What Is Whitefish?
Whitefish is a term used to describe several species of ocean fish. Examples include Cod, Haddock, Whiting, Hake, and Pollock. The term Whitefish does not include oily fish like Salmon or Herring.
Whitefish is very popular for human consumption and is present in traditional dishes like “Fish N Chips” as well as processed foods like Fish Sticks.
While we generally dissuade from promoting vague dog food ingredients such as this, Whitefish has a good reputation and usually contains a mix of high-quality fish ingredients. However, this quality is not guaranteed, and it will vary from brand to brand.
Some brands have more information about which fish are present in the Whitefish they use. This transparency is admirable and will help consumers better understand what their dogs are consuming.
Whitefish In Dog Food
Whitefish does not serve any distinct purpose in dog food. Some other ingredients, such as Rabbit or Venison, are used for a specific purpose, such as to help counter allergies and severe sensitivities.
While some dogs with allergies may also react well to Whitefish, it is not its primary use.
Instead, it is regularly featured because it is a reliable and cost-effective fish ingredient.
Another essential factor worth discussing with Whitefish is its palatability or its taste. Whitefish has been shown to be an ingredient that a large majority of dogs enjoy eating, likely thanks to its protein and fat content.
This palatability is surprising given that some dogs do not usually react well to fish ingredients. While these poor reactions or disinterest aren’t usually isn’t as serious as an allergy, it can put many dog owners off from feeding their dogs fish-centered food.
However, many dogs react better to Whitefish in comparison to other common fish found in dog food. While it isn’t clear why this is the case, this could put Whitefish in an advantageous position for those dogs.
As one would imagine, Whitefish is high in protein. Protein is essential for dogs and should be at the core of their diet. It is used to maintain, repair, and grow a dog’s muscles and tissues.
Also, protein from fish ingredients such as Whitefish is considered to be superior to protein from plant-based ingredients like legumes or grains.
This superiority is thanks to the full range of amino acids that Whitefish and other fish ingredients contain, as well as the fact that a dog’s digestion system more easily absorbs this fish-based protein.
This improved digestibility will result in a dog requiring less protein in their diet than if they eat mostly plant-based protein.
Omega Fatty Acids
Unfortunately, Whitefish does not contain as much of the Omega Fatty Acids as other ingredients such as oily fish like Salmon, Mackerel, and Herring.
However, the level of the Omega Fatty Acids found in Whitefish is still higher than most meat ingredients, such as Chicken or Beef. This level of the Omega Fatty Acids means that dogs who are eating Whitefish based formulas can still benefit somewhat from this increased level.
These Omega Fatty Acids have a variety of proven benefits. These benefits include improved cognitive function, a reduction in the risk of heart disease, and a noticeable improvement in the health of a dog’s skin and coat.
Vitamins & Minerals
Exactly which vitamins and minerals are present in Whitefish depends on which Whitefish are present. While this can make this challenging to diffuse, here are some micronutrients found in the most common Whitefish.
Cod, for example, contains high levels of Vitamin B3 and B12 as well as Phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals can reduce cholesterol, improve brain function, and maintain healthy bones.
Haddock provides similar micronutrients to Cod but also includes very high levels of Selenium. This Selenium can act as an antioxidant and help prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lastly, Pollock shares the same trait of high levels of Vitamin B3 and B12, but also includes a notable level of Potassium. Potassium is essential to dogs as it helps with muscle contractions and nerve signals.
Best Dog Food With Whitefish
While some premium brands have moved away from large retail stores or websites, Wellness has stuck around and is readily available from Chewy, Amazon, PetSmart, and more. Their Core range is one of their most popular and features a variety of formulas for adult dogs and puppies.
Regardless of whether it contains Whitefish, their Ocean Formula is one of our favorites. It features a variety of fish ingredients, but the most prominent of these is Whitefish. Other fish ingredients present include Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, and Menhaden Fish Meal.
The combination of Whitefish and these oily fish ingredients provides an ample portion of protein and fat. In particular, the Omega 3 Fatty Acids is in plentiful supply in Ocean formula, which, as we know, can provide several health benefits.
