Can dogs eat salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.
Does your pooch have a penchant for fish? Many dogs like the taste and smell of seafood, but it’s important to understand the benefits—and possible risks—anytime you consider adding a new ingredient to their diet.
Thankfully, when it comes to cooked salmon, your dog is safe. Salmon is a popular ingredient in many types of commercial dog food and is also OK for your dog to eat as a food topper or tasty treat. As with any new food, you’ll want to be careful not to feed your dog too much salmon to start, and be sure to watch out for any extra ingredients that might be included in typical “human recipes” (like butter or seasonings) that can be dangerous for dogs to eat.
Keep reading to find out how to safely prepare salmon for dogs, and when you’ll want to ask your vet for advice.
Is Salmon Good for Dogs?
Salmon can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, and many high-quality dog food brands use salmon as a protein source. Unlike some seafood, such as tuna, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that salmon contains very low levels of mercury.
So, adding a little cooked, plain salmon to your dog’s bowl can be a great way to give them an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. A few nutritional benefits of feeding your dog salmon include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon is a great source of omega-3s, which are good for dogs’ skin and coat health, and can even improve mobility for dogs with joint issues or other inflammatory diseases.
- Protein: In addition to being an excellent source of healthy fats, salmon is also a good source of protein, which helps your pooch build and repair muscle tissue. There are many high-quality dog foods that use salmon as a main source of protein, which can be a great option for dogs who have allergies to other proteins like chicken, beef, or lamb.
- Vitamins and minerals: Salmon is also a good source of B vitamins. One important nutrient that’s critical for keeping your dog’s brain and nervous system healthy is vitamin B12, and salmon is rich in B12.
Just be sure to check with your vet before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has any health conditions or sensitivities.
Can Dogs Eat Salmon Raw?
Even with all the health benefits of salmon for dogs, pet parents should be cautious about feeding their pooch raw or undercooked salmon. Feeding your dog uncooked salmon can make them very sick. Raw and undercooked salmon can contain a parasite known to cause salmon poisoning disease, which can be fatal for dogs if left untreated. So sorry, sushi-sniffing hounds! Baked, broiled, grilled, and boiled fish are all much safer options for dogs to eat.
If your dog does get ahold of raw salmon or raw fish of any kind, give your vet a call so they can help you determine next steps.
Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?
If you’ve baked a nice salmon dinner but don’t care much for the skin, it’s fine to share that leftover bite with your pooch. Salmon skin is safe for dogs to eat. Just be sure the fish has been thoroughly cooked and isn’t seasoned with spices or ingredients that are toxic to dogs (like onions, butter, or garlic).
In fact, that scraping of salmon skin can be a great way to give Fido extra nutrients rather than throwing it into the compost if it’s not to your taste. Salmon skin actually contains even more of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids than the rest of the fish. So if you’re not a fan of the skin, topping off Fido’s food dish with a small amount of your leftovers can be a win-win for you both. Just remember to feed your dog salmon skin only in small amounts.
How to Safely Feed Salmon to Your Dog
Salmon is a safe snack for dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should grill them an entire fish for dinner tonight! Giving salmon as a treat is a good place to start, and you can gradually increase amounts to let your dog’s body adjust to the new food. This can help them avoid adverse effects like an upset stomach or diarrhea, which can happen when your dog’s usual menu changes.
Any salmon given to your dog should be fresh, cooked, and free from bones, which pose a choking hazard. Avoid any seasonings or extra ingredients, as many common ingredients are not safe for dogs to consume.
Canned salmon is also OK for dogs to eat, but you’ll want to watch the sodium. While canned salmon in water is a better choice for dogs than salmon packed in oil, rinse it thoroughly to remove any excess salt or oil from the canning process before adding it to your dog’s dish.
How Much Salmon Can Dogs Eat?
Feeding small amounts of fresh, cooked, boneless salmon as an occasional treat is considered safe—and even healthy—for dogs. But as with any new food, start slow! It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your dog’s health.
Here are some general guidelines for how much salmon is safe for dogs to eat, based on their weight:
- Extra-small dog (2–20 pounds): 1–2 ounces of fresh, cooked, boneless salmon per week
- Examples: Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pugs
- Examples: Basenjis, Beagles, Scottish Terriers
- Examples: Basset Hounds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs
- Examples: Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds
- Examples: Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees
Note that these are just general guidelines. It’s always best to check with your vet before making major changes to your furry friend’s food bowl. And remember: Raw seafood can contain harmful bacteria and/or parasites that can cause illness in dogs.
