Tuna fish can have some benefits for dogs and mixing tuna with dog food can be a great way of getting your dog to eat this nutritional extra.
Dogs enjoy some variety in their diet and adding tuna fish to his diet is a great way of introducing omega 3 oils and other vitamins and minerals to your dog.
Mixing tuna with dog food – a few points
It is perfectly safe to feed tuna fish to your dog, whether canned or fresh.
If you choose to feed your dog canned tuna fish mixed with his food, then you need to make sure that the tuna is in water or brine and never oil.
Oil, even olive oil, can upset your dog’s tummy if he eats it in large amounts and, because it is a source of fat, there is a really good chance that he will gain weight.
Tuna in oil can also have detrimental effects on other parts of your dog’s health such as on his heart and other organs.
So always use canned tuna in water or brine.
Can I feed tuna to my dog everyday?
Yes, your dog can eat tuna fish everyday but you should avoid feeding it to him daily even if he loves it ( as most dogs do ).
Tuna are long life fish and, like all fish, they pick up pollutants in the form of heavy metals from the ocean.
Due to their long lives, tuna fish can have levels of mercury in their bodies, which can present problems if the fish is eaten daily.
Humans have to be wary of consuming too much tuna because of this and the same applies to dogs.
This doesn’t mean that it is dangerous to feed tuna to a dog, it just means that it should be an occasional treat, rather than a regular meal.
Canned tuna should always be in water and never oil, also it should always be plain tuna fish, never tuna with anything added, such as herbs or spices.
Also never feed tuna fish that has onions or garlic added to it as both of these a dangerous to dogs and could make him ill.
Can I mix tuna and mayo into my dog’s food?
It’s not really recommended. Although it won’t do your dog any harm in small amounts, mayonnaise is high in fat and, if you feed it to your dog then he is at risk of weight gain and related illnesses.
There’s no need to add mayo to tuna for your dog. Feed the tuna plain without anything added to it.
Dog’s love tuna fish as is and there is no point in adding anything to it, even mayo.
Can dogs eat tuna with brine?
Yes, dogs can eat tuna in brine in moderation, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Salt Content: Brine contains a high level of salt, which is not ideal for dogs. Excessive salt can lead to increased thirst, urination, and risk of sodium ion poisoning.
Therefore, it’s advisable to rinse the tuna thoroughly to remove as much salt as possible if you choose to feed tuna in brine to your dog.
Mercury Levels: Tuna, like many other fish, can contain mercury, which can be harmful to dogs in large amounts or with continuous exposure.
Therefore, it’s essential to limit the amount of tuna you feed your dog and consider it only as an occasional treat.
Allergies: Some dogs might be allergic to fish. If you’re introducing tuna to your dog’s diet for the first time, do so gradually and watch out for any signs of allergies or intolerances, such as itching, swelling, or digestive upset.
Bone Risk: If you’re using canned tuna, ensure it is bone-free to prevent any choking hazards or digestive obstructions.
Additives: Be cautious of any additional ingredients or spices that might be present in the tuna, as certain ingredients, like onions and garlic, are toxic to dogs.
What’s the best tuna to mix with dog food?
As well as canned tuna that is in water, there are different types of tuna fish and the ways in which they have been caught differ too.
The best thing to look for is tuna that has been ‘pole and line caught’ – this means that the fish were caught one at a time, by line, as opposed to being captured in nets along with lots of other different fish and wildlife.
You can also look for certifications on the can, the presence of which will show that the fish have been farmed responsibly and carefully.
There are different types of tuna fish that you can feed to your dog with his dog food and no-one type is really any better then the other.
Common tuna types are Skipjack, Albacore and Yellowfin.
All are great for your dog.
How to mix tuna with dog food
I find that the easiest way to do this is to firstly put some of my dog’s biscuits into his bowl and then just tip the contents of the can of tuna on top.
Using a fork I then mash it in, making sure as many of the biscuits are covered in the ‘fishy juice’.
It’s a good idea to put a few less biscuits in the dish than normal, or less of the usual food that you use.
The tuna will add some bulk, fats and nutrients so you’ll need to reduce levels of his normal food to stop him from putting weight on.
What about raw tuna, can I add raw tuna fish to my dog’s food?
Technically the answer to this is yes, you can feed raw fish to your dog.
However, many people do not recommend that you do and that you should cook the fish first before using it as dog food.
Fish can contain parasites and can be sources of bacteria such as salmonella which can make your dog, and you, unwell.
The fish should always be fresh and you should take the same care with it as you would if you were preparing it for yourself.
You should cook it, without any seasoning, let it cool and then break it into your dog’s food for him.
Always make sure that you have removed as many bones as possible, or mash the tuna up to crush them into the meal.
Can I give my dog tuna pasta?
You can give your dog tuna with pasta and you can mix small amounts into his food as well.
Pasta is fattening, and if you give your dog too much then he’ll gain weight quickly.
If you do mix tuna pasta into your dog’s food then try to remove as much cheese from the pasta as you can and reduce the amount of dog food that you use.
Tuna and mashed potato for unwell dogs
Last year one of my spaniels was very unwell with Giardia, which he had picked up from the beach.
He was off his food and lethargic.
Our vet suggested a diet of tuna fish mixed up with mashed potato – something that I’d never considered or heard of.
We gave it a try and Boris ( the spaniel ) wolfed it down. We fed this in small amounts for a few days and, as he recovered with his medicine, he was gradually able to eat more tuna and potato and he quickly recovered.
It might be an option for you if your dog is unwell. A small amount of boiled potato mashed in with a can of tuna in water ( don’t add anything else ).
It works for our dogs and might help you in the future.
Mixing tuna with dog food – the benefits
As well as providing your dog with a tasty treat there are a number of benefits that your dog can enjoy if you mix tuna with his food.
Tuna fish is high in healthy protein and can provide your dog with a meaty meal that will aid their energy levels – it’s particularly beneficial to dogs that have been unwell and are recovering.
Tuna, like almost any other fish, contains high levels of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids which help to maintain your dog’s coat, eyes and skin and can support his immune system, keeping him fit and healthy.
It is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for his well being – in a natural form as opposed to those that are added to commercial dog foods.
If you have a dog that is reluctant to eat then tuna can often be used to encourage a return to normal eating habits too, as most dogs can’t resist it.
Is it safe to mix tuna with my dog’s food?
Yes, it’s generally safe to mix tuna with your dog’s food. Tuna is rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit a dog’s coat, skin, and overall health.
However, it’s important to remember to serve tuna in moderation as it can contain mercury, which can be harmful to dogs in large quantities. Always ensure that the tuna is cooked and deboned properly to avoid any harm to your pet.
How much tuna can I mix with my dog’s food?
The amount of tuna you can mix with your dog’s food largely depends on your dog’s size, weight, and dietary needs. However, tuna should only make up a small portion of your dog’s diet – around 10% of their daily intake or less.
Too much fish can lead to health issues like a vitamin E deficiency or an overconsumption of mercury. Always consult with your vet to determine the appropriate portion size for your pet.
Can I use canned tuna to mix with my dog’s food?
Canned tuna can be used to mix with your dog’s food, but it’s important to choose the right kind. Opt for tuna canned in water, not oil or any kind of sauce.
These can contain additives or extra salt, which aren’t good for your dog’s health. As with fresh tuna, make sure to serve canned tuna in moderation due to its potential mercury content. And remember to check the expiry date before serving any canned food to your pet.