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Can Dogs Eat Salmon? | Nutritionist Advice

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Do you want to make some changes to the diet of your furry friend? Cool! How about salmon? You love it. Your cat loves it. The chances are that your dog will love it too.

But hey, can dogs eat salmon?

Come, let’s find out!

If you visit your local pet store and walk down the aisle of dog food, you’ll find many dog foods that have salmon in them as an ingredient. But just because they contain salmon, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to offer them to your four-legged friend, right?

Salmon-based dog foods are becoming increasingly popular. They are healthy and offer tons of nutrients to your dog. And YES, dogs CAN eat salmon!

According to Robert C. Backus, MS, DVM, Ph.D., Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri, “Nutritionally, dogs are considered to be omnivores just like people. That means they can eat all kinds of meat, including fish.”

Now, before you run to your local fish market to get some salmon for your furry buddy, WAIT!

You can’t just offer ANY salmon to your dog. Why? Read on.

Also Read: What is the Best Human Food to Feed to Your Dogs?

Can You Feed Your Dog, Raw Salmon?

Can You Feed Your Dog, Raw Salmon?

The answer is a BIG NO from the nutritionists! You CAN’T offer raw salmon to your dog. It doesn’t matter if you’ve caught the fish yourself or it smells good. Just don’t give raw salmon to them. Why? Because uncooked salmon contains bacteria and parasites that can make your pup extremely sick.

The Flute is a flat and worm-like parasite in raw salmon. If your dog eats flute-infected salmon, it can develop:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea and
  • Vomiting

Also, it can contain the Neorickettsia Helminthoeca bacteria resulting in salmon poisoning disease. This disease may cause:

  • Lymph node enlargement
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Fever
  • Severe weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal and ocular discharge
  • Vomiting and
  • Even death within two weeks, if not treated

You don’t want any of these to happen to your beloved pup, right? So make sure to cook the salmon thoroughly before serving it to your furry buddy.

Can You Feed Your Dog Salmon Skin?

Well, as long as you’re feeding your dog-cooked salmon skin in small quantities, it’s all good. Nutritionists say that salmon skin is a good source of vitamins and essential fatty acids that are great for your dog. Compared to salmon meat, its skin has more fat. Don’t feed too much of it as it can cause intestinal upset and pancreatitis, a severe illness. Is your dog overweight and needs to lose some? Then refrain from feeding them salmon skin.

Can You Feed Your Dog, Smoked Salmon?

Can You Feed Your Dog, Smoked Salmon?

Nope, no smoked salmon for them. Why? Because it poses certain health threats. You cannot heat them to a temperature that’s hot enough to bid adieu to all the bacteria that are associated with salmon poisoning. Also, smoked salmon has high salt content and can affect your dog’s health in a bad way.

Can You Feed Your Dog, Tinned Salmon?

Yes, go ahead; it’s perfectly fine. No objection from the nutritionists’ team! Backus recommends it would be best for your pup if you could buy tinned salmon that is packed in water. And there’s no added seasoning, oil, or salt.

Can You Feed Your Dog Cooked Salmon?

Can You Feed Your Dog Cooked Salmon?

YES, you can! Cooked salmon is the best way to include it in your pet’s diet. Apart from being safe, it provides tons of nutritional benefits. Just be cautious with the amount while adding it to your pup’s tasty treats.

But Still, Should You Feed Salmon to Your Dog?

Again, it’s a YES! Just feed salmon to your furry buddy in small quantities, and don’t go overboard with it. According to Backus, they need a balanced and complete diet. The dog foods that are commercially available already provide that. So you need to be careful while adding it to your pup’s diet.

How to Prepare Salmon for Dogs?

How to Prepare Salmon for Dogs?

Now that you’ve got the answer to your question, “Can dogs eat salmon?” it’s time for you to know how to prepare it safely. As we’ve already mentioned, DON’T EVER let your dog eat undercooked or uncooked salmon! There are a lot of tiny bones in them. They are brittle. The chances are that they’ll lodge in your dog’s intestines or choke them.

That being said, you can always give your dog boneless and well-cooked salmon. Buy fresh boneless fillets as their chances of having small bones are less. However, always check before cooking. To give your beloved pup some salmon love, you can roast, poach, bake, or steam the salmon with no salt, pepper, oil, and seasonings.

Also Read:- Can Dogs Eat Coconut (Oil, Milk, Shell, Yogurt, Water, Flour, Ice Cream)?

How Much Salmon is Safe for Dogs?

Just as with any other food, portion control is the key to keeping your pup healthy and happy. You can give them salmon once a week. All you have to do is make sure that the size of the portion is suitable for the size of your dog. Not sure how much is safe for your dog? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you! Just remember, for every 450g of weight, you can give 10g of salmon. Happy?

Nutritional Benefits of Salmon for Dogs

  • According to nutritionists, including salmon in your dog’s diet have certain nutritional benefits.
  1. Salmon is filled with tons of Omega 3 fatty acids. This can help your dog in:
  2. Reducing inflammation in their body
  3. Regulating their immune system
  4. Preventing several skin allergies
  5. Improving the health of their skin
  6. Producing increased collagen in their system
  7. Slowing the growth of cancer cell
  8. Promoting healthy weight loss
  9. Improving their cognitive function
  10. Reducing their joint problems and
  11. Fighting heart disease
  • Did you know that salmon has nutritional benefits similar to that of tuna fish? And that too with less risk of mercury poisoning. So why not choose salmon instead of tuna for your beloved pup?
  • Salmon is rich in selenium and vitamin B12. Another good news – it has fewer heavy metals than other fish. It would be best if you could get wild-caught salmon for your furry pal, as farmed salmon may have toxic chemicals in them.
  • It contains healthy minerals such as potassium, zinc, and magnesium.

