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Can Dogs Eat Fish?


Fish is a pretty common ingredient in several commercially manufactured dog foods out there. It has been used as a part of our pooch’s diet for a long time now, so, the answer to the question can we feed fish to our dogs is Yes; our canines can safely consume this aquatic food item. But, there are so many different kinds of fish that are found in the ocean, so are all those various types of fish safe for our canines? Or are there any specific kinds of fish that we should never feed to our pooches? Let’s find out!

It is true most of the fishes when cooked properly prove to be highly beneficial for our canine’s health. It is a low-fat proteinaceous food item that is rich in various important nutritional elements such as Vitamins D, Vitamin B2, Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals like calcium, phosphorus and many more. The table below gives us a brief idea about all the important nutrients that are present inside a typical fish.

Nutritional Elements in a typical Fish





Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Vitamin D


Vitamin B2


Vitamin B6, B12


Phosphorus, Magnesium


Calcium, Iron, Sodium


But, there are some types of fish that are definitely not very advantageous for our four-legged companions and thus they should be kept as far away from the canines as possible. Fishes like Tuna and Swordfish which comes under the category of long-lived fish species are not safe for our pooches’ consumption. Because of heavy metals accumulation in long-lived fish, large quantities of metals like mercury are found inside such fish. And this can create toxicity inside a pooch’s body and thus it is highly recommended not to feed such long-lived fish to a doggy.

It is always a better idea to feed short-lived fish species to a pooch as they are free of any heavy metal accumulation. Fishes like lake whitefish, herring, salmon, ocean whitefish, arctic char, walleye, and flounder are considered to be the best type of seafood that we can, without any hesitation, feed to our canines. Now, let’s discuss some of the pros and cons that come along when we feed fish to our sweet little furry friends.

Benefits of feeding Fish to your dogs

  1. The Omega-3 fatty acids present inside a fish are believed to have several health benefits for the canines such as
  • decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of arthritis
  • promoting healthy brain functions
  • maintaining a healthy canine heart by lowering the blood pressure.
  1. Fish is also good for a canine’s muscles and bones. It reduces the risk of joint pains in older dogs as well.
  2. Some dogs who are allergic to more common canine food ingredients like Chicken, can safely consume a fish-based feeding material.
  3. Some research tests indicate that feeding fish to a pooch may decrease the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD et cetera.
  4. Various nutrients which are present inside a fish such as proteins, vitamins and minerals are really beneficial for a large number of canine’s body functions.

Risks/ Precautionswhile feeding Fish to your dogs

  1. It is important to feed fish to a canine in a limited manner, especially if you are feeding it for the first time to your pooch. Large quantities of fish can cause various stomach issues in the canines.
  2. Fish cooked in large amounts of oil can cause gastrointestinal upset in the canines. It can also lead to dangerous diseases like Pancreatitis, thus it is important not to cook this food item or any other, as a matter of fact, in too much oil when feeding it to a pooch.
  3. Feeding Raw fish to a pooch is also not a very good idea and sometimes it may prove to be highly deleterious for your canine’s health. Raw fish can sometimes carry harmful bacteria like listeria and salmonella which are very harmful for both you and your canine.
  4. It is important to properly remove all the fish bones before feeding it to a canine as these tiny bones are extremely sharp, brittle and dangerous for the pooches. They can lodge themselves in a canine’s throat, mouth, intestine, and stomach and can even perforate some of the important organs.


Well to sum it up, fish is truly an essential food item for our canines and it can be really beneficial for their health. But, it is also true that not all kinds of fish are good for our pooches and fish that comes under the long-lived species should never be fed to the dogs. Also, it is important to remember that large quantities of fish and large amounts of oil in which the fish is being cooked; both are equally harmful for a pooch and can lead to various kinds of illnesses in the canines. So, as long as you are feeding short-lived species of properly cooked fish to your dogs in a limited manner, then there should be no problem for your furry friends and they will remain fit, fine and healthy.