Can Dogs Eat Seafood?

Seafood is a healthy and delicious option for people, but is it safe for dogs to eat? Depending on the type of seafood, the answer is yes! Some seafood like shrimp and crab are low in fat and high in protein, making them a great option for dogs.

Other seafood, like lobster and scallops, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain your pup’s coat and skin health. However, it’s essential to prepare seafood properly before giving it to your fur baby.

For example, raw fish has potentially harmful bacteria bad for your pup, so it must be cooked thoroughly before letting your canine friend eat it.

What Factors Make Seafood Safe For Your Dog To Eat?

When choosing a fish for your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Lifespan Of Fish

Fish with shorter lifespans, such as sardines and anchovies, are much safer for dogs than fish with longer lifespans, such as salmon and tuna. This is because fish with shorter lifespans contain lower levels of mercury, which can be toxic to dogs in high amounts.

Size Of Fish

Smaller fish are generally safer because they typically have fewer bones and mercury than larger fish. In addition, smaller fish are usually cooked more thoroughly, which can help to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Bones In A Fish

While fish can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, some types of fish are bonier than others. And when these fish are not properly prepared, the bones can pose a serious choking hazard. In addition, fish bones can splinter and lodge in your dog’s digestive tract, causing pain and possibly internal bleeding. So, when choosing a fish for your pup, opt for a boneless variety or one that has been adequately deboned.

Fat Content In Fish

Fish is a lean protein source packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have many benefits for dogs. For example, omega-3 fatty acids help support healthy skin and coat and have anti-inflammatory properties. For dogs with allergies or joint problems, omega-3 supplements can be very beneficial. When choosing fish for your dog, look for options with high omega-3 content, such as salmon or herring.

The Smell Of The Fish

When it comes to fish, if it smells too fishy, it’s probably not good for your dog and not fresh. Ammonia is another indicator that the fish isn’t fresh, so if you smell ammonia and the fishy smell, it’s time to put the fish back and get a different kind.

Cooking Methods

The best way to prepare fish for your dog is to bake, boil, or grill it. These cooking methods will help kill any bacteria in the fish that may be harmful. You can also bake fish with the skin attached to help retain the nutrients. If you are feeding your dog canned fish, choose a product packed in water or its own juices rather than oil.

What Benefits Come From Feeding Your Dog Seafood?

  • Protein: Seafood is full of protein, which is necessary for dogs of all life stages. Protein helps to build and repair muscles, and it also helps maintain the immune system.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Additionally, seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation. Supplements containing omega-3 can be beneficial for canines with joint or allergy issues.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Packed with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron, seafood can help to keep your dog healthy and boost its immune system.
  • Antioxidants: Salmon and other types of fish also contain antioxidants, which protect from damage to your dog’s cells.

As long as the fish is fresh and properly prepared, it can be a healthy and nutritious treat for your dog. Just remember to avoid giving your dog any fish with bones, and opt for boneless or deboned varieties whenever possible.

What Are The Risks Of Feeding Seafood To Your Dog?

One of the biggest risks of feeding seafood to your dog is the potential for food poisoning. This is especially true if the fish is not properly cooked or contaminated with bacteria.

In addition, some types of fish can contain high levels of mercury, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. For this reason, it’s essential to avoid giving your dog any fish that has a long lifespan, such as tuna.

Some other risks associated with a dog eating seafood are as follows:

  • Feeding a dog high levels of seafood may lead to vitamin E deficiency.
  • Seafood may contain high levels of unhealthy fats, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in dogs.
  • Some seafood contains toxins that harm a dog’s liver or kidneys.
  • Some types of seafood can also cause an allergic reaction in dogs.
  • Bones found in some types of seafood can splinter and cause internal damage to a dog’s digestive tract.

As you may have noticed, there are risks and benefits associated with giving your dog seafood. If you decide to give your dog seafood, it’s important to do so in moderation and choose fresh, properly cooked fish free of bones. You should also avoid giving your dog any fish high in mercury or other toxins.

Safe And Healthy Seafood Your Dog Can Eat

Various seafood items are healthy and safe for your furry friend to eat. Here are some of the best options:

Wild-Caught Cooked Salmon

Wild-caught cooked salmon is packed with essential nutrients for dogs, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and D. Salmon is also a lean source of protein, which means that it can help keep dogs at a healthy weight. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help to support healthy joints, skin, and coat.


While all fish contain some beneficial nutrients for dogs, sardines are often considered the healthiest fish in the ocean. This is because they include an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide joint pain relief, reduce inflammation, and keep the skin and coat healthy. In addition, sardines are an excellent source of protein and vitamin B12, both essential for a healthy diet.

