Can Dogs Eat Fish? A Comprehensive Guide

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Author: Jacob Kay

Fish is a food that is rich in nutrients, making it a great supplement to your dog’s diet. A balanced diet is important for any dog to stay healthy, and also helps engulf various diseases dogs may be vulnerable to. Fish are generally an important source of Omega 3, a vital fatty acid that is good for your furry friend’s joints, heart, immune system, and skin but Can Dogs Eat Fish?

While fish are usually considered safe for dogs, and even healthy, there are some points that need to be considered before you start serving your dog fish. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of fish for your dog, what types of fish need to be avoided for your dog’s safety, and ultimately answer “can dogs eat fish.”

Can Dogs Eat Fish

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

Yes, dogs can eat fish. Fish is an essential ingredient in almost all commercial dog foods too. Fish acts as a great source of protein are relatively low in saturated fats and are quite easy to digest. Fish is considered a stable protein in almost all commercial diets. Fish is also a good source of several key vitamins and minerals that play important roles in maintaining your dog’s health throughout its life.

Dogs should only be served specific types of deboned, cooked fish. While whitefish, salmon, and sardines can be a safe addition to a balanced diet, it is strongly advised that you do not feed your dog seafood like fish sticks or fish with high levels of mercury like tuna. Uncooked fish most certainly contain parasites like tapeworms, and roundworms, that can make your dog vulnerable to many infections and diseases.

Benefits of Feeding Fish to Your Dog

There are many reasons why you should feed fish to your dog. Some of the reasons include:

  • Fish is rich in amino acids
  • It may reduce inflammation in joints and help keep dogs active and comfortable.
  • Omega 3 can help dogs with heart disease and osteoarthritis
  • A high amount of antioxidants
  • Low-Fat content
  • Alternative for dogs with allergies (Chicken, or any other source of protein)

While fish is often a healthy choice, owners may wonder about other common foods like porridge and wonder is porridge good for dogs?

Potential Risks of Serving Fish to Your Dog

Dog eating fish
Hysteria – Shutter Stock

As mentioned above, there are many benefits of serving Fish to your dog. However, in certain circumstances, the risks[1] do outweigh the benefits. Fish itself may not be harmful to your dog, but the way in which it is prepared may be dangerous. Some of the risks of serving fish to your dog include:

  • Bones: Some tiny bones may go undetected by humans, and can potentially cause choking for your dog. Thus, it is important that you clean the raw fish very carefully and remove all the bones. As choking on bones can pose to be lethal for your dog.
  • Large amounts of oil: Fish are known to contain lots of oil, and such oil can make your dog obese in the long term.
  • Parasites: Serving fish to your dog is a risky idea, as it may contain parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, and flukes. These can cause serious infections in your dog.
  • Allergies: Eating fish can lead to certain food allergies, that may cause vomiting and diarrhoea in your dog.

Hot dogs are a favorite treat among many dog owners. Before feeding them, think about asking your veterinarian can dogs eat hot dogs.

What Type of Fish Can Dogs Eat?

There are many fishes in the sea, but the most common types of fish used to feed dogs are shorter-lived species, as they have fewer mercury contents and less chance of having parasites in them. Some of the safe fishes include:

1. Salmon:

It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended to serve around 100 grams of salmon per ten pounds of body weight to your dog.

2. Cat Fish:

Catfish are packed with nutrients, like omega 3s, protein, Vitamin B12, and phosphorus. It is recommended to serve Cat Fish only as treats are high in fat content. The vitamins in catfish for dogs help in building a much healthier heart.

3. Sardines:

Sardines are known for being a good source of protein, with almost four fish having around 12 grams of protein in them. They help in preventing gum diseases and cancer in dogs. This fish can also be served raw, however, boneless is always recommended.

4. Cod:

Cod is a very popular fish due to its high protein content and low mercury count when compared with other fish.

5. Flounder:

Flounder is a fish that is rich in lean protein, vitamin b, and omega 3.

While fish is often a healthy choice, some human foods like cornflakes may also pose risks. Before feeding your dog cornflakes or other human foods, consider asking your veterinarian can dogs have cornflakes.


Types of fish that aren’t safe for dogs?

King mackerel
Albacore tuna

Can dogs eat fried fish?

Generally, it is not recommended to serve such Fried fish. Even if fried fish is completely cooked and less likely to transmit parasites, it is likely that your dog will experience vomiting and diarrhoea.

Can dogs eat fish skin and bones?

Uncooked fish skin is by no means safe for your dog due to its ability to transmit parasites. It’s the same with Fishbones, as they can cause physical injury to your dog if it swallows the small pieces and can cause the lining of the digestive tract to be penetrated. It can also puncture many organs and soft tissues also.

Can dogs eat raw fish?

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not recommend the consumption of raw or undercooked fish by dogs of any life stage, including pregnant females and puppies. Raw fish makes dogs vulnerable to the transmission of multiple parasites embedded in the skin, muscle tissues, or internal organs. 

How much fish should dogs eat?

You can consult your vet for this question, as the amount of fish to be served depends on your dog’s weight, age, and nutritional needs too. However, it can be offered as a treat, or several times a week.


Yes, dogs can eat fish! Fish are widely accepted and included in the staple diet of a dog. However, you should ensure that the fish that is being served should be cooked properly. Until and unless you notice any complications with your dog, there is nothing to worry about. I hope this article has covered all your doubts regarding “Can Dogs Eat Fish?”.


  1. Wolterbeek, M. (2021, April 29). Mercury levels in pet food cause for concern, fish-based foods main culprit. University of Nevada, Reno.

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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