Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Can Dogs Eat Salmon? Know the Pros and Cons!

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On This Page

  • Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
  • What are the Health Benefits of Salmon for Dogs?
  • When is Salmon Dangerous for Dogs?
  • Safely Feeding Salmon to Dogs - Important Tips!
  • Yummy Healthy Salmon Treats for Dogs!

If you're a pet owner, you've likely asked yourself at one point or another if it's safe for your furry friend to eat a certain food. Moreover, if you're like many other pet owners, you may have even turned to the internet to try and find an answer.

Well, look no further!

In this blog, we'll take a closer look at salmon – and whether or not dogs can eat it. Most vets have given it a green signal.

But, by the end of this blog, you'll know the pros and cons of feeding your dog salmon. So, you can make an informed decision about what's best for them.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Yes, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, it is common for high-quality pet foods or dog foods to include salmon as an ingredient. If your dog is allergic to chicken, salmon may be a good alternative protein source for them.

Rober C. Backus, MS, DVM, Ph.d., Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri, states, “Salmon contains essential fatty acids that deliver the same type of benefits to dogs as to humans. Some of these fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help dogs with dry skin problems.”

Salmon are a type of fish that can be found in both fresh and saltwater. They’re related to trout, charring lights grayling whitefishes among others within the Salmonidae family. Salmon is one such food that many dogs enjoy eating without experiencing any negative reactions

The great news about feeding your dog salmon is that it's usually safe for them to eat. The bad? You need some important information before putting a bowl of this fish down!

What Type of Salmon is the Best for Dogs?

Salmon is available in several forms, including wild-caught, canned, frozen, fresh, and farm-raised.

According to Backus, “If you decide to add salmon to your dog's diet, select fish from the northern or southern latitudes. Salmon from cold water marine environments contain the most beneficial fatty acids because of the type of plankton consumed in their food chain.”

What are the Health Benefits of Salmon for Dogs?

Salmon - the dog owner’s best friend!

This fatty and nutrient-rich fish can help reduce the risk of several diseases. You'll find it versatile too - prepared in numerous ways for you or your pup.

Salmon is a great source of many nutrients that can be beneficial to your dog’s health. For example, it contains high levels of EPA and DHA - long-chain omega-3 fatty acids!

Here's what you should know about the benefits of EPA and DHA for your pup:

  • Helps in immune system regulation. The body needs a healthy immune system in order to fight off disease and stay strong.
  • It can reduce inflammation that leads to conditions like arthritis, easing your dog’s pains!
  • Salmon can help to thicken up and brighten a dog's coat. It also has been shown that it improves skin health.
  • If your dog has skin allergies, salmon might be the perfect food for them. They also help with dryness.
  • The extract from salmon can help your dog with inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Its natural ingredients help your pup’s body produce collagen at an increased rate.
  • Salmon intake can help support brain development in unborn puppies and dogs.
  • Salmon can help improve heart health, by reducing blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
  • Salmon has properties that slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Salmon can help overweight dogs lose weight.
  • Salmon has nutrients that help dogs with kidney disease and other health problems.
  • Research shows that a diet including salmon can improve cognitive function in older dogs.
  • Some older dogs have joint issues, but salmon can help reduce that.

Salmon contains many important nutrients like EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and B, as well as healthy minerals like zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

Reasons to Not Feed Your Dog Salmon

There are many reasons why salmon may not be an ideal food item for your dog. Here are those;

  • Radiation

    - Ever since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, radiation has flowed into the west coast of North America. Therefore, fish show signs of radiation and with Cesium-137 and strontium-90 in salmon, it could be dangerous for your dog.

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

    - PCBs are carcinogenic man-made chemicals that have been banned by the government but are still found in some products. PCBs can cause serious health issues like;

    • Muscles spasms
    • Nervous system disorders
    • Cancer
    • Skin problems
    • Bronchitis
  • Heavy Metals

    - Heavy metals are found in both fish and oceans. These heavy metals include mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium. These cause serious health issues like liver damage, blindness, cancer, kidney damage, and nerve system issues.

  • Dioxins and Furans

    - These are environmental pollutants that come from medical and municipal waste. Dioxins and furans cause several health problems like cancer, liver problems, skin problems, and issues with the immune system.

