Can Dogs Eat Salmon? 

By Britt Kascjak

If you’re wondering if your dog can eat salmon, the answer is yes! Not only is salmon safe for dogs, but it is also a source of key vitamins, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, dogs love the taste. Adding salmon to your dog’s diet is a great way to naturally boost their health. 

Do you love fish want to feed your dog Salmon?? Not all human foods make healthy dog foods, how can you be sure Salmon is safe?

Whether your dog’s salmon snack was intentional or not, you may be wondering if salmon is safe. Can dogs eat salmon?

Not only can dogs eat salmon, but it is recommended by many professionals.

When prepared properly, salmon can be beneficial for your dog’s health in many ways. But, there are a few things to consider when deciding how to safely add salmon to your dog’s diet.

Is Salmon Good for Dogs?

Health Benefits of Salmon for Dogs

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: One of the biggest reasons that salmon and salmon oil is referred to as a “superfood” is the omega-3 fatty acids.

These fatty acids are often included in supplements for skin, coat, and joint health. But, you can enjoy the benefits by including salmon in your dog’s diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, helping to ease hip and joint pains. They also boost the immune system, heart health, brain development, and kidney health.

Finally, these fatty acids are also associated with healthy skin. This will help to give your furry friend a soft, shiny coat.

Vitamins A, B, D, and K: Salmon is packed with nutritional benefits. This includes vitamins A, B, D, and K and the benefits they each offer.

Giving your dog these vitamins will help to:

  • Improve eyesight
  • Aid in metabolism
  • Boost energy levels
  • Maintain bone health throughout their life stages
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Aid in blood clotting in case of injury

You can buy supplements to supply your dog with each of these vitamins individually. But, salmon includes all these benefits in a single tasty treat.

Health Risks of Salmon for Dogs


if your dog eats raw salmon, they may be at risk of exposure to parasites.

These harmful parasites can cause discomfort or illness. If left untreated, this can be fatal.


Another risk associated with feeding raw salmon to your dog is exposure to bacteria.

This can range from minor infections to more serious conditions. One example of a potentially life-threatening condition is Salmon Poisoning.

Choking Hazard

Salmon is filled with small bones which are easily swallowed.

But, when in your dog’s system, they can pose several problems. This includes a choking hazard that can prove fatal if not immediately addressed. If you’re cooking salmon for you dog always use fresh boneless fillets.

How Much Salmon Can I Give My Dog?

When feeding your dog salmon, there is too much of a good thing.

The most important thing to remember when feeding salmon is moderation!

Some experts will say no more than once a week. Others say that they can enjoy small amounts in treats or food toppers more often.

Dog food toppers should never account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

For those looking for an exact measurement, your dog should be fed no more than 0.35 ounces for every 1 lb of body weight.

It is possible to buy salmon dog food, which contains safe amounts of salmon.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Salmon?

Yes! Cooked salmon is a great treat for your dog. As long as the salmon has been fully cooked.

When buying cooked salmon for your dog, check for any harmful spices or ingredients. This includes salmon cooked with garlic or onions.

Can I Cook My Dog Salmon?

If you want to prepare salmon for yourself or your dog, you want to make sure to cook it thoroughly.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued recommended internal cooking temperatures. It states that fish, including salmon, should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe.

You can grill, bake, steam, roast, or poach salmon with no seasoning, oil, salt, or other additives.

Cooked salmon is a good food topper, added to your dog’s regular meal. Or, you can bake with salmon to make nutritious dog treats.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon raw?

Raw or undercooked salmon could contain often contain parasites. A parasite infestation can make your dog ill. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and lethargy.

If a parasite infestation is treated quickly, there is a high recovery rate. But, an ongoing infection can progress and become more dangerous.

Salmon poisoning in dogs

A bigger risk associated with raw salmon is the Neorickettsi helminthoeca bacteria. It is the cause of an illness known as Salmon Poisoning Disease.

Symptoms of Salmon Poisoning include:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (which may contain blood)
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures

The frightening reality is that untreated, most dogs will die within 2 weeks. But, there are treatments available to improve your dog’s chances.

Considering the high risk of a fatal infection, it is not recommended that you feed raw salmon to your dog. If you think your dog may have eaten raw salmon contact your vet immediately.

