Dogs have always been our best companions. On top of being affectionate, they are our unconditionally loyal friends. Although dogs are like family members, we often wonder if we feed them properly. For you, we searched the web to gather the most popular questions. The common recurring questions that we found in the forums of dog lovers are as follows: Can you feed people food to dogs? Can dogs eat tuna fish? Does human food harm our pet’s health? Throughout this article, you will find out all the answers and more. Let’s start!
What are the benefits of tuna fish for dogs?
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to feed your dog tuna fish. Tuna contains a large amount of protein which is an essential diet for every dog. Here’s a list of its beneficial nutrients:
Dogs primarily need a protein-based diet. Tuna contains useful proteins without the unwanted fat that you find in certain other types of meat. A good protein diet will help your dog’s muscular growth while giving him or her good energy. A healthy dog is a happy dog like they say!
Not only tuna is rich in protein, but it is also full of Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega-3 is good for a dog’s coat and prevents inflammation and itching. By eating tuna fish, your dog will have healthy skin, better eyesight, and a healthier heart.
Last but not least, the dogs will get benefits from a plethora of vitamins and essential minerals contained in tuna, such as vitamin B family, Magnesium, Potassium, etc. Below is a list of the main vitamin types found in tuna:
- Vitamin B family (B3, B6, and B12) benefits in terms of a stronger immune system and higher energy
- Magnesium is good for neuromuscular transmission and helps reduce stress
- Potassium supports cell functions and nerves, and repairs muscles
- Selenium helps clean the body
- Vitamin D is mainly responsible for the absorption of calcium
How to choose the right tuna fish for my dog?
Surprisingly enough, there is a wide variety of tuna species and many subspecies, for example; Albacore Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, or Yellowfin Tuna. That said, not all tuna species are good for Doggy. What you should be wary of is the quantity of mercury that can be found in tuna. Indeed, mercury is everywhere in the ocean and many fish carry different levels of this poisonous substance. Unfortunately, by consuming seafood, we have a strong chance to consume this poison as well.
The high level of mercury poisoning from tuna fish may cause many health complications in the long run. The specialists found out that some tuna species that live at the bottom of the sea (like the bluefin or the bigeye) generally contain a higher level of mercury while the albacore and skipjack tuna often present a smaller quantity of mercury. Since the latter almost always swim at the surface, luckily, it makes them less exposed to mercury poisoning.
How to serve tuna to your dog
As we mentioned, tuna fish has both pros and cons for dogs. We recommend choosing the edible species of tuna such as albacore or skipjack, and most importantly, limiting the portions and the frequency.
Furthermore, we suggest serving the portions based on your dog’s weight. Here is the guideline that you should follow:
- 20-pounds weight: 1 can of tuna every 3 weeks, except albacore tuna which should be every 10 weeks
- 40-pounds weight: 1 can of tuna every 9 or 10 days, except albacore tuna which should be every 4 weeks
- 90-pounds weight: 1 can of tuna, every 5 days
- Over 150-pounds weight: 1 can of tuna, every 3 days, except albacore tuna which should be every 9 days
Caution: for the first time you must introduce a small portion of tuna to test if your dog is allergic. It is likely to occur within the first 24 hours. After that, you will find out if tuna fish is an appropriate diet for your four-legged friend or not.
What types of tuna can you give to your dog?
The other frequent question we found on the forums is how to serve tuna to your dogs? Cooked, raw, or canned tuna fish, does it really matter? Let’s find out the safest way for feeding tuna to your dog below:
1. Raw tuna fish
Note that raw tuna or any raw fish should never be served to your dogs. Raw tuna may carry a lot of unhealthy bacterias, dangerous parasites, and viruses that could harm Doggy. Moreover, an enzyme called thiaminase found in tuna will make your dog inactive.
2. Cooked tuna fish
Serving cooked tuna is healthy enough to feed your dogs since high temperatures kill harmful bacterias hiding in food. If you prefer cooking for your dog, you should buy a rare tuna or other red meat in the form of steak, thoroughly washed, and then bake or boil it. Finally, make sure to not add any seasoning and to remove all bones from the meat.
3. Canned tuna fish
Canned tuna is the safest solution for your dog and also a better choice for busy pet parents who don’t always have enough time to cook. Canned tuna is often packed in oil or water. As we know, any seasoning and high content of sodium are not healthy for your dogs to consume. Thus, you should adequately read the ingredients beforehand on the can label and choose a plain one without any additives.
Although tuna provides multiple health benefits, it cannot be served daily to your dog. That being said, if you follow all our guidelines mentioned above, Doggy will stay safe while enjoying yummy tuna fish!