Can Dogs Eat Catfish? Is Catfish Good for Dogs?

can dogs eat catfishcan dogs eat catfish

The short answer is: Yes, dogs can eat catfish.

Fish is a healthy source of protein which is very important in a dogs diet. Please make sure that catfish is properly prepared before you feed your dog as any small bones could cause your dog harm.

​​Dogs Can Eat Catfish

Catfish is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and makes a nice alternative for your dog who is probably getting tired of eating the same old food every day.

​​Fish is lean, relatively cheap and already used in many dog foods and catfish is no exception to those traits.

​Fish is easy to prepare, and you can make their dinner at the same time you are making yours for the ultimate family meal.

​​Preparing Catfish ​for Your Dog

​The main thing to worry about here is what you are adding to the fish.

​Frying the catfish in too much oil, that may not be the best idea for your dog’s stomach and it could lead to issues such as GI upset.

Seasonings can be problematic and keep in mind any allergies your dog may have. But a clean piece of freshly steamed catfish fillet will provide more good than harm.

Just remember, ​just like ​we don’t want any fish bones in ​our cooked fish, neither do ​our dogs. ​​Catfish bones are small, sharp, and can cause a choking hazard​, so don't forget to completely de-bone and fillet the ​catfish.

Keep these thoughts in mind while preparing their fish, and your dog will make out just fine.

​Learn How to Fillet a Catfish

​Can Dogs ​Eat Raw Catfish?

​Unless your dog is a sushi nut, you should probably cook the fish. According to the FDA, ​raw fish can cause illness in dogs in some cases as it may contain ​Salmonella or ​L​isteria monocytogenes.

Cooking your fish is also safer for other members of your family to be around.

There are some schools of thought where raw fish is perfectly fine for your mutt, but I lean towards the conservative side when it comes to my dog’s health and what my dogs eat.

If you are interested in including raw fish into your dog’s diet, I would do more research before diving in.​

​Low in Mercury

catfish mercury levelcatfish mercury level


​​Regardless of who’s mouth, the fish is going into, all fish contain a trace amount of mercury.​ Fish don’t usually down a glass of mercury with every meal, but they can accumulate it over their lifespan.

A general rule is the larger and the longer the species of fish lives, the more time they’ve had to accumulate mercury.

Catfish can live for a long time but do come in on the low end when it comes to mercury concerns​. According to Consumer Reports, catfish is considered as a low mercury fish.

If you are buying catfish from a fish farm, mercury should not be an issue. Fortunately, catfish farms are very common. To be in the safe side, make sure to avoid fish that are commonly high in mercury like King Mackerel, Marlin and Swordfish.

​In Summary

Overall, Catfish is a great addition to your dog’s diet and a great alternative to dog food. It is healthy, cheap, and easy to prepare…kinda of like the perfect spouse. But just make sure to serve it without spices, oils, and fish bones and your dog will surely thank you.

I mean they eat dried dog food most of the time, so the culinary bar is already set pretty low. But your dog is a good dog, might as well reward them!

Bon Appétit (and that’s Bon, not bone).

Have you given catfish to your dogs to eat? Leave us a comment below and let us know if they liked it!

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Heather Simons
Heather is just a great lover of animals in general. She frequently jokes that her home is like a zoo, as she has birds, lizards, fishes, two dogs, a cat, and a pair of hamsters. If she could be anywhere, it would be out in the wilderness. In her spare time, she loves to camp and go hiking. She has been providing insight into raising animals for about 10 years and has had several articles published on various sites. She not only writes, but edits materials as well, and the local newspaper in her community publishes her articles on the proper care of animals.