Most people already know that cats go wild over anything fishy, but what about our canine companions?
Watch this YouTube video as these cute dogs lick their tuna!
Like the question "Are blackberries good for dogs?", or "Are Cheerios good for dogs?", Is tuna good for dogs?" is also a popular question among pet parents. Check out the whys and why nots of feeding your dog tuna.
Is Tuna Good For Dogs? The Health Benefits
Yes, tuna does pack some healthy advantages for our furry pals.
First: It is loaded in protein which will help build lean, strong muscles in your dog.
Second: It is low in fat so your dog can maintain a healthy weight.
Third: It's rich in vitamins such as B3, B6 and B12 which all play a vital role in the health of your dog's brain and intestinal tract.
Fourth: Tuna also contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are responsible for many health benefits such as reducing inflammation.
It's beneficial to the heart, helps improve skin and coat condition, reduces itchiness, regulates cholesterol, improves eyesight, reduces the risks of blood clots and decreases arrhythmia.
It sounds like tuna is a superior food for our dogs, which it is, but use with caution. Read on…
Is Tuna Good For Dogs? In Small Amounts
Although, we've covered the many benefits of tuna, there are also some things that are not so good about this seafood.
First: Tuna, especially canned, is high in mercury which can lead to high levels of it in your dog's system. This can cause harm to your dog's kidneys, nervous system and heart. Apart from Tuna, you should also check out the full list of toxic food for dogs here.
Second: Canned tuna is high in sodium which can cause excessive thirst, excessive urination, vomiting and diarrhea.
Third: Some dogs are allergic to tuna which can cause dry, itchy skin, loss of hair, hot spots, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive scratching and ear infections.
As with any new food, introducing tuna to your dog's diet should be done slowly. In addition, to avoid any ill effects of this fish, feed your pooch only 1 to 2 small pieces and only on very special occasions.
How to Serve It
We know dogs can enjoy the occasional chunk of tuna, but in what form can it be served? Experts say it can be feed raw or cooked. However, be sure to remove all the bones as these can pose a choking hazard.
Canned tuna being given to a dog should also be packed in water, not oil. Oil can cause excessive fat buildup in dogs which in turn can lead to an inflamed pancreas and obesity.
Additionally, avoid giving your dog any tuna that has been packed in spices, especially onions and garlic as these can lead to serious health issues causing the breakdown of red blood cells and anemia.
What About Tuna Juice?
Obviously if the tuna is packed in oil, it's a big NO! But the naturally-flavored juice from plain tuna (on occasion) is fine for dogs. This can be used as a special treat drizzled over dry kibble or just to lap up from a bowl.
However, if your dog vomits or has diarrhea after eating/drinking the tuna juice, stop using it and contact your veterinarian.
Healthy Alternatives to Tuna? Try Salmon
If you're looking for a safe seafood alternative to tuna, try cooked or canned salmon. This meat is high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats. It's great for your dog's skin and coat.
Plus, unlike tuna, the bones from this fish are safe for your pooch to eat and even provides a bit of calcium.
Other healthy ingredients in salmon include:
- Vitamin A, B, D
In addition, the FDA considers this type of fish to be lower in mercury than other fish. However, the fresh or frozen salmon does have more mercury in it than the regular canned variety does.
Never Feed Your Dog Raw Salmon
When feeding your canine frozen or fresh salmon be sure to cook it until it has an interior temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw or undercooked salmon can lead to illness in your pet.
In fact, dogs are the only species of animal that are susceptible to salmon poisoning.
The reason for this is a parasite, within a parasite found in the salmon. The carrier parasite is the Nanophyetus salmincola, which can be infected by another parasite called the Neorickettsia helminthoeca. If your dog picks up these parasites it can cause an infection that is potentially fatal to your dog.
If your dog does become infected by these parasites, symptoms will begin to show within 4 to 7 days after ingesting the raw salmon. The symptoms of salmon poisoning are:
- Swollen lymph nodes
It's vitally important to get your dog treated if you suspect it has this condition.
Now You Know
It's always nice to find a healthy treat for our canine companions. You can find more useful information on Nolongerwild.com. Just remember to only feed tuna on occasion and in small amounts. Keeping our dogs healthy and happy is by far better than giving into their mooching desires.