canned salmon

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?

Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and high in protein, but is it worth regularly including it in your dog’s diet, and more importantly, is it safe?

Can dogs eat canned salmon? Most dogs can eat canned salmon and there are a number of benefits to them doing so. However, you should never under any circumstances feed your dog with raw salmon. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, as well as being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and protein, salmon is also high in sodium.

If your dog has any underlying health condition, too much salmon could be bad for them and even exacerbate their condition.

Salmon’s Main Nutritional Benefits

The Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. A typical 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving will provide your dog with around 2 to 2.5 grams of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Like humans, dogs can’t produce these fatty acids naturally so they have to come from their diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of beneficial functions including reducing inflammation, helping with joint mobility, and generally reducing the symptoms of arthritis.

You can check out our article on flaxseed, which is also another fantastic source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.


Salmon is considered a high-quality protein. A typical 100-gram serving will provide your dog with around 20 to 25 grams of protein. Protein plays an important part in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

Protein helps keep your dog physically strong but it also helps strengthen their immune system. It can also aid the healing of any injuries.

The B-Vitamins

Salmon is loaded with vitamins and minerals, perhaps none more important than the B vitamins.

B vitamins are involved in a number of important roles in your dog’s body functions including turning the food they eat into energy, the reduction of inflammation, strengthening of the immune system, and healthy brain function.

Other Vitamins and Minerals Salmon Is Loaded With

Salmon is a good source of various other vitamins and minerals, all of which help with the healthy functioning of your dog’s body. These include:

  • Vitamins A, D, and E
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Sodium
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Manganese

dog with fish in mouth

The Benefits of Salmon In Plain English

So, I have mentioned that salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and high in protein and, as we have also seen, it is also rich in many other essential vitamins and minerals but what does this actually mean? What are the actual benefits?

Here are some of the benefits in plain English:

  • It boosts their immune system
  • It helps with their brain function
  • It aids the maintenance of healthy joint mobility
  • It promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • It alleviates symptoms of arthritis

The Dangers of Dogs Eating Raw Salmon

Raw salmon commonly contain lice, parasites, and bacteria, some of which can be harmful to your dog. You can limit the risk by always checking the source of your salmon, farmed salmon is likely to be safer than common wild salmon stock.

That said, you should still never feed your dog with raw salmon. Canned salmon is not cooked but it goes through a heat process that kills off all the parasites and bacteria that can be harmful to your dog.

Another possible danger of your dog eating salmon, in general, is the high sodium content. If your dog suffers from any kind of underlying health condition, it is probably worth limiting the amount of salmon you feed him. Excess sodium can cause high blood pressure and exacerbate certain health conditions.

The third danger of dogs eating salmon, raw or canned, is the small bones commonly found in salmon. Dogs can easily start choking on these bones if they become lodged in their throat, so always ensure you have removed as many of the bones as possible.

How To Prepare Salmon For Your Dog

So, as I have explained, you should never feed your dog with raw salmon. You always want to cook it thoroughly. Under-cooked salmon is as potentially dangerous to your dog as raw salmon.

The purpose of cooking it is to rid it of parasites and bacteria that can harm your dog. You don’t need to do that with canned salmon as mentioned earlier, because of the heat process it goes through in production that kills any present bacteria or parasites.

When cooking salmon for your dog, it’s tempting to perhaps season it. However, this is something that you should avoid doing. Your dog may not like the seasoning and develop a negative association with salmon as a result. Remember, their sense of smell is much more sensitive than our own.

Whether you are opting for canned salmon or raw salmon that you intend to cook, remember to always remove any small bones that may still be present. In the case of raw salmon, it is better to do this before you start cooking the salmon in order to make sure that you remove all of the bones.

When it comes to the cooking itself, it doesn’t really matter how you cook the salmon. You can steam, grill, or bake it, for example, or choose any other method of cooking that you may enjoy.


As I hope this article has demonstrated, salmon can be a healthy introduction to your dog’s diet that helps keep them in good condition. In answer to the question can dogs eat canned salmon, yes absolutely they can. You don’t necessarily need to cook canned salmon for your dog, but never feed them raw salmon that is not out of a can.

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