Is Fish Good For Dogs?
Can dogs eat fish? The short answer is yes, but it’s also good to know the ins and outs of giving your furry companion seafood for dinner.
The benefits of fish for dogs
Most fish is low in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, which is what makes it nutritious for both dogs and humans. Plus, dogs love it!
Salmon, for example, is filled with vitamin B12, Selenium, and Omega-Fatty Acids. These are great for dogs’ immune systems, promote a shinier coat, and help with inflammation (an especially great benefit for senior dogs!) That’s why we
developed our meal topper, Wally’s Salmon N’ Rice, around the vitamin-packed protein. Our salmon is wild-caught, as farmed salmon runs the risk of containing chemicals.
The risks of fish for dogs
There are some risks when feeding fish to dogs: mercury levels, bones, and parasites.
Giving dogs fish with mercury
Many fish may contain levels of mercury, which can be harmful to dogs if they ingest too much. Fish absorb mercury that’s found in the ocean due to pollution -- something that humans also have to be aware of when eating seafood.
The longer a fish lives and the bigger it gets, the more mercury it’s likely to build up. So, certain fish, such as bigeye tuna, marlin, and swordfish, contain higher levels of mercury due to their age and size. Smaller fish, such as salmon, cod, or tilapia, have been shown to have low levels of mercury and are safer to eat.
Giving dogs bone-in fish
Be sure to always debone fish before feeding it to your dog. Like other kinds of bone, fish bones can be harmful to your dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines if it punctures or gets stuck.
Giving dogs raw fish
When dogs eat raw fish, they run the risk of ingesting certain bacteria or parasites, including flukes, roundworms, or tapeworms. In fact, one of the most common fish-related infections in dogs comes from eating raw salmon.
Thankfully, by properly preparing your dog’s seafood and ensuring you’re giving them a type of fish with low mercury levels, you can rest assured that your pooch is safely getting the wonderful vitamins and nutrients that fish provides.
Cooking fish for dogs
If going the route of preparing fish for your dog at home, be sure to cook it thoroughly and without any heavy oils or seasonings, as these can be harmful to dogs.
Buying dog food with fish for dogs
If you’d like to start buying dog food with seafood in it, be sure to check for the quality of fish. Is it wild-caught or farmed? Is it a fish with low levels of mercury? Do some research before buying, as many pet foods with fish are made with chum, rather than delicious, nutritious fresh fish!
The bottom line is that dogs love fish, and fish is great for them! Whether you decide to steam fish for your dog at home or buy a dog meal topper with salmon, be sure to always consult with your veterinarian about what your dog needs.
At Portland Pet Food Company, we manufacture human-grade meal toppers and treats for dogs. Sign up for a subscription delivery to ensure that you never run out – your dog will thank you!