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Yes, dogs can safely eat mackerel in moderation as long as it is properly cooked and deboned. The fish is an excellent source of fatty acids, which makes it an excellent addition to a dog’s diet. If you are feeding your dog canned mackerel, it is best to purchase mackerel canned in tomato puree or water rather than oil.

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Safe: This food is generally considered safe by the veterinary community. Dogs can eat this food sometimes or in small amounts but contains little to no nutritional value.

Food Safety Safe in moderate amounts
Nutritional Value Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help with arthritis in aging dogs. Also contains vitamin B-12, riboflavin, phosphorus, etc.
Potential Risks gastrointestinal issues from eating too much, deficiency of vitamin b-12 due to an enzyme in mackerel called thiaminase.
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Mackerel is Safe for Dogs?

The appropriate amount of mackerel for your dog will depend on their size, age, and activity level, as well as any underlying health conditions they may have. However, it is important to keep the portion sizes small due to mackerel’s fat content.

How to Prepare Mackerel for Dogs Safely?

To safely prepare mackerel for dogs, cook fresh deboned mackerel fillets. You can grill or bake the fillets as well. Avoid using any seasonings since they can be harmful to dogs. If you want to feed your dog canned mackerel, it is best to opt for the kind tinned in water or tomato sauce. It is important to be cautious with canned mackerel since it can contain additives such as salt which can be harmful to dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Some varieties of mackerel are low in mercury, therefore, they have a low risk of mercury poisoning. Avoid varieties like King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel since they have high mercury content.

  • It is safe for dogs to eat mackerel daily as long as they replace 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake from regular meals.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.