Gnawing on bones is what dogs love the most. Firstly, the meaty flavour dogs receive from bones attracts them, along with the strong odour bones have. Secondly, the rough texture of the bones is what makes bones a perfect chew toy for dogs! So, you cannot really blame dogs for being attracted to bones kept around them, right?

Dogs love eating fish. So you might wonder what the right way to feed fish to your dog is. Is it okay to give fish to my dog with some bones or not? What if my dog ate cooked fish bones?

Don’t worry! We have answers to all your questions in this article. You will know the safest way to prepare fish for your dogs, some of the safe alternatives to fish bones, the symptoms of a dog eating fish bone and a lot more in this article. 

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Fish Bones?

A lot of people ask: can dogs eat fish bones? Or why can’t dogs eat fish bones?

Well, fishbones are nowhere close to beef bones, rib bones, or any other poultry bones. They are brittle and can easily cause health problems in your dog’s system. Fishbones are tiny and can easily break and get stuck in various parts of your dog’s body like its stomach, throat, mouth, and organs too. 

This can turn out to be really painful for your little furry friend, and it may even cost you an expensive visit to the veterinary. Big dogs swallowing tiny fish bones will easily be able to pass them without any problems. But when it comes to small dogs swallowing big fish bones, it may not turn out to be good for them. 

Hence, you need to make sure not to feed your dog fish bones or even fish with bones still in. 

What if my dog ate cooked fish bones?

When it comes to cooked fish bones, your dogs cannot be anywhere near them at all. Why? Cooked fish bones are even more dangerous than raw fish bones since when they are cooked, they become softer and can break down much more easily. When these bones break, they will act as shrapnel that will tear tissue organs within your dog. We already saw this in the case of cooked ham bones.

So the next time you encounter the question: What if my dog ate cooked fish bones? Immediately tell them to monitor the health of the dog and bring it to the vet when things don’t look too good.

What About Fish Like Soft-Boned Sardines?

No doubt, soft-boned fish like sardines are exceptions and can be wholly consumed by dogs. The bones of sardines, without getting stuck in your dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, or any other organ, can easily get digested. 

Remove the backbone of frozen or fresh sardines since they can be thicker. If you are someone who feeds their dog canned sardines, then make sure you purchase canned sardines that are packed in olive oil or water with not too much salt. 

Too much sodium can be dangerous for your dog’s health.

What should you do if your dog ate fish bones?

What should you avoid after your dog ate fish bones?

The first and main thing you have to avoid is inducing vomiting in your dog. We know you are aware of how much inducing vomiting helps when it comes to your dog swallowing the wrong items. But it does not help every time! Especially when it comes to the consumption of such sharp, brittle objects as fish bones. Fishbones can scratch the insides of your dog and do much more harm. 

If your dog has managed to successfully let it go down fine without any trouble and your dog tries to cough the fish bones up again you will be putting them at risk of hurting themselves by inducing vomiting. 

Due to the meaty flavor lingering on bones, dogs are easily and naturally drawn to them this is why you need to keep bones away from your dog. 

What is the safest way of preparing fish for my dog?

Dogs can still eat fish. Knowing that they love to fish, you cannot just stop feeding them what they love, right? There are safe options wherein you can feed fish to your dog. 

The best way to cook fish for your dog is by grilling or steaming the fish. When you choose either of these two methods to cook your fish for your dog do not apply oil on the fish or do not even season it. Once you think the fish is cooked, make sure you pull off all the meat from the skeleton. 

Discard the fish head. You cannot feed your dog fish heads and fish bones because they can easily get stuck in various places of your dog’s body. 

If you do not want to cook fish yourself for your dog, but you still want to feed your dog fish then you can use canned fish. Canned fish like tuna chunks or soft-boned sardines are safe to feed your dogs. 

But always buy canned tuna that is packed in brine and not oil or even tomato sauce. Even when it comes to canned sardines, you should buy sardines that are packed in water or olive oil but not with too much salt. 

How to feed your dog fish bones? 

We know you want a diet for your dog that is beneficial for their health and fish bones are nutritious. So if you want to give your dog good nutrition from fish bones, grind them up and sprinkle that fishbone powder over your dog’s food. 

Since fish bones are thin and brittle they can be the best for grinding and using the powder. 


You can feed your dog fish bones and fish heads in a much different way by making a fish broth with them. 

What are the symptoms of a dog eating fish bone?

This factor varies from dog to dog. Some dogs may start showing signs of discomfort a few minutes after they eat raw fish bones, whereas some dogs may show signs after several hours of the incident. It all depends on where the fishbone is causing trouble. 

Generally, after the bones have passed their oesophagus and have reached the stomach, that’s when they show clear signs. A toothpick also reacts similarly in a dog’s stomach, so check this article too if you want to see how you should react in case your dog eats a toothpick.

If you know your dog has eaten fish bones, then you need to keep them close to you for the next few hours or even days. Make sure to keep checking their stools too. 

Below, you’ll see some of the symptoms a dog might show after eating fish bones:

What can you give dogs instead of fish bones?

The best thing to do is give your dog a bone to chew on when he or she is not hungry this way he won’t feel the desire to consume the whole bone. It’ll be nothing more than just a chew toy for your dog. If your dog tries to break the bone or swallow it wholly then you know you have to stop giving your dog bones. 

Besides bones, there are other sources of calcium for your dogs. Here are some of the best options: 


It is your responsibility as a pet parent to keep dangerous things such as fish bones away from your pet. With the taste of meat still lingering on the bone, your dog will find bones very appealing and want to eat them whole. 

We have already mentioned how you can safely prepare fish bones and fish for your dog, what alternatives you can give them instead of fish bones. You can keep your furry companion in good health and safety by following these tips! 

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