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Can Dogs Eat Raw Fish Bones Safely? (2024)

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Dogs love to eat fish, and raw fish bones can provide essential nutrients for their diet. But is it safe for them to consume? To answer this question, you’ll need to understand the safety of raw fish bones, the benefits they offer dogs, which types are safest for consumption, and how best to prepare them.

Key Takeaways

can dogs eat raw fish bones

  • Dogs can safely consume raw fish bones, but precautions must be taken to ensure safety from parasites and bacterial contamination.
  • Raw fish bones offer essential minerals like calcium that are not found in fish oil, and can provide multiple benefits such as being softer and safer than cooked bones.
  • Feeding raw fish bones to puppies younger than 6 months is not recommended, and it is important to ensure that the size of the bone does not exceed 1/3 of their head length.
  • Omega-3s found in fatty fishes like salmon offer joint-supporting effects, and green-lipped mussels offer natural antioxidants and joint support. Supplements containing green-lipped mussel oil can help improve overall wellness and support healthy joints.

Safety of Raw Fish Bones for Dogs

Safety of Raw Fish Bones for Dogs
You may not know it, but your beloved pup can enjoy the crunch of raw fish bones! However, there are some precautions that should be taken when introducing them into your pup’s diet.

Raw fish supply is an important factor to consider. Pacific salmon and other farmed fish may carry flukes which could cause Salmon Poisoning Disease in dogs if ingested. Freezing guidelines must also be followed carefully to ensure any parasites present in the raw fish are eliminated before feeding.

If you choose frozen over fresh, make sure you thaw it out slowly and safely according to FDA guidelines for parasite prevention.

Raw fish bones vs oil is another consideration when adding this delicious snack into a dog’s diet. While both have Omega-3 fatty acids beneficial for skin and coat health as well as cognition benefits, oil does not provide essential minerals like calcium found in bone meal from wild caught or sustainably farmed sources such as sardines or mackerels with heads on (the source of the omega-3).

Benefits of Feeding Raw Fish Bones to Dogs

Benefits of Feeding Raw Fish Bones to Dogs
Feeding your pup raw fish bones can provide multiple benefits. For starters, they are softer and safer than cooked bones, meaning they’re less likely to cause injury or splinter when chewed on by dogs who love crunchy snacks!

Additionally, the perfect mix of muscle meat, bone, and secreting organs in whole raw fish is great for nutrition as it supplies more vitamins and minerals than boneless cuts alone.

Finally, omega-3s found in fatty fishes like salmon also offer joint supporting effects for pups with arthritis problems or other mobility issues.

  • Fish oils such as Planopaws Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil contain natural antioxidants that boost a dog’s immune system while providing essential nutrients such as EPA & DHA fatty acids needed for proper brain development and cardiovascular health.
  • Green-lipped mussels are high in potent anti-inflammatory compounds that help maintain joint health without resorting to drugs with potentially harmful side effects. These can be bought from specific locations but should not be fed if the dog has a shellfish allergy.
  • Vital Essentials Minnows make an excellent treat due to their small size, making them easy to swallow even for puppies.

Raw feeders already know this, but it’s important information that all pet owners should keep in mind when considering what type of food would best suit their furry friend’s needs.

Types of Raw Fish Bones Safe for Dogs

Types of Raw Fish Bones Safe for Dogs
You can offer your pup a variety of raw fish bones for a nutritious snack, such as whole smelt, ground lake herring, and mackerel chunks. However, when selecting raw fish for your dog’s diet, it is important to consider freezing techniques to prevent parasite infestation.

If you have concerns about parasites or if your dog has a fish intolerance, opt for complete grinds from trusted retailers like Raw Paws Pet Food, which carry dehydrated green-lipped mussels and smelts along with other options.

These are great sources of essential fatty acids that support joint health and immune function in dogs without the risk of parasites associated with feeding whole raw fish bones.

In addition to being mindful about parasite prevention strategies when feeding dogs raw bone-in-fish meals, it is also important to keep an eye on their consumption habits. Soft, pliable bones from uncooked, fresh-frozen small prey animals like rabbits or poultry may be safe options in moderation.

However, larger predator species should not be consumed regularly due to heavy metal toxicity risks.

To provide additional nutritional benefits beyond what is found solely in protein-rich foods, high-quality supplements containing ingredients like green-lipped mussel oil can help improve overall wellness while supporting healthy joints, especially for those who suffer from arthritis-related symptoms.

How to Prepare Raw Fish Bones for Dogs

How to Prepare Raw Fish Bones for Dogs
When preparing raw fish bones for your pup, it’s important to keep in mind that certain types are softer and therefore safer than others – just like a mother tenderly caring for her child.

To ensure the safety of your pet, you should always freeze any raw fish before feeding it to them. Freezing will help reduce the risk of parasites that may be present on the food and also slow down their eating process.

