My Dog Ate My Pet Fish What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 01/17/21 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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You’ve created a beautiful aquarium and filled it with some amazing fish! Congrats! Having an aquarium and pet fish can be a great experience. Fish are so interesting to watch, and they’re somehow calming. There are many benefits that go with having an aquarium.

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But what happens if your dog eats one or more of your pet fish? Can your pet fish make your canine companion sick?

Aquarium Fish

Aquarium fish can be some of the most beautiful, mesmerizing pets. They calmly swim about their environment and you can even watch them interacting with one another. Sometimes watching the aquarium is even better than streaming videos or watching TV!

While they’re amazing pets, aquarium fish can sometimes carry parasites. That’s one thing most aquarium owners don’t realize. The good news is that in most cases you can’t be infected by the fishes’ parasites through cleaning the aquarium or handling things inside the aquarium. That is unless you eat one.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Aquarium Fish & Dogs

Most dogs are just fine with aquariums and fish. The first few days, your dog may enjoy watching the fish. However, most dogs will soon tire of the fish once they realize the fish don’t make noises, aren’t good playmates, etc.

However, there are a few dogs who may become so attracted to the aquarium and the fish that they decide eating a fish might be fun. That’s not a good thing.

For one thing, to access the tank, your dog may need to climb up on a counter or try to access the tank by standing on his hind legs. Either way, your tank will probably be tipped over, with the contents all over the floor. This includes the fish.

Fish flapping about on the floor can lead some dogs, who have high prey instincts, to think it might be fun to catch the fish. This does happen, even when some pet parents have koi ponds in the backyard. Dogs have been known to filch the fish out of the pond and devour them.

At that point, your dog may catch and eat the fish. He’s only responding to his natural instincts. Plus, it’s something new and different to do.

Fish Parasites & Dogs

The problem with this is that fish are known to carry parasites. If your dog eats fish that are infected with parasites, then he can become infected. Two types of parasites that can infect dogs include coccidiosis and tapeworms.

Coccidiosis can cause diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration.

Tapeworms can grow in your dog’s intestines. You may notice small worm segments in your dog’s poop or near his anus. Your fur baby may also do the scoot and try to scratch their rear end on the carpet, grass, etc. They can also cause vomiting and weight loss.

So, if your dog has eaten one or more aquarium fish, then you should call the vet. They’ll provide you with advice on how this should be handled.

In most cases, even if your dog does develop a parasitic infection, the vet can easily treat it. The sooner your fur baby sees the vet, the sooner he’ll feel better.

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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