Dog bowl filled with salmon and other fresh foods

Can Dogs Eat Salmon? Yes, But…

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Flaky, flavorful, and filled with healthy fats, there’s no doubt that salmon should be part of your human diet. But what about your furry best friend? Can dogs eat salmon?

Human and dog diets vary significantly, and not everything good for humans is good for canines. However, there’s a lot of overlap in what humans and dogs consume.

So, it’s hardly strange to consider sharing your salmon filet with your favorite pup. But before you do, you have to ask, is salmon bad for dogs? Or is it okay to give it to them?

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon. Just be careful of any bones as they can be choking hazards.

Though there are some types of fish that dogs should avoid, like tuna packed in oil, salmon is an ideal supplement to your dog’s diet. Like humans, dogs can benefit from salmon’s massive amount of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins.

Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can support your dog’s immune system and decrease inflammation. Omega-3s can also give your dog an extra shiny coat!

On top of healthy fats, salmon is also packed with protein. Healthy adult dogs need 4.5 grams of protein for every 100 calories they consume, and that’s a bare minimum. A 3 oz portion of salmon has about 17 grams of protein, making it ideal for meeting your dog’s protein needs.

Finally, salmon contains a ton of much-needed B-vitamins. B-vitamins help regulate your dog’s metabolism, facilitate enzyme function, and play a role in mitochondrial protein synthesis.

Are There Any Safety Concerns When Feeding My Dog Salmon?

Like many fish, salmon contains small bones. These bones can be choking hazards for your dog, so you’ll want to watch out for them when serving your dog salmon.

Raw or undercooked salmon can also contain harmful parasites. So, you’ll want to ensure any salmon you give to your dog is cooked.

How Much Salmon Can I Give My Dog?

Give your dog a tasty portion of salmon once per week. Make sure the portion is appropriate to your dog’s size. You’ll want to stick to 10 grams of salmon for every 450 grams your dog weighs.

How to Prepare Salmon for Dogs

Look for salmon filets or canned salmon packed in water to feed your dog. If you’re purchasing filets, be sure to look them over for small bones before you cook them. Then, you can grill, roast, broil, or poach the salmon — whatever method you prefer!

When cooking for your dog, you should avoid using seasonings, including salt and pepper. You should also avoid using extra oils. And, make sure you cook the salmon thoroughly. It should be pale pink and flaky all the way through.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering, can dogs eat salmon, the answer is yes. Salmon is good for dogs thanks to protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and plenty of B-vitamins. So feel free to share your salmon filet with your favorite furry friend!

You can also get the answers to questions like “what type of foods can dogs eat?” in our series of guides on topics like if your dog can eat pistachios, bell peppers, zucchini, watermelon, or avocados.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.