Eels are ray-finned fish that is known as a delicacy in various countries, such as Japan.
They also provide us, humans, with various health benefits such as omega-3 fatty acids that help with cholesterol and blood pressure.
However, are they safe for dogs?
If you are wondering whether you can give your dog a tiny bite of your eel, read on to find out more about whether it is safe for them to do so.
Are Eels Safe to Eat?
Similar to other fish, there are various types of eels that are edible.
Young eels are known as a delicacy and can be expensive.
As eels contain very small bones, that are similar to thorns, it is not recommended that you feed them to your dog.
This is as consuming these small bones may result in your dog having tears in their throat or intestines.
If you do want to feed them eel, ensure that the eel does not contain any small bones that may result in potential injuries.
Another type of eel comes in the form of a fish paste.
As this form of eel does not contain any bones, they can be consumed by dogs if cooked well.
Remember to Cook Them Well Before Feeding Your Dog
As eel can be cooked in various ways, cooking it well is important for your dog.
Eel is also typically cooked and topped with various sauces — it is important to know that while humans can enjoy these toppings, dogs can’t.
When preparing eel for your dog, ensure that no seasoning is used, including salt, garlic, and chili. This is as dogs are sensitive to seasoning, resulting in them falling ill.
If you do decide to feed your dog eel, do so in moderation.
Should You Feed Your Dog Eel?
If you want to be safe, it is not advisable to feed your dog eel as it may result in potential injuries and bacteria.
Eels may also contain chemical toxins that when consumed, can take up to 8 years to clear from the body.
What Other Fish to Avoid
There are also various fish that you should avoid feeding your dog.
Shark meat can be unhealthy for dogs due to its high mercury levels.
Mercury is odorless and transparent making it hard to detect.
Similar to sharks, tuna has high mercury levels that may result in mercury poisoning.
A rule of thumb when feeding fish to your dogs is to avoid those fish that contain high mercury levels.
If your dog has mercury poisoning from eating fish that contains high mercury levels, it can take up to 2 years for the mercury to be cleared out of its systems.
Farm-raised fish should also be avoided as they have the potential of containing harmful levels of dyes and other potential toxins.
What Fish Are Safe to Eat?
While some fish should be avoided, there are other types of fish that can be consumed by dogs.
Fish such as salmon contains omega-3 and B12 while being low in heavy metals.
This means that they do not absorb heavy metals as much as other fish such as sharks.
Some other fish that are safe for dogs to consume include:
How Should Fish Be Cooked?
While these fish mentioned above are not harmful to dogs, preparing them wrongly may cause problems.
Fish that are cooked in oil and seasonings may result in health problems for dogs.
Fried fish may result in your dog experiencing gastrointestinal issues such as pancreatitis.
When cooking fish for your dogs, ensure that it is cleaned well, removing all bones from the fish to avoid any potential injuries.
Raw fish is also not recommended, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. This is as raw fish have higher risks of transmitting parasites.
How Much Fish Can Dogs Eat?
How much fish your dog can eat will depend on its nutritional needs.
Fish can sometimes be offered as a treat while others as a dietary supplement.
If you are feeding fish to your dog for the first time, you should do it in moderation.
You should also talk to your vet to get advice on how much fish your dog should eat.
Feeding fish to your dog can be beneficial to their diet if done right.
Fish high in bones and toxins such as eel and sharks should be avoided at best.
If you are considering adding fish to your dog’s diet, it is important that you consult your vet first before doing so.