Omega-3s can still be gained from frozen fish if they are properly prepared with warm water during thawing as this helps preserve its nutritional content.

Additionally, those who have allergies or sensitivities towards shellfish should avoid green-lipped mussels as these can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs due to their similarity with other seafood items such as shrimp or lobster.

Raw meaty bones (RMBs) are beneficial for dogs but larger pieces such as tuna and shark need not be fed regularly due to heavy metals and toxins present in them which could affect a dog’s immune system adversely over time if consumed too frequently without proper freezing processes between feedings.

Fortunately, there is now a variety of options available when choosing safe raw treats including canned salmon, sardines, mackerel along with omega 3 oils which can all provide essential fatty acids while avoiding potential risks associated with wild caught species found near contaminated bodies of water or farmed sources containing growth hormones & drug residues.

In summary, by following basic health guidelines when selecting & preparing foods – specifically RMB’s – giving special attention paid toward ensuring adequate freezing times, you’ll find yourself providing both enjoyable meals plus optimal nutrition required by our pets for long term overall wellness!

Risks of Feeding Cooked Fish Bones to Dogs

Risks of Feeding Cooked Fish Bones to Dogs
Cooked fish bones can be a choking hazard for your pet, so it’s important to know the risks before feeding them. Fish intolerance and allergies should also be considered when weaning raw fish, as some dogs may have adverse reactions to certain types of fish.

The fear of parasites is another concern when preparing raw food, but freezing or cooking the trout beforehand will prevent any parasitic contamination from occurring. Reports of Pacific salmon containing flukes are increasing due to overfishing and pollution in their waters.

Heavy metals like mercury found in tuna and shark should also be avoided by larger breeds, as they contain high levels that can lead to health problems later down the line if consumed regularly. Raw feeders must take extra precautions with whole raw fish, as its mix of muscle meat, bone, and secreting organs can introduce unwanted bacteria into their dog’s diet.

This could cause digestive upset or worse, depending on its potency level against the canine species’ gut flora population count balance threshold at that moment in time, according to an article published recently by Raw Feeding Miami regarding this matter.

In addition, supplements such as Green-lipped Mussel Oil (from sustainable farms) offer great benefits for joint health while being non-toxic.

Can Dogs Digest Raw Fish Bones?

Can Dogs Digest Raw Fish Bones?
Feast your eyes on the next best thing for your canine companion – raw fish bones! Dogs can safely digest raw fish bones, as long as they are soft and pliable. Before feeding them to a dog, always make sure that the wild salmon or salmon heads have been prepared properly so parasites and bacteria don’t pose any risks.

The FDA recommends freezing raw fish for at least three weeks before feeding it to dogs in order to kill all forms of parasites present in the flesh. This will also help prevent potential allergies from occurring due to contact with certain proteins found only in cooked foods such as grains or dairy products.

Raw Fish Bones provide essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc which help strengthen teeth and bone structure while giving an added boost of energy throughout their day by providing omega-3 fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is important for brain development growth hormones production.

However, if you choose not to feed frozen flesh regularly, then adding green-lipped mussel oil into their diet would be recommended instead since this type of oil contains high levels of omegas without heavy metals typically found in larger species like tuna or shark when caught from Pacific waters.

How Much Raw Fish Bones Can Dogs Eat?

How Much Raw Fish Bones Can Dogs Eat?
You can add a healthful dose of omega-3s to your pup’s diet with raw fish bones, but it is important to know how much they should eat:

  • Raw fish bones are softer and safer than cooked bones and make up roughly 10% of a dog’s daily muscle meat allowance.
  • Freezing raw fish for at least one week eliminates parasites that may be present in the flesh or organs, making frozen safety an easy way to prevent any unwanted issues from arising.
  • Omega-3 oils like Planopaws Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil can also be added as an alternative source if you don’t feel comfortable feeding them straight from the sea – just remember to start small when introducing these supplements into their diet!
  • For those wanting a complete source of raw dog food without having to prepare every meal themselves, Dr Harvey’s Paradigm is perfect – this mix includes low carb veggies plus healing herbs too!

Raw feeding provides members of the Canid family with essential nutrients not available through kibble alone. Being aware of what type and amount best suits your pup will benefit them greatly in both short and long-term health improvements.

Alternatives to Raw Fish Bones for Dental Health

Alternatives to Raw Fish Bones for Dental Health
Although raw fish bones provide dental health benefits, there are other alternatives that can help keep your pup’s pearly whites clean.

Omega-3 oils from salmon or sardines are a great way to add healthy fats into your dog’s diet and offer an alternative to raw fish bones for dental care.

Green-lipped mussel oil is also beneficial as it helps with joint health and inflammation management, while being sustainably farmed in pristine waters off the coast of New Zealand.

If you’re looking for something more natural than supplements, try feeding whole raw rainbow trout or smelt – they contain soft bone which won’t damage teeth like cooked ones might!

