Whether good or bad, a dog will eat just anything he can set his paws on.
You’ll see your pup with begging eyes every time you sit to enjoy your goldfish crackers.
It’s your responsibility to determine whether feeding your pooch goldfish is safe for him.
So, can dogs eat goldfish? No, apart from containing xylitol, goldfish are prone to tapeworms which are harmful to dogs.
Moreover, these fish may have coccidia infection, an infection that can cause severe diarrhea in dogs.
What happens if your dog eats goldfish, and what can you do about it?
Are there any home remedies to keep your canine safe?
Read on to get enlightened on these crucial matters for your pup.
Reasons You Should Not Give Your Dog Goldfish
Many people keep goldfish in their home aquariums.
This is because they are low-maintenance, cute, and don’t require much care.
However, you should not give your pup goldfish for the following reasons:
Goldfish Are Prone To Tapeworms
Tapeworms are harmful organisms that can live in the intestines of goldfish.
If your dog eats a goldfish with tapeworms, he can also get them.
Dipylidium caninum is the common tapeworm species transferred from goldfish to dogs.
Using its hook-like mouth, this tapeworm grabs onto the wall of the intestine and feeds on partially digested food.
An adult tapeworm measures up to 11 inches.
An infection with Dipylidium caninum often causes no symptoms in dogs.
However, some may experience weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or a change in appetite.
If your dog has these symptoms, take him to the vet immediately.
If left untreated, tapeworms can lead to:
- Weight loss: Tapeworms feed on the food your dog eats. As a result, your pup gets less nutrition which causes weight loss.
- Vomiting: If the tapeworms move to the stomach, your dog may start throwing up. This is common after feeding him.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common symptom of many intestinal parasites, including tapeworms. These parasites can also cause blood in the stool.
- Intestinal blockage: In severe cases, tapeworms can cause intestinal blockage. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- Change in appetite: Some dogs with tapeworms become ravenous, while others lose appetite.
- Anemia: In rare cases, tapeworms can cause anemia. Anemia reduces the number of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Goldfish May Have Coccidia
Coccidia is a protozoan that can cause severe diarrhea in dogs.
The protozoan is common in goldfish and other freshwater fish.
Treating your pup of coccidia is a tedious and costly activity.
Apart from incurring extra costs in medication, it will take you between 10 to 14 days to see improvements in your dog’s health.
Coccidia leads to coccidiosis infection in dogs.
The infection is manifested through:
- Watery diarrhea: This is the most common symptom of coccidiosis. The Diarrhea may be green, yellow, or brown and can contain mucus and blood.
- Loss of appetite: In severe cases, your dog may lose his appetite and stop eating altogether.
- Weight loss: When your dog loses appetite due to the infection, he will not get sufficient nutrients for a healthy body, which results in weight loss.
- Dehydration: Dehydration is a common complication of coccidiosis. This is because the infection causes severe diarrhea, which leads to loss of fluids in the body.
- Depression: In some cases, dogs with coccidiosis become depressed and lethargic due to insufficient nutrients.
It’s worth noting that not all coccidiosis infections in dogs and puppies emanate from eating goldfish.
Your dog can ingest coccidia from:
- Contaminated soil
- Hunting and eating infected rodents
- Busy breeding kennels
- Feces of other dogs
It’s advisable to take your dog for regular vet checkups and deworming. This will help keep coccidiosis at bay.
Goldfish May Have Bacterial Infection
Bacteria are everywhere, and they can cause infections in both humans and animals.
Some of the common bacteria that infect goldfish include:
- Aeromonas hydrophila: The bacteria is found in contaminated water, and it causes fin rot in fish. If your pup ingests this bacteria by eating goldfish, he’ll experience diarrhea and vomiting.
- Pseudomonas: This bacteria is also found in contaminated water and can be spread to dogs by eating goldfish. It causes pseudomonas otitis in dogs.
- Mycobacterium: This bacteria is found in fresh and brackish water. It can cause mycobacteriosis infection in dogs.
Bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics.
However, it’s important to note that not all bacteria can be killed by antibiotics.
As such, it’s essential to take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis before starting any treatment.
Home Remedies for Dogs Who Ate Goldfish
If your dog ate goldfish, the first thing you should do is monitor him for any symptoms.
If he starts showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, do the following:
- Give him plenty of water to drink to prevent dehydration
- Add fiber to his diet to help with any digestive issues
- Feed him small, frequent meals instead of large ones to avoid vomiting
- If he is lethargic, make sure he gets plenty of rest.
Finally, you must take your pooch to the vet.
The vet will be able to properly diagnose him and give the necessary treatment.
Preventing Your Dog From Eating Goldfish
The best way to prevent your dog from eating goldfish is to keep them out of his reach.
This means not leaving them where he can reach them.
You should also keep an eye on him when he’s around goldfish.
If you have goldfish as pets, keep them in a secure tank that your dog cannot access.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if a dog eats a goldfish?
If a dog eats a goldfish, he’ll develop unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
If the goldfish is infected with bacteria, the dog may also develop a bacterial infection like pseudomonas otitis.
How much goldfish can dogs eat?
Dogs should not eat goldfish.
Goldfish may have coccidiosis and other bacterial infections that will be transmitted to dogs.
Dogs should not eat goldfish.
If you love eating goldfish crackers, make sure your dog doesn’t have access to them.
If you have goldfish as pets, keep them in a secure tank that your dog cannot reach.
Feeding your dog goldfish will expose him to bacterial infections that will cost you money and time to eradicate.
It’s just not worth it.
Keep your goldfish away from your pup.