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Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon?

salmon filets  hanging from chords in a smoker

The answer to this question is no. Smoked salmon is not a good choice for your canine because it has an excessive quantity of salt. Salt is a terrible ingredient for dogs and they can suffer from sodium ion poisoning. Therefore, dogs cannot eat smoked salmon or any other high-salt meals.

Another reason why smoked salmon is not considered safe for your dog is the possibility of parasites. Although this problem is quite rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep reading to know more about the forms of salmon that dogs can eat (and their pros and cons).

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Yes, they can. Salmon is a species of fish that is sometimes dubbed as a “superfood”, because of its healthy fats and minerals. The next question that many dog owners ask is “Is salmon good for my dog?” Salmon is not only safe but can also serve as an excellent supplement to your dog’s regular diet. It carries a variety of minerals and antioxidants that can fulfill the nutritional requirements of your pooch.

Benefits of Salmon for Dogs

person holding Salmon in a shallow pool of water with hills in the background.

Salmon is one of the healthiest forms of fish you can cook for yourself and your pet. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins (A, D, and B-complex). Similarly, it is loaded with different minerals, like zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

Omega-3 fatty acids are used in many dog diets and supplements because they are quite beneficial for skin and joint health. Hence, it is a great idea to feed this fish to your pup, especially if it has skin-related problems. Some of the numerous health advantages of salmon (for dogs) are as follows.

Good for Skin and Hair

Close up portrait of a golden retriever outdoors in grass

The minerals in salmon keep the skin and hair of your dog in good shape. They reduce skin allergies and inflammation to improve the overall wellbeing of the pup’s coat.

Reduces Joint Inflammation

Salmon takes care of the inflammation and increases the strength of joints. It reduces the risk of arthritis, especially in senior dogs. It can also be a good treatment to minimize the effects of this disease. The protein and vitamins of salmon are also useful for increasing the mobility of joints.

Improves Immunity and Cognitive Abilities

A strong immune system is vital for fighting disease-causing organisms. Salmon is an amazing ingredient to give a boost to your dog’s defensive mechanism. Likewise, the healthy nutrients of this fish are quite useful to improve the cognitive ability of your pooch.

Side Effects of Salmon for Dogs

Brown and white long haired dog on an exam table being held by a vet

Salmon poisoning happens when dogs consume infected raw salmon. Salmon isn’t the only fish that may contract this disease. Flukes, which are parasitic flatworms, can be found in various fish. Trout, shad, sturgeon, and many other species can have these parasites in them.

Flukes get infected with Neorickettsia helmonthoeca, a bacterial pathogen. When dogs eat fish with these infected flukes, they become susceptible to salmon poisoning. Upon ingestion, the larval flukes release Neorickettsia helmonthoeca critters into the dog’s intestines. The germs then travel through the blood to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and brain.

The symptoms of salmon poisoning in dogs usually appear after a week of eating contaminated fish. Fever, lethargy, weakness, decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common indicators.

Tips to Feed Salmon to Your Dog

Dog food bowl in between two dog paws full of fish and other foods

So, how do you cook salmon for your canine companion? Always use boneless, fresh salmon fillets. Make sure to double-check before cooking because some tiny bones might still be there that can suffocate your dog. Likewise, they can become stuck in their stomach or intestines to cause a medical emergency.

You may steam, grill, poach, bake, or roast the salmon, but avoid using oil, salt, or pepper, as well as spices that are toxic to dogs. You can also use salmon oil in moderation for getting nutritional benefits. Providing dog treats, like salmon jerky, is another way of extracting the advantages of salmon.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Raw Salmon?

close up of 2 salmon fillets on a wooden cutting board.

If your dog has eaten raw salmon, it may show symptoms, like fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Dehydration, rapid weight loss, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes are also signs of salmon poisoning. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, take him to the clinic right away.

If you know or think that your dog has eaten raw salmon, contact your veterinarian immediately for professional advice. Salmon poisoning is diagnosed by using a fecal sample as the parasite’s eggs are found inside the feces. Alternatively, a needle sample from a swollen lymph node is also taken in some cases.

If salmon poisoning is identified early enough, it is quite easy to treat. Your veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the rickettsial organisms that caused the poisoning. It is often accompanied by a wormer to kill the parasite. Similarly, your veterinarian will administer intravenous hydration to your dog if he/she is dehydrated. The good news is that dogs typically improve within a few days once the therapy has begun.

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