Is Raw Tuna Fish Good For Dogs?


Raw tuna is not the safest choice for your dog but a small amount of raw tuna probably won’t cause any harm. To be safe it's best to avoid feeding raw fish to dogs.

It poses a risk of harboring parasites such as Salmonella, Clostridium, and Listeria.

Raw tuna contains the enzyme thiaminase which can impair thiamine absorption and will lead to thiamine deficiency.

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Is Tuna Safe For Dogs?
Is Tuna Fish Good For Dogs?
5 Safe And Edible Tuna Types
The 7 Benefits Of Tuna For Dogs
How Much Tuna Is Safe For Dogs?
Is Tuna In A Can Good For Dogs?
Is Cooked Tuna Good For Dogs?
What Fish Can I Safely Feed My Dog?
Top 8 Types Of Fish That Are Safe For Dogs
6 Things To Considerations When Feeding Tuna To Dogs
Can Small Dogs Eat Tuna?  
Is Fresh Tuna Good For Dogs? 
Is Raw Ahi Tuna Good For Dogs?
Is Tuna Good For Dogs With An Upset Stomach?
Is Tuna Ok For Dogs With Pancreatitis?
Is Tuna Good For Pregnant Dogs?
Is Tuna Good For A Puppy?
Is Tuna Or Chicken Better For Dogs?


 Is Tuna Safe For Dogs?

There's an ongoing debate on whether it's okay to feed tuna to dogs. Many animal nutritionists and vets say that dogs can safely eat tuna and stay healthy others caution against it. 

Dogs can eat some forms of tuna when you give them the right amount. There are a few caveats we want to make sure we bring up in this post. 

Let’s get started!

Is Tuna Fish Good For Dogs?

Dogs are scavenging carnivores and are primarily meat-eaters. They need protein to build and maintain body tissues and to protect and regulate their body processes.

Many of them believe that eating tuna in moderation is healthy but too much tuna isn't good for dogs. Fresh tuna has much higher mercury levels as compared to other types of fish.

There are around 20 different types of tuna but around five of them are safe and edible.

The 5 Safe And Edible Tuna Types Are:

  1. Bluefin
  2. Yellowfin
  3. Skipjack
  4. Albacore
  5. Bigeye

Tuna provides several benefits for dogs. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients including :

  • Vitamins B3, B6, and B12
  • Potassium and magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium

The 7 Benefits Of Tuna For Dogs:

  1. High in protein: Tuna is a good source of protein for dogs that provides them energy and is responsible for building strong muscles.
  2. Rich source of potassium and magnesium: Tuna is a rich source of potassium and magnesium and supports cellular muscle and tissue health.
  3. Omega 3 fatty acids: Tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which boosts heart health, reduces inflammations, and lower cholesterol levels. 
  4. Omega 6 fatty acids: Tuna is packed with omega-6 fatty acids which are good for your dog's skin and coat.
  5. Low in bad fat: Tuna is lean meat that is low in bad fat. It doesn't add extra calories to your dog's diet that can cause obesity and other health issues. It is good for overweight dogs.
  6. Includes B vitamins: Tuna contains vitamins B3, B6, and B12 that promote a healthy metabolism and energy levels.
  7. Includes phosphorus: Phosphorus found in tuna contributes to bone strength and density.

How Much Tuna Is Safe For Dogs?

Tuna is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts and only infrequently. A small amount of cooked or canned tuna doesn't contain enough mercury to cause any problems.  

Don’t serve tuna every day. It is suitable only as an every-once-in-a-while special treat.

"Adult dogs should not eat cooked or canned tuna more than once or twice a week, in small amounts." That way your dog gets all the benefits of tuna without mercury poisoning.

Tuna is a rich source of mercury and regularly eating large amounts of tuna will lead to a build-up of mercury over time which may cause health problems in dogs. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Is Tuna In A Can Good For Dogs?

Is Tuna In A Can Good For Dogs

Every once in a while Canned tuna in small amounts can be a safe protein-infused treat for your dog. Opt for tuna with lower mercury content per serving.

Skipjack and albacore canned tuna is the safer option for your dog as it has lower mercury content.

Canned tuna is often high in salt. Always make sure that the tinned tuna doesn’t have any added salt, seasonings, and additional flavoring. Too much sodium and seasoning are bad for dogs and can cause illness.

Before cooking and serving tuna to your dog, you can steep the tuna in water overnight to get rid of excess salt.

Canned tuna is also preserved in different liquids such as freshwater, brine, and sunflower. It's best to choose tinned tuna that's packed in water and not oil or brine

Is Cooked Tuna Good For Dogs?

Is Cooked Tuna Good For Dogs

If you intend to cook tuna for your dog, it's best to prepare it by steaming, baking, or grilling.

Don’t add salt or any seasonings and remove any bones. Fishbones are very fine and if your dog swallows fishbones, they can penetrate the lining of the digestive tract, causing a choking hazard.

What Fish Can I Safely Feed My Dog?

What Fish Can I Safely Feed My Dog

Fish is a good source of many of the nutrients dogs need.

