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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone feed whole fish either as an occasional treat or part of a rotational diet? Bus has eaten small minnows and shrimp on occasion (not necessarily on purpose usually) with no ill effects, but I'm reluctant to let him have larger fish (pan sized- usually 8-15" total length) because of scales and tiny little sharp bones. He has also gotten into carcasses and probably eaten some bones from them, but I'm still afraid to actually feed them to him. He's not the best chewer, and tends to swallow things when they get remotely close to small enough. His normal food is kibble, with a variety of other miscellaneous stuff.
 

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A lot of people do feed whole fish, bones ans all. the bones in fish are so small and soft that it doesn't take much in the way of chewing to take care of them. Dogs don't chew the way we do, just chomp chomp and down it goes. The scales won't hurt either, but most people gut fish before feeding especially if wild caught to be sure there are no hooks left in them.

I'm a raw feeder, but I don't feed whole fish because I don't have access to quality fish. I just give fish oil instead, since that is the real benefit of feeding fish.
 

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I feed whole fish, mostly sardines and mackerel. Sometimes salmon scraps and heads if I find them for a good price. The bones are pretty soft and don't cause any trouble. Even my cats will eat the sardines, cut up but bones and all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We don't have much in the way of oily fish here, but we do net small menhaden as bait when they are in season, and there are always some that die before release if not used, we usually freeze as lower quality bait or toss them back for scavengers to eat, but it sounds like they might be perfect for him instead. It looks like they even sell their oil :) . They're not a fish that will bite bait on a hook, so wouldn't have to worry about that, but I'll make sure to gut other fish before feeding if I give him any (when we clean fish we eat, we fillet- but that just yields two slabs of meat, I'm sure the rest of it probably is equally good for him). I sort of forgot that my hook might not be the only one a given fish has encountered.

He usually doesn't chew at all if a given item can fit down the hatch, and I've had to fish 4' long pieces of bones/chews out of his throat when he's tried to swallow them and gagged, is it better to feed them "fresh" while they're soft, or frozen, so they're more hard like a bone? Most of the stuff he's had has been either tiny enough that chewing isn't needed, or big recreational bones that can't possibly be swallowed.
 

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Frozen or fresh is fine. I feed both, sometimes I grab a small sardine out of the freezer for a snack, or on a hot day. It's like a doggy popsicle.
 
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