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Can Dogs Eat Fried Fish?

Fried fish dinner on a stoneware plate on a white wood table with silverware next to plate

It is not recommended to feed fried fish to dogs. Although it is fully cooked and won’t transmit parasites on consumption, fried fish still poses some serious risks. The main problem with fried fish is the amount of oil in it because it can cause gastrointestinal issues. Read on to learn about the problems that may arise if your dogs eat fried fish.

Side Effects of Fried Fish for Dogs

The digestive system of dogs is quite different from humans and can’t handle excess oils in fried fish. Hence, the consumption of fish in this form is quite likely to make your pup sick. The following are some of the biggest risks of giving your dog fried fish.  


Overweight yellow Labrador Retriever laying on stone pavers

Fried fish offers a huge amount of calories to canines. If it is fed regularly, there are high chances that dogs will end up gaining some unwanted weight. Due to this problem, they will become more vulnerable to jaundice. In accumulation, the round tummy of dogs comes from fluid which will be the result of lost muscles.


Black Lab vomiting in grass

This is one of the common troubles that dogs face if they eat fried fish. Dogs vomit to persuasively expel the fillings of their stomach that are irritating them. It is also accompanied by abdominal heaving and nausea.


Chocolate Labrador pooping in yard

Eating something offensive or irritating is a common reason for sudden diarrhea in dogs. Fried fish is an irritating item for a pup’s stomach and digestive system. Therefore, it is very likely to cause diarrhea.

Medical Problems Due to Increased Fat

Vet or assistant wearing purple scrubs examining a yellow lab

Dogs need to have a balance in their diet to control the amount of fat in their bodies. Eating too much oil and fried food disturbs this balance and your pooch becomes overweight. Fried fish is considered a high-fat diet that can cause dogs several health issues to dogs, besides obesity. For example, too much fat in the body can lead to heart-related diseases and strokes.  


Human hands holding the head of a yellow lab laying on the floor on a towel

Eating fried fish (and fried food in general) is also linked with pancreatitis. Some common signs of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and reduced appetite. During an attack of pancreatitis, dogs take a specific position. In this position, their rear legs are in the air and their front legs (and head) are dropped against the floor.

Types of Fish that are Safe for Dogs 

Many kinds of fish are safe for dogs to consume, provided they are given in moderation. Generally, fast-growing and wild-caught fish are considered best because they don’t have hard bones and high levels of metals. The following are some common types of fish that are completely safe for dogs unless they are fried or seasoned.

NOTE: Plain-cooked, steamed, or grilled fish are ideal for dogs.


Tuna steaks on a black slate, surrounded by salt and rosemary sprigs

It is the most commonly used fish, especially in commercial dog foods. Tuna can be a great treat for dogs in both raw and cooked form, but fried tuna is not recommended. It includes protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and other minerals.


Salmon fillets on a black slate surrounded by sprigs of herbs, spices, and lemon slices

It is the best alternative if it is wild-caught. Never feed smoked or fried salmon to your canine friend because it is not safe. The basic reason for this is the curing of fish in saline water. Dogs don’t need salt in their diet because it can lead to sodium poisoning. Salmon contains vitamin B-12, selenium, and other minerals.


Tilapia filets on a wooden cutting board on a dark wood table

It is very useful for a dog’s circulatory system, joints, brain, and skin. Tilapia is very safe if cooked (non-fried), but it’s better to avoid this fish in raw form due to parasites. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Atlantic Mackerel

Atlantic Mackerel on as cutting board on a dark counter top with small bowls of seasonings

This fish has a very little amount of mercury compared to some other names in this list. However, Atlantic Mackerel can still be dangerous for dogs if served in form of fried fish. It can result in different stomach problems. Atlantic Mackerel is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

How Much Fish is Too Much for Dogs?

whole fish on ice in a fish market

It doesn’t matter which type you select, too much fish is bad for canines. Eating a lot of fish can lead to obesity and it’s the owner’s responsibility to prevent it from happening. Hence, you need to consult your vet and come up with a suitable portion of fish in your pooch’s diet.

A general rule of thumb is that fish treats account for only 10% of a dog’s daily diet. When it comes to fried fish, it is recommended to avoid it completely. However, a small amount of fried fish on rare occasions should not hurt your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Battered Fish?

Fried fish dinner on a white plate with a red rim, on a wooden picnic table with condiments and utensils

Just like fried fish, eating battered fish is also not recommended for dogs. The biggest reason for this is the recipe of the batter that is used to coat the fish. It can contain toxic ingredients (like garlic or onion powder) that will harm your furry friend. Similarly, battered fish has a decent quantity of oil, which will also cause different stomach problems.

Consuming a small amount of battered fish may not offend your dog. However, as the saying goes, precaution is better than cure. Therefore, it’s better to avoid this kind of fish and do not compromise on your dog’s health.

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