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Can Dogs Eat Fish [25 Fishes To Avoid]

Dogs are naturally drawn to fish smells. So no wonder they are trying to have some from your share. But you must be thinking if it’ll be okay to feed fish to your dog.

Can dogs eat fish?

Yes, dogs can eat fish. But there are good fish and bad fish for dogs. So not all types of fish can be fed to them. Avoid fishes that have a large lifespan. Because they tend to have a high mercury level. Feed fishes that are short-lived. They are safe as they have low mercury levels.

That was the sneak peek. Want to learn the details? Then keep reading till the end.

Let’s get started!

Is Fish Safe For Dogs?

Yes, fish is safe for your fluffy canine friends. But just not all species of them. Fishes that have a smaller lifespan are safe for dogs. Fishes that have a longer lifespan contain a high level of mercury. 

Mercury is toxic for dogs. Short-lived fishes contain little to no mercury. So it’s perfectly safe for your dogs. Fishes are a good source of protein, omega-3, minerals, and fatty acids.

Most dogs enjoy eating fish just as much as they like meat. Many dog foods even contain fish as an ingredient. So you won’t have to worry about which fish to give to your dog. 

Looking for some recommendations? Try these dog foods that contain fish as a making ingredient-

Product 1
Product 2

When feeding fish, always be mindful of the amount. Feeding too much fish can make dogs have diarrhea.

What Fishes Can Dogs Eat?

Feeding dog food with fish ingredients is good. But feeding fish itself is even better. Because freshly cooked fishes will have more nutritions. 

But before that, we need to know which fishes are good for dogs. We also need to know which fishes must be avoided for dogs:

Mercury Level-Low (Dogs can eat)Mercury Level-Low (Dogs can eat)Mercury Level-Moderate (Should be avoided)Mercury Level-High (Should be avoided)
Anchovies Butterfish Perch (freshwater)Bluefish 
Perch (ocean)Plaice Carp Marlin 
Catfish Pollock Bass (black striped) Spanish Mackerel 
Salmon Crab Cod Sea bass 
Calm Crawfish Lobster Grouper 
Croaker SardineMonkfish Swordfish 
Founder Scallop Mahi MahiShark 
Haddock Shrimp SnapperTilefish 
Tilapia Oyster Croaker Orange roughy 
Shad Squid Skate King Mackerel 
Hake  Herring Tuna (canned)Albacore Tuna
Mullet Whitefish Sablefish Yellowfin Tuna

Here we’ve shown the mercury level in fishes. Low mercury level fishes are the safest for dogs. High and moderate mercury level fish should be avoided. 

Keep in mind that feeding tuna to dogs can be permissible. But must be fed in a small amount. Tuna is one of the commonly found fish that dogs adore.

Nutritional Benefits Of Feeding Fish To Dogs

Fish is a good source of protein for both humans and dogs. Fish should be a common item in your pet’s regular diet menu. Because it’s rich in protein, omega-3, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Now, let’s take a look at the health and nutritional benefits of feeding fish to dogs.

Supplies Protein

Fish contains novel protein that helps or minimizes allergy problems in dogs. The high protein in fish gives dogs energy and strength. It also helps with building their muscles.

Supplies Omega-3

Dogs greatly benefit from omega-3. It’s a great component that improves the skin and coat of dogs. It helps to reduce dandruff and makes their coat shiny. So, dogs with skin diseases benefit greatly from it.

Omega-3 also improves heart, kidney, and liver conditions and improves their metabolism. Omega-3 helps with fighting diseases like arthritis and bowel diseases that are inflammatory.

Furthermore, it improves joint pain which is helpful for older dogs. In short, dogs benefit greatly from fish through omega-3.

Supplies Healthy Fats 

Fishes are rich in healthy fats which are good for the dog’s body. Unlike fats from meat, fish provides healthy fats that are good for the heart. It reduces the chances of having heart-related diseases. 

It also improves the liver condition and lowers the cholesterol level. The blood circulation is also improved by it.

Supplies Vitamins & Minerals

Most of the fishes contain a good amount of Vitamin A, D, E, B12, etc. Vitamin A improves the eye condition of your dog. Vitamin D helps with keeping their bones healthy.

Fishes also contain an abundant amount of minerals. These minerals are good for a dog’s bone structure. 

A pretty long list of benefits isn’t it? Now let’s take a look at the concerns of feeding fish to your dog.

Concerns Of Feeding Fish To Dogs

Although fish is nutritious there are a few things to be concerned about. Fishes consume many harmful materials when they’re underwater. 

These harmful materials stay in their body and later pass through feeding on them. That’s why it’s absolutely important to maintain the hg(mercury) level chart for fishes.

Also, you must never feed raw fish to your dog. Raw fish contains bacteria and parasites. So your pet can develop diseases from them. Always feed cleaned and cooked, boneless fish to your dog.

How To Feed Fish To Your Dogs?

The fish that you’ll feed your dog should be cleaned and prepared properly. Always remove the shell, scales, and bones of the fish. These things can cause a choking hazard if consumed.

Feeding small fish is easier. For example, feeding sardines to your dog is simple as they have soft bones. Avoid giving the head and the tail part of the fish to your pet. 

Tear the softly cooked fishes in small chunks and feed them to your dog. You can also make small treats out of them. Many dog owners make filets out of the fish. 

That’s a good option because dogs love such treats. But never include any spice or seasonings while making them. It’s harmful to them.

Now you can share fish with your lovely fur babies with ease.


Question: Can dogs eat fish skin?

Answer: Yes, dogs can have the soft fleshy skin of fishes. That means no scale and no shell in them. Just the fleshy skin is edible. You can make the fish skin into jerky to make a delicious treat for your dog.

Question: Can dogs eat canned fish?

Answer: Dogs cannot eat any canned fish with spices and seasoning. Also, if they’re coated with oil that’s a no too. It’s best to avoid giving them canned fish.

Question: Can pregnant dogs eat fish?

Answer: Yes, fish will be a nutritious addition for pregnant dogs. As long as you’re feeding the right fish in the right amount it’ll be okay. Also, make sure that you’re including other nutritious foods in its diet.


That was all from our side about whether dogs can eat fish. We hope we were able to help you clear out the misconceptions. We also tried to provide you with useful information. 

Hope all that comes to help with making your dog’s diet plan. Because your pet’s well-being is important to us.

That’s it for today. See you next time!