Can Dogs Eat Swordfish

Can Dogs Eat Swordfish?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

A dog’s health may be compromised if it eats swordfish, which contains toxic elements. Any unusual food you feed your dog should be discussed with your veterinarian.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Swordfish?“.

Fish is one of the most popular dog treats so it is no surprise that dried fish is one of the most popular treats for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Swordfish

Swordfish is one of the fish that is not safe for dogs to eat. 

No matter if you want to learn about swordfish for yourself or if you want to advise a friend with a dog about it we are here to help!

Make sure you do not serve swordfish or its relatives to your dog if you love it and care about what it eats.

Even though swordfish are not suitable for dogs they do have some benefits as discussed below.

Three benefits for dogs of eating swordfish…

There are three main health benefits of swordfish for dogs:

Swordfish is rich in protein

For puppies who require a high-protein diet swordfish is a good source of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids they need.

High in vitamin D

Having strong bones and teeth requires vitamin D which swordfish are rich in. The vitamin D in swordfish is more than twice the recommended daily value (RDA) for humans and this nutrient helps maintain strong bones muscles teeth and even the immune system.

It contains omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids in swordfish are beneficial to the heart skin coat and joints:

  • Skin and Coat Health: Omega-3 fatty acids prevent dry skin and flaking due to dandruff or other skin conditions like eczema or seborrhea (a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin) in your dog. Additionally these healthy fats promote healthy hair growth which helps prevent excessive shedding.
  • Joint Health: Inflammation in joints can be reduced by omega-3 fatty acids. As a result arthritis or other joint problems such as hip dysplasia or chronic osteoarthritis will be relieved of their pain and swelling.
  • Heart diseases: Omega-3 fatty acids found in swordfish reduce the risk of heart disease. It is possible that dogs who eat swordfish are less likely to develop heart disease or strokes. Joint health and brain function are also improved by omega-3 fatty acids.

Four risks to dogs of eating swordfish

Despite being a popular food swordfish can also be poisonous to dogs. There are a number of risks associated with eating swordfish including:

High in mercury

The high mercury levels in swordfish can cause neurological damage to dogs if they are exposed to too much.

An individual who is poisoned with mercury may experience vomiting diarrhea tremors seizures and dilated pupils.

High in cholesterol

In dogs who consume large amounts of swordfish regularly high levels of cholesterol may increase their risk of heart disease.

In dogs with heart problems or other conditions that predispose them to cardiovascular disease (CVD) this is especially true.

Raw Swordfish Is Dangerous for Dogs

The enzyme thiaminase (vitamin B1) destroys thiamine (vitamin B) in raw swordfish.

Dogs with thiamine deficiencies can suffer from neurological disorders and heart failure.

Unless your dog has access to raw fish or raw meat scraps containing thiaminase thiamine deficiency is rare in dogs eating only commercial or home-cooked food.

The bones of the swordfish are a choking hazard

Be sure to remove all of the bones from the swordfish before feeding it to your dog.

Fish bones are sharp making them difficult for your dog to chew causing impaction in his digestive system.

In some cases raw or undercooked fish bones can cause blockages in your dogs digestive tract leading to death. 

How nutritious is swordfish and how might this nutrition benefit a dog?

For dogs with diabetes or weight loss issues swordfish isnot a good choice because it does not contain carbohydrates.

In contrast swordfish is an excellent choice for dogs in good health who need a protein boost.

The protein content of swordfish is approximately 20 grams per 3-ounce serving. Additionally it contains about 6 grams of fat and no carbohydrates.

Swordfish proteins are complete meaning they contain all the amino acids dogs need to grow and maintain. Additionally they are high in arginine and lysine two amino acids essential for healing and tissue repair. Here is a breakdown of these nutritions:

  • Calories: 146:
  • Protein: 20 grams:
  • Fat: 6.7 grams:
  • Carbs: 0 grams:
  • Selenium: 106% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin D: 71% of the DV
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 7% of the DV

Can dogs eat raw swordfish?

It is not safe for dogs to eat raw swordfish.

Fish flesh contains a toxin called scombroid which is similar to histamine and can cause severe allergic reactions.

