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Can Dogs Eat Tuna – Everything You Need to Know

Yes. Dogs can eat tuna in moderation. While tuna is commonly found in dog food and is not toxic for dogs, its high mercury concentration can be harmful to puppies if given in huge quantities. Hence, it is preferable to feed less than more.

What is Tuna?

Tuna is a saltwater fish belonging to the Thunnini tribe, a subfamily of the Scombridae family. The Thunnini family comprises 15 species divided into five types, ranging from the bullet tuna to the Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Nutritional Facts of Tuna

The nutritional facts of tuna (165g) are listed below:

  • Calories: 191
  • Fat: 1.4g
  • Sodium: 83mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 42g

Is Tuna Safe for Dogs?

Tuna is safe and not toxic for dogs. Still, feed your dog tuna in moderation. 

  • Avoid feeding raw tuna fish to your pet as it is toxic and causes bacterial and parasitic infections. 
  • Do not let your pet consume tuna that’s been boiled in fatty oils, butter, or seasoned with herbs, onions, or garlic. For example, suppose you are serving canned tuna to your dog. In that case, select tuna canned in water and not in oil to avoid unnecessary fats.
  • Before offering the fish to your dog, make sure it is boneless or that bones have been completely removed. Fishbones are small and easy to swallow, but they can cause serious ailments internally.
  • In addition, do not serve fins, tail, and head of the tuna fish to dogs since they can cause choking and oral damage and raise the risk of intestinal perforation.

Why is Tuna Good for Dogs?

In general, tuna has a lot of health benefits. Thanks to the nutritional advantages found in fish meat. The nutrients found in tuna are:

Vitamins B3, B6, and B12: These vitamins aid in the healthy maintenance of your dog’s metabolism and energy levels.

Potassium and Magnesium: They help maintain the health of cells, muscles, and tissues.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus assists in maintaining bone strength and density.

Selenium: It is a mineral that helps to keep your dog’s immune system and joints strong and healthy.

Protein: Tuna is high in protein content. Protein is necessary for the normal functioning of your dog’s body. Protein provides your dog vital amino acids that help with hair and skin health, muscle development, and tissue repair.

Low Saturated Fat Levels: Tuna does not cause harm to your dog’s cardiovascular health as it hardly contains saturated fat. 

Why is Tuna Bad for Dogs?

Excessive consumption of tuna can pose the following health risks for dogs:

Mercury Poisoning: Tuna contains comparatively high quantities of mercury compared to other fish, which increases the danger of mercury toxicity if animals consume too much tuna. Mercury is an industrial contaminant that finds its way into the oceans and is consumed by fish. Tuna fish can acquire a significant amount of mercury in their tissues over time since mercury stains can be present up to 40 years.

Kidney damage, diarrhea, tremors, hair loss, and even blindness are all symptoms of mercury toxicity in dogs. Contact your veterinarian right away if you see any strange indicators your dog faces.

On the other hand, Tuna has a low risk of mercury poisoning when eaten rarely and in minimal amounts. Before introducing this fish to your dog’s diet, it’s usually a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

The symptoms of mercury poisoning are:

  • Acting nervous and losing coordination
  • Blood Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Damages kidneys
  • Blindness

TunaContains Bones: Fishbones are well-known to cause choking hazards in dogs, and tuna fish is no exception. In addition, these tiny bones can irritate the delicate digestive tract or possibly become lodged as they pass through. So, if you are going to give your dog tuna, make sure to look for any pieces of bone that could be dangerous and remove them before feeding.

Salt Poisoning: Due to its high salt content, some experts say no to the subject of “can dogs eat tuna.” It is bound to have salt as this fish lives in brine water. The good news is that serving tuna occasionally in moderation is essential for reducing this risk. 

The following are the symptoms of salt poisoning:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions or muscle tremors
  • Body weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody or Watery Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Blindness
  • Decrease hunger and loss of appetite
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Death (in severe cases)

How Much Tuna to Feed Your Dog?

It is okay for dogs to consume tuna in moderation. Still, do not offer it to your dog daily because it increases the mercury levels in his tissues. Please keep your dog’s tuna consumption to a minimum; one tablespoon per day will suffice and do not give him tuna every day. Suppose you are introducing tuna to your pet. In that case, feed your dog a tiny bit of tuna or any other new food and watch out for any signs of illness.

