Dog stealing cooked fish from a plate

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

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Can dogs eat fish? That is a reasonable question for dog owners to ask. After all, if you can give your dog some of the scraps off your plate, why wouldn’t you? But not all foods are safe for dogs to eat. While it is not 100% safe in all scenarios, you can usually feed your dog fish without any notable issues.

However, we still recommend that you read through to the end of this article so that you have all the information available to make an informed decision. Just because it is usually safe for your dog to eat fish doesn’t mean it should be the primary food in their diet or that you should feed it to them all the time.

Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Fish?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not yes or no. There are some situations where it is safe to feed your dog some fish, but there are other situations where you should stick to dog food.

There are two primary factors you need to consider before feeding your dog fish, and those are the type of fish and whether it is cooked.

Typically, small and wild-caught fish are safe options for your dog to eat. Here are a few of the types of fish you can feed your dog without issue:

  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Light tuna fish
  • Salmon
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

These fish are unlikely to have a lot of mercury or any parasites. Fish you should avoid feeding to your dog include:

  • Albacore tuna
  • King mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish

If you are feeding your dog fish, you should again try to avoid giving them raw fish if at all possible. While raw fish is fine in small amounts, it does expose your dog to infections such as salmonella and listeria. Additionally, you can catch these diseases from your dog, and you do not want that.

How Much Fish Should You Feed Your Dog?

Remember, too much of a good thing can turn bad. That statement is true for most things in life, and feeding fish to your dogs is not an exception.

If you are feeding fish to your dog, it should be plain, cooked, grilled, or steamed. Additionally, you should only give it to your dog in limited quantities. Giving your dog too much fish can lead to obesity.

As a result, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet. Dogs vary in size significantly, so we cannot say for certain how much fish your dog can eat.

Final Thoughts

Your dog makes you happy, and as a result, it makes sense to try to make your dog as happy as possible. They will be happy when you give them fish, but they are not a great judge of what is good for them.

Fish can be good supplemental food in a dog’s diet, but it should not be fed to them every day. Consult your vet to see how much fish your dog should eat.

Wondering if other common human foods are safe for your dog to eat? Check out the articles below to learn about other foods that are safe (and not safe) for dogs to eat:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.