Is tuna fish safe for dogs? Scared of the mercury...
hi all! Okay, because there are some (many) new members here I guess I will give some background about my situation...everyone who already knows me can skip down to the next paragraph.
I'm a live in nanny and I have to board my two queensland heeler crosses (three years old, one male one female) at a families house nearby. i have them on a natural, vegan dogfood which the family gives them twice a day. My little boy, D'Artagnon has a long history of food allergies including beef and pork and i really just prefer a vegan diet for my dogs anyway, the added bonus is that they both do really well on the diet.
About two months ago there was a misunderstanding with D'Artagnon, they thought he was becoming aggressive because he tackled their dog. No biting or anything, it just scared the family. Anyways, the family thought they were both going to become aggressive if they were vegan because they would be craving MEAT! They don't really feel great about my dogs being vegan and said I needed to start feeding them meat or they were afraid they could not keep them
I reluctantly agreed to start feeding them fish once a day I know that is terribly spiciest of me, but I felt like it was the least evil option- the fish are able to live in the wild until they are caught and killed and that minimizes their torture....plus I find all killing of animals unethical, but at least with fish its not as emotionally offensive to me. Plus, I buy the human grade Tuna, so I don't worry about bizarre things being in it.
Anyways, both Guinevere and D'Artagnon have been eating one half a can of tuna fish (with the water) everyday, in addition to the vegan food. As i was buying the next 48 cans today I was struck by a thought....is the possible mercury in the tuna fish really bad for them? i seem to recall that back years ago when I ate fishes that you were only supposed to eat them a few days a week or something? i don't want to damage Guin and D'Art's precious little brains, :-[ Do you think thats a risk? Because there are no other options for boarding, and because I really like and trust this family I want to figure something out.
I don't know, but if you're concerned, could you try another type of canned fish like Salmon? Or alternately, sardines or anchovies which are oily little buggers and are actually good for their skin/coat. Are you willing to cook fish for them? You could cook a big batch of fish that is low in mercury (I think small fish who don't eat other fish are low in mercury -- I haven't given it tons of thought though for obvious reasons) and freeze it in daily portions or something for them to eat. I'm pretty sure you can microwave cook fish too, so you wouldn't have to do a lot of handling it.
Alternately, you could buy cans of dog food that are just meat, but not beef or pork, and have them use that. I realize it isn't ideal or ultimately aligned with your ethics, but sometimes you have to do what's best for your own personal animals. I know Wysong makes cans of JUST meat, including chicken and turkey. I think Evo does as well - at least they do for cats, I can't imagine they wouldn't for dogs.