Featured Image: iStock/O_Lypa
Help us make PetMD better
Was this article helpful?
Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon?
Salmon has a popular reputation as a delicious and healthy fish. In fact, it’s considered one of the healthiest fishes for human and pet consumption – but can it be offered raw to our furry friends? Can dogs eat raw salmon?
Can dogs eat raw salmon?
No, dogs cannot eat raw salmon. Especially if the salmon comes from the Pacific Northwest! Salmon poisoning can occur when dogs eat raw or uncooked salmon, due to a parasitic flatworm called Nanophyetus salmincola. If this parasite is infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, salmon poisoning in dogs can easily occur.
For humans and cats there is no development of the poisoning signs – only mild gastrointestinal issues can occur. For dogs, however, this can be fatal.
Salmon poisoning is more common in Washington, Oregon, northern California, and southern Vancouver Island.
What are the signs of toxicity?
Signs of salmon poisoning take some time to appear. They are typically seen within a week after eating infected raw or undercooked salmon, trout, steelhead, or Pacific Giant Salamanders, and include:
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge from eyes and nose
- Increased respiratory and heart rate
- Tremors and seizures
If no treatment is provided, most dogs unfortunately die in two weeks. As you can tell, it’s a very serious matter, indeed.
What to do if my dog ate raw salmon?
If your dog ingested raw salmon and exhibits any of the described symptoms, you need to take them to the vet immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to a full recovery.
As always, the best treatment is prevention, so do not allow your pup to eat raw fish from the pacific northwest. Also, make sure to keep them under control while on any fishing trips.
Additionally, prevent your dog from interacting with any trash cans or garbage which may contain raw fish. Remember, salmon disease poisoning is fatal without treatment, so eating raw salmon is out of question!
Maven is all about proactive pet care. Be your best friend’s best friend by giving them 24/7, high-quality, industry-leading vet care to improve their mental health, physical health and more. No more frantic googling or unneeded stressful visits to the vet – Maven helps you save hundreds while also ensuring your pet lives the best life possible. Get your kit now!
Can Dogs Eat Salmon? Raw, Cooked, Dehydrated + Is It Good? | Pupford
Another burning question we get here more than you may think. can dogs eat salmon?
In this article, we will dive deep into the world of salmon for dogs. Because here’s the thing, you may not know the whole story about dogs and salmon.
If you’re looking for an answer to a specific question, feel free to use the table of contents below to get more information:
So now let’s get into our main question: can dogs eat salmon?
The short answer: they can (except raw salmon!), and they should.
So if you’ve been feeding your dog salmon, you’ve been doing them a favor!
PS- Learn about if
Now, let’s get into the long answer (but first a fun little poll).
Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Yes, dogs can eat salmon. (As long as it’s not raw! We will cover that later.)
Veterinarians and the experts at Pupford, all agree that dogs can eat salmon, and doing so is beneficial.
Salmon is a great choice of fish to feed your dog. Most dogs naturally love the taste of salmon and will be more than happy to have it included in their diet.
Whether your dog is allergic to other meats, or you’re just looking for an additional protein source with added benefits (more on that in a second), incorporating salmon into your dog’s diet is a great idea.
Is Salmon Good for Dogs? Here are the Benefits!
Salmon is a common ingredient in a lot of high-quality dog food because of its tremendous health benefits. For starters, it’s an excellent source of protein. This gives your dog a boost of energy while promoting muscle growth.
Aside from being a good source of protein, salmon is high in which have a number of health benefits for dogs, including:
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased immune system support
- Healthier skin and shinier coats
- Improved cardiovascular health
To maximize the benefits of salmon for your dog, be sure to look for wild-caught salmon — it tends to be higher in Omega-3 and is less likely to contain the contaminants found in farm-raised salmon.
So next time you feed your dog salmon, just know you’re helping them be the very best version of themselves. Go you!
Using Salmon as Treats for Dogs
Many pup parents love using for their dogs because the smell is strong.
