Best Whitefish Recipe Overall: Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
“This limited ingredient formula contains good protein and fat levels that are ideal for all breeds, sizes and ages. It’s a low sodium diet that is loaded with essential heart-friendly fatty acids and Vitamins B6 & B12.”
Best For Dogs with Skin Allergies: Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“This is a nutrient-rich dog food formulated to promote lean muscle tone, support healthy coat and skin, and improve your dog’s overall health. It’s 100% poultry-free which makes it ideal for dogs with extra sensitive skin.”
Best Treat With Whitefish: Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
“Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats has great ingredients and nutrients including high protein and low calories. You can give your pup a little more treat daily without being worried about his calorie in-take.”
White fish is a versatile piece of fish meat that has many health benefits. It fulfills more than one function in a dog food – it’s a great protein, and it’s also an unrivaled source of healthy fats and oils. It’s packed with B complex vitamins which help fight inflammation in your dog’s body and boost their immune system to fight infections.
It tends to be quite tasty and has fewer reported allergies or intolerances than beef or chicken. While Salmon is a popular seafood choice for some dog owners, it can be an expensive choice of fish. Whitefish is a great alternative with amazing health benefits and a more budget-friendly price.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown
- Best White Fish Dog Food
- 1. Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- 2. Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- 3. Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
- 4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
- 5. Purina Beyond Grain Free Wet Dog Food
- 6. Wellness Complete Health Dog Food
- 7. Diamond Naturals Grain Free Dog Food
- 8. Canidae Grain Free Dog Food
- 1. Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- How to Choose the Best Dog Food with Whitefish
- Questions & Answers
Best White Fish Dog Food
Here are our top recommendations for the best white fish dog food on the market:
- Best White Fish Dog Food Overall: Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies: Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Best Treat With Whitefish: Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
- Best for Joint Health: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
- Best Wet Food With Whitefish: Purina Beyond Grain Free Wet Dog Food
- Best Low-Protein Food: Wellness Complete Health Dog Food
- Best Whitefish Recipe for Seniors: Diamond Naturals Grain Free Dog Food
- Best Value for Money: Canidae Grain Free Dog Food
1. Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Best White Fish Dog Food Overall: Balanced low sodium diet with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and a spectrum of vitamins and minerals
- Contains whitefish and whitefish meal – a double dose of a single protein source
- Very good protein and fat levels for all breeds, sizes, and ages
- Avoids poultry, potatoes, and other common allergy ingredients
- The vegetables included have great antioxidant properties and add some fiber
- Slightly pricey
This limited ingredient formula uses a single source of protein combined with premium carbohydrates sources which are packed with nutrients, and are quite easy to digest.
The double-dose whitefish in this recipe brings in a total protein content of 29%, enough to support muscle development and supply energy for their daily functions. 14% fat content is metabolized into easy access energy without being too high so as to go to waste or cause weight gain for less active pups. It has a significant amount of taurine which, when paired with low sodium content, can do wonders for your dog’s heart.
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2. Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies: Great amount of omega fatty acids and 100% poultry-free formula recommended for extra sensitive dogs
- Multiple fish-based protein sources, contributing to high protein and fat levels
- Incredibly high levels of Omega fatty acids to maintain well-nourished and healthy skin & coat
- No hidden poultry ingredients
- Significant amount of taurine, DHA, and Vitamin E for a healthy heart and sharp mind
- One of the more pricey foods
This grain free dog food is recommended for dogs with extra sensitive skin who are particularly sensitive to poultry food ingredients. With 34% protein and 15% fat, it has just the right amount to maintain a lean body mass and muscle tone while providing enough fuel for your dog’s daily activities.
It’s higher in Omega fatty acid content compared to dog food products in this price range. It’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and also contains a small amount of glucosamine and chondroitin, so if you have a breed that tends to suffer from joint complaints, that would be a great addition. It’s also quite a bit higher in fiber than other dog foods, promoting healthy digestion.
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3. Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
Best Treat With Whitefish: Oven-baked crunchy goodies that are great for your dog’s teeth and gums, high in protein and low in calories
- High in protein and low in calories providing extra energy without the fear of unnecessary weight gain
- Good Omega fatty acid levels as added supplement for your dog’s regular dog food
- Packed with premium quality wholesome ingredients filled with fiber to aid in digestion
- May have a strong fishy smell
Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats are made of good, premium quality ingredients containing a significant amount of protein while containing very few calories. They’re intended as in-between snacks or treats to give your pup when training.
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4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
Best for Joint Health: Specifically formulated with added joint fortifying supplements to help support a large breed dog’s frame
- High-quality protein from deboned whitefish which helps build and maintain healthy muscles
- Contains healthy grains, which are easily digestible
- High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for keeping joints strong
- Contains L-carnitine, which helps manage weight and metabolism
- This food is quite low in protein, which may not suit some dogs (but on the other hand, would also be a good option for pups who need a low-protein diet)
This dog food contains whole whitefish, combined with wholesome grains, garden veggies, and antioxidant-rich fruits. It is specifically formulated for large breed dogs which is why you’ll find great amounts of glucosamine, calcium and phosphorus – all intended to support a large dog’s body frame by strengthening the bones and joints.
