Can Dogs Eat Fish & Tuna Fish?

Yes and No. So feeding your dog, fish or tuna, can either be healthy or it can cause poisoning. In the case of canned tuna, Yes, but we must check the mercury level because there are 20 kinds of tuna fish out there, and only 5 of them are healthy to consume.

I like to give my dog the occasional treat, but there are a few concerns about fish that you should be aware of.

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Which Types of Fish are Safe for Dogs?

It’s safe to feed your dog any of the following types of fish, and they’re frequently found in some blends of dog food:

  • Salmon
  • Whitefish (ocean or lake)
  • Herring
  • Walleye
  • Flounder
  • Arctic Char

How To Cook Fish For Your Dog

You should never serve your dog uncooked fish. When raw, it can contain parasites or bacteria that can potentially endanger the health of your pet.

It can also be dangerous to your health and the health of your family if they become infected.

When cooking fish for your furry friend, it’s important to do it thoroughly. It’s also recommended that you remove the skin because it’s high in fat.

You can steam, bake, or grill fresh fish. But never use seasonings when cooking for your canine pals, and experts also recommend that you avoid all kinds of butter and oils (except coconut oil), including sprays.

Always ensure that the fish is completely deboned, as the bones can easily become lodged in your dog’s throat or anywhere along their digestive tract.

Using Coconut Oil for Cooking

If you can’t use butter or oils, how do you keep the food from sticking to the pan? You can safely serve your dog coconut oil.

I always use it when cooking for my dog; he even gobbles up a spoonful as the occasional treat! Coconut oil aids in digestion and nutrient absorption, and can also help to treat doggy breath.

It has been shown to kill and expel parasites, prevent infection and disease, and may even reduce the risk of cancer.

It can increase energy and even help overweight dogs to lose some weight. Coconut oil balances the endocrine system, and builds strong bones while easing inflammation and arthritic pain. It will even promote healthy brain and nerve functions.

Here is what Dr. Karen Becker says about using Coconut Oil in dog’s diet:

So why not consider cooking with coconut oil the next time you whip up a meal for your furry companion?

Why Is Salmon The Best Choice?

Salmon is the best choice of fish to feed to your dog. This is because salmon is high in protein and amino acids. The proteins and amino acids aid in tissue repair and muscle growth.

It is also full of both DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids; DHA promotes healthy development of the brain and eyesight in puppies, and EPA is great for joint health in older dogs.

Salmon is full of minerals that maintain strong bones and muscles as well as healthy teeth.


  • DHA – docosahexaenoic acid
  • EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid

There are a lot of health benefits that feeding your dog salmon will provide.

It promotes brain health, improves immune system, reduces joint inflammation and increases joint mobility, while easing the stiffness associated with arthritis.

Salmon also promotes a healthy coat and skin.

Sardines Make a Great Treat

Sardines offer some significant health benefits too. Like salmon, sardines are rich in protein and Omega 3s. They also may protect your dog from allergies.

If you’re serving your dog sardines from a can, they suggest selecting only varieties that are packed in spring water.

Those packed in brine or oil may contain high amounts of sodium which is unhealthy for our canine pals.

Is Tuna Good for Dogs?

Tuna has many of the same health benefits as other fish, but the experts give conflicting answers to the question of if dogs should eat tuna.

Some say that dogs absolutely should not eat tuna because it’s too high in heavy metals, like mercury. Other experts state that it’s okay to feed tuna steaks to your dog if you cook it fresh. Still others have said that canned tuna can make a great treat, but only if it’s in water and there are no added spices.

Of the experts that have said that tuna is safe for dogs, they all agree that it should only be an occasional treat and not a part of their regular diet.

Dog Foods with Fish Are a Great Alternative

If you’d like to make fish a part of your dog’s regular diet without the fuss of having to cook for them every meal, there are some great dog food options that use it for their main source of protein.

Wilderness Blue Buffalo offers a high protein salmon formula, which is grain free. They even offer a large breed option.

Iams Sensitive Naturals has an ocean fish and rice recipe. This recipe is specially formulated for easy digestion and is ideal for dogs whose stomachs are sensitive.

They use it as their first ingredient and then blend it with rice, fruits, and vegetables creating a balanced diet for a healthy dog.

How about Fish Oils? Watch video to know more about it:


Fish is a wonderful way to provide protein and Omega 3s in your dog’s diet, and it offers many great health benefits, but it’s important to remember that, like you, your dog needs balanced nutrition and can’t live on protein alone.

If the vet has placed your dog on a special diet of home cooked fish, you should consult a nutritionist who’s board-certified in veterinary nutrition.

They can supply recipes that will ensure that your pup is receiving adequate nutrition.

Check out Wilderness Blue Buffalo’s salmon formula or Iams Sensitive Naturals ocean fish and rice recipe for a high protein dry dog food that uses fish as the main ingredient.

Please use the comments section if you have any questions about safely feeding your dog fish or tuna.

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