Help! My Dog Ate Fish Food, Should I be Worried?

Some dogs are champions in eating. They will raid your kitchen in your absence and target every bottle within their reach. Thereby, they may eat things they aren’t supposed to. This could trigger health problems and may put them at risk of a medical emergency.

So, coming to the topic. Do you have an aquarium at home? If you have. This means that some of your shelves may be stacked with fish food. What if your dog happened to get hold of them and licked a little? Will he fall sick?

Don’t worry. A little bit of fish food won’t hurt your dog. It can cause concern if he has had too much of it. Some might even incur allergic reactions. Let us read on to know the impact of fish food on your dog if he has ingested it.

Why Would My Dog Eat Fish Food?

It’s not just about fish food, but everything else. Dogs have a knack for getting attracted to anything edible and inedible things as well. They will scan the racks in your kitchen when you are not around. Anything they find interesting, they’ll grab at it instantly. Read on to know the reasons why your dog may eat fish food.

1. Out of Curiosity

Out of Curiosity

Dogs are curious, and they’ll be interested in everything they see. So, if you have bought a fish tank of late, your pooch will be quite interested in looking at the inmates. He will observe you feeding them and will be quite drawn toward the colorful bottles. The moment you aren’t watching, they will be quick enough to pop a few pellets into their mouth.

Remember, dogs use their mouths and noses to explore the world around them. So, when they see anything new or unusual, they are keen on picking them up and putting it into their mouth.

2. Dogs Might Like the Smell of Fish Food

Dogs have sharp noses, with over three hundred million olfactory receptors present within. No wonder they have an extraordinary smelling ability, better than their human friend. So, most canines are attracted to fish food finding their smell enticing. The meat and oils present in the fish food fascinates them the most. Your dog may even find his food and the fish food quite similar in smell.

3. Out of Boredom

Out of Boredom

When bored dogs resort to different activities, one of them is licking or chewing whatever is at hand. If your dog isn’t stimulated mentally or physically he won’t have much to do. So, the outcome may be that he would pick up things from the floor or the jars and begin eating them. He could eat anything he gets at hand which also includes fish food (if that is available).

Is Fish Food Bad For Dogs?

In short, NO. Fish food isn’t bad or toxic for dogs. Your pet will not die from eating fish food unless he has consumed an entire can or has some underlying health problems.

Fish food comprises ingredients that are nontoxic to your canine friends.

Did you know? Dogs have a strong digestive system, way too powerful than ours. The acids produced in their stomach are a hundred times greater than those created in humans.

So, when your dog eats fish food, they are ingesting a large amount of protein. However, the acid in the stomach helps to break down the protein at a fast pace, facilitating smooth digestion. That doesn’t mean their stomach is made of steel. Their stomach has limitations, too.

Some human food and fish food could pose a danger to them, especially when eaten frequently or in large amounts. Then comes the risk of getting allergies by eating fish food.

Though the majority of fish food doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction. Yet, if your dog is intolerant to one of the ingredients in fish food, chances are that he will suffer from allergies upon consuming it.

Is your dog allergic to fish? Then he may likely be allergic to fish food as well.

The most important aspect to consider in this regard is the ingredients that constitute fish food, alongside their impact on dogs.

For instance, food for goldfish often contains ingredients like Brewer’s yeast and garlic. Yeast is regarded as highly toxic for dogs. When ingested in increased quantities, it could trigger several problems like bloating and other digestive disorders. Similarly, garlic is harmful to dogs as it can cause diarrhea and vomiting alongside other symptoms.

So the bottom line is that if your dog ate fish food, you would need to check the ingredients of that particular packet. If you find any of the mentioned ingredients harmful to your dog, then keep a close watch for any symptoms. At the same time, you should even consult a vet.

My Dog Ate Fish Food, What Shall I Do?

My Dog Ate Fish Food, What Shall I Do?

If your dog has eaten fish food, the first thing you should do is keep calm and take one thing at a time. You’ll have to analyze, what kind of fish food he ate, and in what quantity. If it’s just a few pellets, there isn’t much to worry about. But, if he has ingested a lot of fish food, it could be worrisome then.

