A dog with an excited expression looking at canned sardines, showcasing a superfood for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Sardines?

Absolutely! Canned sardines are phenomenal for dogs. Packed with essential nutrients, they're a superfood treasure trove. These little fish benefit your canine closely as they do humans: promoting heart health, supporting joint function, and giving their coat that extra shine.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 3, 2024

Did You Know?

Sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for a dog's skin and coat health.

Canned Sardines



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Canned Sardines a Superfood for Dogs?

Canned sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for reducing inflammation and supporting cardiovascular health. They’re also packed with proteins, helping in muscle development. Studies show omega-3s can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Not to mention, many vets tout sardines as a natural supplement for your pup's diet.

Do Dogs Like Canned Sardines?

Most dogs go bananas for sardines! Their strong, fishy aroma is pretty irresistible. However, every dog is different, so while your pup might love them, another dog might be less enthusiastic.

Can Puppies Eat Canned Sardines?

Puppies can definitely have sardines, but moderation is key! Sardines can provide essential fats and proteins for growing puppies. Just ensure they're portion-controlled and mashed up to avoid any choking hazards.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Canned Sardines?

While it’s rare, some dogs could be allergic to sardines. Watch for signs like itching, swelling, or gastrointestinal issues. If you spot any of these symptoms, it's best to stop feeding them sardines and consult your vet.

How Many Canned Sardines Can Dogs Eat?

Portion size is crucial. Small dogs might benefit from a single sardine a few times a week, while larger dogs might handle two or three sardines in the same period. Overconsumption can lead to upset stomachs, weight gain, or potential sodium issues if the sardines are packed in salted water. Always opt for sardines in water without added salt.

Best Ways to Incorporate Canned Sardines Into Your Dog’s Diet

Adding sardines to your dog's diet is a breeze. Sprinkle them over their regular dog food, mash them into a paste, or use them as a high-value training treat. You can also mix them into a homemade, balanced meal. Just make sure they're boneless and packed in water.

Potential Risks of Canned Sardines

Even superfoods can have drawbacks if not used properly. Too much fat can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs. Additionally, certain brands might contain additives or be packed in oil that isn't dog-friendly. Always read the labels and choose wisely.

Common Misconceptions

Some folks believe sardines are too oily or salty for dogs. However, when served in appropriate portions and without added salts or oils, they're not just safeβ€”they're fantastic!

Other Comparable Superfoods

  • Salmon: Also rich in omega-3s, but usually requires cooking.
  • Pumpkin: Great for digestion and rich in fiber.
  • Blueberries: Antioxidant-packed and a delicious snack.


Incorporating canned sardines into your dog's diet can offer numerous health benefits, given the right portions and preparations. They provide a variety of essential nutrients that can boost your dog's overall health. Always consult with your vet, especially if your dog has specific health concerns or dietary requirements. Moderation and balance are the secret sauce for a happy, healthy pup!