We want our dogs to feel loved and have treats that will make them happy, but not at the detriment of their health. Have you ever had fish sticks and wondered if it was okay to let your dog in on the action? I have. And because I knew that other curious dog lovers like you are out there, I decided to document the results of my research. So, is fish stick a safe option for your dog?
Yes, fish sticks are generally safe for dogs. However, it would be best if you didn’t feed fish sticks to your dog daily or in large quantities. They also provide little or no nutritional value to your dog’s health, especially if they are store-bought.
Fish sticks remain an increasingly popular choice for spicing up your dog’s diet plan. Introducing it to your dog’s diet shouldn’t be a frightening experience. As long as you are armed with all the relevant information for preparing and serving it, your dog should be able to enjoy this treat without any complications.
Benefits of Fish Sticks to Dogs
Fish is one of the most popular members of the protein family. This is why most people consider fish sticks and anything that bears the word fish as a protein-packed dog treat. However, this is not the case, as fish sticks contain little to no nutritional benefit, let alone any significant amount of protein.
It’s not all bad, though; fish sticks are a fun addition to your dog’s diet if you want to give your canine the privilege of a wider variety of food choices.
Possible Ways Fish Sticks Can Be Dangerous to Dogs
While it is a non-toxic food option for your dog, there are several ways in which fish sticks can pose dangers to your dog’s health. These include:
- When it is fed in excess quantity: as a general rule, too much of anything is harmful. This rule should be enforced more strictly when it comes to foods like fish sticks that pass through several industrial processes. Processed food will cause significant harm to your dog, except it is fed in moderate quantities.
- When it contains excess oils: fish sticks are usually deep-fried, and this cooking style causes the fish sticks to soak in a lot of fat which is a danger to your dog’s health. When fat is more than required, your dog becomes prone to obesity and its attendant health challenges like heart disease. Excess fat deposits in the wrong places can cause your dog to lose fitness and agility.
- When it contains excess salt: You should be careful about quantity because companies prepare fish sticks in different ways and for most, mainly frozen fish sticks, salt is a prominent feature. Salts contain sodium, which again is harmful to dogs when in large quantities, especially in puppies. Dogs require sodium in minimal amounts and depending on your dog’s size and age, and it could be pretty easy to load a fish stick with too much.
- When it contains spices: many fish stick manufacturers cannot help but spice their products with onion and garlic powder. While this is well appreciated for human consumption, the system of dogs does not tolerate these spices. Onion and garlic are highly toxic to dogs.
What Are the Safest Fish Sticks for Dogs?
The best way to avoid fish sticks that could pose a challenge to your dog’s health is to avoid frozen fish sticks as much as possible. Frozen fish sticks contain several ingredients that are highly detrimental to your dog’s health, like salt.
If you can prepare the fish sticks yourself, that would be safer. This way, you can bake them instead of frying and help your dog evade the toxic seasonings and flavorings that will pose a danger to their health.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Fish Sticks?
From my experience with dogs, I can say that dogs can be allergic to just about anything. In the case of fish sticks, allergic reactions are a rare occurrence.
In case your dog turns out to be allergic to fish sticks, there are safety precautions you should practice to ensure that it does not cause any severe damage to your dog’s health.
When you introduce fish sticks to your dog’s diet, you should do it slowly. A slow, gradual introduction of fish sticks ensures safety. This is because it allows you to notice any possible allergies before any serious harm is done.
The major signs of an allergy are restlessness, diarrhea, itchy ears, prolonged sneezing, and vomiting.
How Much Fish Sticks Can My Dog Have?
Feeding your dog too many fish sticks can cause health issues in the long run. On this note, fish sticks should only be provided to your dog in moderation, as a treat, and never as part of their regular diet. We certainly would not want our pooch overeating unhealthy food. Giving them a little every now and then will not hurt.
Can Dogs Eat Breaded Fish Fingers?
Breaded fish fingers are not recommended as an addition to a dog’s diet, that is, as far as healthy choices for your dog are concerned. The breading or crumbs are often seasoned, and more often than not, seasonings can be toxic for dogs as they can cause several stomach problems, including pain, diarrhea, and gas. In addition, during the preparation of breaded fish fingers, they are often cooked in oil for days, which is unhealthy for your dog.
Considering the facts above, it is better and safer to avoid feeding your dog breaded fish fingers. But if you insist on doing so, it must not be done regularly.
Fresh Fish: A Safer Alternative
Fresh fish is a relatively safer alternative for dogs. For one, it is low in saturated fat. Saturated fat can cause several issues, one of which is obesity, leading to other weight-related diseases. The bulk of the fat in fresh fish is Omega-3 fatty acids, otherwise known as good fats, beneficial to dogs.
Here are some suggestions for fresh fish that your dog will love:
Fresh fish is a rich protein source that can be prepared and served as the main diet. Another benefit of fresh fish that makes it safe is that it provides critical vitamins and minerals essential to your dog’s health. Even though fresh fish is safe for dogs, some are not. Smaller, younger fish are usually the safest for dogs. This is because they are relatively low in mercury content.
One thing to note about fresh fish is that it should not be served raw. Raw fish often contain bacteria that are toxic to dogs and pose the risk of affecting humans around. The heavy metals they contain are another danger that should not be ignored.
How To Prepare Fresh Fish For Dogs
As earlier mentioned, it is essential to cook fresh fish before giving it to your dog. If you are not sure how to go about that, below is a recipe you can use. But before going through all these, make sure your dog is not allergic to fish. Let’s go right into the recipe, shall we?
Two ingredients are required; potatoes and fresh fish
- Steam and bake the fish until it is properly cooked. Undercooked fish might still have bacteria lurking around. Do not add any seasoning, including salt. This can be harmful to your puppy.
