A very popular question among dog owners, can they eat tuna. Is this fish healthy and nutritious, or dangerous? Today we answer it!
Can i give my Dog Tuna? [Quick answer:]
Maybe. You must take some very important precautions into consideration first.
Read next: Can i give my dog sushi?
Fish in Our Dog’s Diet
Sure, dogs delight as much with fish as they do with meat. But is it safe to feed our furry friends? The answer is unsurprising, yes. Indeed, fish are great for a dog’s diet, in fact, it is used in many commercial dog foods. The most beneficial types of fish for dogs, alongside tuna, are: the ocean and lake whitefish, salmon, herring, walleye, flounder, and Arctic char.
Most veterinarians recommend fish to be part of the dog’s diet if he/she is not allergic of course. Very often we find wet dog food cans with tuna in the market that are cheap and tasty for our canines to eat. They are also a high source of nutrients and a great addition to their diet. Just keep in mind that it’s not recommended to feed our dogs with a can that has been opened over a week ago. As the fish might be spoiled already.
What About Raw Tuna, Cooked, and Canned Tuna (for Humans) Specifically?
Well, firstly, of course you must not let your dog eat raw tuna, or any other type of fish for that matter. Raw fish is a potential source of parasites, which can truly endanger the canine. It’s not uncommon either. Therefore, watch out for this, it’s a very important precaution. Never feed a dog with raw fish.
When it comes to, cooked, or canned tuna, it’s acceptable treat the ‘good boy’ with some now and then. A small portion of well-cooked, or canned, tuna won’t do any harm (unless the health record says otherwise). Just make sure it’s an occasional treat and not part of his/her diet. If the dog starts begging for tuna every time he sees you eating it, don’t indulge him. Don’t let it go from a healthy and delicious treat to a bad and unhealthy habit.
Very Important: Remove Fish Bones
This is the most important precaution of them all. One you definitely must be worried about. It’s a very common problem for dogs to choke and/or have stomach and intestinal injuries because of fish bones. Always remove these. They can seriously put your dog’s life at risk, especially in smaller breeds. If your pet has eaten a fishbone and is choking, in pain, vomiting, or other, please visit the vet as soon as possible.
Keep it Plain – No Seasoning
Any ingredients such as salt, vinegar, oil, herbs, pepper, spices, and others are not good. They can cause nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Keep it simple, no seasoning. Just a well-cooked, pet-friendly tuna fish portion.
Why Too Much Tuna is Bad
Treating ol’Berry with a tuna straw made for dogs is fine. Feeding him canned dog tuna is great. Sharing a small portion of well-cooked tuna is also acceptable now and then. However, what it’s not acceptable, is to let fresh tuna become part of the dog’s diet. Why? Well, have you ever heard of mercury poisoning?
Tuna is one of the fish with the highest levels of mercury. This is due to industrial activities, that releases mercury into our oceans, rivers, and lakes, causing the fish to consume it. The larger and older the fish, the more mercury will have in its system. Since tuna are prone to be large and live longer than other fish, it contains a lot of this dangerous chemical. Also find out can dog eat Salmon?
Note: Commercial dog food contains low-mercury tuna.
Most common symptoms of mercury poisoning are:
- Vomiting Blood.
- Diarrhea (may contain a lot of water and/or blood).
- Kidney Damage.
- Loss of self-control and awareness.
- Hair Loss.
- Abdominal Swelling.
Nutritional Value of Tuna
Tuna does contain some nutrients that canines benefit from. Here is a table by the great team over at whfoods.com relating to tuna, yellowfin fillet, and baked. Canines benefit from Vitamin D, B, and Protein.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Let’s go over some of the most FAQ. It’s important to take everything into consideration, not only to educate ourselves but other dog owners as well.
What Dosage is Healthy?
This really depends on the quality of the fish and on the dog’s weight, size, and health record. Therefore, regarding tuna, we strongly advise you to ask your local veterinary what dosage would be healthy for your dog’s diet. We always advise our readers on a portion quantity when we write these articles. However, since tuna is not just a treat and can be part of the animal’s diet, we won’t be giving our opinion. Only you and the vet that follows your dog’s health knows what dosage is healthy.
What are the Symptoms** of an Allergic Reaction?
Fish allergies in dogs are not uncommon. In fact, it happens often and can be a serious issue. Most common symptoms to a tuna (or other fish) allergy in dogs are:
– Itchy Skin.
– Skin and Ear Infection.
– Runny Nose and Eyes.
– Too Much Licking.
– Even Anaphylactic Shock in worst case scenarios.
**These are the most common examples, please contact your local vet if you have noticed anything unusual, even if we didn’t list it above.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
The answer is yes, with some very important precautions. Never feed him/her raw tuna, always remove fish bones, remove oil from canned tuna (for humans), and always feed small quantities. Wet dog food made of tuna can become part of his/her diet, but not (human) canned tuna or fresh fish.
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