Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

As pet owners, we want our dogs to experience the taste of different foods just like we do. Dogs are omnivores and look to plant and animal sources to fulfill their dietary needs.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

  • Yes, in moderation. Tuna offers beneficial nutrients like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Only as an occasional treat: Tuna contains mercury, which can be harmful in large quantities.

Benefits of Tuna for Dogs

  • Lean Protein: Supports muscle growth and development.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Promotes healthy skin and coat, and may reduce inflammation.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Provides essential nutrients like potassium, selenium, magnesium, and various B vitamins.

Potential Risks of Tuna

  • Mercury Poisoning: Tuna contains mercury, which can build up and cause health issues. Limit tuna to a rare treat.
  • Digestive Issues: Canned tuna with added spices, oil, or flavorings can upset dog stomachs.
  • Sodium Toxicity: Canned tuna is often high in sodium, potentially leading to hypernatremia.
  • Allergies: While rare, some dogs may develop an allergy to tuna.

How to Feed Tuna to Your Dog

  • Plain is Best: Choose fresh/unseasoned tuna or canned tuna in water. Avoid tuna with added oil, spices, or flavors.
  • Small Portions: Tuna should be a special treat, not a dietary staple.
  • Cooked over Raw: If feeding fresh tuna, cook it thoroughly to reduce the risk of parasites.

Key Takeaways

  • Tuna can be a healthy, occasional treat for dogs when offered safely.
  • Prioritize a balanced, high-quality dog food and use tuna as a special treat.
  • Observe your dog after the first exposure to tuna to ensure there’s no allergic reaction.
  • Consult your veterinarian if your dog has any pre-existing health conditions, especially kidney-related issues.

Remember: Even with healthy treats, moderation is vital to keep your furry friend happy and healthy!

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

The short answer is, yes, dogs can eat tuna but only if consumed rarely. Too much tuna can cause health problems, but it’s not dangerous if given as an occasional treat. Tuna has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Also, don’t feed canned tuna every day.

Consuming small amounts of tuna will have negligible effects on your dog. Many dog food brands sell products that also contain tuna. However, regular consumption will cause mercury poisoning, which has a high chance of being fatal.

Nutritional Value Of Tuna For Dogs

Aside from the omega-three fatty acids common in all fish, tuna fish is the source of certain specific nutrients that can improve your dog’s health.

  • Omega-three Fatty Acids

Omega-three fatty acids help make your dog’s skin and coat healthy and shiny and also benefit its cardiovascular system.

  • Vitamins

Vitamin B3 helps in the breakdown of fatty acids and the conversion of carbohydrates and fats into energy.

Vitamin B6 assists protein synthesis for the healthy growth of puppies and secretes hormones that influence your dog’s mood.

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system and spine. It boosts cellular metabolism and the production of red blood cells.

  • Minerals

Potassium helps regulate muscle and heart contractions and the water balance in your dog’s body to ensure they don’t get dehydrated. It also impacts your dog’s overall muscle growth and bone density and ensures good motor skills.

Selenium is involved in metabolism functions such as normal thyroid functioning. It also impacts DNA synthesis, the immune system, and the process of reproduction.

Magnesium helps maintain proper nerve and muscle function and strengthens the immune system and bones. It regulates the heartbeat and blood glucose levels and helps in the production of energy.

Phosphorus mainly acts along with calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth. It also combines with other minerals to regulate body functions.

Health Benefits Of Tuna For Dogs:

When it comes to the benefits of Tuna, This fish is worth considering. Here are the main benefits:

  • Tuna is a good source of animal protein because their content is high while being much less fatty than lower-fat meats. The risk of being overweight and obese is therefore reduced.
  • Omega 3 and other fatty acids help maintain the health of the dog’s coat.
  • Tuna is rich in lean protein that promotes muscle growth. It is also low in fat, which is very good since fat can cause a lot of health problems in dogs.
  • Tuna is easier to digest than meat.
  • Tuna is rich in essential vitamins for dogs such as vitamins B12, B6, and B3. It also contains important minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Tuna is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation, itching, and the risk of blood clots and arrhythmias, improve your dog’s skin condition, regulate cholesterol levels, and improve your dog’s cardiovascular health and eyesight.
Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Potential Hazards Associated With Tuna For Dogs:

Since the mercury levels in tuna are higher than most fish, very small amounts of tuna should be given to your dog on rare occasions. See below the potential hazards of Tuna for dogs.

Mercury Poisoning:

Fresh tuna is high in mercury. Mercury poisoning can be fatal, and feeding your dog tuna on a regular basis will lead to unfortunate consequences. If a dog accidentally eats some tuna, nothing will happen to it. Just don’t give your animal this seafood on a regular basis.


Indigestion and diarrhea are just some of the effects of spicy food on a dog. Garlic, onion, and tomato flavors are toxic to dogs, so don’t buy canned tuna that contains these ingredients.

Bad For Heart Health:

Canned tuna is high in mercury and sodium, which should not be present in large amounts in your dog’s diet. This is because mercury and sodium are bad for your dog’s blood flow and overall heart health.

Dogs can process small amounts of these elements, but sodium buildup causes hypernatremia. Diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, and coma are some of the symptoms of this condition.


Hypernatremia is caused by excess sodium that builds up in the body over a long period of time. It won’t be caused by one can of tuna.

Possible Side Effects Of Tuna For Dogs:

Because canned tuna contains high levels of sodium, which can be fatal to dogs if eaten in large quantities, you should only give your pet tuna in small amounts and on rare occasions. You should observe your dog’s short-term reactions after eating tuna for the first time to make sure he handles tuna without any side effects.

