Not one or two dog foods contain fish, there is a whole list of them. At the thought of seafood, I know tuna must have crossed your mind now and is probably top of the list in consideration.
For a fact, fish is good for your doggy considering it has Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, B vitamins as well as selenium.
Did you know that mushrooms have some of these nutrients too?
However, too much of anything is poisonous, let not that favourite delicacy for your pet turn to a hazardous health problem.
Tuna should be fed in reasonable portions and its necessary to observe a few precautions doing the same.
In this article therefore, the main idea is to discuss the health benefits of tuna to your doggy as well as precautions to take into account.
Can Your Dog Eat Tuna?
Tuna is a great seafood and might actually end up being your dog’s favourite if fed with the right moderation and all precautions observed.
Yes, tuna is safe for your dog and has health benefits since he is a carnivorous animal.
However, intensive research has shown that the mercury levels in tuna fish are higher than other types of fish like tilapia.
This is because of the accumulation of heavy metals like mercury since their life span is relatively longer than other fish.
How Best to serve tuna to your dog?
Dogs have the capability of handling the tuna ‘pie’ whether raw, cooked or canned.
Dogs being carnivores, their digestive system has the capability of digesting proteins such as meat.
This is actually to your advantage if you are planning that surprise treat of tuna to your dog.
All in all, raw fish is not the best choice if you are planning to feed her with fish.
Due to the tuna’s habitat, there is a high possibility they might be carrying parasites which can actually be eliminated through cooking.
Cooked tuna is the most recommendable way to feed your pup. In addition, when feeding her, it is necessary to check for any bones that may cause chocking.
In an instance where you give her canned food, make sure the fish is stored in water and not oil.
Oil may add excess calories to your dog leading to obesity or even inflammation of the dog’s pancreas.
In addition, it is recommendable to avoid spices in the canned tuna.
The nature of the dog’s digestive system cannot digest spices accordingly and this can bring about health complications.
Health benefits of tuna to your doggy
As we have discussed earlier, eating tuna is beneficial to the dog.
Here are some of the reasons why including tuna in her diet is a good thing;
a) Tuna being a fish is a great source of protein
Protein is useful in muscle growth. The fact that tuna has low levels of fat makes it the ideal dish for dogs.
Dogs usually have low levels of protein in their body and they could easily crack up without the owner’s knowledge.
This is why certain levels of protein intake is necessary for their body building processes.
Too much protein however may cause workload on the kidney leading to imbalance of nutrients therefore a high risk of diseases such as kidney failure.
Since the kidneys have a low tolerance for excess proteins, metered amounts are the best option for her.
b) Tuna is rich in minerals
Some of these minerals include; phosphorus and magnesium which help maintain normal body functions.
c) Omega-3 bring about cardiovascular benefits
Tuna being a fish is rich in omega-3.
The Omega-3 available in it helps:
- reduce chances of irregular heartbeats
- balance cholesterol levels in the body
- reduce chances of blood clot and
- control the inflammation of the blood cell walls.
Cardiovascular benefits help reduce chances of arrhythmia in dogs (a disease that is caused by irregular heart impulses resulting to an irregular rhythm).
Without a doubt, tuna seems to be a good fish for your dog.
The question is, does it have its snags?
Precautions when feeding your dog tuna
The good news is that dogs are naturally born carnivores making it easier for them to eat their way through any meat without stomach upsets.
However, precaution should be taken in most cases since fish is a delicate food and needs to be handled with extra care.
It is advisable to accompany tuna with other normal dog feeds for example; dog biscuits.
This is because the bones in tuna may get stuck between the dog’s teeth. This causes irritation and dental problems to the dog in case the debris stay stuck up there for too long.
As a precaution, the biscuits will help remove the tiny pieces of bones which will thereafter ease the discomfort in her mouth.
Additionally, you should be cautious when feeding her with tuna since it has high levels of both proteins and fat.
This may cause adverse reactions in her body especially for the first time.
Try feeding her sizeable portions so that you can give her digestive system time to adjust accordingly.
Although canned fish is great for your dog, it is always advisable to check the label for any additives and make sure they don’t cause any trouble to your furry friend.
Try picking canned tuna that doesn’t have sauces, flavors or any that has been canned in oil.
Some dogs may have negative reactions to flavors and sauces for example; the additives may cause digestive breakdown.
The oil isn’t healthy for you dog as well because it may cause excessive weight gain.
So…Is tuna for dogs?
In conclusion, tuna is as good as any other dog food as long as given in moderation.
It is always necessary to check with your veterinary doctor before incorporating tuna in your dog’s feeding schedule.
This will help curb any adjacent reactions in case of allergy.
A special treat of tuna occasionally will always be appreciated by your doggy.
But remember better serve it in a plain cooked form.
It’s always safer that way!
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2.PetMD, L. (2018). Can Dogs Eat Fish & Tuna Fish? | petMD. Petmd.com.
3.Ripley, K. (2018). Can Dogs Eat Tuna?. American Kennel Club.
4.There’s Something Fishy Going On. (2018). Modern Dog magazine.