Can Dgs Eat Tilapia?

Tilapia is a plant-eating, freshwater fish. If you are a fish eater, then you may have had it last year.

An American approximately eats 1 pound of fish every year. After tuna, Salmon and Alaskan Pollock, Tilapia is the fourth most consumed fish in The United States.

Many people consume Tilapia because it has a mild flavour and is affordable.

Can dogs eat Tilapia?

Dogs can consume Tilapia if it is cleaned thoroughly. Make sure the fish is skinned, deboned and just the boneless fillet is cooked properly and then fed to your pet. When the fish is cleaned and cooked thoroughly, it makes a nutrition-rich snack rich in vitamin D, Omega 3 and potassium. 

Tilapia is a farm-raised fish and thus may contain a lot of contaminants such as cancer-causing PCBs.

Make sure you buy Tilapia that comes with a certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

Tilapia Fish

What is Tilapia?

Tilapia refers to multiple species of freshwater fishes of the cichlid family. Wild Tilapia are native to Africa, but this fish is found all over the world. It is now farmed in more than 135 countries.

It is an ideal farming fish as it can live well in the crowd, grow fast and can be fed low-cost vegetarian food. All these things make it a low-cost seafood compared to others.

The benefits and disadvantages of Tilapia is based on the differences in farming practices and its location.

China is the largest producer of Tilapia. They produce more than 1.6 million metric tons every year and most of the imports are to The United States.

Nutritional Value of Tilapia

Tilapia is packed with proteins. 3.5 ounces of Tilapia has 26 grams of protein and 128 calories. Not just this, it is rich in minerals and vitamins. It is nutritiously rich in niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and vitamin B12.

It also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, actually the proportion of Omega-3 is higher in this fish than pork, chicken, beef and turkey. Selenium in the fish helps preventing cancer, thyroid diseases, cognitive decline and heart diseases.

Tilapia is also rich in Vitmain B12 that helps in maintaining nervous system and supports red blood cells.

Benefits of Fish for Dogs

Fish provides good amount of protein for dogs which is beneficial to minimize allergies. It is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are crucial for healthy skin and coat.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, thus beneficial to those dogs that suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases or arthritis. Fish skin is also rich in collagen which helps in maintaining skin and bone health in senior dogs.

How to Feed Tilapia to Dogs?

Every fish including the Tilapia should be cleaned and cooked well before feeding to your furry friend. Raw fish is difficult to digest and also contains a lot of bacteria, parasites and salmonella. Cooking the fish kills hamrful bacteria and the chances of your pet falling sick also reduces.

Make sure to completely debone the fish before feeding. Bones are sharp and if swallowed it can puncture their stomach or intestines, which can cause seriors health complications. Bones can even choke their throat.

You may find Tilapia in a whole fish form, but cooking is easier if you get it frozen or fresh that is already deboned. Do not feed you pet pre-cooked or frozen Tilapia that is fried or marinated in a sauce.

Do not use oil, butter, salt, spices and seasonings while you are cooking for your dog. This is because, the high fat from butter and oil can upset their stomach and spices can be toxic to them.

You can steam or bake the Tilapia to keep the nutrients intact. You can cut it into pieces and put them in your dog’s home-cooked or commercial food.

How Much Tilapia Can My Dog Eat?

Based on your pet’s diet, Tilapia can be fed daily, multiple times in a week or even as a treat. Make sure to consult your vet if you are planning to switch your pet’s diet from commercial diet to home-cooked for nutritional balance.

Fish That Aren’t Safe for Dogs

As FDA guidelines, avoid the below mentioned fishes for your dog’s consumption:

  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • King mackerel
  • Albacore tuna (canned)

These species of fishes are larger as well as older when they are harvested. They most likely have an accumulation of unhealthy level of mercury but their skin, muscle tissues and internal organs can be a home for parasites.

Make sure to avoid farm-raised fishes from regions surrounding the industries. This kind of fishes also have dangerous residual anti-biotic levels, dyes and toxins in their muscles and skin when harvested and processed.


We hope to have helped you solved your question on whether you should feed Tilapia to your dog. It is completely safe to do so if the fish is raised in a good farm, deboned and cooked thoroughly.