The Short Answer is:
Your dog does not have to worry about caviar being toxic or poisonous. Caviar usually has a lot of salt added, but the small amount your dog will consume shouldn’t cause any problems.
The purpose of this article is to explain “Can Dogs Eat Caviar?“.
For most of us the last couple of years has been difficult.
We do not have too many fond memories of life since the first part of 2020 whether we lost a job or lost a loved one.
For those who can afford luxuries there have been a few noticeable exceptions.
As a result more Rolls Royces are being bought than ever before and caviar sales are booming.
If you’re wealthy enough to buy caviar maybe you’re indulgent enough to feed it to your dog?
Are dogs able to consume this food safely?
Can dogs have caviar?
What an interesting question!
You did better in the lottery than I did if you are able to not only afford caviar for yourself but also buy it for your dog to sample!
Your dog does not have to worry about caviar being toxic or poisonous.
Caviar usually has a lot of salt added but the small amount your dog will consume should not cause any problems.
Because of how expensive it is I also discuss other types of fish (and by that I mean cheaper) that you might want to consider for your dog.
What is caviar?
Caviar is the eggs (roe) of wild sturgeons that have been processed.
The eggs can only be taken from sturgeon that live in the Caspian or the Black Sea according to tradition.
Sturgeon eggs taken from anywhere else are not caviar.
As for eggs from other fish types they’re not caviar either
How is caviar made?
The title is a little misleading because caviar is not made it is processed.
A female sturgeons ovaries are harvested.
Eggs (or roe) are removed from the ovaries by rinsing them.
After rinsing with water the eggs are dried.
Salt is then added in order to preserve the eggs and create a specific “taste” or “flavor”.
What nutrition does caviar have in it?
Authentic caviar might be just as bad for your dog as it is for your wallet according to an online search.
One of the most expensive caviars in the UK costs £62 ($90) for 20g (Beluga caviar).
If you do not know how much 20g is then a small chickens egg weighs about 40g.
In other words its half of one of those- which isnot much at all.
The nutritional profile of caviar is high in fat sodium cholesterol and protein.
Firstly I would like to take a look at the cholesterol since it seems way above any other high cholesterol food that I was able to find.
There is 633mg of cholesterol in 100g of caviar.
In the same amount there are 113 mg of cheddar cheese and 113 mg of heavy cream.
Caviar contains five times more than 113 mg so do not worry about what it means.
We now turn our attention to sodium also known as salt.
The sodium content of caviar varies depending on its type so it is important to understand this.
There is however 1667 mg of salt in every 100 grams of this type of caviar.
As an example of products that are notoriously high in salt 100g of pizza contains 740 mg of salt while a bag of “classic” flavored chips contains about 680 mg.
Unbelievable isnot it?
And as we move on to fat the news does not get better.
Caviar has a very very high-fat content of 20%.
Approximately 5% of an adult dogs diet should be fat.
The good news is that caviar has a protein content of around 20% which is close to the recommended level of 18% for a dog of any age.
Caviar lacks vitamins and minerals which is another area in which it falls short.
Vitamin-wise it does not contain any vitamins at least none that have been measured and mineral-wise it only contains one (apart from sodium) in any significant amount.
Iron is what it is.
In order for red blood cells to form and remain healthy iron is required.
Iron on the other hand if thats what you want…
You could buy a lot of kale or spring greens with the £60 you will spend on the caviar.
Having looked at the nutritional benefits of caviar I want to compare some alternatives in terms of what nutrients they contain and how much they cost.
Can dogs eat caviar alternatives?
How do eggs from other types of fish compare to those produced by pregnant female fish?
Here are two popular alternatives: red salmon and herring.
No matter what breed of fish you choose the product will cost a relative fortune regardless of your dogs desperate need for fish eggs.
It is partly because any product with the name caviar in the title is essentially a license to print money.
There is no doubt that caviar is expensive and everyone knows that.
The second reason why fish eggs will always be costly is that it takes a long time to extract the eggs from the fish and process them.
However before I give you some specific prices lets take a look at some nutritional values.
To assist us I have created a chart.
|A 100-gram serving of Caviar Herring Salmon|
|Fat||20 g||6.4 g||14 g|
|Cholesterol||633 mg||374 mg||–|
|Sodium||1667 mg||91 mg||1500 mg|
|Protein||20 g||22 g||29g|
|Vitamins||B2 B12 D||B12 D|
|Minerals||Iron||Phosphorous Selenium||Selenium Magnesium and Iron|
Let me begin by examining the biggest differences.
The cholesterol content of herring roe is half that of caviar.
Despite searching almost everywhere I could not find any information about the cholesterol levels in salmon roe.
As we have already mentioned the sodium levels in caviar are extreme (1667 mg) and in salmon roe are almost as extreme (1500 mg) but the sodium levels in herring roe are very low by comparison.
Ninety-one milligrams. A number is so low that it does not set off any health alarms.
For all the wrong reasons once more caviar leads the field in fat content.
The product contains 20% fat.
Herring roe with a fat content of 6.4% is the healthiest option with a fat content of 14.4%.
The next category is protein which has a more interesting mix.
Fish with the highest protein content is salmon with 29% followed by herring with 22%.
This is closely followed by caviar which is for once at the back of the field.
Earlier I showed you that caviar does not contain any vitamins.
Herring and salmon roe however both contain significant amounts of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Moreover herring roe contains a lot of vitamin B2.
What are the benefits of these vitamins?
A dogs metabolism will run more smoothly and effectively with the help of B vitamins.
Sunshine vitamin vitamin D.
Sun exposure produces it in humans and dogs.
In addition dogs also absorb it from certain types of meat including liver fish and eggs.
A strange list when we’re talking about fish eggs that contain a lot of vitamin D…
We now turn our attention to minerals.
In our previous article we discussed the presence of iron in caviar and its role in a dogs body.
Iron is also abundant in salmon.
Both salmon roe and herring roe contain a mineral called selenium.
In addition selenium promotes a dogs immune system and helps the thyroid function properly.
There is a relatively high amount of phosphorus in herring roe.
Moreover phosphorus helps build strong healthy bones.
Lastly salmon roe contains a lot of magnesium.
Additionally magnesium is thought to support hundreds of tiny functions in a dogs body.
Among these benefits is that it helps to maintain a steady heartbeat.
Are you of the opinion that we should finish the biology lesson at this point?
So far I have examined whether dogs can eat caviar and fish eggs.
Unfortunately these products are financially out of reach for the majority of us so I would like to finish this article by pointing out what other fish parts might be a more appropriate addition to your dogs diet.
Can dogs eat fishbones?
Fish fillets are what most of us buy.
After a few minutes of preparation they are ready for serving with a little seasoning and oil drizzled on top.
Some of us however like to do things differently and I occasionally fall into this trap.
When you buy fish directly from a fish counter or fishmonger you are aware that there is quite a bit of preparation needed and that parts of the fish must be thrown away.
Dogs are a good option in these situations.
The act of throwing fish parts away makes my head spin for two reasons.
Firstly raw or cooked fish will stink your trash and secondly I hate waste so I like to give my dogs what I can.
However most of these waste parts are not very dog-friendly.
Our dogs can get choking hazards from fish heads and if I’m not careful they might get the fins stuck in their throats and have to retch!
Fishbones are no different.
It is very likely that your dog could choke on these even though they are packed with flavor and nutrients.
The best way to feed your dog fish heads and fish bones is as fish broth I explain in an article I wrote about fish bones.