  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

    - Farm-raised salmon is the first to be approved by the FDA to be genetically modified. Though these are considered safe, GMO foods are found to cause allergies, digestive issues, and organ damage.

  • Parasites

    - Wild salmon can have harmful parasites like flukes and roundworms. Flukes are very dangerous as they carry Neorickettsia helminthoeca bacteria, which is the leading cause of salmon poisoning in dogs. In case your canine eats salmon-infected fluke, the parasite will attach itself to hit the gut lining and cause many health issues.

When is Salmon Dangerous for Dogs?

Never feed your dog raw or undercooked salmon. This is a dangerous food for canines and could lead to them being poisoned by bacteria and parasites in the fish itself!

Uncooked and uncooked meats are hazardous to both humans and canines alike; giving them a small piece of this type of meat could result in illness - possibly even fatal consequences.

Besides, some dogs do not need extra fatty acids or vitamin D that is found in salmon. Therefore, it is important that you consult the veterinarian before adding salmon to your dog’s diet.

Salmon Poisoning in Dogs

Salmon can be infected with a dangerous parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola (NS). This harmless creature is sometimes joined by an even more treacherous one- Nekton Sheilldoec.

If this happens and your dog eats it, he will suffer from what's known as Salmon poisoning. If you cook the salmon thoroughly enough then these harmful pests should die off before reaching their plates!

Signs of Salmon Poisoning Disease in Dogs

While it's possible for your dog to have symptoms from salmon poisoning before they actually show any, this can take up weeks. Some common signs and symptoms of salmon poisoning are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Dehydration

So if you were thinking, “Can dogs eat salmon raw?’ Know that they can’t as it can be hazardous!

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Raw Salmon?

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately. If you know or suspect that your dog has eaten raw salmon, tell your vet.

The vet will need a fecal sample to detect the parasite's eggs in the feces, or they might take a needle sample from a swollen lymph node.

If you catch salmon poisoning in time, the treatment is simple. Your veterinarian will give you an antibiotic to kill the bacteria that caused the poisoning and a worm to kill the parasite. If your dog is dehydrated, they will give him intravenous fluid.

The good news is that dogs usually show rapid improvement within a couple of days of starting treatment.

Safely Feeding Salmon to Dogs - Important Tips!

Fresh salmon is a delicious way to get all of those healthy omega-3s for your dog, but be sure that you check for tiny bones before cooking. You can poach or grill it with no oil and seasonings such as salt & pepper.

If you want to share salmon with your pup, you'll need to remove all the bones and skin. Cooked canned salmon is a safe choice, but make sure it's packed in water instead of brine or oil.

How Much Salmon Can I Give My Dog?

Just like with people, feeding your dog in moderation is key to keeping them happy and healthy. You should only give your dog salmon once a week at the most and make sure the portion is appropriate for their size. A healthy dog can eat up to 10g of salmon per 450g of their weight.

Remember that you need to give a complete and balanced diet to your pup, so salmon should be included in small amounts only. Portion control is necessary and any dog treat should only make up to 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

As long as the salmon is cooked without poisonous ingredients, the skin of a cooked salmon is safe for your dog to eat. However, salmon skin is high in fat, so only share it with your dog occasionally or as a special treat.

Those asking, “Can dogs eat salmon skin raw?” need to know that dogs shouldn’t eat raw salmon skin. This can cause salmon poisoning and may even pose a choking hazard.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Bones?


Eating salmon bones can be dangerous for dogs, especially the smaller breeds. The bones are sharp and small and can break easily. If they get lodged in the dog's mouth, esophagus, stomach, or other parts of the digestive tract, it could be very dangerous. They could choke your dog to death!

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Sashimi?

Salmon Sashimi is a form of raw or undercooked salmon. You should not give your dog raw or undercooked salmon. This is because there may be parasites in the fish's flesh that can lead to salmon poisoning.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Salmon?

Yes, in fact, that is the best form of salmon for your dog. Cook it well without any additional seasonings. You can also try making healthy dog treats for your pup!

Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon?

