Pet Tips, Dog Health

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

April 7, 2022

Nobody likes fish breath…

dogs fishBut my dogs both love fish!  Luckily, the humans here are willing to put up with stinky doggy breath so that the boys can enjoy their tasty fishy snacks.  Fish is a great food option for my personal dogs.  Kitsune has food allergies, but is not allergic to any type of fish.  Fenrir can sometimes have a sensitive stomach.  But we know, through trial and error, that fish doesn’t bother his stomach.  When selecting, or making, treats for my dogs, I’ll often look for fish.  It may not smell the best to us humans, but my dogs love it and both do well eating it.

dogs dragon fruit

How Can you Feed Fish to Dogs?

Don’t want to deal with smelling fishageddon, but still want to offer your pooch a scaly snack?  Luckily, there are quite a few ways that fish can be safely offered to dogs.

I feed fish most often as treats.  Many raw feeders feed fish (yes, raw), but there are some precautions you’ll want to take to avoid parasites.  Do some research on Salmon Poisoning Disease before feeding fish raw.  If you eat fish yourself, you can offer your pet pieces of plain, cooked fish.

I know there are many types of fish.  I see sardines recommended most frequently for dogs.  You can feed tinned/canned sardines, but make sure to buy them packed in water and not in oil.  My local market sells frozen sardines as well, which is what I often use to make the boys treats.  Salmon is common in commercial dog foods and treats.  It’s more expensive to purchase fresh, but both of my dogs love salmon.

What are the Benefits of Feeding Fish Anyways?

dogs fishOmega-3 fatty acids!  Need I say more?  Maybe not, but I type a lot!  Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, benefit dogs in a number of ways.  The most important way, in my opinion at least, is that they are great for your dog’s joints and can help improve mobility.

My beloved Kitsune is 13 years old, and it’s my hope that we have many many many (I can’t say many enough times here) more years together – but he has been experiencing some joint issues/arthritis.  This is the main reason why I like feeding him fish.

But wait, there’s more!  Omega-3s can also help reduce inflammation, and may help to boost the immune system.  This can be beneficial to dog’s suffering from allergies.  Omegas also help support brain health.  Probably the most commonly known benefit of giving your dog Omega-3s is that they are great for the skin and fur.

Supplemental Feeding Only

Are you getting sick of my “in moderation” comments yet!?  In general, the key to a healthy dog diet is verity!  Fish alone won’t provide everything your pet needs to thrive.  In addition, fish now commonly contains Mercury, so you don’t want to feed it in excess.  If you want the benefits of Omega-3s without having to deal with feeding fish, there’s always fish oil supplements.  But supplements are a story for a whole ‘nother post…

Does your dog like fish?  How do you prepare it for them?

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  • Reply greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog April 8, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I love Fish Oil pills. My boys get 3 fish oil pills per day. They eat them like treats but I usually just put them in their food in the mornings.
    That’s a good idea with the sardines. I’ll have to get some. Thanks for that!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog April 8, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Thanks for your comment! I give Kitsune fish oil pills too, in addition to the occasional fish treat.

      • Reply greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog April 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        I just bought a big package of sardines at Costco today, thanks to your post! Picasso and Luca thank you.. 🙂

  • Reply EM Biddulph April 8, 2016 at 6:12 am

    What lovely photos of your dog! This is a very informative and useful post – I’m often on the lookout for ways to improve my dogs’ diets. I hadn’t thought about using tinned sardines in water before, but it’s probably worth making up a few treats! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply Nilanjana Bose April 8, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Nice idea for the F-post. If I had a dog, it wouldn’t get any fish at all because I’d probably eat it up myself! Fish is a staple in my region. 🙂

    Best wishes,


    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016


    • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog April 8, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Thank you! I’m a vegetarian now, but I used to eat a lot of fish too. I have to admit, I get a bit jealous sometimes giving fish to the dogs.

  • Reply Annette Harris April 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Great post! I am here for bonus challenge. I am now following. Happy blogging! Best Wishes,


    My A2Z @ Annette’s Place | Follow Me On Twitter

  • Reply Sati April 8, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    My girls (miniature dachshunds) love salmon. So whenever we cook it, I share with them, especially the skin. 🙂 Will have to think about sardines. Cute blog & dog–thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Michelle @ Paw Print Pet Blog April 10, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Thank you for stopping by! My boys love salmon too, but I don’t give it to them that often – only because it’s expensive here.

  • Reply Lisa April 7, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    Now fish is something Mickey DOES like! Nothing I’ve cooked, I don’t do much fish. He loves the cat food fish, so he’s tried several dog food kibble with fish. I found one he loves, a wild salmon with egg and pumpkin. Now I’m finding it sold out everywhere and the salmon with sweet potatoes isn’t doing it! I avoid salmon if not wild caught.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 7, 2022 at 11:54 pm

      Lol silly dog eating cat food! I’m sure mine would try to too, if we had a cat. It’s been harder lately to get a lot of dog foods, and prices are going up. I hope you’re able to find somewhere that supplies the food your dog likes!

  • Reply betty April 8, 2022 at 12:51 am

    We have yet to give Winslow any fish mainly because we cook the fish with spices and don’t want to give him the spicing. I might have to get a can of sardines though and see if he likes those (I can’t imagine he wouldn’t since he likes 99.9% of the food we give him 🙂


    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:22 pm

      I’m careful not to give mine spices too. Lol my Kitsune is the same as your Winslow – he likes almost everything! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  • Reply Tasha April 8, 2022 at 9:13 am

    My kitties are big fans of fish. It is their favourite, along with chicken. When opening a can of tuna it’s cat dodging time 🤣
    Tasha’s Thinkings: YouTube – What They Don’t Tell You (and free fiction)

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Cat dodging time! I love it lol! My Fenrir LOVES chicken, and both of my dogs like tuna too! 🙂

  • Reply Nikki April 10, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Moderation is key! Another thing about adding too much fish – especially salmon, tilapia and sardines – is they are VERY high in vitamin D. Too much vitamin D is actually toxic to dogs. But as long as we keep additional fish to small amounts (10% of daily calories) we can avoid these concerns and still gain all the benefits of the omega 3s they contain.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack April 10, 2022 at 5:27 pm

      Yes! Moderation being key is something I always stress. 🙂

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