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Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Salmon steaks on cutting board with herbs, spices and lemon slices

I get lots of questions about what dogs can and can’t eat. Most people know dogs can’t have chocolate because it’s poisonous to them, but they may not know that dogs shouldn’t eat bubblegum (especially with xylitol) either. But dog’s CAN eat cooked salmon as part of a balanced diet. In fact, most dogs love salmon.

Is Salmon Good For Dogs?

Yes. Salmon is good for dogs. It’s a great protein source. It also has lots of Omega 3s that are good for dog’s coats.

What the AKC says about salmon and dogs:

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support the immune system, may decrease inflammation, and can keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and healthy. It’s also a good protein source. In fact, salmon is a common ingredient in high-quality dog foods. If your dog is allergic to more common sources of protein, like chicken, salmon may be a good alternative.

Jan Reisen – AKC

Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon?

Whole salmon with salmon steak, salmon fillet, and salmon chunks, on white background

Even if you are feeding your dog a raw diet, you never want to feed your dog raw salmon. Always cook salmon before feeding it to your dog. It contains parasites that can cause real problems for dogs.

Important! If you feed your dog salmon it should ALWAYS be cooked. Raw salmon contains a parasite that can cause salmon poisoning in dogs. If you cook the salmon it kills the parasite, so there is nothing to worry about when it’s cooked.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Salmon?

Cooked salmon fillet on white plate with lemon slices

Yes. Cooked salmon is good for dogs. Make sure you cook it so that it is “well done.” It should reach 145 degrees and be easy to flake with a fork.

Fish is safe to eat after it has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees or the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork (the TODAY Food team recommends using a simple meat thermometer).

Alessandra Bulow –

Cooking salmon to the correct temperature of 145 degrees makes it safe for dogs to consume because it kills any potential parasites.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Bones?

2 pieces of salmon with bones on black background

For fresh salmon, you will want to remove the bones before cooking and check the fish for bones before you give it to your dogs.

Salmon bones can scratch dogs throats and mouths just like they can for humans and while it’s unlikely to do permanent damage, it’s not a good idea for dogs to consume salmon bones.

What About Canned Salmon for Dogs?

bowl of canned salmon on wooden table top

A lot of recipes for homemade dog food with salmon call for the use of canned salmon.

Since canned salmon is already cooked, it’s perfectly fine to use for dogs. If you can find water packed, rather than oil packed salmon, it’s a better choice for your pooch.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon Bones?

Unlike fresh salmon, the process used for canning makes salmon bones very soft. They are fine for dogs to eat because they won’t scratch up their throat and mouths. They are also a good source of extra calcium.

The Bottom Line on Salmon for Dogs?

Bowl of wet dog food next to a salmon filet on a white background

Salmon is safe for dogs as long as it’s cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees. You never want to feed your dog raw salmon as it can potentially contain a parasite that is quite dangerous to dogs.

Any salmon, pink, farmed, fresh, or wild works well if it is well cooked. If you are cooking from fresh or frozen, be sure to check and remove bones. Canned salmon also works well for dogs and they can eat the bones in canned salmon because they are so soft.

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