- Take the fish out and allow it to cool. Then cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Boil the potato until it is soft and mash with a spoon.
- Mix the already prepared fish with the mashed potato. Ensure the potato-fish ratio is always in favor of the fish.
- Lastly, add a supplement (as instructed by your vet) for a perfectly healthy dog meal.
You can store up extra (if any) in the freezer in a tightly sealed container.
In cooking fresh fish for your dog, make sure to observe the following precautions and safety practices: ensure that you avoid oils as much as possible. Deep frying is taboo when preparing fish for your dogs.
Also, seasonings like onion, garlic, and salt, which are poisonous to dogs, should be avoided, as dogs only require a little daily intake of sodium which will most likely be supplied in their food. When sodium is too much, it becomes poisonous to dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Okay for Dogs to Eat Fish Sticks?
Yes, it is okay for dogs to eat fish sticks. However, this should not, in any case, become a habit. You can feed your dog fish sticks in moderation; doing otherwise might pose some health issues in the long run. Also, it would be best if you avoided store-bought varieties. This is because whitefish species are mainly used, giving little to no nutritional value, compared to fatty fish like tuna and mackerel. Additionally, some health risks may arise due to the excess fat absorbed from deep-frying. The spices used to flavor them are another thing to consider; they might pose health risks to your dog as well.
What Canned Fish Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs can eat canned fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring. They have a higher amount of Omega-3 fats than other fish. When feeding your dog canned fish, look for those (fatty fish) packed in water without any added salt. Among the various fatty fish, sardines are a great choice because they are small and low on the food chain and thus, contain minimal amounts of mercury. On the other hand, tuna includes a relatively high amount of mercury and must not be fed to your dog regularly.
Can Dogs Eat Fish Fillets?
Absolutely! Dogs can eat fish fillet as long as it is properly cooked. Serving fish fillets raw must be avoided at all costs for several reasons. One of which is the fact that raw fish usually contains mercury, which is poisonous for dogs. Another reason is that raw fish usually includes a host of dangerous bacteria to your dogs as they can cause different health issues. Hence, fish fillets must be adequately cooked before serving to dogs. The servings must also be in moderation because too much fish can cause obesity in dogs and, subsequently, other weight-related conditions.
Can Dogs Eat French Fries?
Yes. Dogs can eat french fries. However, too much can lead to salt poisoning. Generally, all salty snacks are dangerous to dogs. Also, french fries are high-fat foods, and if consumed regularly, they can lead to obesity in dogs. If you are tempted to feed your dog french fries, giving it one or two now and then is okay, but it should never constitute a part of your dog’s regular diet or be served frequently. To feed your dog potatoes, consider serving it baked or boiled without seasonings (including salt).
Can Dogs Eat Cod
Yes. Dogs can eat cod as long as they are prepared the right way. Cod is a fatty fish, which means that it contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Cod is also a healthy source of protein, and it is low in mercury. These make it a safe choice for dogs. You know the saying that too much of everything is harmful, right? Well, there’s no exception for cod. Despite being safe for dogs’ consumption, too much codfish can lead to obesity in dogs. Therefore, codfish should only be fed in moderation to your dog. However, if you plan to make codfish a part of your dog’s diet, you should consult your veterinarian about the correct servings.
Can Dogs Eat Fish Skin?
Yes, but they can only eat fish skin that has been prepared like dried jerky type treats without oil or seasoning. No, not even salt. Much like fish flesh, fish skin also contains Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which are great for your dog. However, too much fish skin can cause stomach upset in dogs. Raw fish skin can be dangerous to your dog as they often contain several bacteria that pose serious health hazards to your dog. Other than that, the presence of mercury in raw fish also makes it unsafe for your dog. Therefore, ensure the fish skin is well prepared before serving it to your dog.
What Fish Can Dogs Not Eat?
Some fish should not be given to your dog for any reason and could pose harmful effects to your dog’s health. The primary examples are Tilapia, Tuna, and sharks.
Can Dogs Eat Cheese?
Yes, cheese is safe for your dog’s consumption. Before feeding your dog cheese, ensure that your dog is not lactose intolerant. And to avoid weight gain and gastrointestinal upset, only feed your dog small amounts of cheese. This should not be done regularly. Not all cheeses are safe for your dogs. You should avoid cheeses like blue cheese, Roquefort, and cheese with herbs and garlic or cream cheese because they contain relatively higher fat content when compared with others. Also, stay away from processed cheese. They may have added ingredients that might be harmful to your dog. Always check and make sure all the ingredients are safe for your dog’s consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Yes, dogs can have bananas. Bananas contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your dog. They also have a high sugar content and therefore must be given to dogs in moderation. Bananas should only be given occasionally to a dog as a treat, never as part of the dog’s regular diet. To know how many bananas to give your dog, consult your veterinarian. On the other hand, there’s the banana peel. Although it is not toxic to dogs, it can be tough to digest, so it is a no-no for dogs.
Other Articles On Dogs Diet:
Can Dogs Eat Edamame?
Can Dogs Eat Mussels?
Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?
Even though fish sticks do not offer any significant nutritional benefit to dogs, fish sticks are safe for your dog, and it remains a fun addition to your dog’s diet. There are, however, steps to take and precautions to follow to ensure that this safety is assured.
There is a slight possibility of allergies with fish sticks, but this can be mitigated by combining a slow introduction of fish sticks and close observation for any signs. You should avoid giving your dog frozen fish sticks as much as is within your powers, as they are usually prepared in harmful ways to dogs’ health.
Fresh fish is a much better option for nutrition, but fish sticks are still a welcome addition regardless.