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Can Dogs Eat Catfish? Vet Approved Nutrition Info & FAQ

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Misty Layne

Can Dogs Eat Catfish? Vet Approved Nutrition Info & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

It’s always tempting to give our dogs some people food every once in a while. (And it has nothing to do with those begging puppy dog eyes, we swear!). But if you want to give your four-legged friend a bite of something from your plate, you need to know whether it’s actually safe. Many people foods are toxic to our pets, so avoiding giving yours the wrong one is essential.

One food item our dogs may want from our plate is catfish. But can they eat it, and is it safe? The answer is yes, and yes, so long as it’s properly cooked and deboned!1 In fact, catfish actually provides our pups with some nutritional benefits, making it a healthier treat. What kind of nutritional benefits does catfish offer? Keep reading to find out!

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Why Is Catfish Good for Dogs?

Fish is a healthy addition to almost anyone’s diet, and our canines are no exception.2 The biggest health benefit catfish has to offer our pups is omega-3 fatty acids. Catfish is extremely rich in these fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and keep a dog’s heart, eyes, and brain healthy. These omega-3 fatty acids can also aid in keeping pups at a healthy weight and keep coats looking shiny.

Catfish also provides lean protein, which makes it an excellent alternative to red meat. This protein also aids in cell repair and growth. Plus, catfish has tons of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B12, and C, iron, and calcium, all of which are vital to keeping the immune system working well.

Finally, catfish is low in mercury, so it’s less liable to cause mercury poisoning.3

close up of a catfish
Image By: furbymama, Pixabay

What Are the Dangers of Feeding Catfish to Dogs?

Feeding your dog catfish doesn’t come with many dangers, but there are a couple. However, these dangers mostly come from giving your pet raw fish instead of cooked fish. Although your pet might enjoy raw fish, feeding it this runs the risk of infecting it with parasites or bacteria, like salmonella. Something such as salmonella poisoning can cause severe gastrointestinal distress in your pup and is transmissible to humans.

Not cooking fish also makes it more difficult to remove the bones, and you need to get rid of bones before giving fish to your dog. Fish bones may be small, but they’re still sharp and capable of getting lodged in your pet’s mouth, stomach, or throat, resulting in a visit to the vet.

If you feel like feeding your pup actual catfish isn’t worth it, you can find dog foods that have catfish in them.

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Conclusion

Occasionally, you want to give your favorite canine a treat in the form of food off your plate, and as long as that food is safe, it’s absolutely fine to do so. Catfish is one of the better people foods you can give your pup as it provides them with several health benefits in the form of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. However, you need to ensure that any catfish you feed your dog is well-cooked and has been deboned, as eating raw catfish could make your pup sick, while bones could become lodged in the mouth or throat.

Overall, though, as long as you keep in mind that any people’s foods—even the healthier ones—should be given to animals sparingly, your dog can enjoy a fishy treat now and then!

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