The diet of a dog is based mainly on proteins of animal origin, so if you ask yourself, can my dog eat fish? the answer is yes, yes you can. However, you have to be careful as we indicate below. So Can dogs Eat Fish?
Both cooked fish and raw fish are excellent sources of animal protein for your dog , but they can also be a great danger. If you want to feed your dog fish, don’t miss these tips.
Also read : What fruits can dogs eat?
Can Dogs Eat Fish?
Within this group, we have endless species and possibilities to feed our animal, a variety much greater than that of terrestrial animals. Given this great variety, for simplicity the fish has been divided into :
- Whitefish: Fish with a lower amount of fat (1-3%). They are animals that in wildlife do not require such large energy reserves since their diet is based on sources that do not require them to travel distance. Some examples are: rooster, hake, cod, turbot, etc.
- Bluefish: Fish with a higher amount of fat (8-15% of which we will talk about later). Unlike the previous ones, they are animals more used to traveling greater distances to obtain food. Some examples are tuna, swordfish, salmon, sardines or bonito.
It is a very interesting food, since it is a very digestible protein source and has a very different taste from land animals and even among different fish. In addition, it is a source of B vitamins and even fat-soluble ones (A, D, and E) as well as essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and iodine.
But still, the quality that may be most interesting is the fat of the blue fish already mentioned. The fact that oily fish has in its body is very rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-3 series. The benefits that these providers are very numerous: anticoagulants, antiarrhythmic, and even antiallergics.
Is it dangerous for my dog to eat fish?
In general, it is not dangerous, many commercial products use it as a source of protein and many owners have it in their diet on a regular basis.
But the truth is that it can be dangerous if the appropriate measures are not taken. If we prepare the fish well and follow these tips, the dangers are reduced to a minimum and we can feed our dog fish without problems.
Dangers that fish can bring:
- Infectious: Like any product consumed with insufficient cooking, fish will have bacteria that can cause illness in those who eat it raw. Among these are some as ubiquitous as Listeria monocytogenes or E. Colli and others more specific as Mycobacterium marinum or Streptococcus iniae.
- Parasites: Possibly the best known. Among these is anisakidosis, which is the disease caused by ingesting the larvae of any nematode of the Anisakidae family. This is zoonotic, so it can be dangerous for owners.
- Mechanical: Choking is a real danger in these cases. Both the skin and the spines can oppose the traction of the fish in this case. On the other hand, the spines can pierce and lacerate the entire digestive tract.
- Nutritional: There are certain parts of the fish such as the liver or its oil that have nutrients in amounts higher than what is recommended (in this case vitamin A) therefore, we must always be informed before administering it.
How to feed a dog fish safely?
If we want to give our dog cooked fish, we must make sure that it is completely free of bones to prevent any from getting stuck in his mouth, throat or any part of his digestive system.
In addition, the fish must be cooked without sauces, dressings or refried. Ideally, the fish has been steamed or grilled. This will eliminate any possible pathogens and will also make it more digestible for our dog. In addition, so we can give it with the skin as long as it has been cooked.
Once cooked, wait for it to cool and separate the meat from the bones. You should only give your dog the meat. The thorns will have to be thrown away, as they are dangerous for him.
Can a dog eat raw fish?
Of course, but it is not recommended due to the dangers already mentioned . In addition to posing a risk to the dog, it is also a risk to the owner by handling the food.
In case you want to opt for this diet, to prevent your dog from contracting this type of parasites, it is important to freeze the fish for at least five full days at a temperature between -20º and -35º. Then it will be enough to defrost it so that our dog can eat it.
Never give your dog a fish that is bigger than he can swallow. Especially if we talk about small dog breeds , which are more likely to choke .
The ideal is to select small fish such as anchovies/anchovies, which we can give whole to our dog (including head and guts). Never give your dog a large fish with thorns, as it could get stuck.