Can Dogs Have Sardines In Olive Oil? A Comprehensive Answer

Sardines are known for their nutritional value, and olive oil is often praised for its health benefits.

However, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks and considerations when feeding human food like canned sardines to dogs.

Can dogs have sardines in olive oil? This post will explore whether your pets can assume the fish in that oil and provide better insights to help you make the best selection for your beloved pet.

Can Dogs Have Sardines In Olive Oil?

can dogs have sardines in olive oil

Can dogs eat sardines in olive oil? 

Yes, sardines in olive oil are edible and safe to dogs if they are fed moderately twice or less per week. Sardines are a nutritious food that provides various nutritional benefits for your puppies.

Promoting a healthy coat and skin, supporting joint health, and boosting overall immunity are what you can expect from this fish.

Conversely, olive oil provides an excellent monounsaturated fat source with additional health benefits.

However, it’s important to note that sardines in oil should be offered in moderation as a part of a balanced diet.

Furthermore, always consult your veterinarian before introducing new food to your dog’s diet.

What Are Healthy Nutrients In Sardines In Olive Oil For Dogs?

Here are some valuable nutrients found in sardines in olive oil for dogs:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Can dogs eat sardines in oil? Sardines in olive oil are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

They have anti-inflammatory properties, which can assist in reducing joint pain and stiffness, making them beneficial for dogs with arthritis or joint conditions.

Healthy omega-3s also support a healthy coat and skin, reducing itching and promoting a shiny, lustrous coat.

Additionally, they contribute to brain function development and cognitive function, particularly in puppies and aging dogs.


Protein is essential for tissue growth, development, and repair.

It also significantly contributes to enzymes, hormones, and antibodies production, needed for a healthy immune system.

This natural source provides the necessary building blocks of amino acids, vital for forming various tissues and cells in a dog’s body.

These amino acids support proper muscle function, maintain healthy skin and coat, and aid in healing injuries or wounds.

Protein is also a source of energy for dogs, helping them stay active and engaged in their daily activities.


Here are some vitamins found in sardines that can contribute to your dog’s well-being:

  • Vitamin B12: This is necessary for the neurological system to operate normally, for the body to produce red blood cells, and for proteins and fats to be metabolized. It is crucial for keeping the digestive system in good shape.
  • Vitamin D: This source of nourishment has a say in controlling the body’s calcium and phosphorus levels.

These minerals are easily absorbed and important for healthy bones, functioning muscles, and general growth and development.

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant found in sardines, protects and shields cells from damage from free radicals.

In addition to promoting skin health and immunological function, it benefits your dog’s general health.

  • Vitamin A: Your canine friend needs vitamin A for good vision, healthy skin and coat, and a strong immune system. Also, it plays a role in the growth and development of bones and teeth.


Fresh sardines in olive oil contain beneficial minerals contributing to your dog’s health. These minerals include calcium, phosphorus, selenium, iron, and magnesium.

  • Phosphorus and calcium support bone and teeth health, while selenium acts as an antioxidant, promoting a strong immune system.
  • Iron helps in red blood cell production and energy levels, and magnesium is involved in various body functions.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a naturally occurring compound found in sardines in olive oil. It is part and parcel in cell energy production and is a powerful antioxidant.

CoQ10 aids in overall cellular function and wards cells off damage caused by free radicals. Also, it supports heart health, boosts the immune system, and promotes healthy aging.

Are There Any Potential Risks Of Sardines In Olive Oil For Dogs?

what kind of sardines can i give my dog

Can I feed my dog sardines? Yes, but here’s a breakdown of each potential risk associated with providing the food to your furry friends:

  • Mercury Content: Some fish species, including sardines, may contain mercury.

While sardines generally have lower mercury levels than larger fish, it is still important to moderate their intake, especially for smaller dog breeds.

  • Bones: Sardines have small, sharp bones that can pose a choking hazard or cause gastrointestinal issues if ingested. Removing all bones from the fish before offering them to your dog is advised.
  • Allergies: Dogs can be allergic or sensitive to fish, including sardines.

If you spot any signal of allergic reactions, like swelling, itching, swelling, or stomach upset after feeding sardines, it is best to discontinue their consumption and talk to a veterinarian.

  • High-Fat Content: While healthy fats are beneficial for dogs, excessive fat intake can lead to weight gain, pancreatitis, or digestive issues.

It is important to feed the food in moderation and adjust the overall fat content of your dog’s diet accordingly.

When feeding your dog sardines in olive oil, you can protect their safety by being alert to these potential risks and implementing the appropriate safety measures.

Consulting with a doctor is always recommended to address specific concerns or individual dietary needs.

How To Prepare Sardines Olive Oil For Your Dogs?

When preparing the food for your dogs, here are the steps to follow:

Choose Fresh or Canned Sardines

What kind of sardines can I give my dog? You can use either fresh sardines or canned sardines in olive oil. If using fresh ones, ensure they are high-quality and properly cleaned.

Canned products should be packed in olive oil without additional seasonings or additives.

Remove Bones (Optional)

As mentioned, small yet sharp bones in these fish can get stuck in the dog’s throat and cause him to choke or trigger other digestive issues.

If using fresh sardines, it is essential to carefully remove all the bones before feeding them to your dog.

