Can Dogs Eat Fish? Well, it depends on the type of fish because some fish are safe for dogs and some are not. It also depends a lot on how you prepare fish for your dog.
Best Fishes for Dogs
Fishes who have longer lifespan are not preferable for dogs i.e. Tuna and swordfish, whereas fishes with relatively shorter lifespans are best for dogs i.e. salmon, ocean whitefish, lake whitefish, herring, walleye, flounder, and arctic char.
Due to the constant dumping of industrial waste by industries in water bodies, there is a high concentration of heavy metals, such as mercury, in water. Fishes that live longer tend to have greater mercury build-up in their tissues vs those with shorter lifespans. Fishes with greater mercury content can lead to kidney failure in dogs if they eat them over a long duration of time.
How should you give Fish to Dogs?
Fish is healthy for dogs and is best served cooked, steamed or boiled. It is important to ensure that fish is not cooked in oil, herbs or salt since these can be toxic for dogs.
Following are the precautions you must take while giving fish to dogs:
- Fish should be well cooked since they can carry bacteria like salmonella and listeria. These bacteria can make your dog sick and can spread from dogs to humans.
- Fish should not have any bones since bones in fish are extremely fragile and can splinter while eating. Splintering while eating or chewing might lead to internal bleeding.
- Fishes with long life span should be avoided i.e Swordfish and Tuna.
How Is Fish Good For Dogs?
Fish are widely known for their vitamins and other essential nutrients content. Some of the nutrients found in fish are:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Helps in reducing inflammation and improves immune system.
- Omega3 fatty acids carry:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Protein: It helps in maintaining and repairing cells and tissues.
How Is Fish Bad For Dogs?
Fish is generally safe for dogs but if the fish is not prepared well or is prepared with salt, sugar or other herbs, then you may notice certain symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating. Moreover, if Tuna or Swordfish is given to dogs then in the long run they will have chances of getting life-threatening ailments due to mercury poisoning.
How Many Fish can be given to Dogs?
Fish can be an add-on to the existing diet of your dogs. Fish is good in moderation and can be given now and then as a treat.
Fact: As a thumb rule by experts, 10% of calorie in dogs should come from treats or snacks and fruit/vegetables should not contribute more than 20% of dog calorie count.