These days, more and more, people are expanding their dog's diet to include human food. This is not including table scraps, but actual human food people prepare for their dog. A dog will never starve himself, so you do not have to worry about him refusing to eat his dry, crunchy food. However, so much of that sort of bagged food is filler that adding nutrients to a dog's diet from the human pantry can be a good idea. Humans eat tuna because it is a white meat that is packed with protein and omega vitamins.
Can a dog eat tuna, and how do you feed it to your dog?
A dog's digestive system, in many ways, is similar to that of humans. While tuna is pretty easy for a dog to digest, you may want to monitor your dog's intake of it, and the effects it has on your dog before you begin feeding it to him on a regular basis. Some dogs enjoy tuna, but react in an adverse way to it, which includes vomiting or diarrhea. If you see this happen to your dog after feeding him tuna, discontinue the practice, and if the reactions continue, be sure to ask a veterinarian about it. If you are curious about how much tuna you can feed your dog, you should know that tuna, as well as most fresh-water fish, contains mercury. The amount of mercury contained in tuna is not enough to harm humans, but it does contain a level that could be poisonous to your dog. You do not want your dog eating so much tuna that his mercury levels become high, and even toxic to the point of death. A rule of thumb on how much tuna to feed a dog is to not feed him a human portion. A fillet-sized portion of tuna may cause mercury poisoning, while a can of tuna may be a harmless treat on occasion. Because you are not sure what kind of reaction your dog may have to tuna, it is best to introduce it to him in small portions, which will give his digestive system time to become accustomed to it.Your dog may also eat other kinds of fish, and salmon is one of them. In fact, salmon has lately been considered a healthy diet supplement for dogs and some dog foods are adding it to their ingredients. However, as with tuna, you do not want your dog wolfing down a fillet, or eating a steady diet of fish because it could cause the mercury levels in your dog to rise. It is wise to remember that while dogs may benefit from a diverse diet, there are many common foods we assume are safe for them, but are not. As a matter of fact, it is a good practice to either buy a book, or go online and look up unsafe foods for dogs, as there are many foods humans enjoy, such as chocolate, but dogs may not. However, if you want to know can dogs eat tuna, they may, but only once in a while and in small amounts.
Matt writes for an experienced veterinarian based in Oklahoma who also operates several pet stores in Oklahoma City.
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