Symptoms include itchiness hives swelling of the face and paws vomiting and diarrhea.

A veterinary clinic should be consulted if your dog has consumed raw swordfish.

Raw swordfish may also contain bacteria that can cause severe illness or death to some animals.

Since cooking kills these bacteria if you feed your dog cooked swordfish (which is safe) ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked so no raw juices remain.

What is the best way of cooking swordfish for your dog?

For your dog baking or grilling swordfish is the best method. Before feeding your dog ensure that all skin and bones have been removed.

Make sure not to use oil or seasonings on the swordfish you bake for your dog since these would not be good for his digestive system. To prevent your dog from becoming ill from eating raw spots on the meat cook the fish thoroughly before feeding it to him.

Alternatively you can cut the swordfish into small pieces to make them easier for your dog to eat. When your dog has food allergies which can happen with any food including fish this will prevent choking.

You should never cook swordfish in oil seasonings or spices as these can be toxic to dogs.

You should not use oil because it adds unnecessary calories and fat to the meal. In the same way seasonings and spices are unnecessary!

Is the skin safe for dogs to eat?

Yes of course! When swordfish skin is thoroughly cooked dogs can eat it. It is always a good idea to consult your vet before feeding your dog any new food or treats.

Dogs need omega-3 fatty acids to be healthy which can be found in swordfish skin. 

How much swordfish should I feed my dog?

You should keep in mind that your dogs serving size is determined by his weight. Compared to a large dog weighing more than 100 pounds a small dog weighing less than 10 pounds needs a much smaller serving.

A 10-pound dog should consume about 10 grams of fish per 450 grams about two tablespoons of cooked fish or 1/4 cup of canned salmon.

Omega-3 fatty acids and protein are beneficial for the health of your dog. Salmon contains both of these nutrients.

How dangerous are the bones in a swordfish for a dog?

It is easy for swordfish bones to splinter because they are long and thin. Getting a bone stuck in a dogs esophagus or throat is very dangerous. It can cause choking inflammation infection and even death if it gets stuck.

All bones including swordfish are choking hazards for dogs. It is best to avoid giving your dog bones in the first place if you want to prevent him from eating them. It is best to cook bones thoroughly so that all the marrow is removed before giving them to your dog.

Can puppies eat swordfish?

The consumption of swordfish may cause puppies to develop a severe case of pancreatitis. If not treated properly this condition is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. Swordfish should not be fed to puppies since they cannot digest it well which can cause pancreatitis. Due to their sensitivity to toxins puppies are more likely to be affected by this poison than adults but because puppies are smaller they are more likely to experience a greater reaction.

To ensure that all bacteria are killed off in swordfish cook it well before giving it to your puppy. You should also feed your puppy small amounts at first so that their stomachs get used to digesting this type of meat before gradually increasing their servings.

How available is swordfish?

The swordfish is a bit harder to find than salmon. However it isnot impossible.

The Walmart and Costco websites are good places to buy swordfish if you live in the US. You can often find great deals on swordfish at these two retailers so you should check them out if you want to save money. The best part is that you do not have to pay to ship if you live where Walmart has a store!

Salmon is cheaper than swordfish but swordfish is more expensive. The price of swordfish per pound is $3.27 while the price of Salomon fish per pound ranges from $2.34 to $2.68.

Swordfish isnot the best choice if you’re looking for something cheap and easy. While swordfish isnot something you’ll want to buy every week occasionally buying it will boost your budget without breaking the bank.

Alternatives to swordfish

It is good news for pet owners who want to save money on commercial pet food that some fish is safe for dogs to eat. A homemade diet can even have some benefits for your dog.

You can give your dog whitefish such as flounder and cod as a good source of protein. They have a mild flavor which can appeal to most dogs and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

Try salmon or tuna if you’re looking for something a bit flavorful. Fish such as these have oils that make them oily when eaten raw so if your dog has digestive problems or itchy skin they may not be the best choice.


A dogs health may be compromised if it eats swordfish which contains toxic elements.

Any unusual food you feed your dog should be discussed with your veterinarian.

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With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

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