Can Dogs Eat Tilapia?

can dogs eat tilapia

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Yes, your dog can eat tilapia. Incorporating tilapia in your dog’s diet can be beneficial since this fish is packed with proteins, good fat, and zero carbohydrates.

In a 3-ounce tilapia fillet, you can already get 22.8 grams of proteins and 2.3 grams of fat.

As we know, proteins are building blocks for animal nutrition. It is the main component in building and strengthening muscles.

If you own a puppy, he or she will be needing 28% of the protein in his or her daily diet, while adult dogs need 18%.

Adding one medium tilapia fillet (which is approximately 6 ounces) to your dog’s menu can be sufficient to meet their protein needs.

It is also packed with fatty acids, such as Omega-3, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful in keeping their heart, brain, skin, fur, and joints in optimal shape.

A serving of tilapia also contains other trace vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, folate, vitamin D, and potassium.

These vitamins can help boost their immune system and help them have a healthy and long life.

Table of Contents

Tilapia is good for dogs but with several caveats

There is no doubt that tilapia is good for dogs, but they should not be given tilapia or other seafood all the time.

Aside from the nutritious contents of tilapia, they also have niacin, vitamin b12, and selenium.

These elements, in trace amounts, are key components for a dog’s metabolism.

Niacin, for example, is of help in breaking down fatty acids, however, in large doses or chronic use, they can cause diarrhea and liver damage to your pets.

Vitamin B12 and Selenium also help in your dog’s digestion, but toxic doses of these could lead to gastrointestinal problems with your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Tilapia?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Tilapia?

You should not be feeding your dogs raw tilapia and some raw fishes that you can find.

Feeding your dogs raw fish could lead to some serious problems that might give you an emergency trip to the vet.

Even if we know that our dogs’ stomachs can digest a lot of things because of their strong stomach acid, you still would not want to take the risk.

Raw, unprepared fish can harbor microorganisms and parasites which can be dangerous to dogs, especially for puppies with a delicate stomach.

Tiny fish bones can also splinter in your dog’s throat or gastrointestinal tract, and this could cause micro-perforations and extreme discomfort to your dog.

If you accidentally fed your dog raw fish, or you saw him or her snatch a piece of fish from the kitchen table, make sure that you watch out for these symptoms to know when to ask for a veterinarian’s help:

● Loss of apettite
● Scooting
● Vomiting
● Diarrhea
● Distended abdomen
● Dull Coat
● Bald Spots
● Itching
● Weight Loss
● Fever

Parasites that are present in fishes can be seen with the naked eye, but oftentimes, most of their presence is confirmed by blood tests.

These parasites are also more common in wild fishes compared to farm-raised ones.

The most dangerous parasite that a dog could get from eating raw fishes are tapeworms, flukes, and roundworms.

However, these could be prevented if the raw fish meat that you are going to give to your pet has been properly prepared.

Parasites die in low temperatures, so you can feed your dogs sushi without worrying about them getting parasites from it.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tilapia?

Dogs can eat cooked tilapia. You can prepare tilapia by steaming them or putting them on a dehydrator and give them to your pets as treats or add them to their food bowl.

However, giving your dog fish all the time is not recommended. If you feed your dog with table food and add fish with their usual food every day, they can suffer from itching, bald spots, or diarrhea.

Balanced meals for your dog is important to keep them healthy. Putting cooked fish in your dog’s food is safe and even beneficial from time to time, but too much fish in their diet can cause problems with your dogs.

We should also remember that if our dogs are being fed with commercial dog food and are taking vitamins, they will not be needing any additional table food to increase the nutrition that they are getting.

If you are planning to feed your dogs with fish, bear in mind that it will not exceed 10% of their daily food intake.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Tilapia?

Can Dogs Eat Fried Tilapia

Dogs will go crazy for some crispy, fried tilapia. However, fried food involves a lot of oil and fat content that is unhealthy for your dog.

In frying tilapia, you would also need to put in a lot of salt and rich flavorings that could make your dog hate his or her own dog food or even shock their system.

You may not observe these problems when you start feeding fried tilapia to your dog, but in the long run, accumulation of sodium and oil could lead to problems to your dog’s health, especially to their gut.

They might experience loose stools and diarrhea when given too much-fried tilapia.

The same results can be seen if they are fed with garlic and onions in excess amounts.

This is one of the many reasons why a lot of vets suggest that we give our dogs high-quality commercial dog food and kibbles.

How do I cook tilapia for my dog?

