Can dogs eat Catfish – head, skin, bones, raw or fried?

How healthy is catfish for dogs

Is Catfish good for dogs to eat?

Yes, dog can definitely eat Catfish as it contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, and also fish being a healthy source of protein which is very essential for a dog’s diet. One thing to make sure is that the Catfish is properly prepared and is well cooked before feeding the dog. One has to be careful with the small bones and remove them, as it can cause harm to the dog’s health and digestion. Catfish can also add another flavor to the dog’s daily food.

What is Catfish?

It is a type of fish, mainly found in the freshwater, having a stout bodied scaleless bony skin and long tactile barbels i.e., whiskers around the mouth. It is one of the oldest and a widespread species of fish present all over the world.

What are the nutritional values in a Catfish?

A 100 gram provides multiple nutrients such as :

  • Calories: 105
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Sodium: 50 mg
  • Protein: 18 grams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 237 mg
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: 337 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 121% of the Daily Value (DV)
  •  Potassium:19% of the DV
  • Cholesterol: 24% of the DV
  • Selenium: 26% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24 of the DV
  • Thiamine: 15 of the DV

Catfish cooked nuggets:

These can be easily be fed to dogs as the fish is deboned, cleaned properly, and cooked well, is safest for dog consumption.

Fried breaded catfish:

It should be avoided in all possible respects to be given to a dog as fried catfish does nothing but let the dog intake more oil and fat, adding no extra nutritional value to the catfish. It will only make the dog lazy and his overall health might not be appropriate over time.

Raw catfish head:

Raw catfish can be appealing to the dogs and can be easily digested, but it might contain flukes, tapeworms, roundworms, or many other kinds of parasites. To keep the catfish away from them, one must wash and clean with freshwater, and also freeze it in the freezer, which helps in killing all the types of parasites in the fish.

Catfish skin:

Catfish skin is rather tough and leathery, which can be both difficult and dangerous to eat if left over on the meat, uncooked. The skin must be taken out properly and should be separated before giving it to the dog to eat. The skin should be properly cooked and the scales on the skin should not be unusually hard or sharp. It is better safe to share only a small part of skin with the dog.

Catfish bones:

Catfish bones should never be fed to a dog, they shouldn’t be left out in the house open which might come in the reach of the dogs. Its consumption by the dog can be life threatening. It can cause trouble to the dog in the mouth, stomach, throat, intestines…etc. if the condition worsens after 24 hours, take the dog to a vet immediately.

Catfish fillets:

These are the best to serve to the dog as the dog relishes well cooked and chunks of meat. The nutritional values of the catfish remain intact and the catfish is cooked very well from the inside and outside too.

What if the dog swallowed any bone in the catfish?

Immediately, take the dog to a vet if the condition of the dog seems worsening.

How can catfish be beneficial for a dog?

Catfish is rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, which decreases inflammation, which is very beneficial for the dog. It can be essential for dogs that are possibly allergic to Chicken. One more reason to add can be that dogs love the smell of fish and they crave for it whenever they see or smell you eating it.

How can catfish affect the health of a dog?

Catfish can probably never harm a dog’s health, but the way it is cooked and prepared might cause some problems. The fried catfish can cause GI upset in dogs, which might lead to serious health problem like pancreatitis. Some seasonings can also add on to the problems, especially garlic. The major problem that can be caused can be if the catfish bones go inside the dog, which can be very painful and sometimes, life threatening.


Catfish is a healthy food for the dogs to eat, and can be regarded as an alternate meal for the dog, apart for its old daily routine meal. The dog will enjoy the nuggets, fillets, cooked catfish a lot which will help in proper grooming and development of the dog. A thing to keep in mind is that the bones should never be fed to the dog, as it may cause serious health issues. The catfish skin should be properly washed to remove all kinds of parasites that can possibly harm the dog’s health.

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