Can Dogs Eat Fish? Fishing for Answers


You can tune a piano but you cannot tuna fish. But can you serve a dog a tuna fish? Previously we have explored that tuna is not a good fish to serve dogs. However, this does not mean that all fish are off limits for Fido. Can dogs eat fish? Today we will find out which fish is safe for canines and why dogs should be eating them.

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

There is a lot of food in the world, and your dog probably wants to try most of it. Luckily the answer to “can dogs eat fish” is largely a yes. Though some fish are off limits for canines, dogs can enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of fish.

The American Kennel Club determines that the best fish for dogs are the types used in commercial dog food products. These include fish that have shorter lifespans and therefore contain less heavy metals such as mercury.

Healthy fish choices for dogs include salmon, ocean whitefish, herring, lake whitefish, walleye, founder, and Arctic char. There are many benefits to serving your dog some fishy goodness.

Fish Benefits for Dogs

So how is fish good for your dog? As pet parents, it’s vital to make sure that our furry friends are properly fueled. Fish happens to be quite the wonder food. Let’s see how much goodness it packs.

Fish is a fantastic source of protein. In fact, it is a very popular alternative protein source for dogs, making it a useful ingredient to turn to if you feed your dog a homemade diet. Additionally, fish is a great protein source for dogs who have allergies to certain meats.

Fish is also praised for containing omega-3 fatty acids. These acids provide health benefits, such as decreased inflammation. Though fish is very nutritious, dogs will still need to get vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals from other sources in order to meet their dietary requirements.

Remember that even though fish is healthy for dogs, be sure to serve your dog a balanced diet. And be sure to serve fish in moderation to prevent against issues such as canine obesity. I hate to break it to your dog, but unlimited snacking just isn’t an option.

Serving Fish to Dogs

If you’re planning to serve fish to your dog regularly, be sure to consult your vet first. As you should do with any new food, be sure to feed your dog a small amount of fish at first to make sure she can digest it okay. The healthiest ways to serve fish to dogs are to steam, bake, or grill it.

Be sure to always serve fish to dogs as plainly as possible. Never feed dogs food that contain garlic or onion, and don’t serve your dog food that has any added oils or seasoning in it. It is also very important to be careful about not feeding your dog fish bones, as they can provide choking hazards or intestinal blockage.

Dogs also should not eat raw fish due to bacteria risks. Dogs can become sick from eating raw fish, and they can spread these illnesses to human members of the family. This is especially problematic for children and the immune compromised.

Lastly, you shouldn’t just serve your dog any variety of fish. Fish with longer lifespans are not considered as safe for dogs to eat. Fish such as swordfish and tuna contain a larger concentration of heavy metals that build up over a lifetime. Therefore, it is much safer for dogs to eat fish with shorter lifespans. There’s no reason to risk your dog’s health.

Fishy Finds

How does fish fare for our fur friends? Can dogs eat fish? They sure can. While fish with longer lifespans are not considered safe for dogs due to higher toxicity levels, there are plenty safe fish for dogs. Fish makes for a wonderfully nutritious alternative protein source for pups. Just remember to hold off on the oil and seasoning!

To read about how other protein sources fare for dogs, check out can dogs eat raw meat.


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Emma Polini