canned salmon

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon?

All dog owners have been there: you open up something you had planned to eat that you know your pet dog would probably like too. Then it happens. The head tilt. The longing in the eyes. The whimpering!

Many foods can trigger this reaction, and one of them is canned salmon. This article will look at any potential benefits – and risks – of feeding salmon to your dog.

So, can dogs eat canned salmon? Yes, and it can be extremely healthy for them, too, as it’s a rich source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. Moderation is key, though, as it’s high in sodium. Also, never feed your dog raw salmon and check for bones before feeding him it.

Benefits Of Canned Salmon

Many types of fish that people eat are suitable for dogs as well, and salmon is no different. The most obvious benefits of feeding your dog salmon are that it is a fantastic source of Omega 3 fatty acids and protein.

Omega 3 fatty acids help dogs maintain healthy joint mobility while reducing the risk of arthritis and inflammation. Its essential dogs get Omega 3 fatty acids through their diets as they cannot produce them naturally, so canned salmon is an excellent way of providing them this.

As a protein source for your dog, salmon is also hard to beat. Protein helps the healing process of injuries in dogs, while it also helps strengthen their immune system. As a rule, dogs require around one gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. A 100g serving will give them between 20-25g of protein.

dog with fish in mouth

Apart from these two significant health-related positives, salmon is also full of vitamins and minerals such as A, D, and B complex, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Natural goodies such as these will also help your dog maintain a healthy, shiny coat and boost their brain function. Salmon can also help slow the cancer cell growth rate, fight heart disease, and help lessen issues related to bowel diseases.

At this point, you may think that salmon is the magic bullet to a long and healthy life for your dog. However, before you race off to the nearest supermarket and fill your trolley with enough canned salmon to make a prepper wonder whether you might be overdoing it, let’s look at the potential negatives.

The Risks of Eating Salmon

There are different types of canned salmon, and some are better than others.

When feeding your dog canned salmon, make sure it’s packed in water (rather than brine or oil). This is because, being a saltwater fish, salmon has a high amount of sodium already. Make sure it’s not flavored either, as this can also add to the salt content.

Some canned salmon also contains bones, which dogs can choke on, so look for boneless salmon to feed to your dog.

If you can’t find a suitable canned salmon option, never give your dog raw salmon, as it may have parasites and bacteria that can poison your dog.

Potential issues include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, extreme weight loss, dehydration, and even death. If your dog starts to show one or more signs of distress after eating salmon (or anything else, for that matter), take him to the vet immediately.

To alleviate these risks, even if you think you’ve cooked the salmon well, try to opt for boneless canned salmon packed with water where possible.

Preparing Salmon For Your Dog

If you decide to feed your dog salmon you’ve cooked, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure you remove all the bones. Dogs can choke on the small, thin bones found in salmon, so it’s vitally important you remove these before feeding salmon to your dog.
  • Once you’ve removed the bones, cook it thoroughly. This can be done by baking, steaming, or grilling it. However, whichever method you choose, ensure it’s cooked all the way through so that those harmful parasites and bacteria I mentioned earlier have been killed.
  • Don’t season the salmon. You might enjoy one or two herbs and spices on your salmon, but the chances are your dog won’t. Dogs have an astounding sense of smell, and seasoned salmon could put your dog off eating it in the future.
  • Only feed your dog salmon once or twice a week, and when you do, limit the amount you give him to 100 grams for every 10 pounds of body weight.
  • After you open a can of salmon, keep any you don’t use refrigerated and for only five to seven days.

If you’d rather feed him a specialty dog food containing salmon, there are a few options. For wet food, try Hill’s Science salmon and vegetable entrée or Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Salmon and Grill. A good dry food option is Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Wild Caught Salmon.


As I’ve explained in this article, canned salmon can be an excellent choice to feed your dog in moderation. Your dog will find it tasty, while there are numerous health benefits, including its ability to strengthen his immune system and fight off heart disease.

Not only that, but you can feed your dog cooked salmon, as well as a variety of specialty dog foods containing it.

However, you shouldn’t feed your dog salmon more than once or twice a week, and when you do, you need to ensure it has either been thoroughly cooked and had any bones removed, or if it’s from a can, only giving him salmon packed in water.

If you stick to these guidelines, salmon ought to remain a tasty and healthy meal for your dog. However, it’s still worth knowing the potential signs of poisoning in your dog and taking him to the vet if he develops any of them after eating salmon.

The chances are your dog will love his occasional salmon treats. Just be prepared to share any you had planned for yourself from now on – particularly if he gives you the head title, longing eyes, and whimpering treatment whenever you reach for the can opener!

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