Picture this. Just as you are about to tuck into your delicious fish stick snack, your dog gives you those puppy dog eyes that you can’t resist. He wants some of your fish stick.
Sound familiar? We know the feeling.
Can dogs eat fish sticks?
The short answer is yes. However, it depends on the type of seafood that the fish stick contains and the way it has been prepared. Fish sticks for dogs are not a healthy food choice and should only be given in moderation.
Are fish sticks bad for dogs?
Fish sticks are not toxic or harmful to dogs, although it’s important to check the ingredients to make sure they don’t contain garlic or onion because they can be toxic to dogs.
There’s a chance that fish sticks contain fish bones which are a choking hazard for dogs, especially smaller breeds. Brittle fish bones can even tear through your dog’s intestine wall and cause a lot of damage. If you decide to give your pooch a fish stick, you need to be certain that it doesn’t contain any harmful bones.
If your dog has a sensitive tummy, it’s best to avoid all types of fish sticks because of the amount of oil it contains.
If you are going to give your dog fish sticks, only do so in moderation. Fish sticks are processed food that contains a lot of starch, salts and oils that are bad for your dog’s health.
Are fish sticks good for dogs?
Depending on the type of fish stick, some fish contain amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids which can help keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy and provide an anti-inflammatory component to help reduce the pain associated with joint diseases such as arthritis.
Fish is also a great source of protein for dogs and is a good alternative for dogs who are allergic to other protein sources.
Different types of fish dogs can and can’t eat
What fish can dogs eat?
Dogs can safely enjoy some types of fish as part of a balanced diet, including:
- Sardines: their small size makes them safe for dogs to eat. Choose brands that use water instead of oil and contain no added salt.
- Salmon: is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps support the development of the brain and bones in puppies. It can also reduce skin irritation due to allergies.
- Whitefish: contains proteins that are essential for the growth of healthy cells and maintaining overall health. Whitefish is also low in calories, packed full of nutrients, and easy for dogs to digest.
- Cod: another great source of omega-3 that can help to boost heart and kidney health in animals and even improve a dog’s ability to fight diseases such as cancer.
- Whiting: contains B-group vitamins that can improve the condition of a dog’s skin, coat and nervous system.
How to prepare fish safely for dogs
Buy fish that is already deboned to avoid the risk of your dog choking on small bones or have difficulty digesting them. Fish bones can even cause damage to a pet’s gums and internal organs. Fish such as sardines have a short lifespan which means they contain less mercury.
Whichever way you decide to cook the fish, make sure it is cooked thoroughly. Grilling or steaming fish doesn’t require any butter or oil, making it a good way to cook fish for your furry friend’s dinner.
What fish can dogs not eat?
- Raw fish: can contain bacteria such as salmonella and parasites that could make your dog very poorly.
- Smoked fish: smoking fish can add lots of salt, which is dangerous for dogs.
- Shellfish (prawns, oysters, mussels, clams) contain high levels of toxins and are also a common cause of food poisoning. Both of these could make your dog extremely sick.
- Tuna: fresh tuna contains high levels of mercury which could lead to mercury poisoning and have fatal consequences for a dog. A small amount won’t harm canines but it’s best to avoid it.
- Farmed fish: are often fed low-quality food and pumped with antibiotics and pesticides which could be harmful to your dog. Make sure you know where the fish you buy comes from before giving it to your four-legged friend.
Can dogs eat frozen fish sticks?
Again, depending on the type of fish stick, your dog can enjoy the odd frozen fish stick as long as it has been safely defrosted and cooked.
Freezing fish will kill any parasites that live in the fish, making it safer for canines to eat.
Can dogs eat breaded fish?
Have you ever wondered are dogs allowed fish fingers? Whilst some types of fish sticks are ok for dogs to eat occasionally, breaded fish such as fish fingers isn’t one of them.
The breading typically contains seasoning and excess salt that could harm a dog. Breaded fish is often cooked in oil or other fats that are not healthy for canines. To summarise, avoid giving breaded fish to your dog.
How much fish should dogs eat?
How much you feed your dog daily depends on their breed, age, health and lifestyle.
If you’re giving your dog fish as a treat, only do so in moderation to avoid excess weight gain and long-term health issues.
Dog owners are advised not to give their pooch leftover bits of food because:
Some human food is poisonous to animals.
Your dog may develop a habit of misbehaving at mealtimes if they think that they will get some food.
Human food contains more food than dogs need, which could lead to obesity and related health issues.
Your dog may start refusing their pet food if they develop a taste of your food.
Dogs and fish sticks
If your dog loves to share food with you, it’s important to consider whether the food is healthy and safe for them to eat first.
Ditch the breaded fish sticks and opt for a healthier fish snack such as salmon or tuna for your furry friend. Always clean, debone, deshell and cook fish properly before serving to your dog.
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- Chronicle Live, ‘Over a third of dog owners admit their pampered pets are overweight’, https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/dog-owners-pets-overweight-lockdown-20323481, Accessed – 18 May 2021
- Eat This, Not That!, ‘One Major Side Effect of Eating Fish, Says Science’, https://www.eatthis.com/major-side-effect-eating-fish/, Accessed – 18 May 2021