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Can Dogs Eat Cod? A Nutritious Treat For Your Pooch



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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If you’re a dog owner, you might have wondered about the types of food that are safe to feed your furry friend. One common question that often arises is whether or not dogs can eat cod.

Cod is a type of white fish that is commonly found in the ocean and is known for being low in calories and high in protein.

But is it safe for your dog to eat? In this article, we’ll dive into the nutritional value of cod and whether or not it’s a good idea for dogs to consume it.

Can Dogs Eat Cod?

Can Dogs Eat Cod

Yes, dogs can eat cooked cod fish without bones in moderation as long as it is cooked thoroughly.

Cod is a lean fish that is often found in various recipes of dog food because it is a great source of protein and contains many beneficial nutrients.

It also has relatively low levels of mercury contamination, making it safe for dogs to consume.

When feeding your dog cod, make sure to cook it without any additional ingredients or seasoning.

This will help ensure that your pup gets the full nutritional benefits from the fish without any potential health risks.

Additionally, keep in mind that too much of anything can be a problem and should be fed to your dog in moderation.

See also: Top 10 Safe Seafood Options For Dogs To Eat

How Much Cod Can Dogs Eat?

When feeding your dog cod, it’s important to do so in moderation. A general guideline is to feed your dog no more than 10% of their daily diet in fish.

For example, if your dog typically consumes 12 oz of food per day, it should receive no more than 1.2 oz of fish per day.

When it comes to cod specifically, a good serving size for a dog is about 2-4 ounces of cooked cod fish per week, depending on the size of the dog. This will provide them with the health benefits of the fish without causing any digestive or health issues.

It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian on the appropriate amount of fish to feed your dog based on their individual needs and health condition.

Cod Feeding Chart According To Size

CodToy dogs1 ounce
CodSmall dogs1 ounce
CodMedium dogs2 ounces
CodLarge Dogs3 ounces

Cod Feeding Chart According To Age

Cod0 – 6 monthsDon’t feed
Cod6 – 12 months1 ounce
Cod12 – 24 months3 ounces
Cod24+ months3 ounces

How Often Can Dogs Eat Cod

While it’s generally safe for dogs to eat cod fish in moderation, it’s not recommended to include it in their daily diet.

This is because feeding your dog too much fish too frequently can lead to an imbalance in their diet, potentially causing digestive issues or other health problems.

As a general guideline, feeding your dog cod fish once or twice a week as part of their balanced diet is preferred. This will provide them with the health benefits of the fish without causing any health issues.

It’s always recommended to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and feeding schedule for your individual dog based on their specific nutritional and health needs.

Health Benefits of Cod To Dogs

  1. High in Protein. Cod is a good source of protein which is essential for dogs as it helps maintain healthy muscles and tissues. The protein content in cod also promotes the growth of hair and skin, giving your dog a shiny coat.
  2. Low in Calories. Cod is a lean fish, which means it has low levels of fat and calories. This makes it a great option for dogs that are overweight or prone to obesity. Low-calorie content also helps in maintaining a healthy weight in a dog.
  3. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Cod contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and promoting healthy brain function. Omega-3s are also beneficial in reducing joint pain and stiffness in dogs with arthritis.
  4. Contains Vitamins and Minerals. Cod contains various vitamins and minerals that are important for a dog’s health, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. These vitamins and minerals help in promoting strong bones, teeth, and healthy skin.
  5. Low Mercury Levels. Cod has low levels of mercury compared to other types of fish. Feeding your dog, small amounts of cooked cod can help ensure they are not exposed to harmful toxins and heavy metals commonly found in fish with higher levels of mercury.

Potential Risks of Feeding Cod To Dogs

  1. Bones. Like all fish, cod contains small bones that can pose a choking hazard to dogs if not removed before feeding. Eating bones can also cause injuries internally. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your dog’s cod is thoroughly deboned before feeding.
  2. Cooking Method. Improper cooking can produce harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs. Raw or undercooked cod can contain parasites that may pose a health risk to dogs. It’s critical to cook cod properly to avoid health risks.
  3. Allergies. Some dogs may be allergic to cod or other types of fish. Common symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties. If your dog has not consumed cod before, it’s recommended to start with a small serving to test for allergic reactions before increasing the quantity.
  4. Sodium/Salt levels. Cod contains naturally low amounts of sodium, but if your dog is consuming packaged or canned cod, it may contain added salt or seasoning, leading to salt toxicity, which is harmful to dogs. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid feeding canned or packaged cod to a dog.
  5. Overfeeding. Overfeeding with any food can lead to weight gain, digestive issues, and other health problems. It’s essential to follow the recommended serving size and overall feeding guidelines when introducing cod into a dog’s diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Cod For Dogs

Cod Nutrition Facts per 100 grams% DV *
Total Fat0.7 g
Cholesterol43 mg
Sugar0 g
Glycemic Index0
Sodium54 mg
Carbs0 g
Protein18 g
Vitamin D9%
Potassium413 mg

Are Dogs Sensitive To Cod?

