Can Dogs Eat Catfish? Is Catfish Good for Dogs?

can dogs eat catfish

The answer may surprise you. Actually, it probably won’t surprise you because let’s face it, if the answer was no, there wouldn’t be much else to write about. 

​The short answer is: ​​​Yes, dogs can eat catfish​ in moderation

​Though is there really any food that either humans or animals can eat and not worry about moderation? So, the quick answer is yes, but let’s do a deeper dive into this fishy topic.

​​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.  

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 level

​Source: www.nrdc.org

​​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, be 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. It is healthy, cheap, and easy to prepare…kinda of like the perfect spouse. But just be 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 App​étit (and that’s Bon, not bone).


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