Does your pup love fish? Salmon is a tasty, healthy fish option for humans to eat. But is it safe for our canine friends too? The short answer is that dogs can eat salmon. It’s worth noting that you should always check with your veterinarian first, but let’s take a look at the benefits and risks of feeding your pup salmon.
What are the Benefits of Salmon Meat for Your Dog?
Salmon is a fatty, nutrient-packed fish native to ocean waters of Alaska, Washington, and California. It is related to trout, char, grayling, and whitefish. This popular dish is high in essential nutrients that can help reduce the risk of several diseases. It’s also versatile and can be prepared in many ways.
Salmon contains vitamins A, D, and B, along with zinc, potassium, and magnesium. It is especially high in eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are both long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can provide many benefits for your pup’s health, such as regulating the immune system, reducing inflammation, improving coat and skin health, preventing allergies, fighting heart disease, slowing cancer cell growth, promoting weight loss, and supporting kidney function.
What Are the Risks of Salmon for Your Dog?
Though salmon is usually a safe food for dogs to eat, everything should be in moderation. Similarly to humans, too much of anything can be bad for them. Ask your vet before changing your pup’s diet. Most importantly, you must be careful how you prepare the salmon.
What kinds of Salmon Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs can eat many types of salmon, but always be sure to cook the salmon before feeding it to your pooch. The types of salmon that Aussie’s and other breeds can eat include:
- Atlantic Salmon
- Sockeye Salmon
- Pink Salmon
- Chum Salmon
- Coho Salmon
However, it’s important to check with your vet before feeding any type of fish to your pet, since some may contain higher levels of mercury and other contaminants than others.
Can Dogs Eat Salmon Treats?
If you’re looking for a natural, one-ingredient dog treat, these rule. I get them on Amazon (along with dang near everything else these days) -> A Better Treat – Freeze Dried Salmon Dog Treats, Wild Caught, Single Ingredient
For training, I’ve used these and my Aussies really scarfed em up (also from Amazon) -> Pupford Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats – 475+ Puppy & Dog Treats | Low Calorie, Healthy Training Reward. There’s a ton of them in each pack (475+) and they come in other flavors. I will note that the amount of farts was less with the salmon than the chicken, which was nice. heh.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon Meat?
No, dogs should never eat raw or undercooked salmon. Raw salmon can contain parasites and bacteria that can cause salmon poisoning. Salmon poisoning can be fatal, so if your pet displays any of the symptoms (fever, vomiting/diarrhea, appetite change, weakness, depression, weight loss, swelling, eye/nose discharge), take them to the vet immediately.
Always cook the salmon before feeding it to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Salmon?
Yes, cooked salmon is safe for dogs to eat. In fact, it’s a great source of protein and healthy fats. My dogs love it! (of course they are “fancy” and like it best when it’s grilled)
Cooked (baked or grilled) salmon also has a ton of vitamins and minerals.
One thing to note though:
Remove any bones from the salmon as they can choke your pup or damage their digestive systems.
A safe serving size for your pup should not exceed 100 grams per 10 pounds of their body weight. If you would like to make grilled or baked salmon a regular part of their diet, feed them a portion once a week.
Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?
Salmon skin may be okay for some dogs to eat, but it’s not necessarily recommended. The skin from even cooked salmon can contain bacteria, parasites, and other toxins that can make your pup really sick.
If you feed your dog salmon skin, make sure to cook it thoroughly first to try to kill off any potential contaminants.
Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon?
Yes, smoked salmon can be a safe treat for your pup, but be sure to do it in moderation (I gave on of mine too much one time and it was diarrhea city for a day-and-a-half).
It’s worth paying attention to find out how it was prepared. Smoked salmon often contains added sodium, spices, and preservatives, so it’s best to feed it to your dog in small amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?
Yes, dogs can eat canned salmon meat as long as it is wild-caught and contains no added ingredients like salt or sugar.
Canned salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals, making it an ideal choice for your dog.
If the can has bones, however, make careful to remove them before feeding the salmon to your dog.
How Do I Feed My Dog Salmon?
The easiest and safest way to feed your pup salmon is cooked. Boil, bake, or steam the salmon until fully cooked through and flake it into small pieces. You can also add a bit of cooked, de-boned salmon to their regular food.
Adding other healthy ingredients, like vegetables, to the salmon makes it even tastier and more nutritious.
Are There Any Special Precautions I Should Take?
When feeding your pup salmon, there are some things you should keep in mind. Make sure to buy high-quality seafood from reputable sources. Your pup should not eat salmon more than 2-3 times a week. Avoid feeding your pup cooked salmon skin, as it is difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal upset. Similarly, canned salmon can be high in sodium, so avoid feeding this to your pup as well.
What other types of seafood can my dog eat?
Here are some other fish that are safe for dogs when cooked:
Basically follow the same guidelines as above for the salmon; however, salmon will still carry the most nutritional bang-for-your-buck. Again, be sure to watch for bones. Some fish have smaller bones than salmon, which are even harder to find. Be sure to cook any type of fish thoroughly to ward off and kill any parasites and/or bacteria. *note, not all fish have as much omega-3 as salmon.
Shellfish such as shrimp, clams, crabs and lobster can be safe for dogs when cooked if prepared correctly. Be sure to remove the shells and avoid frying in oils or adding seasonings that may contain onions.
It is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before feeding shellfish to your dog or if your Aussie is showing any type of symptoms after consuming.
If you’re looking for another GREAT treat that can be really healthy for your Australian Shepherd, try shrimp. You have to prepare it correctly. I wrote an entire article about it that only takes a couple minutes to read. It’s worth your time if you’re looking into shrimp as a training treat. Read it here -> A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Pros and Cons of Feeding Shrimp to Your Furry Friend
Salmon can be a great source of protein and essential nutrients for your pup’s diet. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with feeding your pup salmon. Make sure the salmon is cooked properly, deboned, and served in moderation to ensure your pup stays healthy and happy. As always, check with your vet before giving your pup any new foods.