If your canine companion routinely gives you puppy dog eyes when you make flounder and begs for a bite, it can be difficult to resist giving them a taste. But before you give your pet any people food, it’s always wise to double-check that it’s safe for it to eat. So, can dogs eat flounder, and is it safe?
Yes, and yes! Many kinds of fish are perfectly safe for our pups to consume, and flounder is on that list. In fact, flounder isn’t just yummy for your dog; it provides it with several health benefits as well. Keep reading to learn more about these benefits!
Health Benefits of Flounder for Dogs
One way flounder is healthy for dogs is that it offers them quite a bit of protein. And because fish is a novel protein, it makes an excellent option for dogs with food allergies (as most food allergies are to common protein sources, like chicken or beef).1 Dogs require protein to aid in maintaining healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons and need between 18–22% DM (dry matter) in their diets for optimal health.2 However, there’s such a thing as too much protein, so be careful you aren’t feeding your dog a diet that has excessive protein.
Flounder is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital in keeping the immune system healthy, fighting inflammation, and keeping your pet’s coat looking fabulous. And this fish is low in saturated fat, making it a healthier choice than meats that contain higher fat contents.
Then there are the vitamins and minerals that flounder contains, such as B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium. B vitamins are essential in promoting nerve and brain health in our pups. Phosphorus and magnesium help to keep organs working properly.
Finally, flounder is a fish that typically has lower levels of mercury than other fishes. This is important as consuming too much mercury can result in mercury poisoning in our dogs.3
So, flounder is a fairly healthy food to feed our canine friends!
Are There Any Risks to Flounder?
There aren’t too many risks associated with feeding flounder to your dog. Because flounder tends to contain less mercury, that shouldn’t be a significant concern.
However, fish bones can be risky because they pose a choking hazard and can cause blockages in the stomachs of our pups. So, any flounder you give your pet should be deboned first.
And any flounder (or fish, in general) you want to feed your dog should always be cooked. Feeding raw fish to your pet means any bacteria or parasites still on the fish are being consumed by your pup.4 That means you run the risk of your dog getting tapeworms, roundworms, and salmonella.5
Also, keep in mind that when cooking flounder for your dog, you should avoid any seasonings or oils, as these could make your pup ill.
Giving Flounder to Your Dog Safely
If you want to give your dog a whole flounder, so long as it is deboned and cooked well, you should have no problems.
But you can also incorporate this fish into your pet’s diet by switching to a dog food that has flounder in it. This may be the best and safest way to feed your dog flounder, as you don’t risk accidentally missing a fish bone or not cooking fish well enough to kill off bacteria. Plus, there’s no cooking involved, which is great for you!
Particularly if your dog has food allergies, a high-quality dog food that contains flounder as the first ingredient could be a wonderful option. And dog food is specifically formulated to meet all your dog’s nutritional needs, so you can rest assured your pet is getting everything it needs.
Flounder is a perfectly safe and healthy fish to feed your dog; you just need to be a bit careful in how you present it. If you’re giving your pet whole fish, you need to ensure that all the bones have been removed and that it has been cooked thoroughly (and without oil or seasonings) so you don’t run into choking hazards or potential bacterial or parasitic infection. You can also get more flounder into your dog’s diet by switching to a high-quality dog food containing this fish.
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