canned fish for dogs

Can Dogs Have Canned Tuna, Canned Salmon, Canned Sardines, and Canned Mussels?

Serving your pup a nutritious and balanced diet is an important part of caring for them. But what about fish? Can dogs eat fish? Is canned fish safe for your dog’s diet? Are there any benefits to adding it to your normal dog food? Read on to explore the world of canned fish for dogs.
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Your guide to the best canned fish for dogs

Serving your pup a nutritious and balanced diet is an important part of caring for them. But what about fish? Can dogs eat fish? Is canned fish safe for your dog’s diet? Are there any benefits to adding it to your normal dog food? Read on to explore the world of canned fish for dogs.

The short answer is yes, in moderation. While canned fish can provide many health benefits for your pup, it should not be the primary protein source in their homecooked diet. Canned fish is high in sodium and can contain heavy metals like mercury and lead if not sourced properly, which can lead to mercury poisoning. Feeding in small portions is always best. As with any food that you feed your pup, it’s best to stick to fresh or frozen options whenever possible, and never serve raw fish as it can cause salmonella poisoning.


Canned fish can provide some unique benefits for your pet. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are known to help support healthy skin and coat, joint function, and brain development. In addition, in comparison to commercial dog foods, fish contains healthy and natural protein which helps build muscle mass, as well as calcium which helps keep bones strong. When feeding canned fish always make sure there aren’t any fish bones which can be a very dangerous choking hazard. 


Another benefit is cost.  Rising inflation has made buying fresh fish increasingly difficult for many people on tight budgets. Fortunately, canned fish provides a convenient and affordable alternative that still delivers essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids from a natural source. It’s also easy to store and cook—just open up the can and enjoy! Plus, with its long shelf life you can stock up without worrying about wasting food due to expiration dates.

When choosing the Canned Fish for dogs here are some tips:

    1. Choose Water Based Canned Fish - canned fish are mixed in with either oil or water.   Since the oil is high in fat it is best not to serve this fatty mixture.  
    2. No Spices / No Sodium - canned fish can be high in sodium so best to choose a sodium free fish or wash the fish.  Be extra careful of any spices or smoked flavors added to canned fish.  While flavored fish is delicious to humans dogs should never have it.  Especially since many contain onions or onion powder which is poisonous to dogs.
    3. Rinse the Fish in Water - to rinse the fish of any sodium best to wash the fish before serving to your pup.  Simply run some cold water over it.  Studies have shown that washing can reduce the amount of sodium by 80%.


  • Bones - while canned fish companies do their best to not have bones some do have warnings on labels that may contain bones.   As a pet parent best to check any sort of canned fish you’re feeding.  
  • Heavy Metals - canned fish can contain heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury therefore should only be consumed occasionally as a treat - maximum 1-2 times a week.
  • High in Sodium - Canned foods normally have high sodium.  Best to choose no or low sodium fish and wash your fish before serving to your dog.  Washing can reduce the sodium by +80%.
  • Spices - always always read labels.  Never feed spiced or smoked canned fish to your dog.  Some canned fishes even contain poisonous ingredients like onion or onion powder. 
  • If you’re looking for a quick way to add omega to your diet check out our blog on Omega-3 Fish Oils for Dogs 

    Now Let’s Dive into the Individual Tinned Fishes for Dogs  

    Can Dogs Eat Canned Sardines?

    Canned sardines are a healthy and delicious snack that can be added to your pup’s diet. Not only are they high in protein, they are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great treat for dogs of all breeds and sizes. 

    Benefits of Sardines for Dogs

    Canned sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins, like Vitamin D and B12, which help promote strong bones, healthy skin and coat, and optimal cognitive functioning. Additionally, the protein in canned sardines helps build muscles and boosts energy levels. Plus, the presence of Selenium helps support a healthy immune system for your pup!

    The calcium found in canned sardines is particularly beneficial for senior dogs who may be more prone to joint issues due to aging. Calcium helps strengthen bones, teeth, nails, and joints while also promoting an overall healthier life. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in canned sardines further support joint health by reducing inflammation that can cause pain or stiffness.

    Best Dog Sardines for Dogs

    Pick sardines packed in water with no spices.   Rinse your dog sardines before serving to reduce the sodium content.  Can be served fresh from the tin or frozen for a fun enrichment activity or even dehydrated as a treat.

    Recipes with Canned Sardines

    If you’re looking for a delicious vitamin packed homemade treat - check out our  Blueberry Sardine Vitamin Booster recipe for dogs.  Our blueberry sardine-based treat is not only easy and quick to make, but it's packed with healthy, nutritious ingredients like omega 3s that will make your pup jump for joy!

    Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?

    Canned tuna fish for dogs can be a great treat for your furry friends. It’s packed with protein, amino acids, and essential fatty acids that are great for their coats, skin, and overall health. Plus, it’s convenient to prepare! Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of canned tuna for dogs and some delicious recipes that they're sure to love.

    Benefits of Canned Tuna for Dogs

    Canned tuna is an excellent source of lean protein that helps keep your pup's muscles strong and healthy. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which help promote a healthy coat and skin. The low sodium content makes it a great choice for pups with sensitive stomachs or kidney issues. And the small pieces make it easy to chew and digest.

