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What Fish Can Dogs Eat?

dog in a body of water with a fish in its mouth

Eating fish can be a tricky thing, especially for dogs. Although many fish are safe for dogs, there are a lot of dos and don’ts that you need to keep in mind. In this article, we will be discussing the types of fish that dogs can (or cannot) eat. This will help dog owners to evade any accidents and provide all the benefits of fish to their pooches.

Types of Fish Dogs Can Eat

It’s important to follow some factors to figure out the best fish for your dogs. For example, lifespan(short), size(small), bones(easily cleanable), and contamination (fewer traces of mercury or any other toxic material) must be considered. Even if you are feeding your pup a dog-safe fish, make sure it is cooked. The following are some fish that canines can eat.


Salmon isolated on a white background

This is a member of the Salmonidae family and is very much eatable for dogs. However, bones should be removed(to avoid any blockage) and salmon should be cooked without seasoning or oiled. Salmon contains vitamin B-12, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. These nutrients are quite helpful for keeping your dog safe from infections.

Dogs can also eat the skin of salmon as long as it is cooked. Canned salmon can also be fed to your dogs only if it is packed in water. However, vets don’t recommend owners to feed their dogs smoked salmon because it can contain harmful bacteria (salmon poisoning).


Sardine isolated on a white background

This fish belongs to the Clupeidae family that is often considered the healthiest fish inside the sea. This is because it has a small size and short lifespan. Therefore it has fewer chances to collect mercury or other toxins inside it. Sardine is a rich source of several vital nutrients that are best for your dog’s health.

Sardines can be fed to your dog in raw, cooked, or canned (in water) form. Canned sardines are not the most preferred option because they can contain a lot of salts.


Tilapia isolated on a white background

It comes from the Cichlidae family and is considered quite safe for dogs. A tilapia is a great option for dogs if it is cooked without oiled or seasoning. It is important to debone the fish before giving it to your dogs (or use the boneless fillet).

This non-toxic fish contains vitamins, selenium, fatty acids, and phosphorus that help reduce health issues in dogs. Farmed tilapia is more vulnerable to diseases than wild-caught fish. Therefore wild-caught tilapia is considered the most suitable option for canines.


Tuna isolated on a white background

This member of the Scombridae family is safe for dogs to eat, but only in moderation. Dogs can also eat this fish in raw form but only after the removal of bones. Tuna is useful for dogs because it contains protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and other minerals. These nutrients endorse the brain tissues of the dogs and help them in fighting against infections.

In the case of canned tuna, make sure that it’s filled in water instead of oil. It is advisable to avoid canned Albacore Tuna because it has high consideration of mercury. Therefore it can lead to several health problems.

Types of Fish Dogs Can NOT Eat

Generally, raw fish is considered unsafe for dogs and they should only be given cooked fish. However, some types of fish are still toxic for canines after cooking. The following are some of these unsafe types of fish that dogs cannot eat.

King Mackerel

King Mackerel isolated on a white background

This member of the Scombridae family is quite dangerous for dogs. if served to eat. According to PetMD, the growth of mercury in the tissues of King Mackerel is rapid and very unnatural. This makes this fish toxic to dogs.

The long lifespan and large size of these fish are the most likely reasons for the accumulation of mercury. Similarly, they allow harbor parasites to infect the organs and coats of the King Mackerel. All these things can result in a lot of problems in canines.

Orange Roughy

Orange Roughy on ice

This fish belongs to a Trachichthyidae family and is known as deep-sea carp. It is smaller in size compared to other toxic fish. However, It has a very long lifespan of over 100 years. Hence, they can accumulate a lot of mercury and parasites during their ocean life. Orange Roughy is also not recommended for humans because it is also harmful to them.


Mako shark isolated on a white background

Shark is a member of the Elasmobranch group and is considered highly toxic for dogs. They have a lot of mercury inside their whole body due to their long lifespan and large size. So, consuming sharks is extremely risky for dogs and can cause nuisances, tremors, and mental dysfunction.


Swordfish isolated on a white background.

This member of the Xiphiidae family has great levels of mercury and is not safe for dogs to eat. Other than high mercury levels, this is also dangerous because of parasites. They are present in its skin and other body parts. This long-lived fish results in a lot of implications and even can cause the death of your pooch.

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