No, you should not give raw tuna to dogs as it is not the safest choice. Any type of raw fish can have parasites or germs that will make your puppy very sick. Raw tuna also contains the thiaminase enzyme, which doesn’t allow absorption of the vitamin in the body system.
What Is Tuna?
Tuna is a saltwater fish that is part of the mackerel family. Tuna fish comes with a streamlined and sleek body that ensures it can propel easily in water. They are found in warm ocean waters and are always fished for human consumption.
However, there are many different types of tuna that come in different shapes, designs, sizes, and colors. They range from one foot to 15 feet long and can weigh up to 1,500 lbs. The oldest tuna is said to have lived for about 50 years, although a few types are close to extinction.
Different Types Of Tuna
As mentioned earlier, there are many (over 20) different types of tuna that are available today. However, only five types are safe for consumption. They include Skipjack, Bigeye, Yellowfin, Albacore, and Bluefin.
Similar to many fish types, tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 and protein which is vital to keep the dog healthy. However, unlike other types of fish like tilapia and salmon, raw tuna has higher levels of mercury that could cause fatal or severe health complications.
Mercury enters the seas, oceans, rivers, and lakes through industrial activities and then accumulates in fishes. Ideally, the larger the fish, the longer it will live and, therefore, the higher the concentration in their tissues. Since tuna are long-living and large, their mercury levels are found to be quite high.
What Are The Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs?
While a little bit of tuna might not cause any harm, tuna can be toxic to dogs when consumed in large amounts. Mercury poisoning can easily kill your dog if the signs aren’t noticed early and the dog is not treated quickly.
Here are some mercury poisoning symptoms you should look out for:
- Vomiting blood
- Bloody or watery diarrhea
- Hair loss
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Kidney damage (inability to urinate, abdominal swelling)
- Loss of coordination
- Distended abdomen
- Weight loss
- Loss of feeling in their paws
If your dog takes large amounts of tuna and starts exhibiting the above symptoms, be sure to visit a vet right away. However, mercury damage is permanent and affects the quality of life, especially when it has caused severe damage to the nervous, renal, and cardiovascular systems.
Furthermore, treating mercury poisoning can be very expensive, so it is always a great idea to keep the mercury items out of the dog’s reach.