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Can Puppies Eat Tuna

Written by Kelvin LowMay 9, 2021

hen thinking about protein sources for dogs, the first thing that may come to people's minds is meat. Although it is not wrong, fish often passes unnoticed since dog owners are not sure if dogs can consume it. However, the majority of fish can bring many benefits, but what about tuna? Can puppies eat tuna fish? Find out with the seven more frequently asked questions:

  1. Can puppies eat tuna fish?
  2. Can tuna kill a dog?
  3. Can dogs eat canned tuna?
  4. How much tuna can a dog eat?
  5. How to feed tuna to my dog?
  6. What types of fish can dogs eat?
  7. Risk of feeding tuna to dogs

Can Puppies Eat Tuna Fish?

Yes – but we suggest you don’t often offer it to your puppy.

Many dog foods hold fish in their compositions due to being excellent sources of proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids. However, tuna is a fish that, in large quantities, can be harmful to dogs.

Can tuna kill a dog?

Tuna itself isn’t toxic for dogs. However, since it is a big fish, the chances of being contaminated by mercury are high. Hence the reason why you shouldn’t feed tuna to your dog in large quantities.

Having this said, if you keep the portions small, there won’t be a problem since a small quantity won’t cause poisoning by mercury.

On the other hand, if given a lot of tuna to your dog, it’s highly possible that he might get mercury poisoning, which should be treated quickly. Moreover, there exist only five edible types of tuna out of 20.

If your dog presents any of these symptoms, you should get him to a vet as soon as possible:

  • Tremors
  • Discomfort
  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Lack of orientation
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting blood
  • Inability to urinate

Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?

Yes, although there are some potential risks of feeding tuna to your dog, it can have some benefits. Therefore, if you offer tuna rarely and in small portions, there could be some benefits such as heart and vision health.

If you choose to give canned tuna, opt for tuna preserved in water instead of oil and without any addition of salt.

Ensure that there aren’t any added additives by looking at the product composition.

How Much Tuna Can A Dog Eat?

There isn’t a particular portion for every dog. However, you should limit the portion you give according to your pet’s weight. Here’s an idea of the portions:-

  • Do not feed tuna to your puppy until he is at least one year old.
  • If your dog weighs 20 pounds – don't feed them more than a can of tuna for more than three weeks.
  • If your dog weighs 40 pounds – you can give him a can of chunk light tuna to your dog every nine days.
  • If your dog weighs 90 pounds – you can feed one can of chunk light tuna every five days.
  • If your dog weighs 150 pounds – you can give him a can of chunk light tuna every three days.

Keep in mind that it’s best if you slowly introduce this food into your dog's diet. The reason behind this is due to the fact that you puppy can react badly to it without necessarily being a sign of intoxication. Thus, try to offer him just 1 or 2 chunks at first and observe how he reacts in the following hours.

How to Feed Tuna to My Dog?

  • Do not add any salt since it is a saltwater fish.
  • Do not feed raw tuna to your dog.
  • Remove every fish bone you can in order to avoid your pet to choke.
  • Do not add any seasoning since it can be harmful to your puppy.
  • If you opt for canned tuna, offer it in moderation and look for tuna conserved in water.

What types of fish can dogs eat?

There are better and safer alternatives to replace tuna that hold the same benefits or even better. These could be:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Plaice
  • Red salmon

These are safer due to holding lower percentages of mercury and are mostly used in commercial foods.

Risk of Feeding Tuna to Puppies

As we’ve mentioned in this post, mercury poisoning is the highest risk of feeding tuna to dogs since the fish is highly susceptible to being infected by mercury due to being a big fish.

Besides the ones we’ve already stated, other symptoms may include:

  • Hair loss
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Blindness
  • Blood in feces

Moreover, mercury poisoning may lead to long-term problems, even death. Hence the reason why we strongly suggest that you avoid your puppy from eating it. But of course, there won’t be any problem if your dog eats it very rarely and in small portions.

Besides mercury poisoning, other risks could imply allergy to the food or even manifest problematic issues due to high protein levels. Other than that, there aren’t many risks. Thus, you must pay attention to the quantity you feed tuna to your puppy.

In case of any unusual signs showing up, do not hesitate to take a trip to your pup's vet.

Final Thought

Overall, we once again repeat that we advise you to keep your dog away from tuna as there are many other better and safe alternatives, being the best one salmon – a fish that has a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Taking risks is good, but not in this matter. Are you sure you want to put your best friend’s health at risk?

Although there is just one main risk, it is still a big one. Therefore, we suggest that you control your puppy’s diet accordingly with what his veterinarian says as he is the only one who can provide the ideal diet for him.

Your pet appreciates that you’re doing your research. If you enjoyed reading this article, we suggest you check our series on foods your puppy can and cannot eat.

About The Author

Kelvin Low

Kelvin Low has more than three years of experience in taking care of pets at home - ranging from dogs, hamsters, to cats and hedgehog. His passion and care towards animals has motivated him to create educational content online to more more pets owners in need.

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