Can You Feed a Dog Fish?

Let's discuss the fishy question for our furry friends and understand which fish is safe for dogs and which are off-limits. We'll also explore whether dogs can eat fish with bones.
Can You Feed a Dog Fish?
The Benefits of Fish

  • The properties of fish are often underestimated, but it's a true "vitamin find" for your furry friend.
  • It's more affordable than meat while offering the same calories and nutrients.
  • Phosphorus and iodine improve dental and bone health and coat quality and reduce the likelihood of reproductive issues while promoting muscle activity.
  • It contains methionine, a specific amino acid that positively affects the liver and other internal organs.
  • Most parasites found in seafood don't survive in warm-blooded animals like dogs. Freezing seafood before feeding it to your dog is joint, especially for seafarers.

Which Fish Can Be Given to Dogs?

  • Choose lean varieties, as excessive fat can negatively affect the pancreas. Opt for bony fish like hake, whiting, pollock, and haddock.
  • Herring: This affordable and familiar fish is a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit coat quality. Fresh-frozen herring is the preferred choice. So, not only can dogs eat herring, but they should.
  • Sea Fish: Sea fish generally contain fewer bones and fewer parasites harmful to dogs than freshwater fish. Avoiding most freshwater fish to prevent choking on bones or picking up parasites is best.

Fish to Avoid for Dogs

Veterinary dieticians recommend feeding fish to dogs no more than 1-2 times a week because some substances in fish can harm them with frequent consumption.
  • Thiaminase: In large amounts, it can lead to the breakdown of vitamin B1, causing a deficiency.
  • Trimethylamine oxide: Blocks iron absorption, leading to iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Histamine: Causes intoxication, vomiting, and digestive problems.

How to Feed Fish to Dogs

Get them used to it from a young age. Introducing fish to your dog's diet while young can help them get accustomed to the specific smell and taste.
Remove fins and large bones. This advice is particularly relevant for small dogs, who can easily choke on bones. Additionally, ocean fish's dorsal fins have sharp spines for protection, which can cause digestive tract injuries.
Freeze it before feeding. It's a good practice to freeze fish before giving it to your dog to kill potential parasites.

Minced fish. For small dogs, veterinarians recommend grinding the fish in a meat grinder and offering it in small meatballs.

Balance the diet. Remember that fish has a slightly lower energy value than meat products, so you should feed about 50% more fish than meat.

Now that you understand whether fish should be part of your dog's diet let your furry friend enjoy this delicious treat!