Is It OK to Give Dogs Raw Fish? (Solved & Explained!)

Generally speaking, it isn’t a good idea to feed dogs raw fish because it has a high risk of carrying bacteria like salmonella, listeria, or may contain a high heavy metal content. The bones are little and sharp, which can also cause harm to your furry friend.

Is there a safe way to feed my dog raw fish?

Yes! Deboning is important always, but according to, freezing fish to an internal temperature of -4℉ for at least 7 days will kill all parasites and create a safe option for feeding raw fish. *See below for a brief list of fish dogs shouldn’t eat.

Can dogs eat fish?

When prepared properly and deboned, fish is perfectly safe for most healthy dogs, as it can serve as a wonderful supplement in their diet, but it’s best to ask their vet first. However, it needs to be cooked to prevent sickness and deboned to prevent injury. Fish is a valuable protein source, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may prevent inflammation.

Can puppies eat fish?

Puppies can start eating fish when they’re weaned. Fish is considerably good food for puppies this small because fish is soft and easy to eat. It shouldn’t be the main meal but could be a well-balanced addition to your pup’s diet. In the best interest of your puppy, it’s best to ask your vet about dietary concerns and questions.

Can my dog eat fish skins?

Fish skins are high in nutrients and make great treats and even better chews for dogs. Commonly, fish skins are fed as jerky-style treats, which are great for your dog’s teeth. They also come in more processed treats and may be located at the grocery store in the pet aisle.  As with all treats, it’s best to watch your canine companion with treats to ensure their safety.

How do I prepare fish for my dog?

A best practice in preparing fish for dogs is no seasoning, no butter, no oil. Grilling or steaming fish is a great option because neither requires additional fats added during cooking. Cook the fish bland and cook to the correct temperature: fish is considered safe after reaching an internal temperature of 145℉.

How do I prepare fish skins for my dog?

Fish skins can be baked, grilled, or dehydrated. The scales can be left on because they won’t hurt your pup. The skins can be made into strips or twisted together like a rawhide treat. If you decide to dehydrate them, they’ll be more of a jerky consistency. Chewy, natural, and yummy, fish skins make a wonderful treat!

Can puppies have fish skin treats?

Puppies can enjoy fish skin from 12 weeks old. Fish skins are a fantastic source of protein and fat for a growing puppy. Plus they’re great for teething pups since they take a little while to chew through, making the perfect treat for your new best friend.

What kind of fish is good for dogs?

According to PetMD, it’s safe to feed your dog whitefish, flounder, salmon, herring, catfish, cod, whiting, light tuna (canned) as long as it’s properly handled, prepared, and deboned. Buying frozen fish already deboned and prepackaged is quick, easy, and safe.

Why is fish good for dogs?

Fish contains higher concentrated amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Those omega 3’s are beneficial for our skin and hair, and a dog’s skin and coat, especially for fighting dryness-the oils will shine through! These oils are especially good for dogs (and people!) with high amounts of dandruff or dry patches.

What kind of fish is bad for dogs?

While fish can balance a dog’s diet, it can also be dangerous for them. There are limitations to the kinds of fish a dog can eat, and those on the do-not-feed list include but are not limited to:

  • Raw fish, not properly handled
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Shellfish
  • Fried fish
  • Shark
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • King Mackerel

How are shellfish bad for dogs?

Raw shellfish can carry an intestinal parasite, so if fed, it’s best to cook to a safe internal temperature of 145℉. However, it’s advised not to feed dogs shellfish because they often eat the “leftovers” of the ocean floor and those contents can be high in mercury, toxins, and heavy metals due to pollution.

What are the risks of feeding raw fish to a dog?

Raw fish can carry harmful bacteria and parasites. If not handled properly, just feeding a dog a whole raw fish carries an array of risks, including but not limited to: Anisakiasis or herring worm disease, roundworm, tapeworm, salmonella, and/or listeria. To prevent disease or sickness, take caution and prepare fish properly.

Is fish a good addition to a dog’s diet?

Yes! According to Purina, fish is an excellent addition to a dog’s diet, rounding out their nutrients and vitamins. It’s best practice to talk to your vet before changing your pet’s diet, to make sure it’s in the best interest of the pet according to their age, health, and weight.

How much fish should I feed my dog?

Fish should be fed sparingly, and as a treat, but if you’d like to replace some of your dog’s kibble with fish, try replacing 10% of their usual kibble with fish twice a week. If you’re replacing some of their food with fish, an ideal amount would be up to, but no more than 10g of fish for every 500g your dog weighs.

Can dogs eat fish bones?

No, fish bones are a hazard for dogs and humans. They’re easily lodged in the throat, may stab gums and cause bleeding in the mouth, or even pierce internal organs if swallowed. Fishbones have been used as sewing needles in the past, so eating them or letting your dog eat them, probably wouldn’t be ideal.

Does my dog have salmonella?

If your dog accidentally eats raw fish or raw eggs and begins to show signs that concern you, it could be salmonella. If you suspect your dog has salmonella or you know your dog has eaten raw fish, contact your vet right away.

Salmonella in dogs will present itself with diarrhea with possible blood or mucus, fever, vomit, lethargy, dehydration, loss of appetite, and a decrease of typical activity. While not typically fatal for humans or dogs, it’s unpleasant for both parties and should be prevented.