When you feed your dog with canned sardines, check for any remaining bones and take them out if necessary. Alternatively, you can choose boneless canned sardines for convenience.

Cook (Optional)

These fish can be served raw or cooked, depending on your preference and your pet’s dietary needs. However, cooking can help eliminate potential bacteria or parasites.

If you cook the sardines, remember to steam or bake them without adding seasoning or oil. Avoid frying or using excessive heat, as it can deplete some beneficial nutrients.

Portion and Serve

Once the sardines are prepared, portion them according to your dog’s size and dietary requirements.

One or two sardines may be sufficient for small dogs, while larger dogs may require more.

 You can serve the sardines as a standalone treat, mix them with your dog’s regular food, or incorporate them into homemade meals.

Store Properly

The food should be properly stored if you have any leftovers to maintain freshness and prevent spoiling.

Fresh sardines must be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container and consumed in a few days.

Fish in a can can be preserved for a few days after unpacking in the freezer. Before giving your pet the food, ensure it has not expired.

What Are Tips for Adding Sardines to Your Dogs Diet?

When adding sardines to your dog’s diet, it’s vital to follow a few tips to ensure a smooth transition and proper incorporation:

Start Slowly

When introducing sardines to your dog’s diet, starting slowly and gradually increasing the amount is important. Begin by offering a small portion and observing how your dog reacts.

Then, watch for any signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting. Slowly increase the serving size, allowing your dog’s digestive system to adjust.

Portion Control

Can dogs eat whole sardines? Even though fish have several health advantages, it’s best to eat them in small portions and not overfeed.

An imbalance in your dog’s nutrition might result from consuming too much of a good item.

Always adhere to portion recommendations depending on your dog’s size and dietary requirements.

Adjust the Diet

Adjusting their overall food intake is required when incorporating sardines into your dog’s diet.

Since sardines are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, you may need to reduce the amount of regular food to avoid overfeeding.

This helps maintain a balanced diet and prevents excessive weight gain. Consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding amounts based on your dog’s nutritional needs.

Variety is Key

While sardines offer numerous health benefits, remember to introduce other foods to your dog’s diet.

Sardines should be part of a well-rounded meal plan with other protein sources, such as lean meats or other fish.

Rotating protein sources ensures your dog receives a wide range of essential nutrients and keeps nutritional deficiencies at bay.

Additionally, adding other fruits, vegetables, and grains can further diversify their diet and contribute to their overall health.

Recommended Dosage And Alternative Foods

are canned sardines good for dogs

Recommended Dosage

How many sardines can I give my dog? The recommended dosage of sardines for dogs will vary based on their size, weight, and individual dietary requirements.

As a general guideline, smaller dogs typically benefit from half of the sardine as a serving, while larger dogs can have one to two sardines in one go.

It’s good to think about the sardines’ size and the overall balance of your dog’s diet.

Alternative Foods

If your canine cannot have sardines or you’re looking to provide additional variety in their diet, there are other nutritious options you can consider:

  • Salmon: Like sardines, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and offers similar benefits.

You can feed cooked or canned salmon, but ensure it is boneless and without seasoning.

  • Mackerel: Mackerel is another fish safe for dogs and packed with omega-3 fatty acids. It can be served cooked or canned, with bones removed.
  • Fish Oil Supplements: If feeding whole fish is unsuitable for your puppy, you can opt for fish oil supplements.

These supplements contain concentrated omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to your dog’s meals.

  • Other Lean Proteins: Incorporate lean protein sources into your dog’s diet, such as cold chicken, turkey/turkey cold cuts, or lean cuts of beef.

These alternatives provide essential nutrients and can be cooked and served alongside your dog’s regular meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Feed Sardines In Olive Oil To Dogs With Specific Dietary Needs Or Restrictions?

It depends on your canine’s condition.

  • Dogs with pancreatitis: It’s best to avoid feeding sardines in olive oil to dogs with a history of pancreatitis or those on a low-fat diet.
  • Dogs with weight problems: If your pet is overweight or prone to obesity, it’s advisable to choose plain sardines in water instead of those packed in oil.
  • Dogs with dietary allergies or sensitivities: In case your pet has food allergies or sensitivities, it’s important to avoid feeding them sardines in olive oil.

Opt for alternative protein sources that are safe for their specific dietary needs.

  • Dogs with gastrointestinal issues: Dogs with sensitive stomachs or gastrointestinal problems may not tolerate the high-fat content of sardines in olive oil well.

To prevent any digestive distress, gradually introducing new foods and watching your dog’s reaction is best.

Can Sardines In Olive Oil Be Fed To Senior Dogs?

Yes, sardines in olive oil can be included in the diet of senior dogs. However, it’s crucial to take into account their unique health requirements and any dietary restrictions they may have.

Puppies may have specific nutritional needs and may require lower fat content in their diet. Monitor their fat intake and ensure that the overall diet remains well-balanced.

Consulting with a veterinarian is recommended to determine the suitable portion size and address concerns about the senior dog’s health.


Can dogs have sardines in olive oil? While fresh sardines in olive oil can offer essential nutrients to dogs, it’s important to weigh up their consumption cautiously.

Remember, before introducing any new food to your dog’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to ensure it aligns with their specific nutritional needs and health conditions.

By making informed decisions, you can keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and safe.


Photo of author
Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

Leave a Comment