Can Dogs Eat Catfish?
Yes, you can safely feed your dog Catfish, and there are actually some commercial dog food recipes that include Catfish as an ingredient.
This holds true for any Catfish that is sold for human consumption and most Catfish that is caught by hand by fishermen; however, there are certain Catfish breeds or locations that may not be appropriate.
Outside of this, Catfish should not be treated any differently to other similar fish that are fed to dogs, such as Salmon or Whitefish and they can provide valuable nutrition.
However, you shouldn’t just start feeding your dog Catfish without first understanding how to safely prepare it as there are some risks and conditions.
How To Feed Your Dog Catfish
While some dog owners may do so, it is generally not advised to feed your dog raw fish. This is as raw fish can sometimes contain harmful bacteria or parasites.
These bacteria or parasites can cause adverse effects to dogs, including common sickness symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.
Instead, the best way to prepare or cook Catfish for a dog would be to bake or grill it and to avoid frying or to cook it in excessive amounts of fat or oil.
This is as the extra oil and fat from frying fish causes the food to become much more calorie-dense and can lead to health issues for dogs such as obesity or weight gain.
Also, it is critical to properly remove the fish bones from a catfish before feeding it to a dog. Bones, especially cooked bones, are likely to crack and splinter when chewed and can do damage or become lodged in a dog’s mouth and throat.
Lastly, while cooking Catfish for human consumption may include adding various seasonings such as Salt or Pepper, you should not season Catfish that is going to be fed to a dog.
Catfish are similar to other fish in the nutrition that they can provide to dogs. This includes a high proportion of animal-based protein and fat which should be at the core of every dog’s diet.
Outside of this base nutrition, Catfish are a moderately dense source of the beneficial Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
As we have regularly mentioned on our site, the Omega 3 Fatty Acids can have several health benefits for dogs, including an improvement in the condition of their skin and coat and a reduction in the risk of certain diseases and health conditions.
Catfish is also a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, including Selenium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. While most dogs will get a base level of these in their typical diet, Catfish can help to supplement it to higher and more beneficial levels.
It is also noteworthy that Catfish are classed as a low-mercury fish when compared to some others like Tuna or Mackerel.
Sustained mercury consumption from certain fish breeds can be a problem, especially for dogs whose diet does not change from day to day like a humans would.
Commercial Dog Food With Catfish
While most dog owners would be unaware of this, there are actually some commercial dog food recipes that utilize Catfish as a primary ingredient.
This includes recipes from major brands like Acana, Purina Pro Plan, Zignature, Purina Beyond, and Blackwood. Probably the best example of this is Zignature’s dedicated Catfish Formula dry dog food.
Catfish and Catfish Meal are the two most abundant ingredients in this recipe, and there are no other fish ingredients used like in many other dog food formulas.
The fact that Zignature is comfortable using Catfish in this way should remove any doubts that some dog owners have on whether Catfish is okay to be fed to dogs.
While Catfish is seen in some commercial dog food recipes, it is actually more popular as a cat food ingredient. This aligns with the industry as a whole, where fish ingredients are more heavily utilized for cat food rather than dog food.