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How to Cook Fish Heads for Dogs

Fish head isolated on white background

Fish heads are considered safe for dogs if fish is a part of their regular diet. This is because fish heads are a little challenging to eat. After all, they have too many bones. Hence, they are only recommended for those pups who know their way around fish bones. The next question that we need to answer is “How to cook fish heads for dogs?” Let’s discuss how it can be done.

Cooking fish heads in plain water without any extra flavors and seasonings is the best bet. Likewise, you shouldn’t add any oil to them because fried fish can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs. In severe cases, your pup can also develop pancreatitis. Therefore, plain-cooked fish heads are best for your canine friend.

However, if you want to know about some variations that may enhance their flavor, the following recipes will help you out.

Recipes to Cook Fish Heads for Dogs

Although many owners prefer to feed their pups raw (frozen) or plain-cooked fish heads, you can try some other recipes. However, make sure to consult your vet before making any changes in your dog’s diet.

NOTE: We have made some changes to the original recipes to make them safe for dogs.

Fish Head Soup

Fish head resting in a bowl of red broth with leafy greens

In this recipe, you can give your pup a nice combination of fish heads and some vegetables.


  • 3 fish heads (e.g. sardines)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 4 ripe tomatoes without seeds
  • Parsley
  • 1 stick of celery
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • 4 carrots (peeled and cut)


  1. In a pot, add the fish heads in the two liters of water.
  2. Then, add a sprig of parsley and celery and cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. After this time, strain and reserve the broth.
  4. Then, blend the tomato with a little hot water, strain, and reserve.
  5. In a pot, heat some water and brown the tomato, that is, cook for about 4 minutes. Add the broth and vegetables.
  6. When it starts to boil, add the pieces of fish.
  7. Let it cook for 15 more minutes and rectify the flavor.
  8. Serve in a deep dish to your dog.

 Thank you to Receta Tipica for this recipe.

Salmon Head Soup

Fish head in a light yellowy broth with potato carrots and parsley

This recipe offers a different flavor of salmon heads to your pup.


  • 2 salmon heads
  • 8 ounces potatoes
  • 1 large bunch of fresh dill
  • A small amount of butter
  • Water


  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in the sauté pan.
  2. Then, add the salmon heads, the potatoes, and a few stalks of the dill. Add enough water to just cover the fish.
  3. Bring the water to a steady simmer and cook until fish and potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes).
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish heads from the liquid.
  5. When the fish is cool enough to handle, separate the meat and other edible parts (eyeballs, cartilage, etc.) from the skeleton.
  6. Add the fish parts back to the soup. Reheat gently at a low simmer, taking care not to break up the fish flesh.
  7. Add the remaining chopped fresh dill and serve when it’s reasonably cool. After all, you don’t you’re your pup to burn his/her mouth.
  8. Leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days and reheated over a low simmer.

Thank you to Serious Eats for this recipe.

Fish Head Broth

Stoneware bowl filled with a fish broth

All dog owners know that dogs love broth and its tempting smell can make any pup go crazy. Here’s how you can make a fish head broth for your canine friend.


  • 5 lbs. fish heads (of any dog-safe fish, like flounder)
  • 2 medium carrots (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Butter
  • 2 quarts of water


  1. Melt some butter in a large stockpot.
  2. Then cook fish heads for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add some more butter (if needed) and put remaining dry ingredients into the pot, stirring frequently until aromatic.
  4.  Add water and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer on low for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that surfaces due to cooking.
  6. String through a fine-mesh strainer before serving.
  7. The broth can be refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for 2 months.

Thank you to Modern Farmer for this recipe.

Salmon Head and Seaweed Soup

Salmon head in a broth with seaweed and fish pieces

Seaweed is an extremely beneficial ingredient for canines because it carries a range of nutrients. For example, it is loaded with minerals (iodine, magnesium, etc.) and Omega-3 fatty acids.


  • 4 large salmon heads (without gills)
  • A 2-inch piece of seaweed
  • A 3-inch piece of slivered ginger
  • Rice noodles
  • Water


  1. Wash the salmon heads well to remove any blood or gills. Gills will ruin the broth by making it bitter and cloudy.
  2. Cover the heads with water in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the seaweed and ginger and bring to a bare simmer. Do not let this boil. Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the broth and save the heads. Pick out all the meat from the heads, especially the cheek meat. Reserve in a bowl.
  4. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
  5. Ladle out some broth into the dog’s food bowl and add the noodles to it.
  6. Now, add the salmon meat on top of the noodles.
  7. Cover with more broth before serving.

NOTE: Rice noodles are safe for dogs but moderation is necessary because they are high in calories and salt.

Thank you to Honest Food for this recipe.

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