Can Dogs Eat Fish Heads?

Dogs are man’s best friends.

They’re lovable, cuddly, loyal, and just plain fun to be around and can add a lot of joy to any family!

He is part of the serving whenever you prepare some meat like fish.

However, you wonder whether to give your dog the fish heads after everyone is done.

So, can dogs eat fish heads?

Yes, dogs can eat fish heads.

They’re rich in protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.

However, consider the fish type and age.

Fast-growing fish is preferable due to its soft bones.

Ensure that you freeze the fish head  beforehand

 In this article, find out whether fish heads are suitable for dogs.

We will look into what to consider, health benefits, allergies, and the best fish heads.

Can Dogs Eat Fish Heads

Factors that will help you choose safe fish heads

  • Soft bones

 If you have a small breed dog, then choose a soft-boned fish.

They’ll allow them to chew on their food without damaging their teeth or choking on too large bones for them to swallow.

Soft bones also tend to be more digestible than hard ones because they are easier to break down in your dog’s stomach.

  • Frozen fish

Fish heads should be frozen for not less than 3 weeks before you give them to dogs.

Freezing will help kill bacteria entirely thawed that may be present in the fish head, making your mutt sick.

When you buy frozen fish, make sure it’s been thawed completely before feeding it to your dog.

If it hasn’t been thawed completely, bacteria could grow and cause illnesses or even death if consumed by your canine.

  • Smaller species

Smaller fish species like trout or salmon are good choices because they don’t have too much mercury and parasites.

They also have smaller bones which may be safe if the dog swallows them. 

  • Fish with a short life span and grow fast

One of the best types of fish to feed your dog is those with a short life span and grow fast.

They have high levels of omega-three fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body and promote heart health.

They include flounder, salmon, walleye, herring, and sardine.

Can a dog’s fish head cause allergies?

Yes, dogs can have allergies but in rare cases, if it’s the first time, introduce a small piece and observe any allergic reactions.

If there are allergy symptoms, stop giving your dog fish head and settle for other healthy foods.

The fish allergy symptoms include itchy skin, infection, wheezing and dry skin.

If the allergy persists, call a veterinarian or visit a veterinary clinic.

How to safely prepare fish heads for dogs

Don’t feed your dog with fresh raw fish heads

Fresh raw fish is likely to contain bacteria and parasites that may be transferred to the dog.

Therefore freezing is essential to help get rid of foreign organisms.

Its recommended that you freeze the fish head for 3 weeks to help kill all bacteria and parasites.

Bacteria can be hazardous for dogs as they cannot fight them off as humans can.

When freezing fish heads for your pet, make sure that you remove any bones in them.

Avoid seasoning

Seasoning is toxic to dogs and could cause health problems.

For instance, onions and garlic can cause anemia in dogs, and commercial seasoning may have xylitol.

Instead of adding seasoning to the fish heads, use plain water for cooking them.

You will keep their nutritional value intact and prevent exposure to diseases caused by seasoning.

Best fish head for dogs

Not all fish health is good for the dog.

Some contain high levels of mercury from seawater which may pose the risk of different health problems.

Furthermore, they have a lower risk of having parasites and bacteria that can be transferred to dogs.

The safe fish include;

  • Sardines 
  • Salmon
  • Arctic charr
  • Herring

Fish heads to avoid

Some fish heads have the potential to affect your dog’s health negatively.

Others have hard bones that may be difficult to digest, while the big-headed would chock your canine friend.

They include;

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Mackerel
  • Bigeye tuna

Health benefits of fish heads to dogs


Dogs require a diet that contains protein, as it aids in repairing damaged cells, building new ones, and producing hormones.

Protein also helps to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy by providing essential nutrients such as amino acids.

Protein contains amino acids that help support healthy muscle growth.

Furthermore,  maintaining muscle mass in older dogs who may have lost muscle mass due to aging, illness, or injury.


Zinc is a mineral that dogs need to stay healthy.

Their body uses zinc to grow, heal and maintain tissue, among other things.

It also helps form enzymes that keep cells healthy and aids in the production of testosterone, estrogen, and sperm.

It’s an essential trace mineral for dogs.

It helps them maintain their immune system, reproductive health, and more.

Dogs who don’t get enough zinc may develop several health problems, including blindness and poor bone growth.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for good vision, growth and development, bone health, and reproductive health.

In addition to its many other benefits, vitamin A helps prevent dry skin and hair loss, and infection.

Vitamin A also supports your pet’s immune system by fighting harmful bacteria and viruses.

Omega 3

Omega 3s can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides in dogs, which helps to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Omega 3s can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by arthritis or other conditions.

Omega 3s can improve skin conditions by helping to reduce dryness, flakiness, and itching.


Iron is necessary for blood production and oxygen transportation throughout the body.

It also plays a role in muscle function, brain health, and immune system function.

How many fish heads can a dog eat?

Fish heads are rich in nutrients and thus safe for dog consumption.
However, they should be given to dogs in moderation.
You should serve as part of its diet for your dog to have a balanced diet.
Feeding him 3-4 times a week can be safe for the dog.
When giving fish heads to dogs, consider the age, body size, and allergic reactions.
Moreover, you can consult with a veterinarian to know how much your dog should have, considering dogs are different.


If you have been in a dilemma of whether to feed your dog with a fish head, there is the verdict.

The fish head is a healthy option to feed your dogs.

However, consider the type of fish head you give your pup. 

Megan Turner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *