Dried Fish for Dogs: Can They Eat It Safely?

Dried fish is a popular food in many Asian countries and you can easily find them marketed as snacks, or fish treats for dogs or cats. Many love to feed dried fish to their pets because they are smaller than the normal treats, and are crisp and crunchy.

But is it really safe to consider dried fish for dogs and their diet?

My dogs are very desirous of eating dried fish. When I was a new fur parent, I wasn’t just entirely confident of it as a reward.

I always thought, “can dogs eat dried fish?” “Is there anything that can help me be sure if this is safe and healthy to give to pets?” “Should they eat it whole, or cut it down into smaller pieces?” “Can they have it every day, or only less than once a day?”.

The reason I asked these questions was because, whenever I had fish at the dinner table, my dogs would scramble towards the table. I couldn’t deny them what their tummies yearned for. It must be said that a taste for dried fish runs in our family, then!

Dried Fish Nutrition

Here’s some interesting information on which nutrients dried fish has, and how it can greatly benefit your dogs if you make it part of their diet.


Dogs need protein to stay healthy, and dried fish is a great source of protein for your pup. Protein helps build strong muscles, bones, and connective tissue in dogs. It also supports their immune system so that they can fight off infections when they get sick or injured. It’s also important for digestion and metabolism.

When you’re looking at different types of dog food, you’ll see that some have higher protein content than others.

If you’re wondering whether dried fish for dogs is an acceptable choice for your furry friend, check out the label on the bag or container and see how much protein it has per serving size (most bags have different serving sizes).

Low Calories

When you’re looking for a good dog food, calories are always a factor. Some foods contain more than others, and if you’re trying to keep your dog’s weight in check, or just want to make sure they’re not eating too many extra calories, then you’ll probably want to look for a product with fewer calories.

fish on the table

One of the best ways to do this is by choosing a food that has less protein per cup (and therefore fewer calories).

Dried fish is an excellent option for those who want to feed their dogs something with fewer calories. It only contains about 10% protein per cup, which means that it has less than half as much protein as some other meats like beef or chicken (which have 20% and 25%, respectively).

Omega-3 Acid

Omega-3 Acid is a fatty acid that’s essential for good health. It can help with the development of your dog’s brain, heart, and eyesight, as well as their coat and skin. It can also help reduce inflammation in their joints and muscles (which is especially helpful for active dogs).


Dried fish is an excellent source of iron, which is a mineral that helps your dog’s blood cells carry oxygen around their bodies. Without enough iron, your dog’s body can’t produce enough red blood cells and hemoglobin—the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from one place to another.

If your dog doesn’t have enough iron, he or she will experience weakness and lethargy. This can make it difficult for them to do normal things like play or run around outside with you!

If the deficiency persists, it could lead to problems like anemia or even organ failure. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your pup’s iron intake, try giving them some dried fish every once in a while.


Copper is an essential mineral for dogs, and it’s important for proper bone development and the production of red blood cells. Copper deficiency can lead to poor bone development, neurological problems, and anemia.

Dried fish contains more copper than most other foods, and it’s a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. If you’re feeding your dog dried fish as part of his diet, you’ll want to make sure he’s getting all the nutrients he needs, including vitamins A and E as well as selenium.


Phosphorus is essential for your dog’s health because it provides energy to the cells, promotes good bone health and helps treat heart disease. It also helps with mental health and development in dogs, as well as their ability to learn and process information.

small dried fish

Dried fish can provide your dog with all these benefits because they have a lot of phosphorus in them. However, you should make sure that the dried fish you give to your dog does not contain any other harmful ingredients like sugar or preservatives which can be harmful to their health.


Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for building strong bones and teeth in humans, but it’s also essential for dogs. Without enough calcium in their diet, dogs can develop painful bone diseases like osteoporosis or become more susceptible to fractures.

There are several ways to get your dog enough calcium (like giving them a chewable vitamin) but one way is by giving them dried fish like salmon! Salmon contains amino acids that help form collagen, which makes up most of your dog’s bones and teeth.

It also contains Vitamin D, which helps your dog absorb the calcium from their diet better than other vitamins would.


Iodine is an essential nutrient that helps your dog’s thyroid gland function properly. This means that it helps dogs with thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism because it helps maintain healthy levels of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream.

Without enough iodine in your dog’s diet, they could develop these conditions which can cause a variety of symptoms including weight gain, hair loss, lethargy, and more.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for your dog’s vision, skin and coat health, as well as their immune system. Your dog needs this nutrient to be able to see in the dark, and if they don’t get enough, they can have issues with their vision.

