can dogs eat salmon | Pupford

Can Dogs Eat Salmon? The Truth on Raw, Freeze Dried, Dehydrated & Cooked Salmon

Another burning question we get here more than you may think… can dogs eat salmon?

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of salmon for dogs. Because here’s the thing, you may not know the whole story about dogs and salmon.

If you’re looking for an answer to a specific question, feel free to use the table of contents below to jump to the section and get more information: 

So now let’s get into our main question: can dogs eat salmon?

The short answer: they can, and they should.

So if you’ve been feeding your dog salmon, you’ve been doing them a favor!

Now, let’s get into the long answer (but first a fun little poll).


Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

black and white dog sitting on bridge | Pupford

Yes, dogs can eat salmon. (As long as it’s not raw! We will cover that later.

Veterinarians and the experts at Pupford, all agree that dogs can eat salmon, and doing so is beneficial. 

Salmon is a great choice of fish to feed your dog. Most dogs naturally love the taste of salmon and will be more than happy to have it included in their diet.

Whether your dog is allergic to other meats, or you’re just looking for an additional protein source with added benefits (more on that in a second), incorporating salmon into your dog’s diet is a great idea. 

Benefits of Salmon for Dogs

Salmon is a common ingredient in a lot of high-quality dog food because of its tremendous health benefits. For starters, it’s an excellent source of protein. This gives your dog a boost of energy while promoting muscle growth. 

Aside from being a good source of protein, salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which have a number of health benefits for dogs, including:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased immune system support
  • Healthier skin and shinier coats
  • Improved cardiovascular health
Salmon Health Benefits Infographic | Pupford

To maximize the benefits of salmon for your dog, be sure to look for wild-caught salmon — it tends to be higher in Omega-3 and is less likely to contain the contaminants found in farm-raised salmon.

So next time you feed your dog salmon, just know you’re helping them be the very best version of themselves. Go you!

Using Salmon as Treats for Dogs

salmon jerky in hand with benefits web | Pupford

Many pup parents love using salmon as a treat for their dogs because the smell is strong.

And let’s not forget that dogs’ sense of smell is around 10,000 times stronger than humans. Wow!

Sometimes that “fishy” smell is all it takes to get your pup’s attention.

And now, onto one of the most important parts of this article…. which preparation types of salmon are safe (and best) for your dog. ?

Preparation Types for Salmon

Since we’ve answered that dogs can (and should) eat salmon, the next question is how to best prepare it!

Of course, that will depend on how you are using the salmon. For example, feeding it as part of a meal compared to using it as a treat.

We’ll look at four different preparation types of salmon for dogs.

  1. Raw
  2. Freeze-dried
  3. Dehydrated
  4. Cooked

Can Dogs Eat Raw Salmon?

can dogs eat raw salmon | Pupford

Another frequently asked question about salmon (and other protein sources as well) is: can dogs eat raw salmon?

Some people are in favor of a raw food diet since dogs were hunters (it’s hard to picture your precious pooch as a ferocious predator, we know) and would eat meat and fish raw in the wild.

So is it a good idea for us to give raw fish to our dogs?

Just as there is a risk of humans ingesting something harmful from raw fish, raw salmon may contain the Neoricksettsia helminthoeca parasite. That parasite can cause salmon poisoning disease in dogs.

You can get more about that from this study — we’d rather leave the scientific details to the professionals.

So just to reiterate… raw salmon is a no-no for your dog. Period.

We recommend consulting your veterinarian with more specific questions about raw food diets, although we do provide some information here

What is Freeze-Dried Salmon?

There are two prepared ways to safely feed your dog salmon that’s uncooked, at least in the traditional sense: dehydrated and freeze-dried.

In this section, I’ll cover freeze-drying and what that process looks like.

Freeze-drying is a process that freezes away (you guessed it) the moisture from the salmon, in this case.

This method is extremely effective at retaining the original nutrients and flavors found in the salmon. For this reason, freeze-dried salmon can be a popular choice for many salmon treats for pups.

What is Dehydrated Salmon?

