Can Dogs Eat Tuna? Effects of Tuna for Dogs as a Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Tuna

Dogs can safely eat tuna in minimal amounts. However, this should only be fed as a rare treat and should never be part of your dog’s staple diet. Tuna has essential nutrients that can be beneficial for the health of dogs. 

First, it is a good source of easily digestible proteins. This helps dogs build and maintain healthy muscles and tissues. Proteins are also valuable sources of energy that dogs require to fuel their activities.  Tuna is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health, lower cholesterol levels and minimize inflammations. This fish’s other vital nutrients include vitamins B3, B6, and B12 and minerals like potassium, selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Despite all these benefits, feeding large amounts of tuna can lead to mercury poisoning in dogs due to the high mercury levels. This is a severe condition that can have severe and deadly health consequences.

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Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna Safely? 

Yes, dogs can eat canned tuna safely in very minimal amounts given infrequently. This can make a healthy, protein-rich snack for your dog.

Be sure to go for small-sized tuna like skipjack or albacore rather than large tuna fish such as bigeye or bluefin tuna as these have lower mercury content. It’s also essential to look for canned tuna in water and not oil, as this is a safer and healthier option. Ensure the canned tuna you opt for does not contain added salts.

Canned tuna has high sodium levels, which can cause severe kidney problems in large amounts. This is why you should choose canned tuna varieties that do not have additional salts. Also, ensure you only feed this occasionally and in manageable pieces. Avoid feeding your dog canned tuna with other seasonings and spices that can cause illness in your dog.

Is canned tuna healthy for dogs?

Yes, canned tuna is healthy for dogs if fed in moderation. It can make a good source of easily digestible proteins, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which play essential roles in dogs’ health.

Can old and young dogs eat canned tuna?

Yes, old and young dogs can eat canned tuna in small amounts as an occasional treat. The many nutrients in canned tuna can significantly benefit these dogs. However, ensure you go for the type soaked in water and not contain any additional salts or seasonings.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Tuna Safely? 

No, dogs cannot and should never eat raw tuna. Any uncooked fish or seafood, tuna included, is unsafe for dogs. This is because raw fish carries lots of bacteria and parasites that can cause many problems for dogs if consumed.

Raw fish also contains thiaminase. This enzyme inactivates thiamine (vitamin B1)  in a dog’s body. Cooking fish destroys this enzyme and makes tuna safe for consumption. 

Is raw tuna unhealthy for dogs?

Yes, raw tuna is unhealthy for dogs. This is because undercooked or uncooked tuna fish risk contamination from parasites and bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and clostridium. These can wreak havoc on a dog’s health if consumed.

Can my Yorkies Terrier dog puppy eat raw tuna?

No, your Yorkie Terrier dog puppy can’t eat raw tuna. Uncooked fish is harmful to dogs of all breeds and ages due to the parasites and bacteria.  As such, feeding raw tuna to your puppy risks them getting sick from contamination which can have fatal consequences.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna Salad Safely? 

Yes, dogs can eat tuna salad safely. However, this should be given in minute amounts and occasionally. You should treat Tuna salad as a rare treat and never as part of your dog’s staple diet. You should also ensure that none of the ingredients included in the salad is toxic to dogs.

Is tuna salad healthy for dogs?

Yes, tuna salad is healthy for dogs. It can make a good source of nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and proteins that promote dogs’ health. However, this is only if all the ingredients used in making the salad are safe for dogs. Tuna salad containing ingredients like onions and garlic should be avoided.

Can dogs with diarrhea or other diseases eat tuna salad?

Yes, dogs with diarrhea can eat tuna salad. This is because it’s packed with vitamins and other nutrients that can help sick dogs feel better. However, this should be fed safely and without ingredients that can harm dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna Sandwich Safely? 

Yes, dogs can eat tuna sandwiches safely. However, the tuna sandwich should not contain any unsafe ingredients for dogs to consume. This should also be given in minimal amounts.

Is a tuna sandwich healthy for dogs?

Yes, a tuna sandwich is healthy for dogs. When given in the right portions, this can be a good source of energy, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats to boost dogs’ health. You should ensure that the sandwich is made with dog-friendly ingredients for maximum benefits.

Can a tuna sandwich affect my dog’s mood?

Yes, a tuna sandwich can affect your dog’s mood. Feeding this treat can help improve your dog’s mood. This is because tuna is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which promote the production of serotonin. High serotonin levels are linked to reduced anxiety, stress, depression, and enhanced moods in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Smoked Tuna? 

No, dogs can’t eat smoked tuna. This is because smoked fish is not cooked correctly hence posing the risk of contamination from parasites and bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and clostridium. Improperly cooked tuna also contains thiaminase, which inactivates thiamine( vitamin B1). To render this enzyme useless, tuna must be adequately cooked. Smoked tuna is also high in sodium, making it harmful to dogs.

How much tuna is safe for dogs?

Generally, tuna is safe for dogs if fed in moderation. When consumed in large amounts or frequently, tuna can accumulate mercury, leading to poisoning in dogs. Common signs of mercury poisoning include

  • Anxiety
  • Kidney damage
  • Vomiting blood
  • Abdominal swelling 
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Loss of coordination.

Tuna should not be fed every day but occasionally as a treat. Small dogs can have one tablespoon of tuna, which should not be given daily.

