Can dogs eat seafood? What you need to know
A lot of people feed their dog’s chicken-based food throughout their lives. Some dog owners even tend to stick to canned or dry food for the whole of their pet-keeping journey.
There are no official charges against such practices yet. But let us tell you, it’s almost criminal! It can deprive your dog of the proteins and nutrients that it requires for healthy growth and a longer lifespan.
In this guide, we’ve explored a very different type of food that dogs can eat, i.e., seafood. Most people are unaware of it, but yes dogs can eat seafood. Let’s explore the details.
Can dogs eat oysters and fish?
Okay, dogs can eat seafood. But what exactly can they ingest? Can dogs eat oysters? Can they eat raw fish?
Well, yes, dogs can eat cooked oysters. But they cannot eat raw fish.
There are rules for seafood consumption for dogs. Some general ones are as follows:
- The food should be thoroughly cooked.
- No spices, seasonings, or artificial flavors.
- Avoid giving fish with longer lifespans. They have greater mercury content and can be toxic.
- Remove bones and shells before serving seafood to your dog.
- Remove the skin, tail, fins, and head of the fish when feeding it.
- Do not feed fried fish to your dog.
It’s best to feed your dog fishes with a shorter lifespan, such as Salmon, Char, Flounder, Cod, Catfish, Whiting, and canned light tuna fish.
Also, it is important to note that you must never feed raw oysters to your dogs. Raw oysters and clams comprise massive amounts of bacteria, algae, and viruses.
Types of seafood to feed your dog
There are two types of Seafood that you can feed your dog. They are as follows:
Shellfish includes fishes like Shrimp, Crab, Oyster, Scallops, and Lobster. These are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as some essential minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. Zinc ensures that your dog has healthy joints, while iron maintains energy in the body. Magnesium maximizes the absorption of other minerals.
It is essential to note that raw shellfish can be extremely harmful to your dog. It can lead to the development of intestinal parasites. Also, do not serve shellfish too frequently to your pup. It can mess up their digestive system.
Experts recommend consuming fish only twice a week for dogs. Plus, it should not make up more than 10 percent of the dog’s daily food intake.
Finfish includes mackerel, sardines, tuna, salmon, and other non-marine fishes with a fin. Similar, to shellfish you should limit the consumption of finfish to only twice a week. Serve it as a treat to your dog.
Benefits of seafood for dogs
We’ve listed the best fish for dogs above, along with fish to avoid. But what does it mean when we say best? What does it mean for your dog?
In this section, we’re going to list some benefits of the seafood that’ll explain what makes mentioned seafood the best possible for your dog.
1. Enhances cognitive function
Several studies have proven that providing dogs with fish and fish oil improves their thinking and retaining capabilities. From learning newer tricks to significant improvement in cognitive dysfunction, the consumption of fish has proven to be of many benefits to dogs.
It is also noteworthy that fish contributes to positive growth and development of cognitive abilities for puppies more than it does for adult dogs.
2. Supports arthritic joints
The nutrients in fish and fish oil ease the pain faced by a dog with arthritic joints. It makes their movement easier and grants better agility. It does so by inhibiting the element that triggers joint inflammation.
3. Improves heart health
Fish oil acts as an anti-clotting substance in your dog’s system. Consequently, the formation of harmful blood clots within your dog’s circulatory system becomes difficult. In this way, seafood safeguards your pet’s heart health.
4. Reduces itching & allergy
Some dogs with allergies have an excessive production of cytokines, which makes their skin very itchy. Cytokines are basically released by your dog’s immune system. However, their operation in the body neutralizes a very essential protein in the canine’s body.
Consequently, the dog’s skin becomes itchy, and you may see your dog scratching excessively. Fish snacks like canned tuna and salmon can help reduce the itchiness. It can help smoothen the skin.
Risks of seafood for dogs
We’ve seen the good things fish can do for dogs. Now, let’s check out some of the risky aspects:
- Some fish with longer lifespans have heavy metals, toxins, and pollutants.
- Canned fish may have harmful preservatives.
- Scrapes of scales attached to the fish meat may cause intestinal blockage.
- Seafood can increase the risk of thiamine deficiency.
- Raw fish may have salmonella, listeria, or parasites.
But the good news is that you can tackle and eliminate all of these risks. Be careful when buying and preparing fish for your dog.
Check the canned food and the ingredients it uses before buying it. If it contains any of the following preservatives, avoid buying it.
Similarly, prioritize buying raw fish from trusted sellers. Buy it from where you’d buy it for yourself. Do not trust cheaper variants as they may be selling seafood with potential hazards.
Dogs cannot only eat seafood but require it for healthy growth. You ought to include it in their meals to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need to reach their full potential.
Growing up healthy, they will not only be independent, self-sufficient, and easier to maintain. They will also become a great companion of yours. You’ll receive only the best physical and emotional support from your dog.
As powerful as seafood can be, it is also very risky. So, be careful when buying and preparing this healthy snack for your little fur pup. Follow the guidelines above, and you shall do fine.