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Can Dogs Eat Fish Food?

pile of fish food flakes

Dogs are curious beings and tend to eat things they are not supposed to. They can’t resist themselves from getting into other’s food and fish food is not an exception. These ever-hungry creatures love fish food and won’t need a second invitation to taste it.

Seeing your dog munching on fish food doesn’t merit a visit to a vet immediately. Although there are no long-term effects, it is a good idea to keep fish nourishments away from your pooch.

What is Fish Food Made of?

Most of the aquarium owners feed their fish pre-formulated pellets or pieces that are easily accessible. Like most animal feeds, this nourishment is comprised of moisture, fats, proteins, fiber, ash, and nitrogen-free extracts.

For those who don’t know, fish need more protein and fats than sugars in their diet. Consequently, fish food will generally have higher protein concentration and energy than other animal foods. Such a dietary change can cause gastrointestinal issues to your canines.

Composition of Fish Food

spilled can of fish food on white background

The protein in fish food is traditionally sourced from fish meal and fish oil. Both these commodities are cheap because they often come from byproducts of other fish industries. Similarly, inexpensive vegetable (soy or pea) are used to extract vegetable proteins.

Common carbs in fish nourishment incorporate maize meal, rice, and wheat. The less expensive the nourishment, the more probable it is to be built up with cheap carbohydrates. Some fish foods contain sex hormones or different added substances to improve the color of ornamental fish. Likewise, it’s common to give medication to fish using fish food.

According to FDA regulations, fish food has to be clearly labeled with its ingredients, nutritional content, precautionary advice, and dosage instructions. This allows you to check the ingredients of the fish nourishment before purchasing. Irrespective of its composition, it’s NOT very safe for dogs to consume fish food.

Help! My Dog Ate My Fish Food

Pomeranian with fishbowl of goldfish on white background

The basic ingredients in fish food and dog food are not so dissimilar from each other. A dog eating some fish food should remain unaffected. However, if your dog eats a lot of it, he/she may start to vomit. Even though it is not that harmful, excessive vomiting does bring some metabolic problems and dehydration. In most cases, your dog should be fine after a few hours.

If your dog does not recover soon, you should take your dog to a vet to get him/her checked. Most of the ingredients found in common types of fish food are NOT toxic to dogs. However, the possibility of an allergy to one of the ingredients is there. Some dogs do have an allergy to fish, but this is quite rare.

Insect Larva in Fish Food

meal worms

Other than a few digestive issues, dogs remain fine after eating fish food. Having said that, some fish food brands use insect larva as an ingredient. Such fish nourishments can be troublesome for your canine as they can lead to unhealthy gut bacteria. In these scenarios, the vet may advise your dog a fecal test that should be conducted after a week. It is more precautionary than treatment.

Chicken, turkey, soy, and beef are the most common causes of food allergies in dogs. It’s in the best interest of your canine (and yourself) to keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction. As soon as you feel something is wrong, react promptly and appropriately to nip the evil in the bud.

Never feed fish food to your dog intentionally. In very large quantities, the high protein levels in fish food can cause health issues for your dog. For instance, such diets can lead to obesity, kidney damage, pancreatitis, and other medical issues. As long as you don’t plan on replacing your dog’s food with fish food, he/she should remain healthy.

Is Fish Food Harmful to Dogs?

illustration of fish food can with red circle and bar over it

Your dog’s digestive system is much tougher than yours. This is the reason why it can usually handle the grimy water in the pond or the odd garbage buffet. But it’s not fail-safe and there are some surprisingly common human foods that are extremely toxic to dogs. Therefore, when your dog gets into food that isn’t intended for it, it’s worth exercising some caution.

It’s not unusual for dogs to eat fish food. Many online forums are full of stories of dogs getting into the goldfish pellets without any long-term health effects. In comparison to some other forbidden snacks (for dogs), fish food is one of the more harmless ones. In fact, fish is often used as an alternative food source for dogs with chicken allergies. Having said that, you must know what your dog should and should not be eating to keep him/her safe.


Generally, the ingredients in fish food are non-poisonous for your canine friend. As a result, there should be no long-term sickness issues if your pup consumes your goldfish’s meal. However, you may get an adverse response, or in rare cases, an allergic reaction. Therefore, precaution is necessary.

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