Many of you may not be familiar with Menhaden Fish Meal. It is a small oily fish from the Atlantic Ocean that is low-cost yet rich in protein and is used by manufacturers as an alternative to low-quality and cheap vegetable by-products like Pea Protein. It is regularly used by numerous dog food brands, including some that would be considered premium.
Find out more about this ingredient in our article, Menhaden Fish Meal In Dog Food.
Zignature is a market leader in the Limited Ingredient space and produces many formulas that could be classified as novel meat formulas. The most well known of these limited ingredient recipes is their Kangaroo Formula, which was the first Kangaroo based dog food recipe to become popular.
While Zignature has some other unusual or uncommon meat or fish ingredients based formulas, such as Goat or Guinea Fowl, they also produce recipes that utilize some more common or widespread ingredients. Examples of more common ingredients found in signature formulas include Pork, Lamb, Turkey, Salmon, and Whitefish.
The Whitefish formula uses the same mold as its sister recipes. A mix of Whitefish and Whitefish Meal are the only fish ingredients present and supply the bulk of the formulas protein and fat.
Whitefish Meal is identical to Whitefish, but it has had its moisture removed before the production process, which makes it a more dense ingredient.
The level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Zignature’s Whitefish formula is very admirable, considering the formula only contains Whitefish and no oily fish like Salmon or Herring.
These Whitefish ingredients are combined with a mix of legumes, including Chickpeas and Peas. Legumes are a staple of the industry thanks to their low price point and high nutritional value.
Sadly the formula also uses Pea Flour, which is a vegetable by-product. Pea Flour is considered to be inferior to whole Peas or other whole vegetable ingredients. We recommend you read more about Pea Flour in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, and Pea Fiber in Dog Food if you are concerned.
Sport Dog Food is a dog food brand that many of you will not be familiar with. The brand aims to fill the sporting and working dog food niche. Examples of such dogs include K9 dogs, sled dogs, and tracking dogs.
As a consequence, many of Sport Dog Food’s formulas provide very satisfactory nutrition, which is a necessity to ensure that working dogs can perform to the peak of their ability.
However, non-working dogs can still purchase their products, and many will not enjoy them but also excel on them thanks to their nutrition and quality.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that Sport Dog Food recently improved its website to show extremely detailed information regarding its ingredients. This information includes where the ingredients are sourced and why they are included. You can check out this information here.
A few of Sport Dog Food’s recipes make use of Whitefish. An example of one is the above Sporting Dog – Whitefish Formula. It contains a minimal number of ingredients, including a single core fish ingredient in Whitefish Meal. This lack of other fish ingredients could make this an ideal formula for those dogs with allergies.
Once again, the portion of protein and fat in this formula is very satisfactory and suitable to the vast majority of dogs, including those that are very active. The level of the Omega Fatty Acids is also high in this formula and much higher than other Sport Dog Food recipes.
Lastly, the formula contains a large portion of starch ingredients like Sweet Potatoes and Tapioca. These starch ingredients can provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Tapioca is a lesser-known ingredient in the western world but is popular in South America. Learn about Tapioca in our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
I And Love And You Limited Ingredient Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe Review
I And Love And You have one of the most unusual brand names, but that isn’t stopping them, and they are growing their range of pet food thanks to their popularity. While the brand is better known for their cat food products, they produce traditional dry dog food, limited ingredient dog food, canned dog food, and treats.
The brand produces all of its products in the United States, which is a relief for many. In addition, the majority of their ingredients are also sourced from the United States or Canada, with the remaining coming from other reliable countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
One of their best dog food formulas is Whitefish & Sweet Potato, which has Whitefish as its first listed ingredient. This large portion of Whitefish provides a very satisfactory proportion of protein and fat. Sadly, compared to other recipes discussed in this article, the portion of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids is not overly impressive.
Despite having Sweet Potatoes in its name, Sweet Potatoes are not the primary carbohydrate ingredient, which is somewhat confusing. Instead, the recipe uses Peas and Chickpeas and then a smaller portion of Sweet Potatoes.