It also contains proprietary LifeSource Bits which promotes healthy digestion for your pup.
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5. Purina Beyond Grain Free Wet Dog Food
Best Wet Food With Whitefish: Amazing blend of Alaskan Cod and Salmon offering a blast of essential fatty acids for skin & coat health
- Alaskan Cod and Salmon combination, both great sources of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids
- Limited ingredient formulation with just 9 simple ingredients to avoid allergens
- Natural grain-free ingredients that are protein-rich and easy to digest
- Does not contain low quality food fillers usually found in wet food like carageenan
- Contains chicken ingredients, so may not be suitable for all dogs
This canned dog food creates the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in this wet formula with whitefish and salmon as its main protein sources. Both animal protein produce concentrated amounts of amino acids and essential fatty acids which promotes healthy muscle development and well-nourished skin and coat.
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6. Wellness Complete Health Dog Food
Best Low-Protein Food: Proper nourishment for dogs who are suffering from kidney and liver issues
- Perfect for dogs on a low-protein diet who have kidney or liver issues
- Good fat level for a low-protein food to maintain your dog’s fuel for day to day activities
- Added vitamin A & E which supports vision and brain development
- Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols to lock in flavor, texture, and nutrients
- Slightly lower Omega 3 fatty acids than others
- Contains potatoes, which may not agree with some pups
If your dog shows signs such as dehydration, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, vomiting, and loss of appetite, they may be suffering from kidney disease. This can only be diagnosed by a vet, and it’s likely that he will recommend a low-protein diet. Kidneys play a very active role in metabolising protein, so a dog food that is lower in protein would be highly recommended for them.
This Complete Health formula has an interesting white fish sweet potato flavor combination which contains 22% protein and 12% fat. These numbers are low enough to take some strain off the kidneys (protein) and high enough to ensure your pooch is well-fueled throughout the day (fat).
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7. Diamond Naturals Grain Free Dog Food
Best Whitefish Recipe for Seniors: Formulated for All Life stages with consideration for aging dogs who need extra immune and digestive support
- Contains DHA, which is great for keeping older pets’ brains sharp
- Great quality ingredients and fairly limited ingredient
- Lower in calories than many others, which helps when your older pet is burning fewer calories during their day
- Good levels of Omega fatty acids
- “Fish meal” is a little vague
- Doesn’t contain glucosamine, so you may need to supplement with chews
This whitefish sweet potato combination from Diamond Naturals, isn’t exactly aimed at seniors, but it’s loaded with nutrients in all the right amounts for an aging pooch. Aside from having just the right amount of AAFCO dog food nutrient recommendations, this grain free dog food is also loaded with supplements that boost the immune system and support brain health.
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8. Canidae Grain Free Dog Food
Best Value for Money: Complete, affordable, and well-balanced dog food with added supplements that support immune, joint, and digestive health
- Limited ingredient but still contains wholesome ingredients
- Good protein and fat counts for dogs of most life stages
- No chicken, red meat, or grains
- Lower in Omega fatty acids than others
- A little on the pricey side
This grain free dog food is made from premium quality protein and farm-grown vegetables which creates a well-rounded nutritional profile based on AAFCO dog food nutrient requirements. Whitefish is the only protein in this dog food (in two different forms), and there’s a multitude of good carbs that will provide both slow-burning energy and a dose of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.
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How to Choose the Best Dog Food with Whitefish
1) Protein (Whitefish) Level & Quality
This is, naturally, an important part of choosing the best dog food with whitefish. Some of these foods will contain whitefish, some have whitefish meal, but all of them should have their whitefish ingredient first on the list, or near the beginning of the list.
The protein level will depend on what the food is best for – a protein level for seniors will be a little different to that for puppies, as an example. We’ve only reviewed foods that we believe have an appropriate protein count for the pup they’re aimed at, and of course, have whitefish as their main protein source.
It may be that the dog food contains more than one protein source. This isn’t a problem at all, but whitefish should definitely up near the top of the ingredient list, if not the very first ingredient on the list.
2) Healthy Carbohydrates
As much as quality protein source is crucial, it’s just as essential that it is backed up by healthy carbohydrates that are easy for your pup’s digestive system to handle. Some breeds are more prone to fussy tummies than others, but no matter what dog you have it’s worth making sure they’re getting good carbs in, as these will be used to give them sustained energy.
We’re looking at things like fruits, vegetables, and grains that contain no gluten (rice, barley, sorghum, millet, oats and oatmeal). Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are often used as the primary carb sources in high-quality foods, and are good things to see on the list. Fruits usually come in lower down, along with some extra veggies, and add a nice dose of antioxidants and vitamins. We’ve made sure only the good quality stuff finds its way onto this list.
