Can Dogs Eat Fish?

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can dogs eat fish

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of various human foods. When you search for information about the safety or toxicity of avocado to dogs, you get some very mixed results from it being safe to highly toxic. We will answer the question about the safety of avocado in dogs in detail in this article.

The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic, which lead to a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, peanut butter, and foods that contain xylitol.

Exposure to the dangers of these foods have encouraged pet owners ask about other human foods such as “Can dogs eat Fish?” Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

The answer to can dogs eat fish is yes, they can. Fish that are good for dogs includes salmon, trout, ocean whitefish, herring, flounder, Atlantic char, and walleye. Less desirable fish options are tuna and swordfish due to the potential for higher mercury content.

Cooked fish and raw fish can be safe. Fish can be prepared plain, steamed, grilled, cooked, or raw. Basically, any fish that is good for human consumption can be fed to dogs. Any fish not safe for humans would be considered not safe for dogs.

Dogs love the soft texture, flavor and smell of fish and can enjoy it as a core ingredient in their dog food or as a healthy snack. Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Dangers of Fish to Dogs

When researching the safety of fish for dogs, there are four considerations that impact the danger.

1. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset in dogs that aren’t used to fish or in fish that contains seasonings and butter. Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis.
2. Risk of choking or esophageal foreign bodies from fish bones. This is more common in small dogs but can occur in any dog.
3. Raw fish can contain bacteria that can infect dogs (and you) such as salmonella and listeria.
4. Some dogs may be allergic to fish. Learn more about Food Allergy in Dogs.

The answer to the question, “can dogs eat fish” … is yes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not cause illness in one dog may create sickness in another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods that bother some people may not affect others.

If your dog ingested fish and is showing symptoms such as trouble swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, not eating or lethargy, please call your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic.

Do Dogs Need Fish?

There is nothing in fish that dogs require however fish is a very good source of protein and nutrients. Fish can form the basis of high-quality dog foods including several grain free dog foods. Many dog foods are formulated with fish as a primary ingredient and are commonly recommended for dogs that have allergies to chicken or beef.

Learn more about the nutritional needs of dogs. Go to Nutrition in Dogs.

Can You Give Fish Oil To Your Dog?

Yes, you can give fish oil to dogs. In fact, it is a healthy way to supplement omega 3 fatty acids that can be great for skin health. A commonly used omega 3 supplement in dogs is called Derm Caps.

The Safest Way to Give Fish to Dogs

The safest way to give fish to your dog is to offer a small amount of unseasoned or lightly seasoned deboned cooked fish. If you choose a canned fish such as sardines, the healthiest option is to get it packed in water.

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