Tilapia fish, no matter how it is prepared, is very tasty and satisfying to us humans.

For dogs with heightened senses of taste and smell, this would taste heavenly to them.

Just keep in mind that put it in the freezer for at least two hours before cooking it.

Make sure that you remove the fish skin and debone it completely so that your dog will not accidentally choke or have a splinter over a bone.

Mashing it using a food processor would ensure that there will be no bones on them before serving them to your dog.

Here are some simple recipes if you want to include tilapia in your dog’s diet:

Tilapia With Tomatoes and Carrots


  • 2 Medium Tilapia
  • 1 Canned Tomato
  • 1 Medium Carrot


  1. Clean the tilapia fishes and cut them in halves.
  2. Open the canned tomato and mince them.
  3. Cut the medium carrot into small cubes.
  4. In a small-sized pan, put the minced tomatoes, carrots, and tilapia.
  5. Simmer the tilapia for 5 minutes.
  6. Add to dog food or kibbles.

Baked Tilapia and Sweet Potatoes


  • 1 cup of Tilapia
  • 1 cup of Sweet Potatoes


  1. Clean the tilapia fish and wrap it with foil.
  2. Put the fish in a baking pan and bake it for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side) at 145F.
  3. After 10 minutes, set the fish aside. Upon cooling, remove the bones and cut them into bite-size pieces.
  4. While the tilapia is cooking in the oven, peel the sweet potatoes.
  5. In a separate container, boil sweet potatoes until tender. Cut them into bite-size pieces as well.
  6. Combine the sweet potatoes and the tilapia.
  7. Add kibbles or wet dog food if desired.

Always feel free to add any vegetables such as kale or spinach in the recipes mentioned above.

Canned fishes or store-bought vegetables could also do the trick; this will help you keep the preparation time short and have more time with your dog.

If your dog also needs to take medicines and you are finding it hard to make them eat them, you can hide and tuck the pill in these tasty recipes.

Just make sure that the fish that your user has been skinned, deboned, and cleaned.

You can also add a little salt to these recipes, but adding seasoning is not recommended because dogs’ kidneys could suffer if they are given food with high sodium content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is tilapia bad for dogs?

Tilapia is not actually inherently bad for dogs. It can be an excellent source of many much needed nutrients in your furry friend and can prove a very beneficial addition to their diet.

The nutrients tilapia can provide include potassium, folate, phosphorus, and vitamin D. As well as this, it is also a healthy form of protein. 

That being said, it is absolutely essential to note that tilapia should only ever be fed to your dogs when it has been cooked. Raw tilapia, or indeed, any kind of raw fish can make your dog seriously ill as it can contain potentially deadly parasites. 

As well as this you should only feed tilapia to your dogs in very small amounts, and only every so often. This is because the mercury levels in fish can be quite dangerous if consumed in large amounts. Tilapia is, therefore, better as a very occasional treat. 

What kind of fish can dogs eat?

There are many different types of fish that are very beneficial in the diet of your pooch pal. As we mentioned in the previous section tilapia can provide many healthy nutrients as well as proteins. 

As it turns out, many other types of fish also have these benefits, providing omega 3, essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and other minerals to your dog. Some of the best fish for your dog to eat include: 

  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Whitefish
  • Hank (aka Whiting) 
  • Salmon
  • Flounder
  • Catfish
  • Herrings
  • …and many more 

That being said, fish should only be fed to dogs in very small amounts and should only be given as an occasional treat.

It should always be cooked and should be free of salt, pepper, fats, and other sauces or seasonings. It is a great dietary boost for your furry friend, but don’t make a habit of it. 

Can dogs eat tilapia – Summary

Tilapia is tasty, economic, and is available anywhere. It could also give numerous vitamins and nutrients that may be beneficial for your dog.

An occasional bite of dried tilapia for being a good boy or mixing it with their daily food is advised for them to enjoy this fish.

Keep in mind to never feed raw tilapia or any other fishes to prevent parasites and bacteria that are harmful to dogs.

Even if it could be prepared in different ways, it is preferred that you freeze the fishes first for about 2 hours before cooking them to make sure that they are safe for your dogs to eat.

It is also better if you steam or bake tilapia instead of frying them to avoid using oils and other ingredients that might be harmful to your dog.

If your dog exhibits itching or redness upon eating this fish, immediately take him or her to your trusted veterinarian as this could be an allergic reaction to tilapia.

Kudos to you for being a responsible owner and always seeking ways to improve whatever food you give to your dog. May all of our pets live a long and healthy life!

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