Can you give canned tuna to your dog?

Is canned tuna good or toxic for dogs? Can you give it to your dog and if so, how often and in what quantities?

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Is canned tuna good for dogs?

To this question, the answer is YES (except in very small dogs and cardiac or hypertensive animals)!

Tuna is beneficial in more ways than one for the dog because it is a good source:

  • animal protein,
  • B group vitamins, vitamin D, iron and phosphorus,
  • essential fatty acids from the omega-3 family, and in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two fatty acids that the dog's body cannot manufacture alone and which must be brought to him by animal sources.

Note carefully!

Of course, canned tuna is a source of long-chain essential fatty acids, but it is far from being the richest fish in these fatty acids. If your only objective is to enrich your dog's ration with omega-3, give him cold sea fish oil or another fish, fattier than canned yellowfin tuna.

Canned tuna for dogs: what precautions to take?

If you can give canned tuna to your dog, you still have to take the following precautions:

  • choose natural tuna for your dog and ESPECIALLY NOT cooked and/or flavored tuna cans. The ingredients that are added in these might not be suitable for your dog or even worse, turn out to be toxic for him. Cans of tuna in oil (and only in oil, with no other added ingredients) are also acceptable but they will turn out to be much higher in calories than tuna in water,
  • for your dog, prefer cans of tuna with a percentage of s alt (or sodium, NaCl) of less than 1%. Failing this, remember to drain well and rinse the tuna with tap water before giving it to your pet to remove the excess s alt,
  • always leave a bowl of fresh water available to your dog.

Is s alt that bad for dogs?

No, s alt (or sodium chloride) is necessary for life. In dogs, their diet should ideally provide them with 0.4% s alt and a slightly higher s alt diet in animals that suffer from urinary disorders would even be beneficial. In fact, it is not so much the s alt that is harmful for the dog but an excess of s alt! However, cans of tuna contain much less s alt than it would take to poison a dog. 100g of tuna provide a maximum of 1.5g of s alt, whereas it would take 2 to 3g of s alt per kg of body weight of the animal to make a dog sick, which is to say that he would suffer from tuna indigestion before eating. be poisoned by the s alt it contains.Beware, however, of very small dogs in whom the dose of toxic s alt can be reached more quickly and in animals with heart problems or who suffer from hypertension in whom s alt (and therefore canned tuna) is strictly prohibited!

What to do with tuna juice?

If your tuna is not too s alty (less than 1% s alt) and your dog is in good he alth, you can absolutely skip draining the tuna before giving it to your dog . You can also use a little tuna juice to flavor the kibbles of a dog who is reluctant to eat them. With its strong smell and the s alt it contains, tuna juice acts as a flavor enhancer that should convince the pickiest dogs to eat the contents of their bowl more easily.

Can you give your dog canned tuna every day?

NO! for two reasons:

  • because tuna is a fish at the end of the food chain and its flesh concentrates heavy metals such as mercury. Due to this contamination, daily consumption could therefore cause various he alth problems in your dog,
  • because your dog could get used to its s alty taste and end up ignoring its usual foods, which are less s alty and therefore less appetizing.

Limit the distribution of canned tuna to your dog to once or twice a week at most!

How much canned tuna to give your dog?

Well it depends on his basic diet.

If your dog is fed kibble or mash, canned tuna should be considered a complementary food or even a treat. The quantity distributed must not then exceed 10% of its daily ration in order not to unbalance it.

If your dog is fed with a household ration, canned tuna can be the only source of animal protein in his bowl or be mixed with another protein source (tuna + meat for example). And, remember: canned tuna is once or twice a week at most, no more!

a balanced household ration always contains a source of animal protein, cooked vegetables, cooked rice, vegetable and/or fish oil and a vitamin and mineral supplement.

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