My Dog Ate Fish Food: What Should I Do Now?

High angle close up of person holding heap of brown pellets, fish food at a fish farm raising trout.

Dogs are naturally curious animals, which is why they are captivated by anything they see around them. Sadly, this behavior gets them into trouble. Despite their similarities, fish food and dog food differ mainly in terms of the amount of proteins and fats they contain. The body of a fish needs more fat and protein than sugar. 

If your dog happens to eat fish food, it should mostly be fine unless you notice your dog is suddenly allergic to fish after the incident but this happens very rarely. However, there can be cases wherein a medical examination might be needed. 

Although eating fish food does not have any long-term effects, you should always store it in areas that your pet will be unable to access or reach.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Fish Food?

You should always be aware of how easily your dog can consume items like fish food, butter wrappers, balloons, etc just kept lying around on the floor or sofa or just any place your dog can easily have access to. It is your responsibility as a pet parent to keep such non-edible or even edible items away from your pooch. 

Luckily, since fish food contains fibers and proteins it will probably have no effect on your dog. A dog consuming fish food in tiny amounts should be unharmed. But when it comes to your dog eating quite a big amount of fish food he or she may start to throw up. This may not turn out to be harmful but excessive vomiting brings problems like dehydration into the picture. 

Your pet may tend to recover within a few hours. If your dog does not tend to be fine soon, you should immediately contact your vet. 

The ingredients found in the most common types of fish food do not happen to be toxic to dogs, but an allergy can develop anytime to any of those ingredients. 

What Are the Symptoms of Swallowing Fish Food?

The two main and most common consequences of dogs eating fish food are diarrhea and vomiting. Although most types of fish food are fine, they still are capable of causing not so major discomforts to your pet. Vomiting and diarrhea come up after the ingestion process is done and it mostly won’t last for more than a few hours. 

But you cannot take vomiting and diarrhoea for granted since vomiting can easily cause dehydration in your dog especially if your dog is a small dog or a puppy. So, make sure to feed your dog a lot of water if that’s the case. 

If you happen to notice loose stools or vomit instantly call your vet just to be safe. 

Insect Larvae in Fish Food

Usually, after a dog eats fish food other than some digestive problems dogs do not go through anything else after eating fish food. However, there are some fish food brands that use insect larvae as an ingredient and such type of fish foods with insect larvae content can turn out to be troublesome. It can lead to gut bacteria in your dog. 

In situations like these, your vet may advise you to get a fecal test done after a week of the incident. You should not feed your dog fish food intentionally. If your dog has consumed large quantities of fish food then the high levels of proteins and fats in it can cause health issues. Problems like obesity, kidney damage, etc. can develop. 

Formation Of Fish Food

Just like vegetable proteins are taken out of cheap vegetables like peas or soy, similarly when it comes to fish food fish proteins are extracted from fish oil or fish meal, either of the two. Fish meal and fish oil come from by-products of other fishing industries, so they are usually very inexpensive. 

It turns out that fish foods or nourishments contain carbohydrates such as maize meal, wheat, and rice. In terms of the addition of carbohydrates to fish food, the less expensive the nourishment, the higher the likelihood it is composed of cheap carbohydrates. Medications are fed to fish only through their food, and some types of fish food contain sex hormones. 

The FDA has advised all companies to include all the necessary information about the fish food on the bottle label, including the ingredients, nutritional content, and other vital info. No matter how it’s formulated or composed, your dog shouldn’t eat fish food. The label on the fish food bottle reveals the ingredients it contains which will help you know whether your dog is in danger or not. 

The only time fish food is dangerous for your dog is when it has an allergy to fish, but that is always a rare occurrence. Compared to beef and chicken, dogs are less inclined to be allergic to fish. 

In most cases, fish can only be medicated through their food and that’s why some fish foods have fish drugs or additives in them that don’t agree with your dog’s system. 

In order to know if there is anything on the fish food that could terribly harm your dog, check the ingredients on the label. 

Common fish food types your dog might consume

It is important to consider the types of fish food available because not every fish can be fed the same type or amount of fish food. Some types of fish need food that contains different components than typical fish food. 

Goldfish

A goldfish’s food differs greatly from the tropical fish’s food, as do the ingredients in the two types of food. They come in pellets. 

The food that Goldfish eat is not harmful to your dog because they are herbivores. Nevertheless, it is always necessary to check the packaging of the fish food to see if it contains any ingredients that could harm your dog if it ate goldfish food. 

Risks of Goldfish

 Brewer’s yeast is found in some types of goldfish food. When making bread or other bakery items at home, you will know that the dough needs to remain in a warm, dry place for it to rise. 

When a dog eats dough, the same thing happens. Warmth in the dog’s belly can cause dough to rise inside its stomach, causing it to swell. 

Don’t worry, swollen stomachs are not a serious problem. Keeping an eye on your dog for a few hours if your goldfish food contains brewer’s yeast is a good idea. 

Betta Food

Betta food contains high levels of fat as well as protein, and both of these are bad for dogs. Large amounts of it ingested by a dog can cause internal inflammation. 

If your dog has eaten betta fish food and looks tired than he or she normally gets or is passing loose stools or even puking then you must contact your veterinarian. 

Risks of Betta Food

Generally, this fish feeds on insects, thus their food consists wholly of larvae. 

There is no way for your dog to have larvae in its intestines, as it can result in very serious health problems. 

Keeping betta food in the vicinity of your dog isn’t recommended. 

Packaged Fish Food

Your dog eating fish food in its entirety indicates that it probably ate some part of the package or even more than just a part of it when you returned home. 

In the event that your dog eats items that are not edible, he or she is in trouble. When foreign items are consumed, they can lead to problems such as suffocation, internal bleeding, etc. in dogs. 

Risk of Packaged Fish Food

The majority of fish food packages are made of plastic, and plastic consumption by dogs is hazardous since it cannot be digested in any way and will cause wounds. 

In the event that the animal is suffering, it’s vital for you to intervene in time and contact your veterinarian. Keep the food packaging with you just in case.

Conclusion

There is always a need to exercise precaution in cases like these, since your dog can get allergic reactions in rare circumstances. There shouldn’t be any long-term effects if your dog consumes fish food because the ingredients in fish food are not usually toxic to your furry companions. 

Dogs are known to have strong stomachs and that’s why they can consume quite a lot of things that aren’t healthy for them. It is a fact that we are all familiar with since stray dogs reach garbage cans in search of food and survive and also many wild dogs have been surviving for centuries with whatever they could find. 

Fish food is not toxic for dogs but not all fish are the same. And that’s why not all fish foods are the same. It’s best to just avoid feeding your dog fish food or keeping the fish food packets anywhere next to your dog. 

Kristel is a writer for Cat Judo and an avid fan of every cat she sees. In fact, outside work, you can find her at home playing with her five cats, all of whom are rescued from the streets. There’s no doubt that if she sees another one in a box somewhere, she’s going to adopt it.

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