Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Dogs are curious animals that always want to know what their humans are having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Thus, it’s natural to wonder: can dogs eat salmon?

If you’ve always wanted to share a delicious meal with your four-legged friend, knowing what food is safe for them to consume is imperative. Here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about feeding your dog salmon.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon, but owners should prepare and serve them mindfully. While salmon can provide nutritional value to dogs, thorough cooking can help avoid the risk of salmon poisoning disease (SPD) and potential exposure to parasites. Avoid feeding your dog raw or undercooked salmon, and skip the seasoning.

If you’re feeding your dog salmon that’s been in the fridge for some time, it’s essential to store the fish correctly.

How Much Salmon Should I Feed My Dog?

The amount of salmon you should feed your dog depends on their size and weight. As a general guide, a few small portions of cooked salmon per week are suitable for a medium-sized dog.

Cut the salmon into appropriate portions, considering the overall balance of their diet. Avoid overfeeding to prevent any digestive issues or excess calorie intake. Most importantly, always consult your veterinarian to determine the right portion size based on your dog's needs and dietary requirements.

Nutritional Benefits of Salmon for Dogs

Salmon provides essential nutritional benefits for dogs. It's a great source of protein, vital for muscle development and overall strength.

Salmon contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, promoting a healthy coat, skin, and joint function. The fish also offers vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, and selenium.

In addition, salmon can improve cognitive function in older dogs.

Risks and Concerns of Feeding Salmon to Dogs

Feeding salmon to dogs carries several risks and concerns. Raw or undercooked salmon can transmit harmful parasites or bacteria, leading to digestive problems and potential SPD. Small bones in salmon pose a choking hazard or risk of intestinal blockage, requiring careful preparation to remove them.

Seasoning or spices often used in human preparations can also upset a dog's stomach. For some dogs, salmon is too fatty.

Preparing Salmon for Dogs

Feeding salmon to dogs safely involves careful preparation and serving. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Choose fresh salmon: Opt for fresh, high-quality salmon, free from any seasoning, spices, or harmful additives.
  • Remove bones: Thoroughly debone the salmon to prevent choking or digestive issues. Check for any small bones and remove them.
  • Cook thoroughly: Ensure the salmon is fully cooked to eliminate potential parasites or bacteria. Avoid using any seasoning, spices, or oils.
  • Choose safe cooking methods: Baking, boiling, or grilling without seasoning produce safe results for dogs. Steer clear of frying or using excessive oils.
  • Portion control: Be mindful of portion sizes and integrate the salmon into your dog's diet in moderation.

Following these steps ensures that your dog can safely enjoy the nutritional benefits of salmon while minimizing any potential risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat raw salmon?

Feeding dogs raw salmon is not recommended due to its potential risks. Raw salmon can contain harmful parasites and bacteria, such as Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can cause potentially fatal SPD. Additionally, raw salmon may have small bones that can pose a choking hazard or cause injury to the digestive tract. It’s best to cook salmon thoroughly before offering it as a treat or part of their diet.

Can dogs eat salmon skin?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon skin in moderation, but be cautious. The skin is a good source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit a dog's coat and skin health. Always thoroughly cook the skin to eliminate any potential parasites or bacteria that may be present. Remove any seasoning or spices and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions, especially if it's their first time eating salmon skin. As with any treat or addition to your dog's diet, portion control and moderation are essential to preventing digestive issues.

Can dogs eat smoked or cured salmon?

It's best to avoid feeding dogs smoked or cured salmon, as they often contain high levels of salt and additional flavorings that lead to sodium ion poisoning or other health issues. Moreover, curing or smoking may not effectively eliminate harmful parasites or bacteria, posing risks to your dog's health.

Is canned salmon safe for dogs?

Yes, canned salmon can be safe for dogs when appropriately prepared and given in moderation. Ensure the canned salmon is plain, without added salt, seasoning, or harmful preservatives. Drain excess liquids and remove bones before serving to prevent choking hazards. Canned salmon can offer the same nutritional benefits as fresh salmon, including protein and essential fatty acids.


No matter how effective your pet’s puppy dog eyes are, you’ll only want to feed them fish and other table food when it’s safe to do so.

An excellent meal for you and Fido starts with high-quality fish. At Alaskan Salmon Company, we provide wild-caught Alaskan salmon perfect for any occasion.

  • +

    Get fresh, sushi-grade Alaskan salmon delivered to your door.

    Alaskan Salmon Company Shop Salmon