Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Open can of tuna

Fish can often be a beneficial ingredient in dog food, as it contains essential omega-3 fatty acids and is a great source of protein. With this in mind, it would seem like dogs can tuna could be a healthy combination. So, can dogs eat tuna? No. Saltwater fish should be avoided with dogs, as it can lead to several health issues.

Is Tuna Bad for Dogs?

Yes, tuna is bad for dogs, but why? Tuna can cause mercury poisoning. Mercury enters our waterways through industrial activities and can accumulate in the bodies of fish. Larger and longer-living fish, like tuna, will end up holding more mercury than smaller and shorter-lived fish. Due to this increase in mercury, weight determines the amount of tuna one can safely consume. Since dogs are generally much smaller than people, avoid combining dogs and tuna.

Cats, Dogs, and Tuna

If tuna is bad for dogs, what about cats? Just like dogs, cats can also experience mercury poisoning from too much tuna. For your furry friends’ safety, it’s best to avoid giving any of them tuna or tuna-based foods.

Dog with empty food bowl

What if My Dog Ate Tuna?

If your dog has managed to get into a small amount of your tuna, or your cat has been eating a wet food mix with a small amount of tuna included, don’t stress. A tiny amount of tuna isn’t enough to cause mercury poisoning. However, if they’ve gotten into a large amount, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following symptoms, which can be indicators of mercury poisoning:

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Hair loss
  • Blindness
  • Loss of feeling in paws
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Vomiting blood
  • Inability to urinate
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea

If any of these symptoms are present, you’ll want to seek veterinary service immediately.

Need to schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian?

Please contact Springbrook Animal Care Center.