dog eating tuna from silver food bowl

Can Dogs Eat Tuna? Is Tuna Healthy For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Tuna? Is Tuna Healthy For Dogs?

Many of us humans don't consume nearly enough fish despite the fact that we are all aware that consuming fresh fish is an essential component of a diet that is conducive to good health. The same can be said for many dogs, as an easily digestible protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrients found in fish are wonderful for maintaining our furry friends health.

Most people have their kitchen cabinets stocked with canned tuna. Tuna is consumed frequently by people, so it is natural for us to wonder if our dogs are able to eat tuna as well. It is tempting to give canned tuna to our dogs because it is not only convenient but also relatively inexpensive. But can dogs eat tuna? Is tuna safe for dogs to eat?

tuna in a bowl
Yes, dogs can eat tuna, but in moderation as an occasional treat. You shouldn't make it a regular part of their diet in any way, shape, or form. Tuna, like many other types of fish, is an excellent source of both the protein and omega-3 fatty acids that should be included in the diet of your dog in order to maintain their health.

Tuna, on the other hand, should not be given to your dog on a regular basis or in large quantities because it is also a source of mercury. Consuming an excessive amount of tuna will cause a buildup of mercury over time, which can then lead to health problems that last for a longer period of time.

Health Benefits Of Tuna For Dogs

It is fine for dogs to consume tuna in moderation and on occasion, but the amount they consume should be limited. Tuna, like other types of fish, contains an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve cardiovascular health, control blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and bring cholesterol levels down. The following are some of the nutrients that are abundant in tuna:
  • Vitamins B3, B6, and B12 are essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism and adequate levels of energy.
  • Potassium and magnesium both contribute to the maintenance of healthy cellular muscle and tissue.
  • Phosphorus: A mineral that helps maintain bone density and strength
  • Selenium is beneficial for both the immune system and joint maintenance.

In addition to being a source of protein, which is essential for the development of robust muscles, it is also low in the types of unhealthy fats that can lead to obesity and other secondary health issues in dogs.

dog begging for tuna to eat

Potential Health Concerns

While tuna is generally a healthy food, there are some concerns when feeding it to your dog. Most canned tuna contains added ingredients that can unhealthy for dogs. Watch out for the following when feeding your dog tuna:

Dangerous Additives

A can of tuna may contain additional ingredients such as salt, pepper, tomatoes, onions, or other seasonings that are harmful to your dog and may cause digestive problems.

Mercury Content

Tuna fish contains high levels of mercury, which can accumulate in the body of your dog if it is regularly consumed. Mercury poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, tremors, and vomiting blood.

Salt Content

The additional salt that is added to canned fish can cause problems with the blood pressure of your canine companion. You should try to keep your dog from eating foods that contain high amounts of salt.


Raw fish, such as fresh tuna, may contain bacteria that are harmful to your dog's health and may lead to health problems in the long run. If your dog experiences a negative reaction after eating tuna, consult your veterinarian.

Oils & Fats

If your pet consumes an unhealthy amount of fat, they may experience digestive issues or gain weight. Always choose the right type of tuna (one that is low in oils and fats) and exercise moderation when feeding your dog.

canned tuna in a bowl

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Tuna

When consumed in moderation, tuna is not harmful to dogs; however, you should not feed your dog tuna on a regular basis because doing so will contribute to the accumulation of mercury in your dog's body.

You should only give your dog a very small amount of tuna, no more than a tablespoon's worth, and you shouldn't give it to them on a daily basis. When feeding your dog tuna or any other novel food for the first time, start with a small amount and keep a close eye out for any signs of illness.

If you have a large dog, you should never give it more than one can of tuna in a week's time, and you should not give them a can of tuna every week. Smaller dogs have a lower tolerance and should therefore eat even less, no more than half a can spread out over the course of a week. It doesn't matter how big or small your dog is; you should never let them consume an entire can of tuna in one sitting.

If you have given your dog tuna in the past, you should wait a few weeks before giving him any more. Tuna can be given to dogs of larger breeds sooner than it can be given to dogs of smaller breeds, but most owners prefer to err on the side of caution and reserve tuna as a treat for their dogs.

It is best to steer clear of giving tuna to your dog on a regular basis. There should be no cause for concern if you include a bit of tuna in their evening meal once every few weeks. 

dog holding a bowl looking for tuna to eat

Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?

Many of us enjoy a delicious canned tuna sandwich or tuna salad from time to time, but we may wonder if it's safe to share our tuna with our canine companions. The short answer is yes, dogs can eat canned tuna as long as it is packed in water and does not contain any added salt, seasonings, or other ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.

In fact, tuna is a healthy and nutritious treat for your dog. It is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for several aspects of your dog's health, including the skin and coat, joint function, and heart health.

When feeding your dog canned tuna, be sure to give only a small amount as part of a balanced diet to avoid potential digestive issues. You should also avoid giving your dog tuna packed in oil, as the high fat content could cause gastrointestinal distress.

Can Dogs Eat Tuna In Brine?

You may wonder if it's safe to give your dog tuna in brine. After all, many people enjoy eating tuna as a healthy source of protein. However, there are a few things to consider before sharing this food with your furry friend. First of all, it's important to make sure that the tuna you're feeding your dog is canned in water or oil, not brine.

The high salt content in brine can be dangerous for dogs, and may lead to dehydration or even salt poisoning. In addition, canned tuna often contains mercury, which can be harmful to dogs in large amounts. For these reasons, it's best to avoid giving your dog canned tuna in brine. If you want to share this tasty treat with your pet, look for canned tuna that is packed in water or oil instead.

raw tuna on plate

Can Dogs Eat Tuna In Oil?

Because it contains such a high concentration of mercury, certain types of canned tuna with oil pose a health risk to dogs. The oil that is contained in canned tuna is known to give dogs stomach aches and diarrhea. It is strongly recommended that you do not feed your dog tuna in oil or any other type of fish that is high in mercury due to the reasons stated above.

Review: Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Even though many people enjoy giving their dogs food from the table, it is essential to be aware of which foods can be consumed without risk by canines. Tuna is one example of a food that is frequently kept on hand in a lot of kitchens. Even though dogs do not get sick from eating tuna by itself, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before giving it to them.

For instance, feeding a dog tuna that has been canned in oil can result in the dog throwing up and having diarrhea. In addition, your dog could get sick from eating raw or undercooked tuna because it could contain bacteria that are harmful to his health.

If you do choose to give your dog tuna as part of a balanced diet, you should make sure to limit the amount you give them to a manageable level. Consuming an excessive amount of tuna can result in nutrient deficiencies and other health issues. If your dog eats tuna and experiences a negative reaction, consult your veterinarian.

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