Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

By admin / April 20, 2017

Most types of seafood is generally considered safe and even nutritious for dogs. In fact, many dog food brands contain fish to boost protein and Omega-3 content. So can dogs eat tuna?

The obvious answer is yes, dogs can eat tuna just like they can eat most other types of fish. They like the smell and absolutely love the taste. However, you should keep that can of tuna away from him and your cat too. Why is that?

First of All, Seafood is Nutritious

Seafood is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which hold all sorts of health benefits for dogs. It is also a major source of proteins and is used in many dog food brands as an alternative or supplement to other proteins sources such as chicken.

Some of the best fish for dogs include Salmon, herring, flounder and ocean whitefish. They provide a healthy and safe source of nutrients for dogs.

The Problem With Tuna

Tuna belongs to a category of seafood that is not recommended for dogs. Other fish in this category are swordfish, King mackerel and marlin.

These fish species have one thing in common – they are long lived. For instance, some species of tuna can live for well over 20 years while others have a lifespan of up to 50 years. Compare this with something like salmon that has a 3-8 year lifespan.

What has the lifespan got to do with what we are talking about?

can dogs eat tuna

Well, our oceans are highly polluted. Industrial waste has led to an increase in mercury concentration in ocean water. Mercury is a mineral equally toxic to humans and pets. Fish in the ocean gradually absorb mercury over time.

Thus, the longest living fish tend to have the highest concentration of mercury in their systems. Tuna, with its long life unfortunately takes in one of the highest amounts of mercury in the ocean. This is why, despite tuna having plenty of nutrients for your pup, it is a good idea to keep it away.

Mercury poisoning is a dangerous thing and could kill your dog.

But Humans Eat Tuna…Why Can’t Dogs?

There are guidelines for how much tuna people should eat especially for pregnant and nursing women. With their bigger body mass, mercury poisoning from normal consumption of tuna is not a big risk to humans.

Dogs have a much smaller body. Hence, it will take less mercury concentrations to affect them. Puppies are at an even bigger danger of mercury poisoning.

If the dog snatches a piece of tuna off the table, that’s no reason to worry. You can even throw him a small piece now and then. The problem is if it becomes a regular part of his diet. As the mercury is absorbed into the body it could result in a variety of problems such as blindness, hair loss, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and increased nervousness.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?

can dogs eat canned tuna

Canned tuna is as high in mercury as fresh tuna. So the same advice for fresh tuna fish applies to canned tuna: do not feed it to your dog even though he would really enjoy it.

Video: Pitbull Eating Tuna

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