Can dogs eat tuna ? If you happen to leave an open tuna can when your dog is around, chances are, it will disappear in seconds. This usually leaves many homeowners questioning, can dogs eat tuna?
Well, the answer is yes. Dogs love tuna and fish in general. When you come to think of it. Why shouldn’t they? Who doesn’t like tuna?
However, the yes or no response to this question can’t be simplified. This is because, in the past few years, there has been a lot of concern regarding the safety of consuming tuna not only for dogs but for human beings.
Tuna is an excellent source of protein. However, this kind of fish is derived from the ocean, which has been polluted to a great extent by mercury.
Being part of the ocean food chain. Tuna fish feed on small fish which in turn feed on mercury, thus making them contaminated. This is one of the key considerations you need to have in mind when deciding if tuna is ideal for your canine friend.
Additionally, despite tuna being an excellent supplement. Feeding dogs too much tuna can turn into a health hazard. In this article, we will discuss the following: Is tuna safe for dogs? What kind of tuna should you feed your dogs? The benefits of tuna for dogs, amongst other essential information regarding the consumption of tuna.
When you feed your dog tuna you have to be mindful of the levels of mercury. Feeding your dog raw tuna can have high levels in it, all types of fish in the sea comes from water so they are packed in water.
Is Tuna Safe for Dogs?
As at now, there have not been formal complaints regarding mercury poisoning caused by dogs eating tuna. This can ease your worries about the alarming mercury level. After all, tuna is a main ingredient in most commercial dog foods.
Recent studies have also indicated that mercury levels in commercial dog food shouldn’t be a major concern for dog owners (http://www.americanveterinarian.com/news/mercury-in-dog-and-cat-foods-cause-for-concern). Reason being, dog food manufacturing companies are aware of the dangers of mercury poisoning. And, before processing the food, the tuna is screened for poisoning first.
When considering the safety of tuna consumption by dogs, you need to understand that our furry friends are more like us. Similarly to how we can develop intolerance and allergic reactions to some foods, so can dogs do the same for tuna. Some dogs might love tuna, whereas others might get allergic reactions.
The Health Benefits of Tuna for Dogs
Tuna offers a lot of health benefits, and this is why many homeowners look forward to feeding it to their dogs. The health benefits of tuna include;
It is an ideal source of lean protein. Feeding it to your dog will thus aid in muscle growth and overall development of your dog. Don’t forget that tuna contains minimal fat and will keep your dog physically fit.
Tuna also contains essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, amongst others. All these minerals play a significant role in the development of pets.
For dogs, tuna is an excellent source for vitamins B3, B6, and B12.
Another essential benefit of tuna is that it contains omega-3 fatty acids which has lots of health benefits. Omega-3 helps boost cardiovascular health, improves the dog’s skin condition, reduces inflammation, and also regulates your dog’s blood cholesterol levels.
Its richness in vitamins and minerals is reason enough to include it in your dogs’ diet. But there are a lot of factors to consider.
Which Tuna Fish is Good for Your Dogs?
As you may know, there are over 20 different types of tuna fish. The most popular breeds known to be safe for consumption are skipjack, yellowfin, Bluefin, bigeye, and albacore. Out of these five, skipjack and albacore are smaller in size compared to their counterparts. And, the bigger the fish, the more likely it could be contaminated with mercury. Therefore, the smaller ones are safer for consumption.
How Much Tuna is Safe for Dogs?
Earlier, we mentioned that feeding your dog too much tuna could turn into a health hazard. This is why you need to regulate the amount of tuna you feed your dog. You can feed it to your dog occasionally or once a month. Since tuna might contain high mercury levels, minimizing your dog’s intake of this fish can help keep him/her healthy.
If it is your first time feeding him/her tuna, then you need to be very keen when introducing this new food. Start with small amounts and monitor your dog’s reaction. If allergic reactions manifest, then you should consult a vet and get expert advice.
How to Feed Tuna to Your Dog?
Experts recommend tuna to be fed as a treat and not be included in your dog’s regular diet. If you are interested in feeding it to your dog because of its health benefits, then is here to do so.
Dogs weighing at least 20 pounds should eat a whole can of tuna once every month. Those weighing 40 pounds can take tuna twice a month. And, for dogs weighing more than 100 pounds can eat a whole can of tuna weekly.
Raw or Canned tuna: Which is Better?
This isn’t even a matter of discussion. Never feed raw tuna to your dogs. You won’t only be risking mercury poisoning, but raw fish carry bacteria and parasites which can be easily transferred to your dog.
Canned tuna is safer as long as you don’t exceed the feeding proportion described above. You can also cook tuna and feed it to your dog.
The bottom line is: yes, dogs can eat tuna. But, you should consider the mercury poisoning element. Tuna has lots of health benefits. However, it should be given as a treat and not made the staple food for your dog. Depending on how much your dog weighs that should determine what amount you should feed him/her. Finally, stick to cooked and canned tuna only.