Can dogs eat tuna?

Yes, dogs can eat tuna in moderation, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Potential Benefits of Tuna for Dogs

  • Tuna is a good source of lean protein, which is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass in dogs.125
  • It contains omega-3 fatty acids that can promote healthy skin and coat, as well as support joint health.25
  • Tuna provides several vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, selenium, and niacin that contribute to overall health.2

Risks and Precautions

  • Tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury, a heavy metal that can cause mercury poisoning if consumed in large amounts over time.125 This is especially concerning for small breed dogs and puppies.
  • Canned tuna often has high sodium content, which can be problematic for dogs with certain health conditions like kidney disease or heart disease.12
  • Raw tuna may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can make dogs sick, so it should always be cooked before feeding.25

Feeding Guidelines

  • Tuna should only be fed to dogs as an occasional treat, not as a regular part of their diet.125
  • Choose tuna canned in water rather than oil or salted water to reduce sodium and fat content.15
  • Feed small amounts based on your dog's size and weight, following your veterinarian's recommendations.2
  • Puppies and pregnant/nursing dogs should avoid tuna due to their increased susceptibility to mercury toxicity.25
In summary, while tuna can provide some nutritional benefits for dogs when fed in moderation, it's crucial to be mindful of the potential risks, especially mercury exposure. Consult with your veterinarian before introducing tuna or any new food to your dog's diet.125
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