Dog Tips

Can Dogs Eat Mackerel?

Mackerel is a common term given to all the pelagic fish, basically the ones who hang in the middle of the ocean avoiding the deep and the shores. They usually have deeply forked tails and a tiger like skin with stripes on their backs. It is fatty and oily in nature. With a lot of essential nutrients in it, it can be one of the super foods for your dog. So the answer is Yes! Your dog can very well have Mackerel. Now one more question is whether they like it or no?

Do Dogs like Mackerels?

Dogs love the smell of fish. So that is one checkpoint. Second is dogs are fascinated with bones in general. And give their history of having a thing for eating fish, we can with evidence assume that Mackerels are on the good food list for dogs.

Are Mackerels good for your dog?

Mackerels contain very high amount of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Apart from that they also form a good source of high protein. To add to the list, it gives Vitamin B12 and D, amino acids and essential minerals for your doggo. And each of these nutrients are very essential for your dog’s growth, especially in the early growing stage. Let’s see the benefits of each of these nutrients –

Vitamins – are good for their eyesight, especially for the matured ones, as they help prevent cataracts and helps avoiding night blindness and even dry eyes. They are essential fat-soluble vitamin that has functions supporting bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation and immune response in dogs. They also boost energy metabolism and assists skin tissue maintenance. For the young puppies, they support their overall growth.

Proteins – It is important for dogs to repair their muscles as well in case of any injury or for gaining strength. Mackerels contain proteins which can help repairing muscles

and other body tissues. In addition to proteins, they are also rich in potassium which can help improve your dog’s nerves and muscles.

Omega 3 – Fatty acids – Just like for humans, they help in the brain development of young puppies. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help cure arthritis which in return helps a dog’s ability to fight cancer. Not to forget, the good things it can do for the dog’s heart and kidney.

They are other nutrients as well in Mackerels. So all in all, it becomes a super food for your doggy. But does that mean they should be fed lots and lots of Mackerels for them to stay healthy? The answer is – No.

How much Mackerel is good Mackerel for your Dog?

Mackerels can actually become a part of the dog’s regular diet given its highly nutritious properties. Basically, it can be a good substitute for 10% of your dog’s daily diet. But the quantity of how much Mackerel to feed your dog will depend on the size and weight of the dog. Let’s break this down according to the breeds and sizes of the dogs.

  • Extra-small dog (2-20 lbs.) = 1-2 small pieces of Mackerel (2 tablespoons)

For e.g.: Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs

  • Small dog (21-30 lbs.) = 2-3 small pieces of Mackerel (3 tablespoons)

For e.g.: Basenjis, Beagles, Miniature Australian Shepherds

  • Medium dog (31-50 lbs.) = Half a Mackerel (1/4th cup)

For e.g.: Basset Hounds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Siberian Huskies

  • Large dog (51-90 lbs.) = 1 Mackerel

For e.g.: Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever

For e.g.: Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees

How can you feed Mackerel to your Dog?

While Mackerel is good for a dog’s health, the bigger variants of the fish can contain high levels of Mercury. There are other cautions to note before going all-in and serving a nice Mackerel to your dog.

  • Cooked Mackerel – Never ever feed your dog a raw Mackerel or any seafood for that matter. It is not toxic per se but anything raw can be susceptible to a lot of bacteria and diseases which can upset your dog’s stomach.

  • Plain = No pain – Dog’s stomachs are not made for anything spicy or salty or even very sweet for that matter. So, while serving Mackerels, make sure they are plain without the use of any butter, salt or any other spices

  • Steam or Poach – The best way to feed mackerel to your dog is to steam it or to just poach it in nothing but plain water

  • Do not fry – Oil is a No-No for your dog in any case, especially when something is deep fried. Don’t risk obesity for your dog

  • No boner – Dogs might be a fan of bones but their throat is not. So make sure you remove the bones properly before putting it in the dog-bowl

  • Small is big – Small pieces would do a big help to them to avoid choking hazards

  • Can-cel it – Avoid canned mackerels as much as possible as it might contain preservatives or extra sodium or spices which are not recommended.

  • No smoking – Smoked mackerel is again bad for your doggo as it would be very high in salt and even black pepper at times which is irritating to your dog’s gut.

Be ready to enjoy a ton of love in the form of licks after your dog licks off the bowl!

But make sure you don’t fall for the licks and end up feeding it more of it. Stick to the recommended quantities. More Mackerels ≠ More Love

What can happen if your dog eats an unusual amount of Mackerel?

If your dog ate some Mackerel when you were getting ready for that boring family get together or trying to make a new playlist on Spotify or you just were feeling a lot of love towards your doggo and ended up feeding more than recommended amount, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –

  • Obesity

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain and tenderness.

  • Cramps.

  • Anemia.

  • Increase heart rate.

  • Dehydration

Common foods toxic to dogs

There are a number of common foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of the most common include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins. If you’re unsure whether a food is safe for your dog, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

Vegetables are a pretty safe food group for pooches. Add some color and variety to their food dish with asparagusbell peppersbroccolicarrotscauliflowerlettucecucumbers and celery. If you want to give your pooch a refreshing treat, chop up some bananasblueberriesorangesmelonspumpkinsappleskiwisdates, pitted cherriescantaloupes and papayas.

Like cats, dogs can safely eat most seafood. Opt for canned tunasalmonseaweedshrimpcrabs and lobster. Please make sure to deboned and thoroughly cook to avoid bacteria.

Dogs can also enjoy beans, just nor chili. You might be wondering which beans can your dog eat. Well, you can add unseasoned green beansblack beanslima beanspinto beans and garbanzo beans to their plates for variety. Do not give your dog kidney beans. They are highly toxic for dogs.

Dogs may love peanut butter, but are nuts suitable for dogs? It depends. You can give pups nut butter to help them swallow a pill. Dogs can enjoy small amounts of almondscashewspistachios and walnuts. Skip giving pups any dried fruit to be on the safe side. Dogs shouldn’t be given raisins, which are dried grapes.

With those pleading eyes and wagging tails, it can be hard to say no to our dogs when we are enjoying our food. However, there are better ways to keep pets happy. Exploring pet insurance options is a great way to learn about ways that help you find peace of mind. Spot offers pet insurance plan options that help you focus on your pet’s care, not cost.


Don’t smoke, don’t dress, when it comes to Mackerels and can use them as a part of your dog’s daily meal. Just look for the right way to prepare it as cited above and the recommended quantity for your dog. Your dog will definitely enjoy it and you in return will enjoy its good health.

Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!


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