Salmon has some impressive health benefits for humans, but can you feed your dog with salmon as well?
The short answer is “yes.” Salmon can be a very healthy treat or food for canines, but only when appropriately prepared and served in the recommended quantities.
In fact, salmon is a commonly used main protein or ingredient for many high-quality dry and wet dog foods.
Here is a brief guide explaining how salmon can improve your dog’s health, the best ways to prepare and serve it to them, and the potential hazards of feeding this fatty fish to your pup.
How can feeding salmon to my dog benefit its health?
Salmon is the name of several fish species that hatch and reproduce in freshwater, but most migrate and live in the ocean. The most commercially important type of salmon in the USA is the Atlantic salmon. But there are many other species found in the Pacific Ocean and in rivers and ponds worldwide.
The ray-finned fish is related to whitefish, trout, grayling, and char.
Salmon is a widely preferred fish because it is rich in essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of some of the most common diseases.
This delicious and versatile fish can be a very healthy addition to your and your dog’s diet. It can be prepared in various ways to maintain its beneficial nutrients and its incredible texture and taste.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, which include DHA and EPA, can help your dog’s health and wellbeing in the following ways:
- It can help alleviate skin itching and problems and improve the health and looks of the coat
- Balances and regulates the dog’s immune system
- It can reduce the inflammation in dogs suffering from arthritis
- It alleviates flare-ups and symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- The fish will boost the production of collagen, which is essential for the joint health
- It can help the healthy development of the brain of fetuses as well as puppies
- It helps lower the triglycerides, blood pressure and thus prevents heart disease
- It can help promote healthy weight loss in overweight pups
- Improves the brain function in senior dogs
- Salmon can be good for dogs with kidney issues
- Reduces joint problems and pain in older dogs
- Some of the other healthy nutrients in salmon, such as vitamins A, B, and D, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin, can also help your dog stay healthy, fit, and happy.
- Last but not least, salmon is an excellent protein source for both humans and for pups.
What are some potential risks of feeding salmon to your dog?
You should avoid giving your dog raw or undercooked salmon because of the risk of salmon poisoning disease. This disease is caused by the Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, which can cause severe and even fatal illnesses in canines.
Some of the most common symptoms that your dog may be experiencing salmon poisoning include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Decrease or loss of appetite
- Lethargy and weakness
- Extreme weight loss
- Unusual discharge from the nose and the eyes
- Swelling of the dog’s lymph nodes
Another potential risk comes from the bones, including the tiny and brittle ones found in the fish. They can cause choking, obstruction, or damage to the esophagus or internal organs of the pup.
One more potential danger of giving salmon to your dog is if the fish is cooked with other ingredients which are not healthy or are toxic for dogs. Seasonings such as salt, pepper, oil, garlic, onions, and others are not only harmful but can be hazardous for your pup.
This is why it is recommended to steam, bake, grill or roast the boneless salmon without any seasonings if you plan to feed it to your dog.
Salmon’s recommended healthy serving size for dogs is no more than 100g of fish per 10 lbs. of the pup’s body weight.
If you want to add the health advantages of salmon to your dog’s diet but want to do it safely, we recommend feeding your dog one appropriately sized portion of salmon per week.
Of course, just like with any other new food you are introducing to your pup’s regimen, always consult with your veterinarian first. Also, start with small quantities to monitor the dog for adverse reactions.