We are often asked whether dogs are allowed to eat fish and, if so, how much? What should I watch out for when I give my dog fish and what is special about fish? In this blog we answer five important questions about fish for dogs:
- Can dogs eat fish?
- Is fish healthy for dogs?
- How much fish can dogs eat?
- Which fish can dogs eat?
- What should I watch out for when giving my dog fish?
Can dogs eat fish?
First of all and quite simply: Yes, please!
Fish is high in protein and rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids - that means: the body absolutely needs these fatty acids, but cannot produce them itself and therefore has to take them in with food. Fish is also very digestible and easy to digest. Fish also contains many different vitamins. The fats in fish are good fats because they are polyunsaturated fats that are very healthy and protect against inflammation and cardiovascular disease. They strengthen the immune system and promote brain function.
Is fish healthy for dogs?
Fish has many positive properties:
It promotes brain function in our four-legged friends and counteracts the aging process. Fish is also good for muscles and joints, and has anti-inflammatory effects. It also supports the healing of skin irritations and helps with metabolic deficits. Fish also stabilizes the kidney function of our four-legged friends. Fish is rich in trace elements such as iodine and selenium and has a very high nutrient content overall. Fish is very suitable for dogs of all ages and offers a strengthening of the immune system, especially for older dogs. It contains the important vitamins A, B2, B3, B12 and vitamin D as well as important minerals and trace elements (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and selenium). Many types of fish also contain iodine, which is particularly beneficial for active dogs.
How much fish can dogs eat?
Of course, that depends on the dog and in what form the fish is fed. Is it given as a complete meal or as a reward in small amounts in between?
As a whole meal or, for example, as an alternative to meat, fish can be given twice a week. This also ensures a bit of variety in the menu.
Some dogs do not tolerate certain animal proteins such as poultry or beef. For these dogs, fish can be a particularly good alternative.
There are certain foods, such as some dry foods, that provide the dog with all the important vitamins and nutrients. If this feed is labelled as complete feed, then the dog can be fed with it every day and for a long time. Here it makes no difference whether the animal component comes from fish or, for example, poultry. So if the dog reacts with an intolerance or even allergy to certain types of meat, fish is a great option.
Reward or training treats made from fish can of course be used every day and in the long term. These are a great change from meat treats. When it comes to treats, attention should be paid to the list of ingredients - especially if they are used for training and rewarding. If possible, it should only contain fish and no grain or sugar.
As with all other treats in between, it should also be noted that you reduce the other daily ration depending on the amount of treats and rewards. With pure fish products like these as a reward, you have the advantage that they do not contain any additional sugar, grain or the like. This means that there is little risk of the dog gaining too much weight or consuming too much sugary products.
Which fish can dog eat?
First of all: In general, dogs are allowed to eat all edible fish.
There are some types of fish that contain an enzyme called thiaminase. This enzyme destroys vitamin B1 in the dog's body. It is contained e.g. in:
- Yellowfin Tuna
This does not mean that these fish species are generally not allowed to be fed. Feeding fish containing thiaminase in small quantities is not a problem.
The enzyme thiaminase can also be destroyed by heat. So if you cook or bake these types of fish beforehand, the thiaminase is destroyed. Freezing does not help in this case, because thiaminase is insensitive to it.
If you want to feed fish containing thiaminase without heating it, we recommend adding vitamin B1 - e.g. by adding a vitamin B complex or brewer's yeast. In general, however, it is important to know that as long as a fish containing thiaminase is occasionally fed, there is no danger. If the dog is often fed these fish, then the vitamin B balance should be observed.
On the other hand, there are of course a large number of fish that are thiaminase-free. These include, for example:
- Sea bream
If you've got a taste for fish and would like to try fish as a treat or as a reward for your dog, then take a look at our large fish range with various snacks for chewing and training.
View all fish flavoured products by clicking here
Do you feed your dog fish and if so, which fish and how often? What experiences have you had with fish and how does your dog like it?