A dog with a happy expression looking at fish, highlighting healthy food for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Fish?

Yes, dogs can eat fish! Fish is not only safe for dogs but can also be a great addition to their diet. When prepared correctly, fish offers a variety of beneficial nutrients for your furry friend, making their coat shinier and boosting their overall health.

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

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

Updated on Jun 30, 2024

Did You Know?

Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which can support a dog's coat and skin health.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Fish Healthy for Dogs?

Fish is packed with important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, which support joint health, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function. It's also a great source of protein, helping to build and maintain muscle mass. According to veterinary studies, fish oils can even protect against heart disease in dogs. It's like your dog gets to hit the nutritional jackpot while enjoying a tasty dish!

Do Dogs Like Fish?

Most dogs find fish quite palatable. Its strong smell and flavor can be especially appealing to dogs, making it a great option for picky eaters. Of course, just like humans, individual tastes can vary. A few might need a little convincing, but once they get a taste, they're usually hooked!

Can Puppies Eat Fish?

Yes, puppies can eat fish, but it must be introduced gradually and in small quantities to avoid digestive upset. Ensure the fish is well-cooked and deboned to prevent choking hazards. Always consult with your vet before adding new foods to a puppy's diet.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Fish?

While less common, some dogs can be allergic to fish. Symptoms can include itching, gastrointestinal issues, and skin problems. If you notice any unusual reactions after feeding fish, it's best to consult your vet immediately. Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

How Much Fish Can Dogs Eat?

The amount of fish your dog can safely consume varies by size, breed, and overall health. Typically, fish can be given as a treat a couple of times a week. For small dogs, a couple of tablespoons might suffice, while larger breeds might handle up to half a fillet. Moderation is keyโ€”overconsumption can lead to nutrient imbalances or even mercury poisoning from certain fish types.

Best Ways to Incorporate Fish Into Your Dogโ€™s Diet

To safely incorporate fish into your dog's diet, be sure to cook it thoroughly to eliminate any bacteria or parasites. Steamed, baked, or grilled fish without added seasoning works best. Consider mixing small, deboned pieces into their regular food or using it as high-value training treats. Whatever floats their boat!

Potential Risks of Fish

Although fish can be healthy, there are also risks. Raw fish can carry harmful bacteria, and certain fish can have high levels of mercury or bones that pose choking hazards. Additionally, avoid fish seasoned with onions, garlic, or too much salt. Always prioritize safety to ensure your dog gets the health benefits without the hazards!

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that dogs can eat any type of fish. In reality, some fish, like swordfish and mackerel, contain high levels of mercury which can be harmful over time. Sticking to safer choices like salmon, trout, or whitefish helps keep your dog healthy.

Other Healthy Food Options

If fish isn't swimming well with your dog's diet, consider these alternatives:

  • Chicken: A lean source of protein that's easy to prepare.
  • Turkey: Another great protein that's also low in fat.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Rich in fiber and vitamins, great for doggy digestion.


Incorporating fish into your dog's diet can offer numerous health benefits, from shinier coats to improved joint health. However, moderation and preparation are crucial to ensuring your dog enjoys its benefits safely. Always consult your vet for tailored advice, especially if your dog has specific dietary needs. After all, a happy, healthy dog is a fishy deal worth investing in!