Another safe and delicious way to give your dog salmon is dehydrated salmon. Dehydrated salmon has the moisture removed from it, also removing bacteria. This makes it safe even though it is not “cooked”.

Dehydrated salmon is minimally processed, meaning that both the nutritional profile and natural flavors are better preserved than in cooked salmon.

It also has the added benefit of a much longer shelf life (typically 12-18 months), making it the best of both worlds.

pile of salmon jerky | Pupford

Because dehydrated food comes without germ worries, less mess, and with all the flavor and nutrition, it’s one of our favorite ways to serve salmon to our pups.

As a matter of fact, pups and their parents are loving our new salmon jerky treats!

Some benefits we’re really proud of:

  • They only have one, all-natural ingredient: wild-caught salmon
  • They are sourced in the USA
  • They contain no fillers, sugar, or junk, and are only about 15-21 calories per treat
  • They do not require refrigeration, so they can be stored anywhere for a long period of time
  • Pups of all ages and breeds love them!

Plus, they are perfectly sized for extra-special moments, making them perfect for positive reinforcement or just plain spoiling your good boy or girl. 

Interested in learning more about positive reinforcement dog training? Be sure to download the free Pupford app here.

How to Cook Salmon For Dogs

If you’re preparing salmon for your family, feel free to make a little extra for your dog.

Grilled, baked, poached, or broiled salmon is perfectly fine for your pup, as long as it’s not prepared with any other ingredients that are harmful to them. Don’t add any sugars, sauces, garlic, or anything like that. Just keep it plain!

Of course, think of it more as a snack, and not a “full meal” replacement for your dog.

Recap of Salmon for Dogs

So, let’s review what we’ve learned here:

  • Dogs can (and should) eat salmon when prepped correctly
  • Salmon has many health benefits for dogs (see the infographic above)
  • The safest and most enjoyable way for your pup to consume “uncooked” salmon is via dehydration or freeze-drying.

So next time you’re looking for something special to give your pup, consider salmon.

Especially our dehydrated salmon jerky! Buy a bag here.

And be sure to take pictures of their reaction and tag @pupford for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page!

Have you considered giving your dog salmon treats or jerky? Let me know in the comments below ?

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning he is ALWAYS covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and the Cleveland Browns (yes, you read that right).

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16 Comments on “Can Dogs Eat Salmon? The Truth on Raw, Freeze Dried, Dehydrated & Cooked Salmon

  1. Our pups love salmon! Itʻs actually quite interesting how dogs can’t eat raw salmon! I almost wouldn’t expect that. But, i’s super good to know. I love the note about wild caught. We’re up in Alaska and were able to catch some salmon this past summer, cooked it up for the pups and boy, did they LOVE IT!!

  2. So interesting that salmon has the same benefits for humans and pups :). Can’t wait to see how my pup likes these treats!

    1. My dogs LOVE salmon! Of course, they love pretty much all food. ? But I’m happy to add some good fats and nutrients to their diets!

  3. Can’t wait to give salmon jerky a try! My pups been struggling with some typical dry skin during the winter season so the fact that salmon could keep her coat shiny and improve her skin would be great!

  4. I love salmon for dogs! My older dog used to love it! We haven’t tried it with my puppy yet, but with this post, it makes me want to try it sooner!

  5. Yes ! I have used Salmon as a pup treat ! My two GSDs just love it ! The positive food goodness for your pups is so much better than a lot of other choices .

  6. Great information to know, I just learned that benefits of dogs eating salmon. I will have my dogs try it out, I don’t think I have given my dogs salmon to eat, but I think they will love it.

  7. My dog is such a treat snob – he will turn his nose up to any “biscuit” and wait out a good meat jerky. I’ll have to see if he loves salmon as much as chicken and duck!

  8. Before I wasn’t sure if I could give my dogs Salmon, I personally love it .
    I have a 11 weeks puppy and now that I know, I can start giving it to him especially now that he’s growing and his immune and cardiovascular system.
    I can’t wait to try the Salmon treats for Yoda and Manolo

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