If you see your dog vomiting or showing other symptoms that don’t look normal, be prompt in taking him to a vet. Here are some steps to follow if your dog at fish food.

1. Keep Calm

That’s the first and most important thing to do during any crisis. It gives a quicker and better solution to your problem. If you panic and start screaming at your dog for eating the pellets, it’ll be of no help.

Rather, it will stress you and your dog as well. Instead, analyzing the situation calmly and thinking about the next course of action will help you overcome the crisis sooner.

2. Remove Access to the Fish Food

Remove Access to the Fish Food

That’s another essential thing to do. If you see your dog eating fish pellets from a bag or box, you must take it out of his sight immediately. Be gentle in your approach.

Too much shouting might panic your dog. You can hold your dog gently, and say a firm ‘No.’  If possible whisk him to a separate room while you clear the mess.

3. Observe Your Dog’s Symptoms

The next few hours will be crucial. In most cases, they’ll be unharmed. However, if they have eaten too much fish food, perhaps finished a full bottle, that might take a toll on their health.

So keep your dog under close observation for the first few hours. In most cases, he will be fine. Though this depends on how much food he ate, and what kind of ingredients your dog ingested. If he shows no symptoms in the next 5-6 hours, then that’s fine.

However, if you see him vomiting, passing loose stool, pacing up and down, drooling excessively, or showing any other signs of discomfort, then it’s a sign that all is not well.

4. Take Him to the Vet (If Required)

Take Him to the Vet (If Required)

You can always consult a vet regarding your dog’s eating fish food for your assurance. But it isn’t necessary to take him to the vet unless the symptoms intensify. If he is vomiting excessively, and looking dehydrated, then a vet’s visit is a mandate.

Signs of Fish Food Poisoning in Dogs

When your dog has overeaten the fish food he found near the fish tank, it could affect its health adversely. Another factor is the ingredient comprising the fish food. If it is made of garlic, onions, yeast, or other things considered toxic to dogs, it will also hit your pet’s digestive system hard.

The signs of fish food poisoning can be mild, or even take a dramatic turn, especially if you miss observing your dog from the moment you get to know that he has eaten fish food.

The most instant reaction of indigestion is diarrhea, and vomiting, common in humans as well. Sometimes your dog may just vomit once, or pay one or two visits to the washroom, and he’ll be fine.

But if your dog has thrown up a lot, he may get severely dehydrated. If you have a puppy or a small dog breed like a Yorkie or Chihuahua, the possibility of dehydration is even more.

Other signs include increased drooling, a distended abdomen, nausea, appetite loss, and so on. If your dog is in pain you’ll see him twisting, and turning uncomfortably.

In the case of an allergy, watch out for swelling, redness, and allergies, on your dog’s skin. He might even be scratching too often then.

Irrespective of the symptoms – mild, moderate, or severe, it is always better to consult a vet to be on the safer side.


Is food for goldfish safe for your dog?

Most food for goldfish isn’t harmful to dogs. However, it depends on the ingredients as well. Some brands of food designed for goldfish contain brewer’s yeast, which isn’t good for dogs. It might result in bloating and other intestinal problems. A small amount of goldfish food, however, may not harm dogs a lot.

Is food for betta fish harmful for dogs?

Betta fish food contains a high amount of fats and proteins. If your dog ingests it in increased amounts, it could lead to adverse effects. A little bit of betta food is fine, though.

What will happen if your dog eats fish food packaging?

If the fish food is kept within the packet, chances are that your dog might have consumed a little bit of the packaging while grabbing the pellets. The food packaging is made of plastic. If it gets inside your dog’s stomach, then it could be hazardous causing intestinal injury, and even obstruction.


So, to sum it up, fish food isn’t toxic or won’t kill your dog if he has eaten a few pellets. Yet, it is best to keep things not suitable for him out of his reach. This will help revert a serious situation in the future.

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