Yes, dogs can eat shad that is properly prepared. In fact, fish is a popular source of protein that is included in many mass-produced dog foods.
If you’re preparing shad at home, it is important to use boneless fillets as the small bones can easily get lodged in a dog’s throat and choke them. It is also important to prepare any meat without any salt, pepper, or garlic. It’s also important to avoid using any oil, oil sprays, grease, or butter. To be safe, it’s suggested that you inspect any fish meat before cooking to make sure all bones have been removed.
Fish that live long lives tend to develop high levels of mercury and other metals in their system, making them high-risk options for any mammals to eat, including humans. Tuna and swordfish are two popular choices for humans to eat and feed their dogs, but both fish species are candidates for high mercury levels, consequently, both should be avoided for your dog.
Fish species that are safer for dogs to eat include:
- Whitefish (lake and ocean)
- Arctic char
RAW or COOKED
Fish should always be cooked when given to dogs to avoid a potentially lethal disease known as Salmon Poisoning Disease. Though most closely associated with salmon, the disease can also be caught from any other fish that swim upstream breed. The problem occurs when a fish is contaminated with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola that is infected by Neorickettsia helminthoeca. When dogs eat infected raw fish the canines will show symptoms in six days or less. Symptoms include:
- Lack of appetite
Untreated dogs will die from this disease in less than two weeks in nearly 100 percent of all cases. Consequently, it’s vital to avoid raw fish for your dogs.
Here is an article about other diseases humans can catch from dogs.
American Kennel Club
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