As a veterinarian, I often receive questions from pet owners about what types of food their pets can and cannot eat. While most owners are aware that giving their dogs chocolate is a big no-no, many are unsure about which types of fish are safe for their furry friends. In this article, we’ll discuss the fish that dogs should avoid, and why.
Why Should Dogs Avoid Certain Types of Fish?
Fish can be a great source of protein and nutrients for dogs, but not all types of fish are safe for them to eat. Some fish can contain harmful toxins, such as mercury or histamines, that can make your dog sick. Other fish may have bones that can pose a choking hazard or cause damage to your dog’s digestive system.
Types of Fish to Avoid
Raw fish, such as sushi or sashimi, should never be fed to dogs. Raw fish can contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or Listeria, that can cause serious illness in dogs. Additionally, raw fish can contain parasites that can also make your dog sick. If you want to give your dog fish, it should always be cooked thoroughly.
Saltwater fish, such as tuna, marlin, and swordfish, should also be avoided. These fish can contain high levels of mercury, which can lead to mercury poisoning in dogs. Symptoms of mercury poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
Freshwater fish can also pose a risk to dogs. Certain types of freshwater fish, such as pike, bass, and walleye, can contain high levels of mercury or other harmful toxins. Additionally, freshwater fish may have bones that can pose a choking hazard or cause damage to your dog’s digestive system.
Fish bones can be problematic for dogs, regardless of whether they come from saltwater or freshwater fish. Fish bones can get stuck in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines, causing a serious health problem. If your dog does eat a fish bone, it’s important to monitor them closely for any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing.
Safe Fish for Dogs
While there are several types of fish that dogs should avoid, there are also some fish that are safe for them to eat. Some examples of safe fish for dogs include:
When feeding your dog fish, it’s important to cook it thoroughly and remove any bones. Additionally, it’s a good idea to feed your dog fish in moderation. Too much fish can cause an upset stomach or lead to other health problems.
As a veterinarian, I always recommend that pet owners take care when feeding their pets. While fish can be a great source of nutrients for dogs, not all types of fish are safe for them to eat. If you’re unsure about which types of fish are safe for your dog, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian. By taking the proper precautions, you can ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy.
Can dogs eat raw fish?
Raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to dogs. It is recommended to cook the fish thoroughly before feeding it to your dog.
What types of fish should I avoid feeding my dog?
Fish that are high in mercury, such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish, should be avoided. Also, fish that have small, sharp bones, such as salmon or trout, can be a choking hazard for dogs.
Can dogs eat canned fish?
Canned fish, such as canned tuna or salmon, can be fed to dogs in moderation. However, it is important to choose canned fish that is packed in water or its own juices, rather than oil or brine, which can contain high levels of sodium. It is also important to check the label for any added seasonings or flavorings that may be harmful to dogs.