And let’s not forget that dogs’ sense of smell is around than humans. Wow!
Sometimes that «fishy» smell is all it takes to get your pup’s attention.
And now, onto one of the most important parts of this article. which preparation types of salmon are safe (and best) for your dog. ?
Preparation Types for Salmon
Since we’ve answered that dogs can (and should) eat salmon, the next question is how to best prepare it!
Of course, that will depend on how you are using the salmon. For example, feeding it as part of a meal compared to using it as a treat.
We’ll look at four different preparation types of salmon for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon?
Another frequently asked question about salmon (and other protein sources as well) is: can dogs eat raw salmon?
Some people are in favor of a raw food diet since dogs were hunters (it’s hard to picture your precious pooch as a ferocious predator, we know) and would eat meat and fish raw in the wild.
So is it a good idea for us to give raw fish to our dogs?
Just as there is a risk of humans ingesting something harmful from raw fish, raw salmon may contain the Neoricksettsia helminthoeca parasite. That parasite can cause in dogs.
You can get more about that from — we’d rather leave the scientific details to the professionals.
So just to reiterate. dogs should NOT eat raw salmon. Period.
We recommend consulting your veterinarian with more specific questions about raw food diets, although we do provide some information .
What is Freeze-Dried Salmon?
There are two prepared ways to safely feed your dog salmon that’s uncooked, at least in the traditional sense: dehydrated and freeze-dried.
In this section, I’ll cover freeze-drying and what that process looks like.
Freeze-drying is a process that freezes away (you guessed it) the moisture from the salmon, in this case.
This method is extremely effective at retaining the original nutrients and flavors found in the salmon. For this reason, freeze-dried salmon can be a popular choice for many
What is Dehydrated Salmon?
Another safe and delicious way to give your dog salmon is dehydrated salmon. have the moisture removed from them, also removing bacteria. This makes it safe even though it is not «cooked».
Dehydrated salmon is minimally processed, meaning that both the nutritional profile and natural flavors are better preserved than in cooked salmon.
It also has the added benefit of a much longer shelf life (typically 12-18 months), making it the best of both worlds.
Because dehydrated food comes without germ worries, less mess, and with all the flavor and nutrition, it’s one of our favorite ways to serve salmon to our pups.
As a matter of fact, pups and their parents are loving our new !
Some benefits we’re really proud of:
- They only have one, all-natural ingredient: wild-caught salmon
- They are sourced in the USA
- They contain no fillers, sugar, or junk, and are only about 15-21 calories per treat
- They do not require refrigeration, so they can be stored anywhere for a long period of time
- Pups of all ages and breeds love them!
Plus, they are perfectly sized for extra-special moments, making them perfect for positive reinforcement or just plain spoiling your good boy or girl.
Interested in learning more about positive reinforcement dog training? Be sure to download the .
How to Cook Salmon For Dogs
If you’re preparing salmon for your family, feel free to make a little extra for your dog.
Grilled, baked, poached, or broiled salmon is perfectly fine for your pup, as long as it’s not prepared with any other ingredients that are harmful to them. Don’t add any sugars, sauces, garlic, or anything like that. Just keep it plain!
Of course, think of it more as a snack, and not a «full meal» replacement for your dog.
And remember, salmon is a very healthy, beneficial, and tasty snack for your pup!
Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?
The short answer is, yes dogs can eat salmon skin. As long as it is NOT raw (as mentioned above)!
Once it has been safely dehydrated, freeze-dried, or cooked, your dog can safely enjoy salmon skin.
In fact, many dogs really love the taste of salmon skin. Plus, the skin has different nutrients and benefits compared to the actual salmon meat.
That’s why we leave the
Recap of Dogs Eating Salmon & Its Benefits
So, let’s review what we’ve learned here:
- Dogs can (and should) eat salmon when prepped correctly (remember, do NOT give raw salmon)
- Salmon has many health benefits for dogs (see the infographic above)
- The safest and most enjoyable way for your pup to consume «uncooked» salmon is via dehydration or freeze-drying.
So next time you’re looking for something special to give your pup, consider salmon.
Especially our dehydrated salmon jerky! .
And be sure to take pictures of their reaction and tag for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page!
Have you considered giving your dog salmon treats or jerky? Let me know in the comments below.