Can Dogs Eat Tuna? Here’s What the Experts Say…

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Finding the right foods for your dog can play an important role in keeping your dog healthy. Because each dog is different, your dog might respond better to a certain diet.

Therefore, you want to try to identify what kind of diet works best for your dog.

If you are wondering whether or not canned tuna is safe to include in your dog’s diet, we will be answering it and providing more information on adding fish to your dog’s diet below.

Is it Safe For Your Dog to Eat Canned Tuna?

What do the experts say? The simple answer is, yes [1].

When consumed in moderation, it is safe for your dog to consume canned tuna . That being said, tuna is a fish that is regularly deemed to be high in mercury.

Therefore, it would be wise to avoid giving your dog too much tuna.

Instead, you should supplement their fish intake with other fish known to be much lower in mercury content such as whitefish, flounder, and salmon [1].

Benefits of Fish and Canned Tuna for Dogs

a fresh caught tuna

1. High-Quality Protein

The fact is, your dog requires protein sources. Fish and even canned tuna are actually one of the highest quality protein sources that you can incorporate into your diet.

Because of this, it is a good food consideration to add to your dog’s diet [2].

Not only will it add healthy protein to their diet, but it can minimize the intake of other unhealthy ingredients that generally come with high protein intake. many dog foods on the market contain a lot of unhealthy fats and carbohydrates that you would do best to avoid.

2. Minerals

Another excellent reason to consider adding fish and canned tuna to your dog’s diet would be the fact that it offers them a lot of essential minerals that they might not be getting enough of through traditional dog food.

By supplementing traditional dog food with canned tuna, it will allow you to add a lot of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and even phosphorous to their diet.

3. Better Ratio of Healthy Fats

Along with the high-quality protein intake, giving your dog canned tuna or other sources of fish can really help you provide them with a better ratio of healthy fats. Having healthy fat in your dog’s diet is key to maintaining optimal heart health.

A lot of dog food on the market contains healthy fat, but it contains far too many unhealthy fats which can increase inflammation throughout the body. This increased inflammation can directly contribute to poor heart health which is increasingly important to avoid in larger dog breeds.

Not only will it benefit their heart health, but it can also help minimize inflammatory skin conditions that they might have.

Many breeds are susceptible to various inflammatory skin conditions and these conditions can be exacerbated by the inflammatory responses that occur when there is a disproportion of unhealthy fat intake.

Keys To Keeping Your Dog Safe When Eating Fish

1. Make Sure the Fish is Cooked

a pile of cooked tuna

One of the main things that you want to be sure that you are doing when you are trying to keep your dog safe when giving them fish would be to cook it thoroughly [3].

For canned tuna, you are safe to give it to them, as is. As long as you are feeding them canned tuna in moderation, you can add it to their diet.

For other fish, you want to be certain that you are cooking it. That way, you can ensure that it is safe for them to eat.

2. Ask Your Dog’s Vet

Another important thing that you should be doing if you are looking to add fish or canned tuna to your dog’s diet would be to ask your dog’s veterinarian.

You want to be sure that your dog doesn’t have any specific allergies that would make it unsafe to feed them fish.

Along with this, you want to ensure that you have discussed making significant changes to your dog’s diet prior to making them.

3. Variety is Key

While canned tuna and other fish sources are perfectly fine for your dog, they shouldn’t be the only thing that they are eating.

Your dog requires a lot of different food sources to ensure that they are getting in the proper amount and the requisite nutrients that they need to survive and thrive.

4. No Added Ingredients

When you are going to be adding canned tuna to your dog’s diet, you want to be sure that you are not giving your dog tuna that has been seasoned or tuna that has any added ingredients.

Another thing that you should be looking to avoid is tuna with oil. It would be wise to avoid trying to give your dog tuna that has been sitting in oil because it could cause them stomach discomfort.

Likewise, the onions, garlic and other spices that could be found in tuna cans can be toxic to dogs. Therefore, you want to avoid them entirely.

Bland/plain tuna cans are your best bet for keeping your dog safe.

5. Keep it as a Treat

While you should be looking to add fish as one of the primary food sources for your dog, you want to keep canned tuna as more of a treat for your dog.

It shouldn’t be a huge part of their diet because it does contain a lot of mercury that should be avoided in people as well as dogs.

Because of this, you want to stick to giving canned tuna on occasion rather than as a staple in their diet.

Not only does it contain a lot of mercury, but canned tuna also features a lot of sodium which is another reason you want to keep canned tuna as a treat rather than a staple of the diet.

Summary

Overall, there are plenty of different things that you should be considering if you are considering adding canned tuna to your dog’s diet.

It, along with other fish sources, can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.

However, be sure to discuss adding it to their diet with your dog’s veterinarian to be sure that it is a suitable addition.

Resources

  1. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-fish/
  2. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_can-dogs-eat-fish
  3. https://www.purina.com/articles/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-fish

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