While it’s true that dogs can eat many human foods, it doesn’t mean that everything that they want to eat is actually good for them.

Although dogs can eat mackerel and raw tomatoes, it’s not advisable to feed your dog tomato sauce. While fresh and ripe tomatoes are not harmful to dogs, the sauce that’s prepared from them, especially the ones found in the market. i.e. red pasta sauce and ketchup, are not nutritious at all.

The main reason is due to the high acidic content in tomato sauces excluding other artificial additions along with salt and sugar, as most dogs are sensitive to these ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Mackerel In Tomato Sauce?

Although dogs can eat mackerel, tomato sauce shouldn’t be fed to dogs. Many tomato sauce brands from the supermarket contain other ingredients besides the tomato that could be harmful to dogs, such as garlic, chives, onions, and certain spices.

As previously mentioned, while tomato sauces aren’t necessarily toxic, they can include ingredients that are. For example, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, oregano, red pepper, basil, and sugar are spices that are used to flavor tomato sauces.

So before giving your dog tomato sauce, it’s best to check the label to see all the ingredients used. Onions and garlic are the key ingredients that you need to look out for, as they can be toxic to dogs–particularly when eaten in large quantities or for small dogs.

Onions and garlic are both of the same plant family (thiosulphate), which can damage the red blood cells of the dog, leading to serious health problems.

Dogs are also sensitive to sodium and too much of it can result in salt poisoning and kidney problems.

As with ketchup, some ketchup brands also have spices and flavorings. Remember that it’s toxic for dogs to have the artificial sweetener xylitol as it can be lethal–even in small amounts.

Another ingredient to watch out for is crushed red pepper, as its spiciness can cause an upset belly for your dog.

Again, as with tomato ketchup, if a dog consumes some tomato-based spaghetti sauce with toxic spices, it might not be an alarming situation.

Keep in mind that when it comes to other varieties like pasta, some dogs are allergic to wheat. Therefore, it’s best to not serve tomato sauce for dogs.

When Can Dogs Have Tomato Sauce?

If you want to feed your dog tomato sauce, you should avoid commercial ones, no matter how much your dog begs you when you’re savouring some pasta or anything else that’s made with tomato sauce.

If you’re buying a plain tomato sauce, that’s purely made of tomatoes with a pinch of salt, that would also be fine for dogs to eat, in small amounts.

Overall, the safest way to give your dog tomato sauce is to make a homemade sauce so you’ll know all the ingredients used and you’re certain there’s no more than a pinch of garlic and no onions in it. Although, even when you know all the ingredients, you should still make sure to feed your dog in small amounts.

Note: it’s best to leave rosemary out of any sauce and avoid any heavy seasoning to the sauce that your dog may consume.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Mackeral?

Technically dogs can eat raw mackerel, however, it isn’t advisable, as you should avoid feeding your dog any raw fish. This is because there is a risk of harmful pathogens like salmonella and parasites such as flukes and roundworms that can result in serious illness to you or your dog.

Freezing or cooking raw mackerel should kill off anything harmful lurking inside it. Fish that’s cooked is also easier for dogs to digest, so there’s less chance of it causing diarrhoea.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Mackeral?

Yes, as long as there’re no toxic ingredients in the tin, a dog can eat canned mackerel, although it’s not as good as fresh or frozen fish. It’s important to note that canned mackerel usually has other additives which aren’t good for your dog, such as additional salt, olive oil, sauce, and spices.

Mackerel that has been kept in olive oil or sunflower oil isn’t toxic, but it does make the fish even fattier. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to obesity, which raises their risk of developing serious health conditions later on.

Many brands that sell canned mackerel, include all sorts of sauces, from tomato to katsu or chilli. When it comes to a flavoured, saucy tins of mackerel, it’s not recommended to feed it to your dog. In particular spicy or curry flavours, as these are irritating and unappetising for dogs. Plus, additional ingredients like salt and sugar that are always added, and aren’t good for them.

Is Mackeral Good For Dogs?

When fed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, mackerel can be a great addition to a dog’s diet.

Mackerel has one of the highest EPA and DHA levels out of the common oily fish that can be found at a supermarket, and it’s also really high in vitamin D.

EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA for docosahexaenoic acid, both of which are kinds of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is important to have in your dog’s diet as they can’t make this nutrient within their body, and can only absorb it from what they eat.

Just like humans, omega-3 is great for the overall health of your dog’s brain and body. It promotes healthy function and brain growth, while also improving their fur and skin, and helps to maintain a healthy heart.

Mackerel is also a great source of protein for dogs and should make up a big portion of your dog’s diet.

Are There Any Downsides To Feeding Your Dog Mackerel?

Yes, there are some downsides to feeding your dog mackerel, the most immediate being if they eat it raw.

Raw mackerel can harbour lots of nasty bacteria and parasites that can cause a dog serious harm. While the risk is relatively small provided the fish is thoroughly frozen and handled correctly, the outcome of ingesting these pathogens is very severe and can endanger your dog’s life.

You’ve probably heard of someone you know that has gotten sick from the same nasties hidden in raw fish. However, freezing the mackerel thoroughly for at least a week or cooking, it should be enough to kill off anything in the fish.


In short, dogs shouldn’t be given mackerel in tomato sauce because it’s highly likely that the sauce will have additives that aren’t good for dogs. These sauces usually contain extra salt and sugar, which your dog is better off without. Also, there are brands of tinned mackerel in tomato sauce that contain nondescript “spices”, which you be very cautious of.