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Can Dogs Eat Fish? Read Before You Feed!

When it comes to feeding your dog fish, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Fish can be very good for your dog but here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog fish safely!

husky yelling in front of many colorful fish at market.

A lot of dog owners are concerned about whether to add fish to their dog’s diet or not. Some are still scratching their heads wondering, “Can dogs even eat fish?”

If you’re looking for a quick answer, then, yes! Adding fish to your dog’s meals can be beneficial. It’s important to note, however, that not all fish are safe for your dog.

In this article, we’ll cover the beneficial types of fish, what types of fish can poison your dog, and how much fish should your dog consume.

Benefits of Fish for Your Dog

Fish has many benefits for dogs, here are some of the main ones Rhbaurb and I love!

High Protein: As with most meats, fish is high in protein and what dog can resist the smell of fish?! It’s also a great option for dogs who are allergic to other protein sources.

Omega 3’s: In addition to its high protein content, fish is considered the main source of omega 3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation and aid in developing the dog’s coat.

Anti-inflammatory: Fish can be a great meal for dogs suffering from arthritis or bowel inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory traits.

Collagen: The high amount of collagen in fish is very beneficial for canine bones and muscles. Fish is also a great source of many vitamins and minerals required in your dog’s diet.

Finally, fish also needs to be included in microdoses at first, until you’re sure your dog isn’t allergic to it.

Raw salmon on a white background.

What Types of Fish Are Safe?

It’s important to assess the fish’s mercury levels before feeding it to your dog, as mercury can severely harm your dog’s health, even in small doses.

Some types of fish (including the fish skin) are considered safe for dogs due to their low mercury levels, such as:


Sardines can play a major role in your dog’s diet due to their small size and low mercury levels. They can be easily chewed by dogs whether they’re free of bones or not.

However, you need to make sure that the sardines used are packed in salt-free water.


Even though tilapia is considered safe for dogs, it must be cleaned and served boneless. It must also be cooked well to prevent infections.

It’s also recommended to look for tilapia sourced from Ecuador and Peru, as they tend to be healthier.

Other Types of Fish That Are Safe

  • Salmon
  • Flounder
  • Catfish
  • Whiting
  • Whitefish

Can Dogs Eat Raw Fish?

Raw fish can be very dangerous to your dog. It can cause infections like bowel bacteria or salmonella.

In addition to destroying the bacteria, cooking the fish makes it easier for the dog to digest. However, to cook the fish, you need to avoid using too much oil as it can increase the chances of pancreatitis.

Dog looking at a plate of fish.

How Much Fish Should a Dog Eat?

Depending on your dog’s requirements, fish can be used as a treatment or as a supplement that’s given a few times per week.

Dogs don’t need to consume fish daily; too much amino acid can do more harm than good for your dog.

However, if your dog has allergies to other protein sources or suffers from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases, fish should be added daily to your dog’s diet.

How To Serve Fish

Fish can be served in so many ways. These are just a few ideas to get you started!

  • Plain and cooked: just make sure there are no seasoning added on the fish.
  • Mixed into treats: Fish can be blended into treats like this Easy Salmon Dog Treats.
  • Dried: Try giving your pup dried fish like dried sprats or dried fish skins.
Close up of dried sprat for dogs

In Conclusion

Fish is a very good alternative to other protein sources that lack omega-3 fatty acids. Although it can be dangerous if prepared incorrectly, fish can provide many essential elements required for the dog’s health.

Overall, it’s a great idea to start adding fish to your dog’s nutrition plan.

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