If you’re afraid to call your vet because of how much their services may cost then you should use Pet Assure to save as much as 25% on your Dog’s veterinary care.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon Sushi?

If you love sushi, you may be wondering if your can share your favorite snack with your dog. The truth is, it’s better to steer clear of raw salmon sushi for your dog.

Fish that is used for human consumption is carefully inspected and cleaned. This doesn’t mean that sushi is safe for your dog.

The sushi-grade fish should, in theory, be safe. But, there are still potential risks to consider when feeding raw fish. Plus, sushi often contains other unsafe ingredients.

If you’re enjoying a sushi snack, it’s better to offer your pup a separate dog-friendly treat.

Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon?

While it may appear at first glance that cold smoked salmon would be safe as it’s no longer raw, it’s not actually cooked. Instead, it’s cured, which is a very different process.

Curing salmon won’t fully kill off the bacteria and parasites that may be present in raw fish.

Not only is there still a risk of contamination, there is also the salt content to consider.

Sodium poisoning

The process of curing salmon requires the use of a lot of salt. Unlike humans, dogs aren’t able to process as much sodium. This can lead to sodium poisoning.

Signs of sodium poisoning include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy/Loss of coordination
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If not treated, sodium poisoning can be fatal.

When selecting salmon to treat your dog, be sure to keep smoked salmon off your shopping list.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

Whether your dog can eat salmon skin will depend on how you prepare the salmon.

Your dog can enjoy salmon skin that is cooked plain without added spices and sauces. But, you should only feed salmon skin in moderation.

The skin contains higher levels of fat. This makes it tastier for your dog but can also increase their risk of weight gain.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid salmon skins. But, stick to offering them as an occasional treat.

When you do feed salmon skin, take the time to cut it into smaller pieces. A whole salmon skin can be a choking hazard, especially in smaller dogs or puppies.

Is Salmon Better Than Chicken for Dogs?

There is no one protein that is necessarily better for all dogs. Instead, you need to find the best protein source for your dog’s needs.

If you have a dog with food allergies or sensitivities, salmon may be a good option.

Chicken is one of the more common food allergies among dogs. This means that salmon could be a safer choice with a lower risk of trouble.

In fact, dogs with protein allergies are often recommended a salmon-based food.

For dogs that have no issues with eating chicken, it makes a better choice for training treats. Dogs can eat larger amounts of chicken as long as their food intake is adjusted to include the calories. 

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?

Canned salmon is a safer choice for your dog in some ways.

It is already cooked meaning that you don’t have to worry about bacteria and parasites. This eliminates the biggest safety concerns.

For dog owners, it’s also an easier

There are also some downfalls to canned salmon.

More often than not, canned salmon has higher sodium amounts. But, you can search for options that have no added salt, making it more dog-friendly.

The best canned salmon for dogs are the options preserved in water, not oil.

While the water is safer, there are still additives and preservatives. Fresh salmon takes more time and effort, but it is free of these extra ingredients.

Canned salmon is a safe choice as an occasional treat, in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Everyday?

How frequently your dog can eat salmon will depend on how they are eating it.

Can dogs eat salmon everyday as part of a salmon dog kibble? Yes! Commerical dog kibble recipes are balanced for your dog’s health.

They can also enjoy a homemade dog biscuit that includes salmon on a daily basis in moderation.

But, if you’re feeding your dog fresh salmon filets or salmon skins, it is recommended to limit your dog to once a week.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Bones?

Salmon bones are small and brittle, making them a health and safety risk.

If your dog eats salmon with bones, they can pose a choking risk. The bones can also become lodged in your dog’s digestive tract.

Salmon bones lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestines can cause ongoing pain. They can also put your dog at risk of further health complications.

Always remove the bones from salmon before feeding it to your dog or buy a boneless option.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Can dogs eat Salmon? Yes! Cooked salmon, prepared with no spices or sauces, is a great addition to your dog’s balanced diet.

Salmon offers some incredible health benefits.

It will help to improve your dog’s coat and skin health, improve eyesight, and relieve joint pain. It can even help to fight the effects of arthritis in aging dogs.

But, salmon should only be given to your dog in moderation as an occasional treat!

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.