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Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

The fragrance of salmon is unmistakable, with a rich and distinct aroma and full-bodied taste. You can see why some dogs can’t get enough of it. But can dogs have salmon often, and how can you make sure it’s safe? The good news is that salmon contains beneficial nutrients and is safe for dogs to consume when cooked. As a popular ingredient in commercial dog food, and for good reason, here’s what you need to know about salmon for dogs. 

Is Salmon Good for Dogs?

Before we dive into how to choose and prepare salmon for your furry friend, is salmon good for dogs? The short answer is 100% yes! 

Salmon is a popular choice in dog food for several reasons. It can offer a range of benefits to our canine companions. Salmon is found in dog treats and as a main ingredient in a balanced meal. Let’s look at why salmon is a well-rounded, nutritional, and delicious package for pups. 

A Great Source of Protein

Salmon is a complete protein, as it contains all the essential amino acids pups need to build and maintain strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Dogs need protein for growth and repair, and it’s crucial for almost every metabolic process. Protein helps fuel adventures, supporting muscle recovery and overall health. 

Salmon is a good source of protein, with about 20 grams per 100g, which is very similar to chicken and beef. That’s why higher-quality dog food brands usually include real meat like salmon, chicken, or beef as the main ingredient. If your vet recommends a fish-based diet for your pup, salmon-based options can be good because of their protein content and additional nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. If your dog has allergies to other protein sources like chicken, salmon could be a good alternative. 

Home-cooked salmon is an excellent source of protein, but it lacks other essential nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which are crucial for your dog’s health. Salmon alone doesn’t provide all the nutrients a dog needs for a healthy lifestyle. Commercial dog food that uses real salmon will also be a complete meal as it contains other ingredients formulated to meet a dog’s nutritional needs. 

Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

So, what else makes salmon healthy for dogs? 

Salmon can be a tasty and beneficial addition to your dog’s diet because it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Just like humans, dogs can’t produce these fatty acids alone; they have to come through their diet. 

Salmon contains omega 3’s, particularly EPA and DHA, which can offer a number of positive benefits for your pooch: 

  • Promote skin hydration and contribute to a shiner, healthier coat
  • Help manage and prevent skin allergies
  • Support brain development and function 
  • Help reduce inflammation 
  • Support a strong immune system 
  • Promote vision, eye, and heart health 

Filled With Vitamins & Other Micronutrients

Alongside protein and omega-3s, salmon offers a variety of vitamins and minerals that contribute to a dog’s overall health and well-being. 

Salmon is a good source of the following: 

  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Supports cognitive function and energy. 
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): Helps digestion and converting food into energy. 
  • Vitamin B6: Supports red blood cell production and a healthy nervous system. 
  • Vitamin B12: Essential for growth and development, especially for nursing and pregnant dogs. 
  • Riboflavin: Important for energy and healthy vision. 
  • Phosphorus: Supports kidney function and strong bones and teeth. 
  • Potassium: Promotes healthy muscle function. 

Supports Digestive Health

Salmon can support digestive health in a couple of ways. First, salmon itself is a generally very digestible source of protein for dogs. This means that dogs can easily absorb the nutrients from salmon, reducing the likelihood of tummy upset and discomfort. 

Salmon can also promote healthy digestion because of its omega-3 content. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing, contributing to overall smoother digestion for your pup. 

May Promote Weight Loss

Is salmon OK for dogs trying to lose weight? 

Salmon typically has less cholesterol and saturated fat than other meats like chicken. If your dog is trying to lose weight, salmon could be beneficial for weight management. 

If you have any concerns about your dog's weight, speak with your vet. A fish-based diet can be a good option for weight management, but it’s important to follow your vet’s guidelines so that your pup still gets all the nutrients they need. Switching to a home-cooked salmon-only diet lacks carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs for complete health. 

Overall, salmon can be part of a weight management plan for your pup. Portion control and regular exercise are also important for helping your furry friend reach and maintain a healthy weight. 

How Much Salmon Can Dogs Eat?

So, how often can I give my dog salmon? 

It’s safe to feed dogs cooked, boneless salmon. Always start with a small amount of new food and monitor for allergic reactions. This gives your dog time to adjust to the new food, minimizing the chances of tummy upset. 

Here are some general guidelines for how much fresh, cooked, boneless salmon to feed dogs, depending on their size and weight. 

