Yes, you can feed your dog canned tuna, as long as you do so in moderation and infrequently. Choose the version that’s packed in fresh water instead of oil or salted water. Also, check the label to make sure there is no extra salt added to the canned tuna.
Can Dogs Eat Raw or Canned Tuna?
Fresh tuna has much higher levels of mercury than other types of fish, such as salmon and tilapia. Consuming too much mercury can result in mercury poisoning, which can cause severe, or potentially fatal, health complications.
Mercury enters our lakes, rivers, and oceans through industrial activities like coal-fired electricity generation. The mercury then accumulates in fish.
The larger the fish and the longer it lives, the higher the concentration of mercury in its tissues. Because tuna are large, long-living fish, their mercury levels are quite high.
Nonprofit organization Consumer Reports recommended that people limit their tuna consumption based on their weight.
Because dogs are smaller than humans, and because there are no recommendations for how much tuna a pup can eat safely, it’s best not to feed tuna, whether raw or canned, to your dog at all.
Can dogs eat tuna in brine?
Although a very small amount of tuna in brine shouldn’t be toxic, it’s best to avoid feeding it to your pooch. As you could probably guess, it contains a lot of salt which is bad for dogs, and ingesting too much can cause sodium poisoning.
Tuna canned with sunflower oil is a little safer, but the best choice is by far tuna canned in spring water as it has less salt and fat compared to other kinds of canned tuna.
Can dogs eat tuna in sunflower oil?
If you drain the fish thoroughly, it is safe to let your pooch eat a little tuna that was canned in oil. Sunflower oil is lower in saturated fat than other oils and can even offer some benefits for your dog’s fur if they eat a little.
However, consuming too much oil can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and inflammation. Sunflower oil contains omega-6 which is great for your dog’s health, but it must be ingested in conjunction with omega-3 to prevent inflammation and unwanted immune responses.
While eating a little tuna in sunflower oil is safe for your dog, the best choice is tuna canned in spring water.
Is Tuna Good for Dogs?
Tuna is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important nutrients for maintaining your dog’s skin, coat, and joints.
This fish also contains several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and niacin all good things for a dog’s diet. When fed in very small amounts as an occasional treat, tuna is OK for dogs to eat.
But while tuna can be safe for dogs in small amounts on special occasions, it should not be their main source of nutrition or a regular ingredient in their bowl.
Tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, a heavy metal that can cause poisoning in humans and animals alike.
Because tuna is a big fish that’s higher on the food chain, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tuna has higher levels of mercury than nearly all other commercial seafood products.
There are several other kinds of seafood, including salmon, that are considered safer options to feed your dog if you’re looking for a nutritional addition to their diet.
Do not feed tuna to puppies, even if it’s just a tiny bit on rare occasions. Mercury poisoning can pose a serious risk for dogs, especially small breeds and pups who are still developing.
When is tuna bad for dogs?
Despite all the above-mentioned, tuna should definitely not become a staple in your dog’s diet. The reason why dogs shouldn’t consume tuna in large quantities is that this fish is also a source of mercury. Eating big amounts will lead to a buildup of mercury over time, which can cause serious health issues.
The bottom line is that although tuna is good for dogs because of its amazing nutrient profile, other fresh, short-lived fish that have lower mercury levels can provide the same benefits without the risks.
Why dogs shouldn’t eat tuna
First, tuna contains high levels of mercury. Dogs and even humans that eat tuna often can potentially fall victim to mercury poisoning. Humans are advised to limit their tuna intake according to their weight, but there are no such guidelines for dogs.
Mercury poisoning can harm a dog’s kidneys, digestive tract, cardiovascular system, and nervous system.
While other types of fish containing much lower mercury levels may be appropriate for dogs as a treat, tuna should only be offered to your dog on rare occasions and in small amounts or ideally avoided altogether.
If your dog sneaks a bite while you are preparing a tuna sandwich or searing an ahi tuna steak and you’re wondering, “Is tuna okay for dogs?” the answer is that there is probably not a huge risk.
However, if you’ve been feeding your dog tuna often and you suspect your dog has consumed too much mercury, immediately reach out to your veterinarian.