Dogs should not eat smoked salmon because it can still contain parasites and bacteria that can make them sick. The infection is less likely to happen if they eat smoked salmon than if they eat raw salmon, but it is still a risk.

Another major issue is that smoked salmon contains a lot of salt, which is not healthy for your pup to eat. Dogs need much less salt than we do.

Excessive salt consumption can cause dehydration, sickness, and even sodium poisoning in dogs. So it's important to give them only the right amount of salt to stay healthy.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Eggs?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon eggs if these are processed into caviar. However, caviar is high in salt and other spices, which is why it is important that you give it in a small amount.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?

Tinned salmon is the best choice for your dog, but only if it doesn’t have added salt. Thus, salmon in water can be fed to your dog safely. If you are buying salmon tinned with preserved water, it might have salts so make sure to limit the intake to control salt levels.

Salmon in brine is safe for dogs to eat. It has a high salt content, but it is still healthier than other choices. Tinned salmon with water has few additives and is the best option for a healthy snack for your dog.

However, canned food often has additives and preservatives, so it is better to give your dog fresh salmon which has more nutrients.

Other than salmon, some other meat varieties are also safe for dogs to eat. Dogs can eat some varieties of mushroom. Similarly, dogs can eat shrimp and turkey while keeping in view some safety tips.

However, there are certain meat varieties that are not good for your dog. For instance, dogs can’t eat tuna and shouldn’t be fed tuna.

Yummy Healthy Salmon Treats for Dogs!


  • Pink Salmon - 1 can (14.75 ounces)
  • Flour - 1 cups
  • Eggs - 2
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Open the can of salmon. Don't pour the liquid out.
  3. Put the salmon and its juices into a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to break the meat into small pieces.
  4. Break two eggs into a bowl and mix them together with the salmon.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray so the dough won't stick. Then dump the dough mixture onto the sheet.
  6. To keep the dough from sticking to your hands, sprinkle some flour on top of it and flour your hands.
  7. Press the dough out flat until it is about 1/4 inch thick. If you want the treats to be moist, you can make them thicker. If you want crunchier treats, you can make them thinner. However, do not worry about making perfect corners as this will later be broken into small treats.
  8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Cook it for 25-35 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you want the cookies to be.
  9. Take the cookies out of the oven. Use a spatula to lift them all off the sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.
  10. Once the treats have cooled, divide them into the desired portions, put them in a bag, and freeze them for up to two months.

Save a few treats for your furry friend to enjoy as soon as they come out of the oven. They will love the smell and will start licking their lips in anticipation!

Salmon Cake for Dogs

Many people like salmon patties, so why not make a dog-friendly version for your pooch? Try this recipe today!


  • Salmon - 1 (14.74 oz)
  • Egg whites - 2
  • Fat-free or low-fat sour cream - ¼ cup
  • Dried parsley - 2 tsp
  • Shredded carrot - ½ cup
  • Plain bread crumbs - ½ cup
  • Dried dill - 1 tsp
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the bones and skin from the salmon, if any. Drain the liquid from the salmon.
  • Mix together the salmon, egg whites, sour cream, parsley, and carrot in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and dill.
  • With a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop one ball and gently flatten it into a patty shape.
  • Coat the patty in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Put the patties on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • There should be enough salmon mixture to make 24 salmon cakes. Keep mixing the ingredients together and making patties until there are no more left.
  • Bake the patties for 12 minutes, then flip them over and bake for an additional 12 minutes.
  • Let your cake cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
  • You can keep treats in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to two months.

So, can dogs eat salmon? The answer is yes but with some caveats!

Dogs can enjoy the health benefits of salmon, but it's important to feed them salmon in moderation and to be aware of any possible dangers. Salmon is a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids for your pup, so give them a healthy serving today!

If you are an ESA owner and need to protect your rights, don't wait!

Write an ESA letter today so that you can ensure that your beloved pet is protected.

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Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and esteemed author at RealESALetter.com. With a profound passion for animals, Harper combines extensive knowledge and personal experience to provide insightful and informative content. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he strives to empower pet owners with the tools and understanding they need to nurture and care for their furry friends effectively. Harper’s writings reflect his commitment to enhancing the lives of pets and their owners, making him a trusted voice in the pet community.

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