Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can dogs eat salmon? It’s a question that many dog owners ask themselves when they’re trying to create tasty treats for their dogs.
Sometimes, regular food and dog treats get boring, and you’d rather let your dog indulge in a little human food. While it’s fine to do this on occasion, you should make sure the food you’re giving your dog is safe and healthy. Dogs’ stomachs are different from ours, and things that are healthy for us can be unhealthy for them or even downright toxic.
So what about salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
The short answer is yes, your dog can absolutely eat salmon! When given as part of a balanced diet, salmon is a great treat to give your dog.
Is It Safe?
As it’s not undercooked or full of bones, salmon is perfectly safe for dogs. Undercooked salmon or salmon with bones can have seriously bad effects on your dog, so it’s important to be careful with this one. However, as long as it’s prepared correctly, it’s fine.
Is It Healthy?
When prepared correctly, salmon is very healthy for dogs! Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids which can give the immune system a huge boost, as well as being great for your dog’s coat. It’s something you can feed them to keep that fur in great condition.
How Much Can They Eat?
Treats, in general, should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet. You should take this into account when giving them salmon, as you don’t want to exceed that if it’s not the main part of their diet.
Check how many calories your dog is supposed to have. You can use an online calculator or the feeding instructions on their dog food, since the dog food doesn’t take treats into account. Then you can figure it out from there.
Fortunately, salmon is fairly low calorie so it should be a decent size of a tasty snack.
When giving your dog salmon for the first time, start with a small piece and increase the amount you give them to check it’s having no adverse effects. It’s always hard to predict how a dog’s stomach will react to having a certain kind of food for the first time.
You should also always be cautious when giving various foods to puppies under six months, who haven’t fully developed yet. They can be more sensitive to new things.
The Benefits vs. The Risks
There are numerous benefits to giving your dog salmon, including:
- The immune system boost from the omega-3 fatty acids
- The coat benefits, making it shinier and healthier
- The protein, which your dog needs lots of
- It’s tasty, and they’ll love it!
However, as with anything, there are some small risks to be aware of.
The first is that disease that can be caused by undercooked salmon. As this can be fatal in dogs, you should check your salmon has been cooked through and never give them raw fish. You might think raw fish is okay for a dog because of what they might eat in the wild, but the risks are just too high.
Bones can also be a problem. While it may not be a big deal if your dog ingests them, they can often be choking hazards. Cooked bones have a tendency to splinter when going down and can injure your pup.
It’s also possible for your dog to have a fish allergy. Vets are seeing more and more of these, so keep an eye out when feeding your dog anything for the first time.
Allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy skin
How To Prepare Salmon For Your Dog
Fresh, boneless salmon fillets are the best idea, as these should be free of bones. However, before cooking, check for bones anyway — you can never be too careful.
You can cook the salmon any way you choose — roast, steam, or grill it, whatever you prefer will be fine by your dog!
Do not season the salmon with salt or pepper. Neither of them is toxic to dogs, but they aren’t healthy either, and your dog is better off without them. Although they may not show a reaction to a little salt and pepper, it’s better for them to just not have it at all.
You should never season the salmon with anything else. Things like onion powder and garlic powder can be extremely toxic to dogs, and if you realize your dog has consumed a large amount of these, you should contact your veterinarian for further assistance. How much is truly toxic will depend on the weight and breed of the dog.
You can also include salmon in other recipes, such as part of a stuffed KONG. Some people choose to feed their dog an entire diet of human food with meat, grains, and vegetables, but you should only do this if you’ve consulted a nutrition expert. Creating a diet for your dog without doing the research can lead to some serious deficiencies.
Other fish that’s extremely healthy for your dog include:
Some vets also recommend having fish oil in your dog’s diet to keep their coat especially shiny and healthy. Always discuss supplements like this with your veterinarian first, as they know what’s best for your dog.
So if you’re asking, “Can dogs eat salmon?”, the answer is yes. Just be sure to prepare it correctly.