Is Tuna Safe For Dogs To Eat?

You’ve just sat down to enjoy the tuna salad sandwich that you made for lunch when you suddenly feel a set of eyes boring a hole through you.  It is your furry companion looking longing from your sandwich and then back to you.

It is at this time you begin to wonder—is it safe for dogs to eat tuna?  You think to yourself it is safe for me to eat, so it is safe for Fido as well, right?

The short and quick answer is NO!  Fido can not safely eat tuna.  If they were to eat some tuna, the odds are pretty good that they will not fall victim to any form of reaction.  However, there is the potential of them acquiring mercury poisoning—so it is best to avoid feeding them tuna at all.

Overall, tuna isn’t a toxic food for dogs, as fish, in general, is known to be low fat and high in protein, with the extra added benefit of omega-3 fatty acid.   With all this said, it would seem that tuna, in principle, would be the perfect addition to Fido’s meal plan.

Image: Our Dog Breeds

However, there is the fact that tuna contains mercury, which is where the problems can start.  Both fresh and canned varieties of tuna have some of the highest reported levels of mercury out of all fish.  If Fido eats too much of a food containing mercury, in this case, canned tuna, there is a high risk that they will develop mercury poisoning.  In some cases, this can become lethal.

Some of the most common symptoms of mercury poisoning in canines are:

  • Nervousness and loss of coordination
  • Vomiting up of blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of hair
  • Tremors
  • Kidney damage
  • Blindness

If any of these symptoms present themselves after your furry companion has consumed tuna, call your vet or an animal ER and follow their instructions.