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Can dogs eat tuna? Is it good for them?

Author: Adel Saadoun, Veterinary Doctor

Fish is found in a variety of dog food recipes, and dogs generally enjoy the taste of different fish species.

In addition, fish has an interesting nutritional value because it contains proteins and omegas, particularly omega-3, which are well known to be beneficial to the body.

However, not all fish are the same. Can dogs eat tuna?

In this article, we will answer this question and explain the dangers of tuna and how to safely give it to your dog.

Is tuna dangerous for dogs?

In small quantities and on an occasional basis, there is no need to worry about tuna and it can be given safely. However, given in large quantities and because of its high mercury content, tuna is not a food that is recommended on a regular basis.

Indeed, considered as a food at the end of the food chain, the mercury content is extremely high and a daily consumption can cause nervous disorders in your dog.

In addition, there are healthier fish than tuna, including sardines and salmon.

Giving my dog tuna every day?

No, it is not advisable to give your dog tuna every day. And this for two main reasons:

  • High levels of mercury that accumulates in the dog’s system, its effects can appear long after consumption.
  • Dogs may become accustomed to the salty taste of tuna and shun other foods.

It is therefore important to emphasize that tuna should not form the main part of your dog’s diet and should be offered occasionally.

Moreover, when tasting it for the first time, be sure to watch his reactions, whether he likes it or not and if he can digest it. In case of doubt, do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian.

Which tuna should I choose for my dog?

is tuna good for dogs

It is perfectly healthy to feed your dog canned tuna if you give it to him in small quantities and occasionally, once or twice a week. However, the following steps should be taken:

  • Choose canned tuna that is unflavoured and has no other ingredients. Flavourings and additives can be toxic for your dog.
  • Choose canned tuna with as little salt as possible (less than 1%). If not, rinse the tuna with tap water to remove any excess salt before feeding it to your pet.
  • Leave plenty of water in front of your dog’s bowl.

You can also offer your dog natural raw tuna, provided that you remove the bones and that it is organically farmed and kept in the freezer for a few days to avoid any risk of bacterial or parasitic contamination.

How much tuna should I give my dog?

The amount of tuna to give varies depending on his diet.

If kibble or canned food is his main food, tuna should be considered as a complementary food and never as the main.

On the other hand, if his portion is homemade, tuna can be considered as a main source of protein, although it should be given no more than twice a week.

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