Sadly the formula includes a small portion of Pea Starch and Pea Protein, which are lower-quality Pea By-products. We mentioned this earlier, but we recommend checking out our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, and Pea Fiber in Dog Food to learn more about these ingredients.
Blackwood Large Breed Whitefish Meal & Oatmeal Recipe Review
Blackwood describes itself as a super premium pet food brand. One of the unique traits of Blackwood is that they slow cook their dog food recipes, which is not something that the majority of dog food brands do.
They claim that this slow cooking process maintains more of the ingredients nutrition than traditional cooking, although others would question this or the extent that this is true.
Blackwood has a small range of recipes, but they do have a grain-free recipe that focuses on Whitefish. The only other meat or fish ingredients present are a small portion of Chicken Fat and Duck Meal.
Chicken Fat is a regular addition to dog food and is generally used to add flavor and boost the level of animal-based fat in a recipe. Find out more about the use of Chicken Fat in our article, Chicken Fat In Dog Food.
The bulk of the recipes plant matter is in the form of whole grains such as Oatmeal, Brown Rice, and Pearled Barley. While we generally dissuade from formulas high in grains, these particular grains are some of the better ones. They can provide additional nutrition beyond their carbohydrate content in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
However, there are smaller quantities of some less common vegetables, such as Celery, Carrots, and Lettuce. While the portion size of these ingredients means they will provide little nutrition, they could provide some vitamins and minerals that the grain ingredients will not.
Diamond Naturals Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe Review
Diamond is a well-known brand and is a popular choice for those with little cash to spare. One of the reasons for this is that Diamond formulas are sold in enormous quantities such as 35lb or 40lb bags. Buying in bulk is more cost-effective as long as your dog(s) will consume all of the food within a reasonable time frame so that the food does not go spoiled or stale.
Diamond Naturals is the sub-brand of Diamond and contains a recipe that uses Whitefish. All the formulas within this range make use of named meat or fish ingredients, which are then combined with vegetables, starches, or grains.
The fish ingredients present are Whitefish and Fish Meal. While we find the vagueness of Whitefish to be usually acceptable, the phrase Fish Meal is a little concerning as it’s not at all clear what type of fish it contains. Despite this, this ingredient is likely to contribute beneficial nutrition to the recipe still.
Many Diamond formulas make use of grains such as Brown Rice. However, this particular formula does not, and instead uses Sweet Potatoes and legumes like Peas and Lentils.
The formula is finished off with some minor ingredients such as Tomato Pomace and Canola Oil. Tomato Pomace is added for its soluble fiber and Canola Oil to add additional fatty acids.
Taste of the Wild is an extremely popular brand that many of you will be familiar with. It features on the shelves of popular physical stores like PetSmart as well as big online distributors such as Chewy and Amazon.
The brand has come under fire in recent years, especially with the revelations surrounding the use of legumes and Canine Heart Disease. However, Taste of the Wild has adapted and recently launched a new product line of grain-inclusive recipes.
While most people tend to purchase their dry dog food recipes, they do have a reputable range of canned dog food. One of these recipes is the canned equivalent of Pacific Stream, and its primary ingredient is Whitefish. The portion size of Whitefish is far larger than any other ingredient, and it makes up the bulk of the recipe.
A few other ingredients in minor quantities round off the recipe; this includes Turkey, Egg Whites, Salmon, and more. These further bolster the levels of protein and fat to make the formula incredibly nutritious.
Purina Beyond Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato Canned Review
Beyond is one of Purina’s sub-brands. It focuses on being a cost-effective yet nutritious solution. We’ve discussed them before in some of our other articles, such as Best Cheap Dog Food and Best Dog Food At PetSmart.
Many expect these lower-cost formulas to include poor nutrition or ingredients but Purina Beyond bucks the trend. The above formula uses Ocean Whitefish, Chicken, Liver, Turkey, Salmon, and Sweet Potatoes as its core ingredients, all of which are respectable additions.
This combination of meat and fish ingredients, with Whitefish at its core, results in satisfactory nutrition, high in protein and fat.
Lastly, seeing as Purina produces the recipe, you can be confident in its nutrition, safety, and suitability for dogs. Purina has a massive amount of technical resources and knowledge behind their food.