Can dogs eat fish? This question has been asked over and over again. But the more pressing question should be: how should fish be cooked for dogs?
Fish is generally safe for dogs’ consumption, in fact, they bring about numerous health benefits.
Just make sure that it’s the right kind of fish and it’s cooked through!
Health Benefits of Eating Fish for Dogs
Fishes are great sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for dogs.Boosts immune system
Reduces inflammation; helps to soothe allergic reactions
Enhances coat shine and skin health
Frequently Asked Questions: Dogs Eating Fishes
What fishes can dogs eat?
Fishes with longer lifespans tend to have high levels of mercury as they feed on other fishes to stay alive. Thus, consuming them would lead to metal toxicity in your dog.
On the other hand, any short lifespan fish species are good for dogs as they don’t run the risk of having high mercury levels. Common examples include salmon, ocean whitefish, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.
– Caleb Backe, Pet Health & Wellness Expert for Honeydew Products
Can dogs eat raw fish?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s not advisable for you to feed raw fish to your dogs.
Raw fish may carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella and listeria. Thus, consuming it will not only cause your dog to fall sick, it can also infect your family through saliva contact.
Tips to prevent foodborne infections when handling raw food
- Store raw food separately from other food
- Thaw frozen raw products in your fridge or microwave
- If there are leftover raw food that your pet didn’t finish, cover it and throw it away immediately
- Clean and disinfect any contaminated objects and surfaces that came into contact with the raw food e.g. countertops, cutting boards, utensils
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds
According to Dogs Naturally, there are 3 main parasites that exist in raw fish. These creatures will threaten your dog’s health if his immune system is already compromised. If you insist on feeding raw fish to your pet, ensure that you freeze the fish at least 1 week ahead to kill all parasites.
Can dogs eat fish skin?
It’s best to keep the skin off the fish, but if you’re planning to serve it, do follow these guidelines.
- Ensure that the skin is cooked through
- Cut the skin into small pieces and limit intake
- Fish scales should be removed if they’re sharp
- The fish shouldn’t come from polluted waters
Can dogs eat tuna fish?
There are over 20 different species of tuna fish and not all of them are safe for your dog’s consumption. As a general rule, the suitability may be affected by the size of the tuna – the larger it is, the more toxic it is for your dog.
Having said that, researchers have established that the mercury levels in commercial dog food are not a cause for concern.
So, can dogs eat tuna? Tuna has high protein content and comes with several benefits. But with its risks, it’s best to feed your pet in moderation or simply turn to another similar substitute like salmon.
Can dogs eat fish sticks/fingers?
Fish sticks don’t offer any nutritional benefits and their low-quality ingredients may cause long-term health problems. Therefore, they should be avoided altogether.
Including Fish In Your Dog’s Diet
There are 2 ways you can feed fish to your dogs – either cook it yourself or simply purchase readymade commercial dog food products.
Popular Fish Dog Food Available at Pet Lovers Centre
The easiest way to incorporate fish into your dog’s diet is to purchase high quality, nutritionally complete and balanced, fish-based dog food. Look for products that conform to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) requirements.
– Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM and Advisory Board Member of Pup Life Today
This savoury ocean whitefish recipe is concocted to improve digestion, joint mobility and aid brain and eye development in dogs.
Orijen boasts a whole prey recipe that includes the meat, organs and cartilage of 6 nutrient-dense fishes. Fishes include mackerel, herring, flounder, redfish, monkfish and silver hake.
This fish and potato formula by ANF has been proven to offer a nutritionally balanced meal for dogs of all breeds and ages.
All food products on PLC meet AAFCO’s requirements.
Preparing and Cooking Fish for Dogs
Things to Take NotePlain and free of seasoning and oil
Too much seasoning and oil can negatively affect your dog’s health. For example, too much salt consumption will cause an electrolyte imbalance.Best cooking methods: steam or grill
These are the most suitable cooking methods to ensure that the fish is cooked healthily with little to no use of oil.Remove fish bones before serving
How to Cook Fish for Dogs: Homemade Recipes
Simple Salmon and Vegetables Recipe
- Salmon without the skin
- 1 head of broccoli (chopped)
- 2 potatoes (peeled or chopped)
- 1 carrot (peeled or chopped)
- Handful of parsley* (chopped)
- Boil all the vegetables in unsalted water until soft
- Add about ¼ of the parsley and mix with the vegetables.
- Steam the salmon until fully cooked.
- Serve together.
*Parsley is a superlative herb that’s great for your dog! Its benefits include
- Vitamin C: boosts immunity system
- Vitamin A: improves vision
- Vitamin K: promotes liver health and blood clotting
- Fibre: improves digestion
- Antimicrobial properties: improves urinary health
However, if your dog has kidney problems, avoid serving parsley.Other Recipes
Feeding Fishes to Your Dog
No matter what you feed your pet, everything has to be in moderation. The key to achieving optimal health is to feed him a balanced diet.
Have any tips or recipes to share? Let us know in the comments below!