If you feed your dog on dog foods, then you have probably noticed that a lot of them contain fish as one of the ingredients. Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and proteins, which are all essential dietary needs for your dog.
This goes for some types of fish. Could tuna be one of them? Can dogs eat tuna? This is one of the sensitive subjects that all dog owners ought to know about. You have read or heard that too much of tuna is bad for humans. Could this apply to your dog too?
Let us discuss this sensitive topic and find an all rounded answer to this topic once and for all.
Is Tuna Good For Dogs?
The benefits of feeding fish to your dog are well known and established. So, the most straightforward answer to this question is YES! Tuna is totally safe for your dog. There is a catch though; there is a limit to how much you can feed your dog.
This nutrient-rich food can turn into a health hazard pretty fast if you exceed the preset amounts. It is not only the amount that should be considered, but also the forms in which the tuna is eaten in.
Benefits of Tuna To Dogs
Health Risks of Tuna To Your Dog
Tuna itself is not a health risk to your dog. When taken in controlled amounts, it is totally safe. Too much consumption on a daily or weekly basis introduces a health risk to your canine friend just as in us humans.
The health risk of tuna results from the presence of high levels of mercury in the fish. In accordance with the [United States Food and Drug Administration chart], this level is usually higher in fresh tuna than other types of fish such as tilapia and salmon. Too much mercury consumption results in the potentially life-threatening mercury poisoning.
Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
- Coordination loss
- Vomiting blood
- Watery/bloody diarrhea
- Inability to urinate and abdominal swelling
Amount of Tuna Safe For Your Dog
Moderation is always vital here. You should only feed minimal amounts of tuna to your dog in one sitting or on very rare occasions. This is mostly essential for a dog that is new to tuna. You should start by giving her small amounts of tuna each time and checking her reactions for any side effects.
If the dog can handle the small quantities without any repercussions, you can then proceed to give her the small amounts occasionally. In cases where your dog is allergic to tuna due to the high protein content, then stop the feeding immediately.
The best way to serve your dog tuna is to slice it into small pieces and then feeding 1 or 2 slices to your pooch as a simple meal or a treat. Do this regularly, and you will have one very healthy dog. At the back of your mind, remember that the protein-rich meal will not be so beneficial to your dog in large amounts.
In What Form is Tuna Most Appropriate For Your Dog?
The form in which you give tuna to your dog plays a great deal on how they will react to it. Most of the dogs will, however, handle pretty well both raw and cooked forms of tuna fish. For the raw tuna, ensure all the bones are removed. They can be a little tricky for your dog to maneuver.
For canned tuna, ensure that it is packed in water, and never in oil. Canned tuna that is packed in oil adds a lot of unnecessary calories to your dog’s system. The excess calories lead to obesity and pancreatic inflammation. This would necessitate immediate surgery to resolve.
The canned tuna should not contain any flavorings and spices. Dogs find it hard to digest the spices. Homemade tuna containing onions and garlic should never come near your dog. These spices are known to be toxic and hazardous to dogs.
Limit the amounts of canned tuna that your dog feeds on. These contain too much sodium levels which are deadly when consumed in large amounts. Too much salt causes pancreatitis, which can be very painful. Too much salt also causes dehydration which increases the urge to drink water. Too much water can lead to bloating in dogs.
What About Tuna Juice?
Reasonable amounts of tuna juice do not pose much threat to your cute dog’s health. It is worthwhile to note that your canine friend’s digestive system is not well adapted to dealing with tuna juice like you.
If you notice signs of reactions to the juice, stop giving her the juice immediately. These signs of reactions could be diarrhea or vomiting. Get into contact with your vet for immediate corrective action.
Can dogs eat tuna? YES! Tuna is extremely rich in proteins, omega-3 and vitamins, all of which your dog needs for proper health. You can serve it both raw or cooked, only making sure to remove all the bones first when served raw.
The only concern with tuna is the amount of mercury in it. This can, however, be countered by only giving small amounts of tuna (1 or 2 slices) occasionally. There is no need to overindulge your dog in tuna. Small quantities will be okay.