While fresh sardines are always the best option, canned sardines can also be a healthy treat for your dog. When shopping for canned sardines, choose ones packed in water or olive oil and avoid those with added salt or other preservatives.

Anchovies And Herring

While most people think of anchovies and herring as nothing more than bait or a topping for their pizza, these small fish can actually be good for dogs. Both anchovies and herring are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which are essential for a healthy coat and skin. In addition, the bones in these fish are soft and easy to digest.

However, smoked, marinated, or pickled Anchovies and Herring are not recommended, as the added salt and spices can cause gastrointestinal problems. However, when given in moderation, anchovies and herring can be a healthy snack for your furry best friend.

Krill Oil

This oil is made from the extraction of oil from krill. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient for canines. Omega-3 fatty acids help support a healthy coat and skin and play a role in brain development.

In addition, krill oil contains astaxanthin, an antioxidant that can help provide protection against damage to the cells. As a result, Krill oil is a natural and safe way to give your dog the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also more easily absorbed than other sources of omega-3, such as fish oil. As a result, Krill oil is a fantastic way to keep your pup healthy and happy.


This superfood is packed with nutrients and minerals, and it comes in both powder and sheet form. Best of all, it is relatively inexpensive. So whether you add it to your dog’s food or use it as a treat, seaweed is a great way to boost your pet’s health.

Seafood Your Dog Should Avoid


Tuna is a popular human food, and many assume it is safe for dogs. However, some risks come with feeding tuna to your dog. Tuna contains high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. In addition, tuna is also a very oily fish, and too much oil can cause digestive problems in dogs.

For these reasons, you should not feed your dog tuna or limit it to occasional treats. However, if you feed your dog tuna, be sure to choose a product low in mercury and saturated fat.

Fish Oil

It is essential to be aware of the potential risks involved in giving fish oil to your dog. The ocean is increasingly polluted with heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead. These toxins can accumulate in the tissues of fish, and when consumed by dogs, they can cause damage to the nervous system.

If you are considering giving fish oil to your dog, be sure to choose a high-quality product tested for contaminants. Also, remember that not all dogs require supplements; if your pup is provided with a balanced diet, they may not need the extra omega-3s.


Many people enjoy giving their dogs treats; one popular option is shellfish. However, it’s crucial to be aware of a few risks associated with giving shellfish to dogs. The meat of the shellfish can be eaten safely by dogs, but the shells and innards can be dangerous.

Dogs may also have an allergic reaction to shellfish, so it’s important to be cautious when introducing it to their diet. If you give your pup shellfish, ensure it is cooked and fresh to decrease any risk of adverse reactions. However, it’s best to avoid feeding it to your dog altogether.


If you’re a sushi fan, you might be tempted to give your furry friend a little morsel. However, there are several reasons to avoid providing sushi to your dog.

First, some of the ingredients in sushi can be bad for dogs, such as rice vinegar, wasabi, and avocado. Second, there is a risk of parasites in raw fish, which can cause serious health problems for your dog.

So while it might be tempting to share your sushi with your four-legged friend, it’s best to give them their own food to avoid any potential problems.

Seafood Your Dog Should Never Eat

Raw And Smoked Salmon

Raw and smoked salmon can be harmful to dogs. Salmon is a common host for a type of parasitic worm called Nanophyetus Salmincola. This worm can cause severe health issues in canines, including liver disease and death.

In addition, salmon that is not properly cooked can also be dangerous for dogs. Raw salmon may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning, and smoked salmon may contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to dogs. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid giving raw or smoked salmon to your dog.

Farmed Fish

While fish is generally a healthy food for your fur baby, some risks are associated with letting them eat farmed fish. For example, farmed fish are often fed a diet of corn and soy, which can cause allergies in some dogs. In addition, farmed fish may also be exposed to chemicals and antibiotics that can be harmful to your dog’s health.

For these reasons, it’s best to feed your dog wild-caught fish instead of farmed fish. Wild-caught fish are typically more nutritious and less likely to contain harmful chemicals.

Fish Bones

While many people assume it’s safe to give their dogs fish bones, this is not the case. Fish bones can splinter and break, which can cause choking or puncture your dog’s digestive tract. In addition, fish bones can also be a source of harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

Shrimp Tails And Shells

While shrimp tails and shells are not toxic to dogs, they can still pose a choking hazard. In addition, the shells of shrimp can be sharp and may puncture your dog’s digestive tract. For these reasons, it’s best to remove the tails and shells from shrimp before feeding them to your dog.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, seafood can be a healthy and delicious option for your dog, as long as you choose the right type of fish and prepare it properly. When in doubt, ask your vet for advice on selecting and preparing fish for your pup.

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