If you have a large dog, do not feed them more than one can of tuna per week, and do not give them one can of tuna every week. Smaller dogs have less tolerance and can be given as little as half a can once a week. Never allow your dog to eat an entire can of tuna in one sitting, regardless of their size.

If you feed your dog tuna, wait a few weeks before providing them again. Although larger dogs can consume tuna sooner than smaller breeds, most owners prefer to err on the side of caution and retain tuna as a special treat.

To be safe, do not give your dog tuna frequently. However, a tablespoon of tuna seldom in his dinner should not damage his health. So, whether you are preparing a tuna sandwich or pasta, bake for yourself. Then, you can keep a spoonful of fish to give to your dog.

How to Serve Tuna to Dogs?

If you are going to cook tuna for your pet, buy it in stakes and prepare it by steaming, grilling, or baking it. Remove bones and do not season with salt or spices. Fishbones are extremely thin, and if swallowed, they can irritate or puncture your dog’s digestive tract lining, causing discomfort or health hazards. 

If your dog enjoys tuna, you can give it to them in tiny amounts from time to time, but make it a rare treat. Here are some ideas on how you might make it more special:

Feed Tuna as a Meal Topper: Flake some canned or cooked tuna on top of your dog’s regular meal to give them a protein boost.

  1. Tuna – Salmon Treat for Dogs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can of tuna in water
  • 1 can of salmon
  • 1 cup of wheat flour
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

Step 1: Combine all four ingredients in a bowl.

Step 2: Fill a baking pan halfway with the mixture.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 40 minutes.

Step 4: Golden brown dog treats should be the end outcome.

2. Tuna – Chicken Broth Treat for Dogs Recipe

Ingredients

  • Two cans of water-packed tuna without sodium
  • 2 1/2 cup flour 
  • 2 1/2 cup flour 
  •  ½ cup frozen mixed peas and carrots or chopped leftover vegetables

Optional: Sage, turmeric, and parsley to taste. 

You will also require a cookie cutter to make this tuna-chicken broth treat for your dog.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  • In a mixing basin, add the flour, meat, and spices (if using).
  • Pour in the broth and stir well.
  • Mix in the eggs until the dough comes together nicely.
  • Fold in the vegetables, be careful not to over-mash them.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut out shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, or until they are barely golden around the edges.

3. Tuna Fudge

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  4. Allow it to cool completely before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

Alternatives to Tuna

There are many healthy alternatives out there if you want to introduce your dog to a new type of protein; but consider the mercury levels when you feed sea foods. Take a look at these alternatives that could be used in your dog’s meal or as a treat.

  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • White fish

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Raw Tuna?

Raw tuna should not be given to dogs. Raw fish of any kind might carry parasites or bacteria that can make your dog very sick. Raw fish also contains thiaminase, which prevents vitamin B1 from being absorbed. This harmful enzyme is no longer a problem when the fish is cooked, which is another reason why you should thoroughly cook tuna before being fed to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?

Yes, you can feed canned tuna to your dog in moderation and only on rare occasions, as long as you choose the variety that is packed in freshwater rather than oil or salty water. It is also good to check the label to make sure the canned tuna doesn’t have any added salt.

Can Puppies Eat Tuna?

Puppies might have to wait a while to taste tuna. They have a lot of maturing, and puppy food recipes are designed to provide them with everything they need to do it healthily. Additionally, making sure you give them the proper portion might be challenging, considering their small stature. Finally, it would help if you kept tuna in the pantry for the time being when it comes to pups.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna and Mayonnaise?

Yes, dogs can eat tuna and mayonnaise in moderation. Adequate amounts of tuna or mayo or the combination cause health hazards in your pet. Look for the quantity that you share with your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna Salad?

Yes, dogs can eat tuna salad in minimal quantities with dog-safe ingredients. However, check out the salad ingredients, for they should not contain any spices, preservatives, seasonings, and additives such as onion, garlic, and sauce as they are lethal for your pet.

Conclusion

Is it true that dogs can eat tuna fish? Providing your dog with a tuna treat once in a while should be fine as long as you are careful.

If you are going to feed your dog tuna, make sure it is cooked. Also, ensure there is not any salt in there. Finally, only offer your dog a portion of tuna proportional to their weight. Doing so minimizes the risk of mercury poisoning while providing your dog with the vitamins and minerals found in tuna, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

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