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Can Dogs Eat Salmon? Nutrition Facts & Recommendations

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

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Have you ever cooked yourself a nice fillet of salmon and noticed a hungry face wagging their tail nearby? If so, you may have asked yourself whether or not salmon is it an appropriate food for your dog. If you have taken a stroll down the pet aisle lately, you can probably answer this question. It’s not only a good source of protein for your pooch, but it also has many other added benefits.

Like anything else, however, there are some precautionary measures you want to take before feeding your pet this fish. Take a look at the article below as we will discuss all of the pros and cons of this pet food ingredient.

The Benefits of Salmon for Your Dog

As we mentioned, salmon has many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are essential to your dog’s diet. One of the most important nutrients is protein. This is the supplement that allows your dog to be active, strong, and healthy. Salmon provides lean protein, yet it is also beneficial in many other ways.

Let’s take a look at some of the other dietary nutrition provided by salmon:


EPA and DHA are both amino fatty acids that are stacked together in long nutritious strains.  There are many benefits to these two ingredients that your pooch will benefit from.

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • Help with cognitive function
  • Prevent skin allergies
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Reduces the growth of cancer cells
  • Helps with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Promote brain development
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Reduces the risk of kidney disease
  • Helps with inflamed joints
Image Credit: guy42, Shutterstock

Other Benefits

If those benefits were not enough, salmon also has added vitamins and nutrients that will promote your pup’s overall well-being.

  • Protein: As we mentioned above, protein is one of the most important aspects of your pet’s diet. In a nutshell, it will give their muscles the energy to keep moving.
  • Manganese: This another supplement that is important to protein, as well. It helps your dog’s system absorb it.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for your dog’s muscles and nerves to function properly.
  • Vitamin A: Like D, vitamin A is also important for your pet’s muscles and nerves. Not only that, but it is also good for their skin and coat.
  • Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that plays an important function in your canine’s diet. It helps with their immune system and thyroid, among other things.

Another benefit of salmon is it’s less likely to upset your pet’s stomach. Dogs that have a hard time processing meat such as chicken, beef, or lamb do well with salmon as a protein alternative.

How to Prepare Salmon for Your Dog

Salmon can be served to your pet in many different ways. It is the main ingredient in a lot of store-bought foods, it’s available in treat form, or you can cook it at home. If you choose to do the latter, you want to make sure that you are cooking it correctly to give your pet the most benefits.

First, you want to make sure that you are purchasing boneless fillets. What’s more, you never want to serve your pup raw salmon- which we will talk about a little bit later. When it comes to cooking the fish, you can broil, bake, or grill it.

You want to stay away from frying the meat or cooking it with any ingredients that are not good for your pooch such as grease, oil, butter, salt, pepper, and other spices. You also want to stay away from foods that would typically go with salmon such as onions and garlic as both can be toxic to your dog.

Grilling up a fillet of salmon in its natural state is usually your best option. That being said, you want to introduce any new food to your pet slowly. Give them a small portion to see how their stomach reacts, and you can increase the portion from there. What’s more, you always want to check with your vet before making any changes to their diet.

dog eating
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Salmon Caution

As we mentioned, there are some things that you should be aware of before you serve your pet salmon. First and foremost, you want to give them this protein in the correct form. Although we talked about this above, you never want to give your dog raw fish is it can contain small bones that can be a choking hazard or puncture their internal organs.

If you are buying salmon fresh, make sure that you are purchasing boneless fillets. Even then, however, you still want to make sure that small pieces of bone have not been missed. Besides the bones, there is also another reason why you do not want to give your pet raw salmon.

Fish in its raw form can have bacteria and parasites that can cause serious health consequences. Specifically, in salmon, there is a parasite called Neorickettsia Helminthoeca that causes salmon poisoning. This is a very serious condition that can be fatal.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of this illness can vary widely. That being said, some signs you should look out for are fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, decreased appetite, vomiting, extreme weight loss, depression, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs, get your dog to a vet right away.

Finally, like any other food that you give your pet, moderation is best. Salmon should not exceed more than 3.5 ounces per 10 pounds of body weight. Again, when changing up your dog’s diet, you should consult your vet first.

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We hope that the above information has given you all of the details you need to make the decision of adding salmon to your dog’s diet. As long as you’re cooking the meat properly and give it to them in moderation, this lean protein can have many positive benefits for your pup’s overall well-being.

Featured Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she ...Read more

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