Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

What about sushi, though? 🍣

If you’re at home eating your favorite salmon sushi roll, the idea of sharing a bite with your dog might have crossed your mind. But can dogs eat salmon?

While most salmon is perfectly OK (and even beneficial!) for your pup, that doesn’t mean you should share your sushi with her.

In fact, raw salmon can be fatal to your dog.

We reached out to two experts, Dr. Brian Bourquin, a chief medical officer at Boston Veterinary Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, and Jeff Carbridge, a certified dog nutritionist at Dog Owner, to find out more about salmon and dogs.

Is salmon healthy for dogs?

Yes, salmon is perfectly safe for dogs to eat as long as it’s prepared correctly.

“In fact, it is a really nutritious food that can be given to them as a tasty treat,” Carbridge told The Dodo.

Some of the benefits of salmon for dogs include:

It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Because salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, it helps promote a shiny and soft coat, healthy skin and a strong immune system.

It’s an anti-inflammatory

Salmon also acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory while also supporting strong muscles and joints.

It’s a great source of protein

“It’s also a fantastic source of protein, which is why it is used as a core ingredient in many commercial dog foods,” Carbridge said.

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How much salmon can my dog eat?

“It is safe to give your dog salmon, or FDA-approved products including omega fatty acids and fish oil, once per day,” Dr. Bourquin told The Dodo. “I recommend only feeding your dogs salmon in moderation.”

“To make things easy, your dog can have 10 grams of salmon for every 500 grams that they weigh,” Carbridge said.

You might want to start out feeding him an even smaller amount at first. “This way, you avoid them getting sick since salmon can be quite rich for a dog that isn’t used to it,” Carbridge said.

If you’re unsure about special dietary restrictions for your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Can dogs eat cooked salmon?

Yes, your dog can eat cooked salmon, but be mindful of how the salmon is prepared so that there’s nothing bad in her meal.

When cooking salmon for your pup, you’re going to want to make sure to avoid using the following:

  • Spices
  • Butter
  • Oil

If you use too much spice, butter or oil, you run the risk of your pup getting an upset stomach.

“I recommend steaming or baking salmon instead of frying a filet of salmon in your frying pan,” Dr. Bourquin said. “The frying pan, if not properly cleaned, could have spices, oils and butter residue that can be transferred to the salmon.”

You should also take the time to remove any bones from the fish before serving it to your pup. “Where possible, make sure it is completely deboned so that there is no risk of them choking on the tiny bones,” Carbridge said.

Can dogs eat salmon skin?

Salmon skin is perfectly safe for your pup, but it’s high in fat so shouldn’t be fed to her all the time (a small piece should be fine!).

Additionally, if the skin has been rubbed with marinades or spices (like garlic or onion), it shouldn’t be given to your pup since those can hurt her stomach.

Can dogs eat canned salmon?

When it comes to canned salmon, your dog can have a little bit here and there, but it’s better to stick to the real thing.

“Your dog can eat canned salmon, but make sure it is one that is stored in water,” Carbridge said. “Oil and other liquids are often high in fat and salt, which is harmful for your dog.”

Can dogs eat salmon dog treats?

Dogs can definitely have salmon dog treats or supplements, and these products are some of the best ways to get the benefits of salmon into your pup’s diet without having to worry about cooking it correctly.

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Can dogs eat raw or undercooked salmon?

You should never let your dog eat raw or undercooked salmon because there can be parasites and bacteria hidden in it, and it can lead to salmon poisoning disease (more on that below).

“If you think your dog ate undercooked salmon, please contact your veterinarian immediately,” Dr. Bourquin said.

That being said, you should avoid giving your pup your sushi since it could contain raw salmon.

What is salmon poisoning in dogs?

“[Salmon poisoning] is caused by the Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, and is fatal if it is not treated,” Carbridge said.

If salmon poisoning disease is not treated within two weeks of exposure, it tends to be fatal.

If your dog has eaten raw salmon, watch out for these symptoms, and take her to the vet immediately if you notice any of the following:

“Generally speaking, your dog will start showing symptoms around 6–10 days
after eating the raw salmon,” Carbridge said. “The symptoms can vary from dog to dog, but they are similar to parvovirus and gastrointestinal disease.”

So yes, generally speaking salmon is perfectly safe, and even beneficial, for your dog to enjoy. Just make sure it’s always prepared and fully cooked, and if you do ever see any signs of salmon poisoning, get your dog to the vet immediately.

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