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Can Dogs Eat Fish?

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: Fish can be included in your dog’s diet as a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. However, there are some important considerations you must take note of before you let him eat fish. First, make sure you only offer your dog small-sized, short-lived fish such as flounder, salmon, pike, ocean whitefish, lake whitefish, herring, walleye, and Arctic char. These are fish that are commonly included in dog food and tend to have less metal content in their soft meat. (Tuna and swordfish should be avoided.)

Another important factor is to make sure your dog only eats fresh fish that has been cleaned and cooked properly. Debone the fish thoroughly so that your dog doesn’t accidentally swallow any fish bones. These could become a choking hazard or cause tears in his throat or stomach lining. When cooking fish for your dog, never add butter, salt, sauces, or seasonings that may upset his stomach or cause pancreatitis. Raw or undercooked fish may contain bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, which may enter your dog’s body and also infect humans. 

What to do if your dog accidentally eats fish that is raw, spoiled, or infected with parasite: Bring him to the vet if he displays any of the following symptoms: fever, shock, weight loss, lethargy, loss of blood, vomiting, and unexplainable on-off loose bowel movement which lasts for weeks. It should be noted, however, that not all dogs infected with bacteria will display said symptoms. 

In summary: Be sure to get your vet’s go signal before feeding fish to your dog. You want to make sure it will enhance his diet and give his body the appropriate nutrients he needs. Take note that younger pups and senior dogs are at higher risk of getting salmonella because of their weaker immune systems, so be wary of serving them fish. Aside from fish, discover which other meat dogs can safely eat in our “can dogs eat” category.


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