  • Extra-small dog (2–20 pounds): 1–2 ounces per week
  • Small dog (21–30 pounds): 2–3 ounces per week
  • Medium dogs (31–50 pounds): 3–4 ounces per week
  • Large dogs (51–90 pounds): 4–6 ounces per week
  • Extra-large dogs (over 90 pounds): 4-6 ounces per week 

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and it’s always best to speak with your vet before making any big changes to your pup’s diet. The ideal amount of salmon will depend on your dog’s age, weight, activity level, health, and any underlying health conditions. 

How to Safely Feed Salmon to Your Dog

When we talk about feeding salmon to dogs, it’s important that it’s cooked throughout. This refers to any salmon at home that you plan on giving to your dog; it should be fresh, cooked, and free of bones. Can dogs eat raw salmon? The short answer is no. The reason that salmon should be cooked is that uncooked salmon poses a number of risks: 

  • Salmon Poisoning Disease: Raw salmon can be home to the Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially death in dogs who eat raw salmon with the parasite. 
  • Choking Hazard: Small bones in raw salmon can be a choking hazard and also cause internal injuries if your pup swallows them whole. 
  • Foodborne Illness: Raw salmon can harbor parasites and bacteria that can cause digestive and health problems. 

Now you know to resist those puppy dog eyes and not share your sushi takeout. Sushi is delicious for us, but your pup will appreciate a dog-friendly treat much more! 

As well as avoiding raw salmon, the other thing to remember is that a human recipe for cooked salmon isn’t always suitable for dogs. While you may add seasonings and spices to create your dish, these extra ingredients aren’t safe for dogs. If you are cooking salmon for dogs, it should be plain. The natural flavor and smells are more than enough to excite your pup’s taste buds. 

So, can dogs eat canned salmon? 

While canned cooked salmon can be OK for dogs to eat, again, check for ingredients that your dog should stay away from. Some canned salmon is high in sodium and includes added flavors, fillers, and preservatives, all unsuitable for dogs. Instead, choose canned salmon in water, not oil or brine. Most canned salmon is deboned, but it’s a good idea to double-check that no bones are present. 

Choose High-Quality Salmon 

Opt for a safe and healthy way to feed your Dog Salmon with Jinx. Our Salmon kibble uses sustainably sourced Atlantic salmon, patented probiotics, and a host of functional superfoods for optimum health and nourishment. Our salmon treats also feature real salmon as the #1 ingredient, paired with a powerhouse superfood with nutrient-rich pumpkin, a natural source of antioxidants.

When choosing salmon for dogs, think about the source and quality. Our kibble uses sustainably sourced Atlantic salmon. Not all salmon is the same. Atlantic salmon may have lower levels of contaminants like mercury, PCBs, and other pollutants compared to salmon from other sources. Atlantic salmon often comes from cleaner water with stricter fish farming and harvesting regulations. If your pup is a finicky eater, a different flavor profile, like Atlantic salmon, might be more appealing for those with sensitive palates. 


Can my dog eat salmon raw, smoked, or cured? Let’s explore common FAQs about safely and deliciously feeding salmon to your furry friend. 

Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon?

No, dogs should avoid raw salmon as the potential risks and harmful parasites make it a big no-no. Raw salmon can contain harmful bacteria, which can be potentially fatal. It can also have small bones, which are a choking hazard or can cause serious internal injury. Any salmon for dogs should be cooked. 

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon skin, but in moderation. The main points to consider here are that the salmon is fully cooked through, it’s plain and simple (no seasonings), and it’s in small pieces. While nutritious and a good source of healthy fats, salmon skin is an occasional treat and not a daily staple of a dog’s diet. 

Can Dogs Eat Smoked Or Cured Salmon?

In most cases, it’s best to avoid feeding your pup smoked or cured salmon, as these types of foods usually contain high salt levels. Some smoked products can also include additional flavorings and ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like onions and garlic. While your pup may eye up your smoked salmon bagel with love, it’s better to stick to safer, dog-friendly options. 

Overall, salmon is a fantastic source of nutrients to support your dog’s health. For a quick and safe way to introduce the benefits of salmon into your dog’s diet, opt for a high-quality dog food that uses real salmon and functional superfoods, like Jinx. That way, you can give your furry friend the nutrition they deserve and the taste they love!  


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