They’ll also have issues with their skin and coat because they won’t have enough nutrients to keep their hair healthy. And finally, a lack of vitamin A will make your dog more susceptible to infections and disease because it weakens their immune system.

What Are the Drawbacks of Feeding Dried Fish to Your Dog?

Dried fish is a great source of protein and other nutrients for dogs, but it does have drawbacks.

In my post is sea bass a good fish to eat, I touched on the dangers of consuming too much mercury. If your dog eats too much dried fish, they can develop heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat or heart failure. This is because a lot of dried fish contains high levels of mercury, which can damage the heart muscle.

dried small fish

Dried fish also contains high levels of salt, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in your dog’s body if they eat too much of it.

This can be especially dangerous for older dogs who are already at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances due to their age or other health issues.

In another post, I mentioned the consumption of too much salt and how it could pose lots of risks to your dog. Check out my article can dogs eat mahi mahi.

If you want to feed your dog dried fish but want to avoid these risks, we recommend that you only give them small amounts of dried fish twice a day, and make sure that it’s always accompanied by plenty of fresh water so that they stay hydrated and healthy.

Not Hanging You Up to Dry as We Answer Your Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dried Fish Better Than Cooked or Fresh Fish?

Dried fish is a great way to make sure your dog gets the protein they need while also making sure they don’t overeat it. It’s also super convenient because you can store it in the pantry until you’re ready to serve it, and it doesn’t go bad like cooked or fresh fish would.

Cooked and fresh fish have a higher fat content than dried, so if your dog has any digestive issues or is on a diet, then dried may be better suited for them.

Dried fish can be a better choice than cooked or fresh fish because it has less mercury in it, which means your dog will be less likely to get sick from eating too much of it.

Should Puppies Consume Dried Fish?

Dried fish is a great source of protein and other nutrients, but it can also contain unnecessary additives and preservatives. If you’re going to feed your puppy dried fish, make sure it’s from a trusted source and that you know what ingredients are in it.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your puppy should consume dried fish, talk with your vet first. They’ll be able to let you know if there are any health risks associated with feeding them dried fish, and they may even recommend alternatives like fresh meat or vegetables.

Is It Okay To Feed Salted Dry Fish to Dogs?

First, let’s talk about what makes dried fish so appealing. Dried fish is high in protein and low in fat, so it’s a great choice for dogs who are on a low-fat diet.

It also contains lots of vitamins and minerals that can help keep your pup healthy and strong. But what about salt? Is it safe for your dog to eat?

brown dog eating on a stainless food bowl

Salted dry fish is perfectly fine for dogs if they are healthy, but you should avoid feeding it to sick or geriatric animals because it can cause problems with their kidneys and livers.

So while there aren’t any dangers associated with feeding your pup some salty goodness, we recommend limiting its consumption until they’ve gotten better.

A snack that has gained popularity in the recent years are fish skins, but are fish skins good for dogs? How about dehydrated fish skins for dogs?

The answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

First, there are two types of fish skins: dried and dehydrated.

Dried fish skins have been exposed to the air and sun for a long time, which allows them to dry out completely. They are crunchy and flaky and can be served as a snack just like any other dried meat or vegetable.

However, like any other dried meat or vegetable, they should be eaten in moderation because they can upset your dog’s stomach if he eats too much at once.

Dehydrated fish skins are made by soaking fresh fish in salt water for several days before drying it out in an oven or over a flame until it turns into jerky-like strips that you can feed directly to your dog (or use as part of a recipe).

Dehydrated fish skins contain many nutrients that your dog needs, such as vitamins A and D as well as omega 3 fatty acids; however, they do not contain any moisture so they may be difficult for your dog’s body to digest properly if he eats too much at once—so make sure you only give him small amounts.

How Should I Store Dried Fish?

Dried fish is a great way to add protein to your dog’s diet, but it can be tricky to store. Here are some tips for storing dried fish safely:

  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight—dried fish can get damaged by UV rays!
  • Keep it cool—dried fish should not be kept in the refrigerator, as this may cause the oils in the fish to harden and become rancid.
  • Avoid storing dried fish with other foods with strong smells, such as onions or garlic (which may also damage the oils).


Dried fish can help you out in an emergency, and it’s a very healthy food for dogs. However, never leave your dog unattended with it, and make sure that you store the dried fish properly so that your dog doesn’t accidentally consume the remnants of its last meal.

Excessively feeding dried fish to your dog can cause him or her to experience side effects, such as increased thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy. The best way to check what kind of fish you should give your dog is by consulting with a veterinarian before giving out any food.

To learn more about what seafood can dogs eat, such as can dogs eat trout, keep following this page as I share more of my experiences and insights. Until the next one! Make sure to hug your furry friends extra tight today!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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