If you’ve read this far, here are some nutritionists-approved delicious salmon recipes for your four-legged companion!

Some Tasty Salmon Recipes for Dogs

Some Tasty Salmon Recipes for Dogs

Ready to let your doggo indulge in some tasty salmon treats? Here are some recipes!

Salmon cakes

What you’ll need:

  • Two egg whites
  • One 14.75 oz salmon can
  • ¼ cup fat-free sour cream
  • Half cup shredded carrot
  • Two teaspoons dried parsley
  • Half cup bread crumbs
  • One teaspoon dried dill

How to make:

#1. Set the oven to 375° F and preheat

#2. Remove the skin and bones from salmon, and make it dry

#3. Take a bowl and mix the egg whites, salmon, parsley, sour cream, and carrot

#4. Now, in another bowl, mix the dill and bread crumbs

#5. Put a one-inch cookie scoop in the salmon mixture, scoop one ball, and flatten it into the form of a patty

#6. Coat it with the bread crumbs

#7. Grease a cookie sheet and place the coated patty on it

#8. Now bake each side for 12 minutes

#9. Let it cool down before serving

#10. You can store the salmon cake in the refrigerator for a week. Or, keep it frozen for approximately two months.

Salmon treats

What you’ll need:

  • Two cups flour
  • One 14.75 ounces pink salmon can (packed in water)
  • Two eggs

How to make:

#1. Switch on your oven and preheat it to 350° F

#2. Take a large mixing bowl and empty the salmon can into it

#3. Take a fork and flake the meat apart

#4. Now add eggs and flour to the salmon and mix them well

#5. Take a baking sheet, spay some no-stick cooking oil on it and dump the dough onto it

#6. Take some flour and sprinkle it on top of the dough. And don’t forget to flour your hands too.

#7. Now press the dough with your hand. Flatten it until it’s about ¼ inch thick. If your dog loves crunchy treats, make it thinner. Make it thicker if your dog loves moist treats.

#8. After placing it in the oven, wait for 30-35 minutes to cook

#9. Now get the cookie sheet out of the oven and let it cool down

#10. You can keep the salmon treat frozen for up to two months


How much salmon can I give my dog?

The amount of salmon that can be safely given to a dog is around 10 grams of salmon for every 450 grams of your dog’s weight.

For the best results, we recommend that you should feed salmon in moderation. Apart from giving them salmon only once a week, ensure that the portion of salmon is suitable for your dog’s health.

Why can’t dogs eat salmon?

It is better not to give raw salmon or undercooked salmon to dogs. Raw salmon can have parasites in them. One of the common parasites is Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can cause salmon poisoning and be fatal for dogs.

Additionally, raw salmons can have many spines and bones, which are quite brittle. When your dog tries to eat it, these spines can damage your dog’s intestines or stomach and choke your dog.

What happens if my dog eats cooked salmon?

Salmon is often fried with salt and butter, which are harmful to dogs. While butter can make your dog fat owing to its high calorific value, salt is also not recommended.

Besides, salmon is often cooked with garlic, and garlic is equally unsuitable for dogs. So, although cooked salmon is a better option than raw salmon, we recommend only a small portion of it.

How do I prepare salmon for my dog?

To prepare salmon for your dog, buy boneless fillets of salmon, which are supposed to have fewer spines. Also, ensure that they are fresh, lessening their chances of parasites.

After that, you can grill, steam, poach, roast, or even bake the salmon for your dog. Ensure that you don’t add any pepper, oil, or salt. All of these ingredients are harmful to dogs. Besides, don’t add seasonings like onions and garlic to the fish, which can be harmful to dogs.

Can salmon upset dogs’ stomachs?

Yes, salmon can upset your dog’s stomach. This may happen especially if your dog consumes raw salmon, which can lead to salmon poisoning disease caused by the parasites present inside salmon.

Apart from upsetting the stomach, it can also lead to gastrointestinal problems, swollen lymph nodes, dehydration, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.

Is salmon or chicken better for dogs?

Salmon and chicken are great for dogs, but some pet lovers and vets argue that salmon is a better choice for dogs since a leaner meat source is better for canine animals.

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits and can reduce inflammation. Salmon can also be an excellent alternative for dogs that are allergic to chickens.

Can dogs eat packaged salmon?

No, your dog shouldn’t have packaged salmon. Salmon is often packed with oil or brine to add to its shelf life, which is dangerous for dogs. Besides, packaged salmons can also have a high percentage of salt, which is also not recommended for dogs.

They can also have parasites, which can make your dog seriously ill. So, if you must give packaged salmon to your dog, go for the one where the fish is packed in water instead of oil or brine.

Can a dog eat salmon with skin?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon along with their skin. Salmon skin comes with a lot of health benefits. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and a good amount of protein. In addition, salmon skin is beneficial for your dog’s skin, fur, and joints and improves your dog’s immunity.


Dogs LOVE meat! And salmon, which is a popular fish among humans, is loved by your canine companion too. According to Backus, you can let your dog have a bite or two of thoroughly cooked salmon that is free from salt, oil, and seasoning is fine. In case feeding a salmon snack to your furry friend didn’t go well, do contact your veterinarian immediately. Till then, happy salmon snacking to your doggo!

Bonus Read:- 6 Healthiest Food For Large Dog Breeds

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