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Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

By Colleen Williams
published: May 15, 2017 - updated: July 6, 2021 • 2 min. read
dogs salmon

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, salmon is safe for dogs to eat and is good for dogs’ hearts and coats.
  • Avoid giving dogs salmon that is cooked with garlic or onions.
  • Remove bones from salmon as they are choking hazards.
  • Raw salmon can cause stomach upset in dogs.
  • Salmon skin is high in fat, so only give it as a special treat.

You’ve probably noticed if your dog is interested in fish, or if he’s not too keen on it. If your pup is a “seafoodie”, not to worry: most cooked fish is completely safe for dogs to eat, including salmon.

Cooked salmon has an excess of benefits for your pup, which is why you probably have seen it as an ingredient in both wet and dry food. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids (good for canine coats and hearts), vitamins, and minerals. Salmon is low in fat and high in protein, but remember, all human foods should be given to dogs in moderation.

When feeding your dog salmon, watch out for:

  • Salmon cooked with garlic, onions, or any other food that’s a dog no-no!
  • Bones that can scrape the esophagus or cause choking (a quick-how to on CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver can help save your pet’s life).
  • Raw salmon, as it can lead to “salmon poisoning disease,” a dog-specific disease caused by an infected parasite in salmon. This can cause stomach upset, gastrointestinal issues, and even death. Within six days of eating infected fish, your dog may show symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, dehydration, swollen lymph nodes, and discharge from their nose and eyes.

If you’re interested in feeding your pup canned salmon, look for products that are canned in water, not oil, and opt for low sodium. Again, don’t rely on canned salmon as the main nutrition source for your dog, as a well-balanced dog food diet is best.

What about salmon skin?

As long as the salmon is cooked without toxic ingredients, salmon skin is safe for your dog to eat. However, salmon skin is high in fat, so only share it with your dog rarely or as an extra-special treat.

Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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