I know we should watch out for mercury but I’m having a hard time finding canine recommendations.
What about other random, small “trash” fish? My friend is happy to keep a few for Winston each time he goes out (and I’m happy for the free food!) but what proportion of the weekly diet should wild-caught fish make?

Thanks in advance. Apparently I will have fresh-killed venison products to deal with in a few months too. The joys of befriending a sportsman!
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 24, '12 1:54pm PST 
Shark is fine to feed every once in a while, but I would personally not feed it more than once or twice a month. It's VERY high in mercury.

The other small fish are probably fine. White fish tend to be bland, so your dog may or may not eat it. Generally the larger the fish is, the higher it is in mercury (tuna, swordfish, shark) because it's highest on the food chain. I also know off hand that some Hawaiian native fish like mahi mahi are dangerous to consume raw. If it was from the Atlantic, I honestly don't know of any others that are possible threats.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 24, '12 2:14pm PST 
If heavy metals are present, they're present. The species eating the fish is irrelevant, so human charts work just fine for dogs, as long as you take into account that dogs are much smaller than humans. Any recommended amounts on a human chart will be much lower for dogs.

I personally wouldn't feed shark, since it's long-lived and on the top of the food chain. Actually, I don't even eat shark myself. There are plenty of other delicious, less toxic fish in the sea. If your same source for shark is selling small trash fish at a good price, I would research and feed them.

But, to each his own. My mentality is why do X if Y is nearly identical with less risk. Plenty of people eat shark and are fine.
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Winston- Miles

Where 're we- goin??
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 24, '12 8:53pm PST 
Thanks Charlie and Ember. I understand that Mako shark (any shark!) are a high mercury risk fish simply by being at the top of the food chain and won’t make this a staple of his diet. It’s not something that I eat or seek out for my pup, it just sort of happened. My usual go-to resource, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s fishwatch calls it a “good alternative”, so I thought I’d seek out more specifics here.

I usually feed fish once a week, so will limit shark to once per month. Winston is a pretty good eater, so hopefully he’ll take to the “bland” bycatch well enough too.

We had enough scraps to be picky, and I didn’t save anything still attached to the skin. Is there any benefit to including that next time? Oh, and fins...guess I should let him have some cartilage for healthy joint etc?
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 24, '12 10:17pm PST 
I've fed shark. It shows up in my grocery every now and then, and I grabbed some for myself since I couldn't remember what it tasted like but did remember that it was good. I sliced a few small pieces off for Conker. He LOVED it.
I won't feed it often, because it costs much more than beef, which I can barely afford these days. (Prices are going up really fast around here.)

I'd love to have some trashfish! My Shiba loves fish, he'll usually eat it first. If not? I mix it in with an egg and he doesn't seem to notice, even if it smells real strong. He's an odd fellow.
Anywho, yeah, definitely try the trashfish, especially if it's cheap or free. The fish I feed is about 1 ounce a day in an 11 ounce meal (give or take) for a 25 pound dog. So, whatever that comes out to. The other two 50 pounders get two ounces of fish or slightly under that when I feed them a raw meal.
I usually feed canned sardines, salmon, or mackerel. I rotate fishes since each one has different nutrients.

Shark skin? I dunno about that, sometimes their skin can be quite abrasive. I'd probably give a piece and see how it goes, since I am curious like that. Fish skin and fins I give if the dogs will eat them, they usually do.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '12 2:14am PST 
Oh man, I just loooove shark. I've been eating it all my life ... fish and chips are an Aussie staple. Jackson loves it too. He always shares when I buy it. I say lucky dog getting some Mako every once and a while. You should try some yourself in batter, it's delicious!

Shark skin, however, is a definite no no. If you run your hand the ' wrong' way along it, it will cut you to ribbons. Do not feed.

Edited by author Mon Jun 25, '12 2:21am PST

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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '12 6:13am PST 
That's what I thought. I figured shark skins were bad, and knew they could cut, but it kinda slipped my mind earlier. That's what I gt for staying up all night.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '12 11:15am PST 
Skin and fins are going to depend on the individual fish. I've fed mackerel and trout in their entirety - water to freezer to my dogs with no steps in between. In those cases, the skin is an excellent source of oils and omega3s.

But, no, you wouldn't want to feed shark skin. And there are species of fish with sharp or barbed fins that you would want to avoid as well.
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Saya

I want to play!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '12 11:52am PST 
I agree with Ember shark skin would be rough.

Saya gets fish with skin and fins, but if they're very sharp like blue gill or bass or barbs on catfish then I remove them.
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Winston- Miles

Where 're we- goin??
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '12 7:32pm PST 
Thanks everyone. I’ve previously fed whole fish, skin scales fin and all, so hadn’t even thought about how different shark skin was. You guys are great...glad I asked!! red face

We save about 2lbs of scraps from this shark...I’ll feed it to him over the next few months. We’ll hopefully have some free “trashfish” soon that he can have every week. Definitely helps add variety to his diet and save a little $$$
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