If you take a look at the list of ingredients on many dog foods, you will find that fish, or salmon in particular, is one of the main ingredients. You don’t have to guess if dogs can eat salmon, because they can, and it is extremely good for them. In fact, studies show that salmon is one of the best human foods that are also healthy and good for dogs to eat.
There are numerous benefits to adding salmon to your dog’s diet. Today, we are going to look at the health benefits of feeding salmon to your dog. We will also discuss whether your dog can eat raw salmon, smoked salmon, canned salmon, and salmon skin.
Health Benefits of Salmon For Dogs
One of the reasons why salmon is recommended by vets for dogs is because it is loaded with nutrients. Salmon is rich in protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and provides many health benefits including:
- Healthy brain function
- Treating arthritis symptoms
- Boosting the immune system
- Reducing joint inflammation
- Healthy skin and coat
- Better joint mobility
- Treating skin irritations and allergies
Other important nutrients found in salmon include vitamins A, B-complex, and D, along with potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
Giving Your Dog Salmon as a Treat
If you want to give your dogs the benefits of salmon in their diets, there are several ways that you can do it. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on actual salmon, you can buy salmon supplement capsules. Another option is to use salmon oil, and mix in in with their food or pour it on top of treats. Make sure that you are careful when reading the labels on treats to make that they are made from real salmon not just salmon flavoring.
A general rule of thumb is to feed dogs about one and a half ounces of salmon for every 10 pounds of their weight. For smaller dogs weighing less than 10 pounds, an ounce or less is a perfect serving. For supplement capsules and oil, follow the directions on the packaging. Salmon treats should be given sparingly, as they may contain other ingredients that dogs shouldn’t have on a daily basis.
Types of Salmon
While salmon in general is good for dogs, you probably shouldn’t even your pup just any type of salmon. Here’s a breakdown of each kind of salmon and whether it is good, bad or just OK to feed your dog.
As healthy as salmon is for dogs, you should never give raw salmon to your dog. Salmon may contain the parasite nanophyetus salmincola which is a flatworm that is often infected by neorickettsia helminthoeca. Ingesting this flatworm may cause salmon poisoning in dogs leading to inflammation in your dog’s intestinal tract.
Canned salmon is perfectly safe for dogs and is a great way to add omega 3-s and protein into their diets. However, please be aware that canned salmon may contain high levels of sodium so you should opt for no sodium added canned salmon.
Dogs should not eat smoked salmon because it is cured. This means that the meat will have excessively high levels of sodium and dogs can develop sodium ion poisoning from eating too much salt.
Salmon skin is high in fat so is a great treat for dogs in heavy moderation. However, uncooked salmon skin may also contain parasites similar to raw salmon. Therefore, you should only give cooked salmon skin to your dogs.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Salmon
Many types of fish, including salmon, are perfectly safe and healthy for dogs to eat. As with anything you feed to your dog, make sure salmon is fed to them in moderation. Use the above guidance to ensure that you don’t give your dog too much salmon and ALWAYS feed them cooked salmon. When served in moderation and cooked, salmon is a great source of many essential nutrients like omega-3’s and protein for your dogs.