Can dogs eat fish?

Are you busy chomping delicious morsels of fish from your favourite takeout place? The waft of the fish flavoured dish is bound to have your pet drooling for a quick bite! Yes, dogs absolutely love the smell of fish. But is it good for them? Whether it’s a well marinated fish fry or an intricately made gravy, you would think twice before serving it to your furry pal.

Fish is a lean meat, an excellent source or protein and omega 3 fatty acids. But they also contain mercury that may lead to toxicity, apart from the bones causing digestive upset to your pet. So, is it safe to feed fish to dogs?

Fish is quite safe for canine consumption as long as they are served in moderation. It also depends on the method of cooking and the type of fish you choose to give your dog. Never feed your dog raw or smoked fish. Always serve them boiled, steamed or grilled fish.

Fishes with shorter life span like salmon have lesser amounts of mercury than fishes with longer life span like tuna. So, choose a fish that is small in size and has a shorter life span.

Bones also pose a problem to your pet’s digestive system so always debone the fish before serving it to them.

Benefits of feeding fish to dogs

  • Good source of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Fish is a lean meat and has high protein levels
  • It is low fat

Risks of feeding fish to dogs

  • Presence of toxins and other pollutants
  • Commercial pet foods that are fish-based use harmful preservatives
  • Raw or under cooked fish can cause bacterial infection like salmonella poisoning

What type of fishes can dogs eat?

Always choose fishes that are smaller in size and have shorter life span as they have lesser amount of mercury like the ones mentioned below;

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies and Herring

What fishes should be avoided?

Fishes that have a longer life span have heavy metals like mercury which slowly builds up in their system and causes heavy metal toxicity. So, the fishes to be avoided are mentioned below;

  • Tuna
  • Swordfish

The final verdict. To feed or not to feed fish to dogs?

Fish is safe for canine consumption and can be a part of their diet once it has been approved by the vet. You must choose the type of fish you want to feed your pet wisely keeping in mind its mercury level. Ensure that you cook the fish without any seasonings or spices and to debone the fish before serving it to your pet. It is always a good idea to consult the vet for their professional advice.

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