3) Omega Fatty Acid Levels
One of the bonuses of having fish as the main protein source is that they’re generally loaded with healthy fats and oils. These do great things for your pup’s skin and coat, keeping them hydrated, moisturised, and soft.
The level of Omega 3 fatty acids in a dog food depends on the quality of the sources. We’ve made sure all the foods we’ve reviewed here are high in Omega fatty acids, so your pup will get a skin and fur boost as well as some digestive help.
Many of these foods have extra fat and oil sources added on top of the fish, which is great. As long as they are identified and not labelled vaguely, such as “animal fat”, then it’s good to go.
4) Added Probiotics, Vitamins, & Minerals
It’s always a good idea to feed your pet a kibble that is not only loaded with premium quality ingredients, but has some extra health-promoting stuff added. All good protein and carbohydrate sources will contain nutrients that are essential to your dog’s wellbeing, but added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics will help even more.
A guaranteed analysis list will usually show extra vitamins added, and most dog foods that add probiotics will specify it on their packaging. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that keep your pet’s digestive system healthy and running smoothly. Other things that we’ve considered under this category include things like glucosamine and chondroitin, L-carnitine, taurine, and anything else that’s found as extras on the guaranteed analysis list.
Questions & Answers
Q: What exactly is whitefish?
A: This can be a bit of a confusing one, as “whitefish” doesn’t actually refer to one fish species in particular. It’s more a collective term for a variety of bottom-dwelling fish with white flesh, so while it’s a decent quality fish to see on a dog food label, there could be any number of different species of fish in it.
Whitefish can contain haddock, hake, cod, and pollock, as well as various other species. It is a distinctly separate type of fish from the oily fish types, though, such as salmon. Although it’s slightly less oily, it still contains plenty of good stuff and is a more affordable alternative to salmon, which gives it a thumbs up.
Q: What makes whitefish a better option than other fish?
A: Although whitefish is a fairly general term and it’s hard to tell exactly what species are in it, it’s nevertheless still packed with protein and healthy fats and oils. It’s generally low in saturated fat (the bad kind), and contains vitamins and minerals such as niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12.
It’s also a good option for pets who tend to suffer from food allergies and intolerances. While it can’t be said that there are no dogs who will react badly to it, fish is one of the proteins that has the fewest reported allergies and developed intolerances. Be careful, though – many dog foods that are advertised as whitefish flavour contain sneaky chicken or beef ingredients (such as chicken fat), so you’ll need to check them out before buying if your pooch does have intolerances.
Whitefish also seems to be particularly tasty to dogs, perhaps because of the variety of different fish it contains. All in all, it’s a healthy, protein and healthy-fat-packed, tasty, and affordable option. While salmon is a super protein source, it can often be quite a bit more pricey than whitefish, so this is a fantastic alternative for those pet parents who want to feed their pooch fish but can’t justify the cost of salmon.
Q: What else should I look for in whit fish dog food?
A: If you’re choosing a whitefish flavoured dog food for your pet, you’ll need to check out some of the other things in the food to make sure you’re getting something healthy, easily digestible and worth the buy.
Other protein sources in addition to whitefish are totally fine, and should be whole, named animal sources. Whitefish should be the prominent protein, though, but it’s not a problem to have mixed proteins, as long as your pup isn’t sensitive to them.
Carbohydrates are necessary to give your dog sustained energy throughout the day. They should consist of gluten-free grains (no wheat, corn, or soy here), and fruits and vegetables. Starchy vegetables and legumes are the best kinds as they are fairly slow-burning. These also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are great health-boosting elements. High levels of Omega fatty acids are also essential.
Chelated minerals are great to see as they’ll assist your pup with digestion. Depending on your pet’s needs, things like glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-carnitine can be wonderful additions.
Q: What are some benefits of feeding my dog fish instead of other protein sources?
A: Fish is a fantastic protein source as it’s essentially two in one – protein and healthy fats in one little fishy package. This makes it a superb protein option as it requires fewer other ingredients to be added to bring up the protein and fat contents.
Fish is highly nutritious, flavourful, and on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. Chicken and beef are two of the most common allergy culprits, so avoiding those can help your pup’s nutrition by quite a bit.
Q: Are there any risks of choosing fish over other meat?
A: Some concerns have been raised about the levels of heavy metals in fish. The good news is that most fish that have any significant levels of heavy metals in them are “long-lived’ fish, such as tuna and swordfish, most of which are not included in the “whitefish” label.
Short-lived fish (which are found in whitefish) very rarely have any measurable amounts of heavy metals in them, and so wouldn’t present any kind of problem to your pet’s system. Of course, every dog reacts differently, so if you’re switching your pet over to a seafood flavour for the first time, be aware of how he reacts to it.
Most likely, though, the biggest thing you’ll need to watch out for here is a serious case of fish-breath!