Can Dogs Eat Herring? – Yes, and How?

Dogs love to eat seafood, but dog owners often stop to think, can dogs eat herring? The reality is that herring contains a huge amount of essential nutrients and health benefits. However, you cannot ignore the downsides as well.

Yes, dogs can eat herring as long as they are properly cooked or served raw. Herrings contain a rich concentration of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids but should not be provided with ingredients that maybe harmful to your canine. So, let’s dig a bit deeper and discuss the factors you need to consider before adding herring to your dog’s regular diet.

Is Herring safe for my dog to eat?

Herring is proven to be safe seafood for your dog to consume. Since it is easy on the budget, it is also commonly found on human tables. As mentioned earlier, Herring tends to contain amino acids and omega-3s, which undoubtedly help improve the overall health of humans and dogs.

However, you should remember that Herring is low in mercury and may contain a parasite called “herring worm” that disturbs the gastrointestinalsystem. As a result, your dog may suffer from frequent vomiting and stomach upsets.

Can puppies eat herring?

Feeding Herring to a puppy maybe slightly risky as it contains hair-thin bones that might choke the puppy. In the worst-case scenario, the bones can even puncture the intestines.

Should dogs be fed seafood?

Dogs can be fed seafood without any complications. But that does not mean you offer them all in raw or cooked form. Whether seafood is safe for your dog depends on the species and how it is cooked and prepared. Even though dogs can safely eat most fish, shrimps, shellfish, etc., comes with several warnings.

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Furthermore, when choosing the perfect seafood for your dog, there are several important factors to keep in mind.

Shorter-lived species

First, you should go for a shorter-lived species of fish. The reason is that fish that have longer lifespans, such as mackerel, tuna, or sea bass, tend to have comparatively higher levels of toxins and heavy metals.

With time, these metals become concentrated in the fish’s skin, which can lead to serious illnesses down the road.

Amount of mercury

Secondly, smaller fish tend to have a comparatively less amount of mercury. This is because the smaller fish have a relatively smaller diet while the bigger fish eat massive quantities. You should not opt for something longer than 6-inches in length, such as anchovies, sardines, or herring itself.

Good fat

Finally, fat plays an important role in your dog’s health, particularly the right fat. Your dog eating fish that contains omega 3 fatty acids will help it maintain its cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

What types of fish are safe for dogs to eat?

Dogs can be fed pink salmon, trout, sockeye salmon, and omul, as long as they are prepared and cooked the right way.

Moreover, you should always debone fish before serving. At the same time, you should keep in mind that serving fish to your dog can lead to thiamine deficiency regardless of the type. This can lead to serious health concerns, even death in the long run.

While dogs are carnivores and love to eat seafood, fish contain tapeworms, flukes, or roundworms that lead to digestive issues. Therefore, you should freeze the fish for a few days before offering it to your dog so that parasites can be eliminated.

Additionally, if you are avoiding feeding fish to your dog just because you cannot find any trustable sellers, you could also opt for krill oil. Dogs need fatty acids to maintain their health and the best way to do that is to add two or three tablespoons of omega-3 found in krill oil. Since it does not contain any toxins, your dog will significantly benefit from its intake.

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Feeding dogs sardines

Dog owners have also been observed feeding sardines to their dogs. There is no doubt that sardines are amongst the healthiest fish in the sea. They do not live long and do not consume massive quantities of other fish, which reduces the overall concentration of toxins and heavy metals.

However, if you offer canned sardines to your dog, you should be aware of the high sodium levels. Sodium is harmful to your dog, so you should only offer a moderate quantity to avoid any health complications.

What types of fish should be avoided for dogs?

Fish that dogs should avoid:

  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Canned albacore tuna
  • Shark

Although Tuna is amongst the most popular types, especially when it comes to humans consuming seafood, it contains the highest levels of mercury. Your dog regularly eating Tuna or any other type that contains mercury will have serious health consequences.

However, if your dog has accidentally eaten a lot of fish once or twice, you should not be concerned about it. Simply make it a rule that you should only offer them in a limited quantity and alternatively. For instance, 2-3 times a week will be sufficient.

Next, shellfish such as lobster, crab, and shrimp can be fed to dogs only if they are fresh and properly cooked. Then again, you should offer these types in a limited quantity and not as a regular diet. The reason is that shellfish contain toxins, sodium, and iodine. If you ought to be careless, your dog might suffer from a serious allergic reaction.

Can dogs eat raw fish?

No, it is better for dogs not to eat raw fish. Experts recommend avoiding it due to parasites. Most marine species are infected with anisakids. If you have just freshly caught herring and fed it to your dog, the chances are that the worms inside will enter the dog’s body and live there for several days or years if ignored.

Note: Since parasites die at low temperatures, make sure that you freeze the fish for a few days before it can be served.

What if my dog chokes on herring?

If the dog begins to cough or rubs its paws against its throat, it is choking. You should immediately take it to a vet as inducing vomiting is not recommended as the bones can damage the oesophagus. If the situation turns serious, your dog might require surgery.

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Before offering herring or any other type of fish that contains bones, you should carefully debone it. You may miss out on a few, and that can cause problems as well. Therefore, while your dog is busy eating herring, you should closely monitor it.

Related FAQs to dogs and herring!

What are the benefits of seafood?

Seafood is a great source of essential nutrients. It contains low levels of unhealthy fat, high protein levels, Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc, etc.

Seafood is beneficial for both humans and dogs, but when it comes to pets, you should be careful with your decision. You should not offer seafood daily or make it a regular diet. You can offer seafood occasionally, having properly prepared it.

What are the risks associated with seafood?

Not every type of seafood is supposed to be beneficial to your dog’s health. As a result, the risks outweigh the benefits.

Some fish might lead to allergic reactions, thiamine deficiency and contain heavy metals, toxins along with other pollutants.

Additionally, fish with bones, scales, and shells should be avoided. You should opt for safer alternatives that reduce the possibility of choking or other serious health concerns.

Can dogs eat store-bought fish?

Store-bought fish is safe for your dog as long as it is free of potentially harmful ingredients. Remember that you should only offer store-bought fish in moderation and go through the ingredients and directions provided to ensure a smooth seafood experience for your dog.

Concluding our thoughts on whether dogs can eat herring!

So, yes, your dog can eat herring. Meanwhile, you should also know that if you opt for other types of seafood, some will simply be not worth the risk. If you are offering herring or any other seafood for the first time, make sure to begin by adding small amounts. Plus, debone the fish and properly prepare and cook it to reduce the risk factor.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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