If you look at your Cavachon’s dog food, you may very well find “tuna” listed as one of the ingredients. Many commercially-sold dog foods contain this ingredient, so dog owners don’t think twice about offering a smidge to their hound. But should a Cavachon really indulge in a piece of tuna?
Cavachons should not consume tuna, especially in large quantities. While a bite on rare occasions likely won’t do any harm, overconsumption can lead to mercury poisoning. This is true for fresh and canned varieties, although canned tuna tends to have less mercury than fresh.
Most pet owners are on a mission to keep their pets healthy, and that includes Cavachon owners. Knowing that fish – including tuna – is loaded with dog-friendly vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it’s not surprising that Cavachon owners might want to add tuna to their pet’s diet. This article teaches why a Cavachon should – or should not – consume tuna.
Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Fish is touted as one of the best things to consume – and that’s true for dogs and dog owners. But there is some debate about whether tuna should be fed to dogs, including Cavacohons.
While tuna is included in many commercial dog foods, it shouldn’t be served on its own. A bite on rare occasions may be alright, but the benefits tend not to outweigh the risk. If you’re going to serve your Cavachon a piece of tuna, it’s better to go with canned tuna rather than fresh, no more than once a week, if that.
Why Shouldn’t My Cavachon Eat Tuna?
Why shouldn’t tuna make it onto your Cavachon’s dinner plate? Well, it all comes down to one keyword associated with the tuna fish – mercury.
Tuna contains high levels of mercury. This is especially true for fresh tuna as opposed to canned tuna. This is why it’s not recommended for humans to consume tuna on a daily basis. And if it’s not OK for you, it’s definitely not OK for your small-sized Cavachon.
Too much consumption of tuna can lead to mercury poisoning, which is obviously something you will want to avoid. Mercury poisoning can and will wreak havoc on your Cavachon’s digestive tract, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and kidneys.
That is why your Cavachon should only consume tuna on rare occasions and in small amounts or avoid it altogether. If you’re going to serve tuna, opt for canned tuna over fresh tuna, as it contains less mercury.
Signs of Mercury Poisoning in Dogs
Mercury poisoning is a serious issue that can occur after the overconsumption of tuna. Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Trouble with urinating
- Swollen stomach
- Poor coordination
- Excessive hair loss
If you believe your Cavachon has mercury poisoning, you must immediately get your hound professional help. Mercury poisoning will not go away and must be treated by a veterinarian.
Benefits of Tuna
It’s not all bad news for the tuna, though. So if your Cavachon accidentally sneaks a bite or two, it’s not the end of the world. Like other kinds of fish, tuna has many benefits that can be advantageous to your pooch.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the most significant benefits of tuna is the impressive amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are highly advantageous to your pet. They work to improve your hound’s cardiovascular health while regulating blood pressure, reducing overall inflammation, and lowering cholesterol.
Tuna contains a high amount of protein critical for your Cavachon from puppyhood to seniorhood. Protein works wonders at building strong muscles and bones, which is especially important for the Cavachon, who has a predisposition for arthritis.
3. Low in Bad Fats
Too much fat can lead to significant health problems for your hound, including acute pancreatitis and obesity. And with a pooch susceptible to obesity, you need to be extra careful (trust me – I owned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at one point!). Well, tuna is very low in fat, so a bite every once in a while shouldn’t cause problems.
4. B Vitamins
Tuna contains high levels of essential B vitamins, including B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins are critical in promoting a healthy metabolism – which is imperative for your Cavachon, who tends to lean toward having a slower metabolism that contributes to obesity. These vitamins also increase energy levels.
5. Many Vital Minerals
Lastly, tuna is loaded with essential minerals that can benefit your Cavachon. Such minerals include potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Together, these minerals support tissue health and muscles, encourage bone strength and density, and strengthen the immune system.
How Much Tuna Can I Give My Dog?
It’s best to avoid serving your Cavachon tuna altogether. But if you’re dead set on giving your dog a bite, it’s best to keep the serving to a tablespoon or less on rare occasions. Never feed your Cavachon tuna daily, as this will lead to mercury accumulation that can lead to poisoning.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Tuna?
If you want to serve tuna to your Cavachon, canned tuna is recommended over fresh tuna. That’s because canned tuna tends to have less mercury than fresh tuna, which will be less likely to cause mercury poisoning.
You need to be careful with the type of canned tuna you’re serving your Cavachon, though. Not all canned tunas are created equally, and some can cause health problems that are not synonymous with mercury poisoning.
For instance, canned tuna with high sodium levels can be detrimental to your Cavachon. Overconsumption of salt can render vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in some cases, death. That said, ensure that the canned tuna product does not contain added salt and has a low amount of sodium.
You should also avoid canned tuna in oil. The oil will create a high-fat content that is unsuitable for your Cavachon’s diet. Overconsumption of oil can cause acute pancreatitis and obesity.
Lastly, do not serve your Cavachon any canned tuna with added seasonings or spices. Although these mix-ins make the tuna taste better for humans, they’re not safe for dogs. Onion, garlic, and spices will upset your Cavachon’s stomach and potentially lead to more detrimental side effects.
That said, you want to stick to “boring” canned tuna. No added flavors, no oils, and no salt. Stick to basic canned tuna in water and only serve it to your Cavachon on rare occasions. Remember – just because canned tuna has less mercury doesn’t mean it’s entirely free from the poison.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Tuna?
Your Cavachon should never be served raw tuna. The issue with raw tuna is that it may contain bacteria and parasites that can lead to severe illnesses, including salmonella and listeria.
The other issue is that raw tuna contains thiaminase. This enzyme prevents the absorption of Vitamin B6, an essential vitamin for your dog’s diet.
Can I Feed My Cavachon Tuna Every Day?
You should absolutely not feed your Cavachon tuna every day, even if you’re opting for the “safer” canned tuna option. Feeding your Cavachon tuna every day poses a higher risk of mercury poisoning.
If you’re going to feed tuna to your Cavachon, do so sparingly. Once or twice a month is more than enough for your pooch, especially considering the small stature of the Cavachon. (Larger dogs may be able to consume tuna once a week.)
How to Cook Tuna for Cavachons
Are you thinking about serving your Cavachon a slice of tuna for a special occasion, such as their birthday? Then you’ll want to cook the tuna before serving it to your hound. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this.
The best way to cook tuna for your hound is to bake or broil it. You do not need to add any oils, seasonings, or spices. Don’t worry – your hound won’t kick you off Iron Chef for the bland flavor. Blandness is preferred by your Cavachon, and it’s the safest route.
How to Mix Tuna Into Dog Food
Don’t feel like cooking a piece of tuna for your Cavachon? You can also mix a tablespoon of canned tuna into their dog food. Again, this should not be done on a regular basis. But as a treat here and there, it should be OK.
It is essential not to go overboard and only serve canned tuna sitting in water – not oil. Avoid any canned tuna that contains oils, seasonings, or spices.
Stay Safe – Serve Tuna in Small Quantities or Avoid it Altogether
Dogs love fish, but tuna is one type that shouldn’t be on the menu – at least not regularly. Tuna contains high levels of mercury that can cause poisoning if served too regularly. If you’re feeding your Cavachon tuna, it’s best to serve a tablespoon of canned tuna sitting in water with no oil, seasonings, or spices. Only serve it once or twice a month, if even.
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