|Barked: Wed Aug 22, '07 3:14pm PST |
|Nutritionally speaking, tuna's fine for dogs in moderate amounts. I wouldn't make it a major component of the diet, but in the interest of variety, it's a good food item. The heavy metal contaminant issue is a concern.
There are other fishes that are better suited to include in a dog's diet than tuna -- namely the omega-3 oil rich ones like sardines, mackerel, and herring. Salmon is great, too. If you're feeding fresh salmon fished in the Pacific North West there is the potential for an infection called "Salmon Poisoning" specific to canines, so be safe and learn how to avoid that risk if you have access to fresh-caught PNW salmon.
Portia mentioned that tuna generally found in dog food is "the head, fins, and guts" and says there's little muscle meat included. This might be the case in cheaply produced substandard foods, but there are pet foods (I'm aware of mostly cat food) out there that are made from tuna meat. It pays to choose quality foods made by companies who go above and beyond base regulations set forth by the AAFCO. The definition of "fish" and "fish meal" leave a lot to be desired according to the AAFCO food definitions. It should be noted, however, that fish heads and innards are nutritious, but as with other "by products" that might be healthy as fresh items you don't necessarily want to feed a food where the "fish meal" component is just viscera or something.
There could be a slight concern over the purine content in tuna, though I think this is much more of a concern for cats than dogs. If tuna is fed in moderation as part of a varied good quality diet I wouldn't worry about it unless your dog has kidney problems already.
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