Last Updated : November 9, 2022

Can Dogs eat Anchovies? [Benefits, Facts & More]

The mere mention of anchovy will instantly make you imagine that strong-smelling and greasy fish. Even though it is an accurate image, this doesn’t do justice to the amazing nutritional power that is packed into such a tiny fish. Anchovies are small with big benefits for you and even your dog. Can dogs eat anchovies, then? Is anchovies good for dogs?

This guide, we will show you the anchovies nutritional benefits for dogs, how to feed anchovies to dogs and some tips on the best anchovy oil for dogs.

Can dogs eat anchovies

Aanchovy nutrition data per 10g:

Nutrition Facts (For a Serving Size of 10 grams)Nutrient Value
Saturated fat0.1g
Monounsaturated fat0.1g
Polyunsaturated fat0.2g
Vitamin A5IU
Vitamin B60mg
Vitamin B120.1μg
Vitamin C0mg
Vitamin E0.1mg
Vitamin K0μg
Source: USDA National Nutrient data base
Amino acids (For a Serving Size of 10 grams) Nutrient Value
Aspartic acid0.2g
Glutamic acid0.3g

Can dogs have anchovies

Yes, dogs can have anchovies. Anchovies are among those most nutrient-dense small fish in the world and are also one of the healthiest sources of fat that you can find. 

Anchovies are silvery small fish that swim in dense and large schools. They tend to grow fast and feed primarily on plankton that is responsible for the health properties they offer. It is also likely for anchovies to accumulate toxins like heavy metals since they belong to the lowest part of the aquatic food chain. Their lives are also relatively short.

Similar to other types of coldwater fish, anchovies are rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fats known as PUFAs including EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid.

Can dogs eat dried anchovies

Yes, dogs can eat dried anchovies as long as they are not spiced or salted. Dried anchovies are also called freeze-dried or dehydrated anchovies which depend on the process of drying used.

Can dogs eat anchovies in oil or canned anchovies? You must avoid canned or dried anchovies packed in oil or salt since the sodium content is just too high to be considered as safe and healthy for canines. It is typically fine for dogs to eat canned anchovies packed in water. 

If ever you want to feed your dog with dried anchovies, make sure that you purchase those in airtight and re-sealable bags. Make sure you reseal the bag after taking out fish. Keep the bag in a dry and cool place and use this within a period of 30 days. As for canned anchovies, opened cans must be stored in the fridge and used within 2 to 3 days.

Can dogs eat fresh anchovies

Freshly caught and frozen then thawed raw anchovies are the best forms of anchovies that you can give to your dog. But, unless you are a big fan of these tiny fish or you love to cook dishes in Mediterranean style, there is a big chance that the available anchovies in your home are cured ones. 

Raw and fresh anchovies straight from the fish department of the supermarket or a fishery are great options for dogs. There are also well-assorted supermarkets with thawed, raw, or frozen anchovies. Fresh anchovies must be stored in the fridge and fed to your dog within 2 to 3 days.

Can dogs eat boiled anchovies

Yes, dogs can eat boiled anchovies as long as you don’t douse them in spice or salt. High amounts of sodium present in salt is not good for dog so you need to avoid this at all cost if you have plans to add boiled anchovies to the diet of your pup. You also need to remember that this must only be given in moderation.

Can dogs eat anchovy paste

No, dogs cannot eat anchovy paste. Anchovy paste is the mixture of ground anchovies, spices, vinegar, water, and small amount of sugar sold in tins or tubes in supermarkets. It has a pungently salty and fishy flavor since the anchovies are cured first before being grounded into paste. Due to the ingredients, anchovy paste is not recommended for canines. 

Can dogs eat anchovy fillets

Yes, you can feed your dogs with anchovy fillets without any underlying health implications. Anchovy is one of the most nutritious snacks you can feed your dog as they are high in omega 3 fatty acid. The omega 3 fatty acid found in anchovy is almost at par with the ones found in most fishes. It is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties that can help stimulate the growth of your dogs, improve their cardiovascular system, brain and joints.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)0.1g
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)0.1g
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)0g
Fatty acids in a Serving Size of 10 grams anchovy

Can dogs eat anchovies with bones

Yes, you can safely feed your dogs with anchovies including the bones. The whole of anchovies which include the tail, head, and bones are edible and nutritional for your dog. If you are concerned about the bones, well you don’t have to panic as the bones are tiny and can be easily digested by your dog.

Do dogs like anchovies

Yes, most dogs actually like anchovies. These are great as treats or snacks.  You can even mash up anchovies before adding them to the usual meal of your pet. It is also safe to give the whole anchovy to your dog with the tail, head, and all. Anchovies have fully digestible and very soft bones so you don’t have to worry about risks of choking. For very small dogs or puppies, you might want to break up the fish first into pieces or cut this in half.

Should dogs eat anchovies

Before letting your dog have his fill of anchovies, you will surely be happy to know that these small fish are a good choice to add to their diet.

Fish can offer your pup a novel protein that can be especially beneficial when it comes to minimizing and managing food allergies. These are also natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are important to keep the skin of your dog healthy and his coat looking its best at all times.

In particular, anchovies are great options for your pup. Being fast-growing species with relatively short lifespan, anchovies usually contain lesser amount of mercury as well as other kinds of heavy metals found in their flesh compared to other species with longer lifespan. 