Medium dogs can have up to half a can in one week. On the other hand, Larger dogs should not have more than one can a week. However, this should not be given every week.

The table below summarizes the safe amount of tuna for dogs based on weight.

Size in weight

Amount of tuna

Up to 10 lbs

1 tablespoon

10-30 lbs

½ can 

30 lbs and above

1 can

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Tuna Roll? 

No, dogs can’t eat spicy tuna rolls. Although tuna is safe for dogs, additives like spices and other seasonings are harmful. Feeding spicy tuna rolls to dogs can cause digestive upsets in dogs.

The digestive systems of dogs are different from humans and are thus incapable of handling spices. It’s, therefore, best to keep spicy tuna rolls away from your dog as it may lead to gas build-up, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Besides the spices, spicy tuna rolls may include ingredients like onions and garlic that are highly toxic to dogs.

What Else Can Dogs Eat or Cannot Eat together with Tuna? 

The following is a list of other foods that dogs can or cannot eat together with tuna:

1. Mayo: Dogs can eat mayo in small quantities safely. This condiment is made from oil, egg yolks, vinegar, and lemon juice which are not dangerous for dogs. While ingredients included in mayo are toxic to dogs, it’s not a healthy choice for dogs due to the following reasons:

  • Mayo is extremely high in fats. Diets high in fat are harmful to dogs as they can lead to an increased risk of canine obesity, pancreatitis, heart disease, and joint problems.
  • In large amounts, mayo can lead to indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.
  • Since it contains eggs as an ingredient, there is a risk of salmonella infection or other bacterial infections that result from eating eggs.

Feeding a small amount of mayo to dogs once in a while isn’t bad, but you should avoid giving it frequently and in large amounts to your dog.

2. Rice: Rice in moderate amounts is safe for dogs to consume. It’s an excellent source of easily digestible carbohydrates, which boosts energy and enhances cognitive function in dogs. Rice is also rich in fiber, which aids digestion and improves bowel and colon health, and antioxidants that enhance immunity and help dogs fight infections and diseases.

Rice also contains important minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and selenium, plus vitamins D, B1, and B6.

White rice is often recommended as a part of a bland valuable diet for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. However, rice is high in carbs and hence packed with calories that can lead to unhealthy weight gain if consumed excessively.

3. Salmon: When adequately prepared, salmon makes a healthy addition to the diet of dogs. This seafood is low in fat but high in protein, making it not only tasty but also chock full of nutrients. It’s an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and B-complex, as well as minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Salmon can offer the following benefits to dogs:

  • Improved skin and coat health
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved brain function
  • Reduced inflammations and minimized pains
  • Better joint health
  • Relief from skin irritation and allergies.

However, raw or undercooked salmon contains a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca which can lead to salmon poisoning in dogs. It should thus never be fed to dogs.

4. Eggs: Eggs are perfectly safe for dogs to consume and can be a great source of nutrition for your dog. They are a prime source of protein, essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals vital for a dog’s health. Whether boiled, hard-boiled, or scrambled, eggs are a healthy addition to a dog’s diet.

Eggs are rich in vitamins A, D, E, K, B1, B6, Choline, and riboflavin, boosting immune health, metabolism, growth, and development. They are also loaded with minerals like sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper, which help promote bone, skin, kidney, heart, and coat health. The high protein content in eggs can help dogs build solid muscles and tissues.

However, eggs are very high in cholesterol, which can cause an upset stomach and an unhealthy weight gain if consumed in large amounts.

What are the best Tuna Dog Food Recipes? 

The following are easy tuna dog foods and treats that you can make for your dog:

Tuna Pot Pie Treats

For this, you’ll need canned tuna, eggs, wheat flour, and chicken broth. To make it:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all the ingredients and make into a dough 
  • Roll out the dough on a flat surface 
  • Cut out the dough into shapes and place it on the baking sheet
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Cool and serve.

Scrambled Eggs and Tuna 

To make this, you’ll require canned tuna (drained), eggs, cottage cheese, olive oil, and ground eggshells. To make it:

  • Heat olive oil over low heat 
  • Cook eggs
  • Add in tuna, cottage cheese, and eggshells, and keep stirring until it’s heated
  • Remove from the pan and allow it to cool

Tuna Casserole

This easy-to-make food needs milk, canned tuna( drained), cooked egg noodles, frozen green peas( thawed), and cheese. To make this:

  • Heat milk over medium heat
  • Add in the tuna
  • Stir in the egg noodles, peas, and cheese
  • Remove from heat
  • Cool and serve

What are the best dog foods with Tuna? 

When given in appropriate amounts and served the right way, Tuna can make a healthy addition to your dog’s nutrition. This seafood is packed with proteins, omega fatty acids, vital minerals, and vitamins which can help boost dogs’ health.

However, tuna contains high levels of mercury, which can lead to poisoning if consumed regularly and in large amounts. Tuna varieties containing added salts or other seasonings should be avoided. If feeding canned tuna, you should opt for those soaked in water rather than oil.

Given the nutritional benefits of Tuna for dogs, several dog food brands have included it in their recipes. Some of these brands include:

  • StarKist Dog Food
  • Wellness Core Dog Food
  • Weruva Dog Food
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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.