Can dogs eat fish? How to make seafood part of your pet’s diet

Well, with May being National Pet Month, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how fish protein should be an essential part of your pet’s diet. As pet owners, we are always looking for ways to keep our furry friends healthy and happy, and it’s no secret that seafood is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Still, many pet owners are hesitant about introducing fish into their diet.

Can Dogs eat Fish and Other Seafood?

    Now I’m not a pet nutritionist by any means, but from what I’ve come to understand fish should be an important component of any pet’s diet. Interestingly, this seems to be the case for dogs more than cats as dogs are much more tolerant of fish than our feline friends. I guess all those cartoon cats eating lots of fish turned out to be a little misleading.

    Most people know that dogs need proteins from sources like beef and chicken, but many don't realize that seafood can also be an excellent source of protein! In fact, adding fish and other types of seafood into your pet's diet can help ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need for optimal health.

    Is it safe for cats to eat fish and other types of seafood?

      Yes! Many commercial pet foods contain fish or fish products already, so you may be feeding your cat fish without even knowing it!

      If you follow proper precautions and feed them the right kinds of fish in moderation, your cat too can benefit from adding some delicious seafood into their diets.  Cats tend to have a more sensitive digestive system than dogs, so be mindful of which types are safe for your cat.

      Rules for feeding seafood to pets

      If you’re going to feed your pets fish, there are a couple of rules to follow:

      1. Make sure the fish is cooked. Raw seafood may contain bacteria or enzymes that are bad for pets.
      2. Make sure you’ve removed any bones. Dogs are vulnerable to choking hazards, especially with small bits like fish bones.
      3. Only feed your pet small amounts of fish until you know how they'll react. Even dogs that eat fish on a regular basis may be allergic to certain other types of seafood. When introducing a new food, start small and pay attention to their behavior for a few hours to make sure they're handling it ok.

      And while I suspect most fish would benefit your pet’s health, generally the more Omega-3s in a species the better. For that reason, Salmon or Haddock would be perfect choices. Farmed Salmon also happens to be richer in Omega-3s than wild.

      The Best Seafood-Based Treats for Dogs

      My dog Milo is a big fan of fish. One fish snack he goes crazy for is Dried Cod Skins from Polkadog. All I have to do is ask if he wants some and he becomes “crazed” – grunting and running for the shelf where they’re kept. He even leaps up to try to help himself to them before I reach them. When I ask others how their pets react, they all tell me similar stories, so there must be something to it!

      So if you're looking for ways to keep your furry friends healthy for National Pet Month, consider incorporating fish into their diets in moderation. It could be just what they need!  Happy feeding!

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