If you have watched two dogs eat together, you noticed one dog snooping into the other dog’s plate. The grass always seems greener on the other side for dogs. This mantra often drives them to nibble on bizarre things like fish food.
Fish food is not toxic to dogs as it contains ingredients that are found in dog food. But some dogs can develop temporary allergies from dog food. Also, some brands of fish food contain additives, hormones, and chemicals that may be toxic to dogs.
You just came home and was told that your dog ate fish food. Or perhaps you walked in on Bingo, by the fish tank, gobbling on what he thought was kibble. As a concerned pet parent, panic is expected.
But before you go frantic, here is what you need to know about fish food. Most fish food brands contain ingredients that are harmless to your dog. Proteins and fats are the two major ingredients in fish food.
Also, these two ingredients are what attract your fur baby to fish food, to begin with.
Is Fish Food Poisonous to dogs?
Not. But as a caring pet parent, you must educate yourself on all the ingredients that go into fish food brands.
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times- in water, in butter, and wine
Fortunately, the FDA requires that all pet food industries label their products with the ingredients they use. For fish food, common ingredients you will see in the label include;
Most fish food brands use dehydrated chlorella as an ingredient. Turns out your pup can benefit from the detoxing effects of Chlorella algae. Also, Chlorella for dogs acts as;
An immune booster
A rich source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
Another type of algae used in fish food is Spirulina. Spirulina is a bluish-green alga found in most ponds. It is what makes pond water greenish and slimy.
While Chlorella for dogs is healthy, Spirulina is dangerous for any pet, besides fish, to ingest. Spirulina or blue-green algae poisoning in dogs can cause;
Dizziness and disorientation
In severe Spirulina poisoning, dogs can suffer seizures, respiratory failure, and liver failure. The worst-case scenario is death.
What happens to the remnants of fish from seafood factories? They are ground into a fine powder and mixed into fish food. Is fish meal safe for dogs? Dogs with chicken allergies are offered fish as an alternative protein source.
It’s okay to eat fish because they have no feelings
Premium fish food brands use whole fish instead of fish meals. This is a healthy source of proteins and omega 3 fatty acids for your fish and dog.
Besides whole fish, fish food brands also use crustaceans like squid and krill as protein boosters. Krill are tiny crustaceans that look like shrimp. Both squid and krill are rich sources of omega 3 fats which are good for your dog’s skin and coat.
Worms are a popular ingredient in fish food because…well…we use it to bait fish! Worms like blackworm and earthworm carry the same nutritional value as a high-quality fish meal. When grounded up and processed, worms are not toxic to dogs.
Live worms can be dangerous to dogs. Besides heartworms, the larvae of earthworms when ingested by dogs can cause sickness.
Insects like the Black Soldier Fly are added to fish food for a protein and calcium boost. Dogs too can snack on Black Soldier Fly larvae. The high protein and calcium content in BSF larvae is healthy, especially for puppies.
Is it okay if your dog ate fish food?
If the fish food contains any of the mentioned ingredients, then it is healthy for your dog. But keep your dog away from any fish food that contains the algae Spirulina.
Also, here are additional concerns you should be aware of;
If your dog is allergic to fish, he can develop a tummy ache from eating fish food
Eating lots of fish food at once may not be toxic, but it can cause vomiting and diarrhea
Some forms of homemade fish food contain garlic which is a fish appetizer. Garlic is highly toxic to dogs.
If your dog ate fish food, he is not likely to suffer any major health risks. But some dogs might develop mild symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Always check the ingredients of fish food to ensure it only contains dog-friendly ingredients.
But if you can, keep your dog from fish food altogether. There are healthier canine snacks that are equally crunchy and tasty to your pup.
Raw fish may contain bacteria that can cause health problems in dogs. Fish like salmon may contain parasites that cause salmon poisoning in dogs. Be cautious about giving your dog sushi and always go for the safer alternative, that is cooked fish.
Fish is a great protein alternative for dogs that have chicken allergies. But some dogs get food allergies from eating fish. If your dog loves to fish and does not get any side effects, he will enjoy options such as tuna, cod, and salmon.
Your dog will be fine if he just ate a few goldfish crackers. But some goldfish food brands contain Onions and Garlic which can harm your dog in large amounts. Also, goldfish food may contain chemicals and hormones that enhance the color of goldfish. These hormones/chemicals are harmful to your dog.