Thanks to their small size, anchovies are also almost totally digestible and this means that your pup can eat them whole with no worries that fish bones will get stuck or lodged in their throat. When it comes to smaller dog breeds, it might be best to cut the anchovies first in half to ensure that these will be easier for them to swallow.  

Are anchovies good for dogs

The following are some of the reasons why anchovies are considered good for dogs:

  • Anchovies help address inflammation.

Many of the health issues that dogs experience have something to do with inflammation, itching, allergies, joint pain, and gum issues. This is the reason why anchovies are ideal for supporting the overall health of your pup.  

Anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties that help fight off stressors that can cause dangerous chronic inflammation, which is the first cause of diseases and illnesses like digestive problems, arthritis, and diabetes.

  • Anchovies are good for your dog’s memory.

Anchovies have high amounts of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can help support brain function such as memory. For juvenile dogs in particular, their brain is constantly developing so it is a must to help their development and growth in this critical stage. This is where anchovies come in handy as these small fish offer natural support.

  • Anchovies are high in nutrients.

Anchovies are rich in various nutrients aside from omega-3 fatty acids. These tiny bountiful fish also contain iron, calcium, and other essential minerals that are good for your dog. They are also great sources of other essential vitamins such as A, B12, E, and K that offers support for your dog’s natural defenses, heart, and brain.  

  • Anchovies can support your dog’s brain development.

You have surely heard of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for humans and you will surely be happy to know that these are also good for your dogs as they support brain development and brain functions.

When your pet is still young, it is a must that you give him the best level of support possible during his high growth periods. Whether you like it or not, your puppy will never stay as one forever. Anchovies are great to help the ability of your dog to learn through offering him all the vital fatty acids.

These small fish are rich in fatty acids EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, with the latter making up 10% to 20% of the fats in the brain of your puppy. DHA is extremely important for brain development, memory, and overall cognition. When you add anchovies to the diet of your pet, the DHA fatty acids can help support his brain functions and health. 

  • Anchovies support skin and coat health.

The last but definitely not the least benefit of anchovies is the fact that they support coat and skin health. Once again, the wonderful omega-3 enters the picture as this helps maintain coat conditions and provides moisture to itchy and dry skin. The platter of minerals and vitamins can also help keep the coat of your dog shinny and thick. 

How many anchovies can a dog eat

The exact number of anchovies that your dog can eat in a single sitting will mainly depend on the size of your pup and the amount of food that he eats per day. But, since anchovies don’t necessarily contain all of your dog’s nutritional requirements for him to stay healthy and fit, you must only give it to your pet as a supplement or treat and must never be used as a replacement for your dog’s regular meal.

How often can dogs eat anchovies

Anchovies are small bite-sized fish that are ideal snacks for dogs. It is safe for smaller pups to eat 2 to 3 anchovies a day while bigger dogs can eat up to 5 pieces.

Can dogs have anchovies every day

Even dogs can have anchovies, it would be best to try limiting the anchovy intake of your dog to just two per week.  Always seek the advice of your vet if you plan to make anchovies a regular part of the diet of your pet.

Can puppies eat anchovies

Yes, puppies can eat anchovies, too. You can try breaking the fish into half or into several pieces for it to be easier and faster for them to chew and digest.

Anchovies or Sardines for dogs

Whether you serve your dog with anchovies or sardines, it doesn’t matter since they both have nutrients your dog can benefit from. While sardine is richer in Omega 3 fatty acid, iron, and vitamin b12 than anchovies, anchovies are also richer than sardines in calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D. Although preference may differ from dog to dog because just as humans, dogs also have different tastes.

How to feed anchovies to dog

The best way to ensure that your dog gets the most out of anchovies is by feeding them in the right proportion.

When you are feeding your dog with anchovies for the first time, it is best to get it to them as a whole. It is important to know that dogs’ preferences for anchovies differ, therefore, when serving you can serve it alone or you can mix it with other dry or wet foods you serve them.

Feed young dogs with 2-3 anchovies per day: older dogs should be fed with at least 5 anchovies per day.

Dehydrated anchovies for dogs recipe

Dehydrated anchovies also known as dried anchovies will make a nice snack and treat for your dog and learning how to make it at the comfort of your home will not only help save some cool cash but will also make the nutritional food readily available for your dog. Check details on how you can make dehydrated anchovies by yourself.


  • A can and 2 ounces of anchovies in olive oil
  • One and a half cups of wheat flour
  • One and a half cups of rolled oats
  • One-quarter cup of water
  • An egg
  • 4 teaspoons of chopped or dry parsley.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and use a parchment sheet to grease your cookie sheet or line.
  2. Pour anchovies, water, and egg into a blender.
  3. Mix parley, oat, and flour in a bowl. Pour anchovy into the mixture and stir.
  4. Make balls of dough using a melon baller and place them on the cookie sheet.
  5. Leave it in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes to bake until it turns golden brown.
  6. Wait until it completely cools off before serving it to your dog.

What are some benefits associated with feeding dogs with anchovies?

Listed below are some perks that come with feeding your dogs with anchovy.

  1. Moisturizes their skin, keeping them from complete dryness, flakiness, and itching.
  2. Relives arthritis symptoms like pains and swelling.
  3. It discourages the growth of yeast infection.
  4. Impacts positively on their brain.
  5. It improves the quality of their fur.
  6. Helps in stabilizing their blood pressure as well as maintaining their blood cholesterol level.


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