For dogs who have trouble chewing their food properly due to arthritis or jaw issues, consider investing in a slow feeder bowl such as Mighty Paw’s Slow Feed Insert or Yeti Boomer 4 Dog Bowl so they’re able to eat safely at their own pace.

Dr Harvey Paradigm Base Mix is another option that provides balanced nutrition without stressing out young puppies’ digestive systems too much – just add some fresh meaty bits like beef liver or chicken hearts!

Finally, if you want an all-natural option but don’t want the hassle of dealing with parasites found on wild-caught seafood, then canned tuna may be the best choice – just make sure it doesn’t contain high levels of mercury by checking its labels first!

Where to Buy Raw Fish Bones for Dogs

Where to Buy Raw Fish Bones for Dogs
You can find raw fish bones for your pet at online stores like Raw Feeding Miami, Raw Paws Pet Food, My Pet Carnivore, and Hare Today. These large companies source their fish from sustainable fisheries to ensure that the product is safe for your dog.

Many local grocery stores also carry frozen oils such as Atlantic salmon or herring, which are just as nutritious. If you’re looking for something other than oily fish, then green-lipped mussel oil is a great alternative with its anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s important to note that if your dog has any kind of intolerance towards certain kinds of fish, then it’s best not to feed them those types at all. When freezing raw bones, make sure they are completely frozen before feeding them.

This will help kill off any parasites present in the meat itself or on the bone surface.

Cooking these types of bones should be avoided because it causes them to become brittle and potentially splinter when consumed by dogs, making them more dangerous than soft, pliable versions found in nature or bought from retailers mentioned above.

Ultimately, adding raw fish bones into your pup’s diet can provide essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus while giving dental benefits due to its crunchy texture.

Tips for Safe Raw Feeding for Dogs

Tips for Safe Raw Feeding for Dogs
To ensure your pup is safe and healthy, it’s important to take the proper steps when feeding them raw fish.

  1. Regularly freeze all types of fish you feed to your dog as this will help prevent parasites from surviving in their food.
  2. Consider adding omega-3 oils like salmon oil or green-lipped mussel oil into their diet instead of giving them whole raw fish if they have allergies or intolerances with certain kinds of seafood.
  3. Conduct a risk assessment by checking with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding what type is best for consumption in order to pick out the safest choice for your four-legged friend!
  4. Make sure that goldfish crackers are not included on Fido’s menu even though they may be tempted by goldfish found in home aquariums or garden ponds; these can cause intestinal blockage due to bones being difficult to digest!
  5. Lastly, always practice safety precautions when handling any kind of seafood; use gloves while cutting pieces up and make sure surfaces remain clean at all times after working with ingredients containing potential parasites such as wild-caught Pacific Salmon.

With careful planning and knowledge about Raw Feeding Miami products, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that Fido’s meals are both nutritious and parasite-free!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Feeding raw fish bones to puppies younger than 6 months is not recommended as their digestive system may not be able to handle the extra stress while still developing. For dogs older than 6 months, it is important to ensure that the size of the bone does not exceed 1/3 of their head length.

Smaller sized bones are easier to digest and less likely to cause a choking hazard or intestinal blockage.

Is it necessary to feed raw fish bones regularly for dental health?

No, it is not necessary to feed raw fish bones regularly for dental health. Freezing or cooking them can help reduce the risk of parasites and make them softer. However, they provide important nutrients, such as calcium, that are beneficial for your dog’s overall well-being.

What type of raw fish bones are best for small dogs?

Raw fish bones can be a great addition to your small dog’s diet. They are softer and safer than cooked bones, and provide essential minerals and proteins. Opt for smaller fish like sardines or smelts, which have fewer parasites and toxins than larger species such as tuna or shark.

Can raw fish bones be combined with other foods?

Yes, raw fish bones can be combined with other foods in a balanced diet for dogs. Frozen and canned options are ideal to ensure safety from parasites. Bones should be soft and pliable when feeding whole raw fish, while ground or air-dried versions could also be used for a different texture.

Adding omega-3 oils is another safe option to enhance nutrition without the risk of parasites found in some raw fish varieties.

Are there any risks associated with feeding raw fish bones to puppies?

Yes, there are risks associated with feeding raw fish bones to puppies. They can cause choking or internal injury if not chewed properly. Bones should be soft and pliable to avoid breakage, so frozen fish is recommended for safety purposes.

It’s best to offer small pieces of whole raw fish rather than ground-up bones as a safer option.


In conclusion, feeding raw fish bones to dogs can be a beneficial part of their diet, as long as the bones are from a safe source, prepared properly, and given in moderation. Raw fish bones can provide vital nutrition and dental health benefits for canine companions.

However, it’s important to be mindful of potential risks and to consult with a veterinarian before beginning a raw food diet. By following proper protocols and adhering to safety guidelines, pet owners can safely provide their pups with a delicious and nutritious meal.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.