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Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and phosphorus. It also boasts vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. But can the same be said with fish skins? Can dogs eat fish skin, or is it best discarded? Let’s find out!
Yes, dogs can eat fish skin. In fact, fish skin is a popular single-ingredient dog treat. Manufacturers dehydrate the skin until it hardens into a deliciously chewy snack. Dogs go wild for it!
Although fish skin is high in protein, it’s low in fat. It’s entirely digestible and contains Omega-3, a nutrient that promotes healthy skin and shiny coats in dogs.
Compared to most chews, fish skin easily breaks apart between a dog’s teeth. Some people create their own fish skin treats by grilling or baking the skin until it’s crisp.
In most forms, fish—skin and scales included—are safe for your dog. If you’ve grilled salmon and have some leftover fish and fish skin for your dog, feel free. Just make sure it’s completely cooked and that it doesn’t contain unusually large or sharp scales.
Also, try not to feed him the skin of an entire fish; only share a small amount with your dog.
If eaten in moderation, fish skin rarely causes side effects. Raw fish skin may carry harmful parasites and/or bacteria, which is why it should always be thoroughly cooked or dried before giving it to your dog.
Otherwise, fish skins carry no major risk to dogs as long as it doesn’t contain traces of oil, spices, and salt.
Most fish are safe and healthy for dogs. This is why they’re an essential ingredient in nutritionally balanced dog foods. Wild-caught or sustainably raised fish are less likely to contain mercury or parasites, making them safer for both you and your dog.
A dog can eat the skins of the following fish:
As much as possible, avoid feeding your dog large fish that live most of their lives in the wild. These species are shown to carry levels of toxic metals such as mercury which can be fatal upon consumption.
Don’t feed your dog the skin of the following fish:
- Albacore tuna
- King mackerel
Compared to most indulgent treats, fish skin can regularly appear in your dog’s diet. They’re low in saturated fat and calories, making them healthier than pork or beef treats.
Fish skins are healthy treats for your dog. They’re excellent sources of protein and packed with natural Omega-3 acids, both of which are crucial for a pup’s growth and brain development.
If you’re planning to add fish skins to your dog’s daily diet, don’t forget to consult your veterinarian first for serving suggestions and recommendations. This is especially important for dogs who have strict dietary restrictions.