    Choosing the Best Canned Tuna Fish for Dogs

    When selecting canned tuna for dogs, it’s important to choose the right kind. Albacore is higher in fat and calories, so this should be avoided if you are being careful about your dog’s diet. Choose canned tuna for your dog in water instead of oil and please always rinse before serving

    Look for “light” or “chunk light” varieties and check for added salt and seasonings as well since these can cause serious health problems like dehydration if consumed in large quantities by your dog. The amount of tuna you feed your pet should also be taken into consideration—it should only make up 10 percent of their daily meals. Since tuna can contain heavy metals keep servings of fish to a maximum of 1-2 times a week.

    Recipes with Canned Tuna for Dogs

    Looking for a fun home-cooked recipe using canned tuna?

     Tuna Melt Lick Mat for Dogs — is the perfect way to use canned tuna to spruce up your pup’s lick mat and give them some extra protein.  

    Canned Salmon for Dogs

    Salmon is a great option when you don’t want to serve the usual beef or poultry for your dog. Both wild-caught and canned salmon provide a plethora of benefits for our four-legged friends, giving them even more reasons to wag their tails!

    Canned salmon offers a lot of nutrition for your dog’s body. It contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help support heart health and joint mobility. Additionally, it also has an abundant amount of calcium and phosphorus that can help keep bones strong and healthy. Furthermore, salmon provides many essential minerals such as selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese which are all important for helping maintain strong muscles and a healthy metabolism.

    Salmon is full of protein — up to 19 grams per 3-ounce serving — making it an excellent source for muscle growth in both young pups as well as senior dogs who may have difficulty eating other forms of protein. Additionally, the protein found in canned salmon helps speed up recovery time if your pet gets injured or ill. In fact, some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can even reduce inflammation throughout the body!

    Salmon also contains vitamins A & D which are beneficial in maintaining good vision; vitamin B12 which keeps red blood cells healthy; pantothenic acid which helps with stress relief; biotin which promotes skin health; as well as riboflavin & niacin which aid in digestion.

    Choosing the Best Salmon for Dogs

    As with any fish you must be diligent that there are no bones. As with the other canned fish make sure the salmon is in water and not oil with no spices. 

    When selecting a canned salmon product for your pup, look for one that is made from wild-caught fish rather than farm-raised fish. Wild-caught fish tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for your pup’s overall health. You should also make sure that the ingredients list does not contain any artificial preservatives which can cause digestive issues in some dogs. Additionally, make sure the can is BPA free so that there are no harmful chemicals leaching into your pup’s food.

    Dog Recipes with Salmon

    Check out some of our delicious home cooked salmon recipes for dogs. 

    Salmon Fried Rice for Dogs — This homemade Salmon Fried Rice for dogs is a great source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids for your pup. This tasty combination of salmon, rice, carrots and peas is the perfect meal for your pup!

    Salmon Skin — This is a great treat if you’re using salmon and want to upcycle the skin to reduce food waste!

    Salmon Poisoning in Dogs

    Dogs can be poisoned by uncooked salmon and always ensure you’re feeding fully cooked salmon. Vets have warned about this especially in areas where dog’s can directly eat salmon from rivers.

    Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon? — If you’re looking for info on how to best feed your dog salmon and what to avoid when doing so, check out our blog post on the different types of salmon and what is safe for your dog.

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    Canned Mussels for Dogs

    Most people don’t think about giving their dogs canned mussels as part of their diet, but it turns out that these little shellfish can be a great source of nutrition for our four-legged friends. Mussels offer a number of health benefits for your dog’s diet, from the vitamins and minerals they contain to the healthy fats they provide. But with so many different types of food available, why should you consider adding canned mussels to your pup’s meal plan? Let’s take a closer look.

    Canned mussels are an excellent source of protein, providing your dog’s diet with esthe sential amino acids it needs to stay strong and healthy. They’re also packed with essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 which help keep your pup’s skin and coat looking its best. Plus, they contain vitamins A and D, both of which are necessary for proper growth and development in dogs.

    In addition to all these nutrients, mussels also provide dogs with an important mineral called selenium. This mineral helps protect against heart disease and cancer by acting as an antioxidant in the body. It also helps boost immunity by fighting off viruses and bacteria that can make your pup sick. Finally, selenium has been shown to help reduce inflammation in dogs suffering from arthritis or joint pain. 

    The issue with canned mussels is finding non smoked or non spiced mussels that are in water.  We searched the grocery story and sadly haven't found a brand that wasn't smoked.   Alternatively some pet companies offer dehydrated mussels which have benefits.  

    In conclusion, When served in moderation, canned and tinned fish can be an excellent addition when cooking for your dog to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and essential proteins. However, canned fish should not be the only protein your dog eats.

    Best to limit how much a dog consumes canned fish., as they may contain heavy metals like mercury or lead if not sourced properly, potentially leading to mercury poisoning. It is important to note though that you should always check the ingredients list before feeding your pooch any type of fish product as some brands contain added salt or seasonings which can be bad for their health if consumed in large quantities. When combined with other nutrient-rich ingredients like fresh vegetables and fruits, you can give your pooch a delicious treat that packs a nutritional punch! So next time you’re at the store looking for something new for your pup’s dinner plate, don’t forget about the potential benefits of adding some canned fish into your dog’s diet!