Purina Senior Nutritionist Janet Dempsey explains, "Depending on the type, fish can provide omega-3 fatty acids which can be beneficial for skin and coat for dogs." He further added, "Tuna, salmon, whitefish, cod, and whiting (also known as hank) are all good fish for dogs to eat."

Opt for fish that are less likely to have high mercury levels or significant parasite burdens. 

Top 8 Types Of Fish That Are Safe For Dogs Include: 

  1. Whitefish
  2. Flounder
  3. Herring
  4. Catfish
  5. Cod
  6. Salmon
  7. Whiting
  8. Tuna

Food and Drug Administration guidelines recommend avoiding the consumption of shark, swordfish, tilefish, marlin, king mackerel, and canned albacore tuna.

They are more likely to have an accumulation of high mercury levels and parasites.

6 Things To Considerations When Feeding Tuna To Dogs

While tuna is a great food for dogs, there are a few things you should keep in mind when feeding tuna to your dog.

  1. You should observe the quantity of tuna that you are sharing with your dog. If you want to introduce fresh tuna to your dog's diet, then you need to be careful. It is probably a good idea to start slowly to see how your dog's stomach reacts.

  2. Much of the tuna available in the market is high in sodium which can cause serious illness in dogs.

  3. Tuna for dogs should be without salt, seasoning, or artificial flavors. This is because these ingredients are not good for dogs.

  4. If your dog shows symptoms of mercury poisoning after consuming tuna, take them to the vet and avoid feeding tuna in the future.

  5. Before giving your dog tuna, you need to make sure your furry friend is not allergic to tuna. Stop feeding your dog fresh tuna immediately if you notice any allergic reaction or unusual symptoms.

  6. Remember to control the amount of fresh tuna in your dog's diet. You can consult your vet for a better idea of ​​the amount of fresh tuna that you add to your dog’s diet.

Pet Parent Tip: You must understand that the best protein source for your furry friend should be elaborated on the recommendations of your vet.

FAQs About Tuna For Dogs

Can Small Dogs Eat Tuna?

Yes, small dog breeds can safely consume about half a can of tuna over one week.

It's best to seek your vet's recommendation on the amount of tuna suitable for your small dog, based on their size, weight, and medical needs.

Is Fresh Tuna Good For Dogs? 

Fresh tuna contains much higher levels of mercury than other types of fish. It should be thoroughly cleaned and deboned before serving it to your dog.

The risk of mercury poisoning makes it suitable only as a rare treat.

Is Raw Ahi Tuna Good For Dogs?

Many experts suggest that raw ahi tuna is not safe for dogs. Ahi tuna is a species of tuna found in all tropical oceans. Raw ahi tuna contains high levels of mercury, so there are issues with potential mercury poisoning. 

Is Tuna Good For Dogs With An Upset Stomach?

Tuna might leave your dog with an upset stomach that is uncomfortable for them. So, tuna is not good for dogs with an upset stomach. 

Is Tuna Ok For Dogs With Pancreatitis?

Diet plays an important part in the treatment of pancreatitis in dogs. Dogs with pancreatitis need a highly digestible, low-fat diet.

Feeding tuna canned in Springwater to a dog suffering from pancreatitis will likely be fine as an occasional treat. Tuna is low-fat food and one 3-ounce can of tuna contains 3 calories, 0.6 g of fat, 16.5 g of protein, and 0 g of carbohydrate.

Hence, tuna qualifies as an occasional snack option for a dog suffering from pancreatitis.

Is Tuna Good For Pregnant Dogs?

Pregnant dogs can consume the extra lean protein in tuna, in addition to their regular diet. Tuna should be offered in small amounts as an occasional treat.

Is Tuna Good For A Puppy?

Is Tuna Good For Puppy

    It's better not to give tuna to puppies during their first months of life.

    Weaned puppies can occasionally benefit from the extra lean protein found in tuna. Tuna should be offered in small amounts as an occasional treat. Your puppy may enjoy a spoonful of tuna once in a while.

    To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid feeding puppies any type of tuna.

    Is Tuna Or Chicken Better For Dogs?

    Is Tuna Or Chicken Better For Dogs

    Both tuna and chicken are good protein sources for dogs. You can feed your dog chicken as a whole meal or combine it with other ingredients in your dog's regular daily food.

    Tuna can only be fed to dogs very occasionally in moderation due to mercury content.

    Final Thoughts

    The bottom line on feeding fresh tuna to dogs:

    Moderation is the key.

    You can offer a bite of cooked or canned tuna every once in a while. It won't give your dog mercury poisoning or other health issues. Just make sure that cooked or canned tuna is without seasoning, oil, artificial flavors, or bones.

    Do not give your dog raw tuna as your dog might get sick from eating raw tuna due to parasites or germs.

    A healthy dog that is given complete nutrition can save you from a lot of stress in the long run. As a responsible dog parent, you must ensure to satisfy their tastes safely.

    Always feed a complete and balanced diet to your furry best friend. 

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