Infection with Worms:

Fish for dogs is healthy, but it can be harmful to health if not cooked properly. Without heat treatment, this product can cause poisoning or cause infection with worms.

Canned tuna with added flavors such as spices should be avoided whenever possible, as dogs do not digest spices well. Do not give your dog tuna cooked with garlic or onions, as they are very dangerous for dogs.

Upset Stomach:

Tuna served in brine or water is fine for dogs, but you have to be careful if the one you have is drenched in sunflower oil. If you give your dog too much, he will have a hard time digesting it and may get an upset stomach.

Avoid canned tuna with tomato sauce, spices, or other semi-exotic flavors. Spicy ingredients are not suitable for dogs as their stomachs are not used to them.

Develop Gas:

Some dogs show problematic symptoms due to the high levels of protein in tuna. Other dogs develop gas due to the high-fat content of tuna. However, this will happen if you give your dog canned tuna drenched in olive oil. As mentioned earlier, don’t give your dog oiled canned tuna.

Allergic Reaction To Tuna In Dogs

Some dogs suffer from food allergies, which can show up after eating certain foods. A reaction to fish is not ruled out, so it should be introduced into the diet gradually, served in limited quantities. The owner needs to monitor the condition of the pet, and if signs of an allergy appear, the fish should be excluded from the diet.

If the reaction is observed after feeding with a natural product, after a while you can try to give the dog a small amount of ready-made food with fish ingredients. If an allergic reaction does not follow, they can fully replace the natural product.

All the necessary food and treats for pets can always be bought online on the website of the large Russian pet store Le’Murrr. The prices are affordable. Fast delivery of orders in St. Petersburg and the region.

Dog With Diabetes And Tuna

Tuna is safe for dogs with diabetes. Moderation should be observed, as too much tuna can harm your dog. Incorrect use can also be hazardous to health.

Dogs can eat raw or cooked tuna. If you want to give your dog raw tuna, remove all the bones first. Canned tuna should be packed in water, not oil.

This is because the oil will add useless calories to your pet’s diet, leading not only to obesity but also to inflammation of the dog’s pancreas. This problem requires immediate surgical intervention.

How To Feed Tuna To Your Dog

Tuna is a universal product that can be given raw fish and thermally processed. For this product to be useful, you must adhere to the following rules:

1. Make sure the fish is of good quality, fresh, and stored in the right conditions. This is very important because if the storage requirements are not followed, it quickly disappears and releases dangerous toxins.

2. Fresh can be given no more than once a week. It needs to be cleaned first. Best served as a boneless fillet.

5. Boiled fish minimizes the risks of poisoning, but some useful components are lost during cooking, so for a change, the dog should still be pampered with a fresh raw product.

6. Fish is served to an animal without fins and bones. Also, do not give a fish head, which contains very sharp bones.

7. You can not feed salted, smoked, fried, or dried fish. Also, canned food for people is not recommended – they contain various spices and preservatives that are harmful to the pet’s health.

8. Canned tuna makes a delicious treat for your dog, but the ASPCA recommends feeding your pet only small amounts of tuna. Moderation should always be observed.

How Many Tuna Should A Dog Eat

In general, for dogs, fish can constitute about 10% or less of their daily intake. In the case of tuna fish, considering the danger of mercury consumption, one tablespoon for a day as a treat should be enough. If you decide to give your dog some tuna fish as a treat for being a good dog, make sure you keep a gap of at least a couple of weeks before the next one.

Tuna-Based Recipes For Dog Treats:

You can and should give your dog Tuna. It is a source of many useful macro- and microelements necessary for the animal’s body. So, see below how to give tuna to dogs

Small Tuna Pieces:

Cut the tuna into small pieces and give your dog 1-2 pieces from time to time as a treat or include it in one of his meals.

Boiled Tuna:

This method of processing fish is preferred, because. during the cooking process, all hazardous substances and enzymes are destroyed. Helminths also die at high temperatures.

Rice Porridge with Tuna:

Take out a thick-walled saucepan and pour pre-washed rice into it. Pour in the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir once, and cover the pot with a lid. Boil it for 15 minutes over low heat.

Remove scales and bones from fish. Cut off the head. Cut the muscle part of the carcass into cubes 2 * 2 cm in size. Put the fish piece in the porridge and cook for another 20 minutes. Stir the porridge and let it cool to room temperature.


However, if you think your dog has eaten too much over some time and is beginning to show signs of mercury poisoning, then you should immediately take them to the vet, who can treat them. Eating too much tuna fish can cause mercury poisoning, which manifests in your dog’s kidney damage, hair loss, incoordination, tremors, and the presence of blood in whatever they throw up.


Q. Can Dogs Eat Raw Tuna?

A. It is not advisable to give your dog tuna, which is raw, as it could contain parasites that cause intestinal and stomach problems along with other health complications.

Q. Can Dogs Eat Light Chunk Tuna?

A. Yes, your dog can eat a light chunk of tuna if consumed in moderation. Make sure it is free of spices and condiments and hasn’t been soaked in oil before giving it to your dog.

Q. Can Dogs Eat Tuna Fish Sandwiches?

A. The answer to this question depends on the type of tuna sandwiches you’re feeding your dog. The tuna fish should be in small portions, and you need to ensure that none of the other ingredients in the sandwich are toxic.

Q. Can Pet Dogs Drink Tuna Fish Juice?

A. The same principle applies to tuna fish juice. Pet dogs can be given a little of it as a treat, but it is dangerous in very large amounts. The tuna juice might contain lower mercury levels but is chock full of sodium which can mess up your dog’s system to a large extent.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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