Yes, some dogs can be sensitive to cod or other types of fish as it is an allergen. If your dog hasn’t consumed cod before, it’s important to monitor them carefully when introducing the fish into their diet.

Here are some signs that your dog may be sensitive or allergic to cod:

  1. Digestive Issues. If your dog vomits, has diarrhea, or shows signs of abdominal pain after eating cod, it may be experiencing a digestive reaction to the fish.
  2. Skin Irritation. Allergies can manifest through skin irritations. If you notice redness, itching, or hives on your dog’s skin, it may be a sign that they are experiencing an adverse reaction to cod.
  3. Difficulty Breathing. In severe cases, dogs may have difficulty breathing, leading to choking-like symptoms. This is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.

If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial to stop feeding your dog cod immediately and seek veterinary advice. Your veterinarian can help diagnose the issue and identify the allergen responsible for the reaction.

Allergies can be managed by eliminating the allergen from the dog’s diet, and in severe cases, medication can be given to manage symptoms such as itching or inflammation.

How To Prepare Cod For Dogs

  1. Baked Cod. One of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare cod for dogs is to bake it. Preheat the oven to 350°F, clean and season the cod with dog-safe herbs or spices, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Let the cod cool before serving your dog.
  2. Grilled Cod. Grilled cod is also another healthy and delicious way to prepare this fish for your dog. Place the seasoned cod on a grill and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until fully cooked. Make sure to keep the heat low and adjust the time as needed depending on the thickness of the fish. Once done, cut it into small pieces and serve it to your dog.
  3. Steamed Cod. Steaming the cod is another healthy way to prepare this fish for your dog. Place the cod into a steaming basket and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until fully cooked. You can add some dog-friendly vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas to add a nutritional boost to the meal.

When preparing cod for your dog, make sure to remove all bones, and skin and cook it thoroughly before feeding. Avoid seasonings and additives like salt and oil that can be harmful to your dog’s health.

How Fast Will Dogs Digest Cod

The rate of digestion for cod in dogs depends on various factors, including the size, age, and overall health of the dog. However, in general, dogs have a relatively fast metabolism, and the digestion of cod is relatively quick compared to other types of food.

After consuming cod, it typically takes around 4-6 hours for a dog’s digestive system to fully break down the fish and absorb the key nutrients.

The food then quickly moves through the digestive tract, and the remaining waste is eliminated within 24-36 hours.

It’s important to note that the digestion rate can be affected by various factors, including the overall health of your dog’s digestive system, their feeding habits, and any underlying health conditions.

Poor digestion can also lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms after consuming cod, it’s essential to reduce the serving size or stop feeding altogether and seek veterinary advice.

Overall, feeding your dog cod in moderation can be a healthy and beneficial diet addition, but as with any food or dietary supplement, caution and monitoring are recommended.


Can dogs eat cod liver oil?

Yes, dogs can eat cod liver oil. It is a beneficial supplement that provides essential vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids which are important for canine health. Cod liver oil can help to improve your dog’s skin and coat health, joint flexibility, and general well-being.

Can dogs eat cod roe?

Yes, dogs can eat cod roe in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, it is important to note that cod roe should not be the only food in your pet’s diet and should always be served cooked.

Can dogs eat cod skin?

Yes, dogs can eat cod skin. It’s great for their fur and coat health since cod skin is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Can dogs eat cod liver?

Yes, dogs can eat cod liver in moderation. It is a nutritious snack for them and provides essential vitamins and minerals like omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B12, phosphorus, niacin, and zinc.

Can dogs eat cod fish fingers?

Yes, dogs can eat cod fish fingers in moderation. Fish is a great source of protein and healthy fats for your pup, but there are also some potential risks associated with feeding it to them. Cod fish fingers usually contain breading and seasonings that may not be suitable for dogs, so it’s important to remove any coatings.

Can dogs eat cod fillets?

Yes, dogs can eat cod fillets as long as they are cooked first. Some people like to give their pets a variety of different fish to add some extra nutrition and flavor to their diet.

Can dogs eat cod loin?

Yes, dogs can eat cod loin in moderation. Cod is a great source of lean protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids which have many health benefits for your dog. However, it should be cooked before feeding to ensure that there are no parasites or bacteria in the fish.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, dogs can eat cod fish as long as it is cooked thoroughly, free from all bones, and fed in moderation. Cod is a lean type of fish that is high in protein, low in calories, and contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

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