Is Salmon Ok For Dogs?

Yes, salmon is ok for dogs to eat.

For us humans, salmon is considered one of the healthiest foods we can consume.

And just as it’s great for us, good quality salmon is considered an extremely healthy food for your dog also.

Salmon contains many beneficial nutrients, which helps to keep your dog’s brain, coat, and overall general health, in tip-top condition.

Just make sure the salmon is cooked through. More on why below.

Why is salmon good for dogs?

To illustrate why salmon is so good for your dog, let’s take a look at what a typical portion of salmon contains.


Salmon is a source of high-quality protein. These are sometimes known as complete proteins.

High-quality proteins contain all the necessary amino acids for your dog’s body to meet its protein needs.

These include bone health, protecting muscle mass and helping your dog to heal after injury.

All in all, protein is vital for your dog’s health and feeding them salmon is a good way to ensure they get their daily dose.

How much protein should a dog eat daily?

As a general rule of thumb, dogs require approximately 2 grams of high-quality protein, per kilogram of bodyweight.

It’s not quite as simple as this though, as this depends on the dog’s age, activity level, etc. More on this here.

For reference:

Going off this rule of thumb, a 10kg dog would require approx 20 grams of protein per day.

A 3.5 oz (100 grams) portion of salmon contains around 22 grams of protein and would therefore meet this rough guideline for a 10kg dog.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another good reason why it’s usually more than ok for dogs to eat salmon is that it contains a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

These fatty acids are essential for your dog’s health.

Just like humans, dogs can’t make their own omega 3’s and therefore have to obtain them from their diet.

The types of omega-3 found in salmon is DHA and EPA.

DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid and is a type of omega-3 fat.

EPA stands for Eicosapentaenoic Acid and is generally found in cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon.

Both DHA and EPA are usually considered in tandem when looking at their health benefits for dogs due to their similar properties.

These benefits include

  • Brain development
  • Joint health
  • Maintaining vision in older dogs and helping to develop it in puppies.
  • Improving skin condition
  • Maintaining a healthy blood system


Selenium is a natural mineral that is found in a number of plants and is present in the actual soil itself.

It is classed as a trace mineral for dogs, meaning that dogs only need a small amount of it, but its benefits are quite significant.

Selenium is known to help with:

  • Antioxidant function
  • Immune protection
  • Thyroid hormone metabolism
  • Cancer prevention

How much selenium does a dog need?

How much selenium your dog requires is a subject open to debate.

Too much can cause selenium poisoning, but too little can have adverse health effects. See here for more on this.

In a nutshell, selenium is deemed an essential mineral for a dog’s health

For reference, dog food manufacturers work to guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) which recommends a minimum quantity of 0.35mg (milligrams) of selenium per kg of dry dog food – with a maximum quantity of 2mg.

Their paper can be found here.

As for a salmon portion…

Salmon contains a healthy, but low dose of selenium for your dog. A 100-gram portion contains approx 47mcg (micrograms) of selenium.

As a microgram is 1000 times smaller than a milligram, salmon is well within the lower levels when compared to commercial dog food.

Your dog will likely make up the rest of their daily intake through their regular dog food and not be pushed over the safe limits by eating a portion of salmon, which is good to know.

Takeaway: salmon contains a low, but healthy dose of selenium that can help to keep them in great overall shape.

B Vitamins

Another great reason to feed your dog salmon is that it contains a great number of highly beneficial B-vitamins.

These include:

  • B1 (thiamin)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B9 (folic acid)
  • B12 (cobalamin)

These B-vitamins help your dog with a multitude of health benefits including the regulation of energy and metabolism, by helping enzymes to break down fats and sugars for energy.

They also help enhance stamina and have a role in the production of neurotransmitters, protein synthesis and overall general mood.

So all in all they are a pretty important vitamins for your dog.


A portion of salmon contains a good dose of B-vitamins that again helps your dog in many ways.


Another essential mineral that salmon contains is potassium.

Potassium has an essential role in a dog’s body as it helps assist with the regulation of blood pressure, heart rhythm, digestion, fluid balance, nerve function and much more.


A 100g (3.5oz) portion of salmon contains approx 384 micrograms of potassium, which is well within the daily limits of 1 gram as set out in this publication for a 33-pound dog.

This nonetheless contributes towards your dog’s daily recommended potassium allowance.


Astaxanthin is responsible for giving salmon its reddish colour.

It’s an antioxidant and is part of the marine carotenoid family.

Astaxanthin is thought to have many health benefits. Its antioxidant properties helping protect against heart disease and cancer, including some evidence that it can even help lower blood pressure.

It also has benefits for your dog’s skin, brain and nervous system.

So all in all a great compound and another string to salmon’s bow on the health front.

How much salmon should I feed my dog?

Is too much salmon bad for dogs?

Generally speaking, it is advised that you limit your dog’s consumption of salmon to one serving a week.

Salmon is a rich, oily fish and although this provides benefits at sensible levels, if it’s eaten too often it can cause issues such as weight gain, pancreatitis, etc.

As with a lot of other seafood, salmon contains small amounts of mercury. Fortunately, it’s deemed one of the low-level fishes to eat, so another plus on the salmon front.

With regards to portion size, the rule of thumb is to feed your pooch 10 grams of salmon per 500g of their weight.

So for example, a 10kg dog should have no more than 200 grams of salmon.

A 30kg lab could ‘technically’ eat a 600g portion, and knowing labs they wouldn’t struggle (or complain) – but that’s a lot of salmon.

Use your judgement and reduce the size if you have concerns.

Your vet should know your dog’s requirements best and can advise you on portion control for certain foods.

Can dogs eat salmon skin?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon skin. Your dog will probably love it.

It contains many of the same ingredients as the flesh and is considered safe to eat.

Just make sure to cook the salmon (and skin) thoroughly and serve it plain.

Dogs should not be eating salt and pepper or other garnishes that you may add if it was your dinner.

Salmon poisoning for dogs

You may have heard about salmon poisoning in dogs and we couldn’t write an article about salmon without at least discussing it.

Salmon poisoning is fairly unique to dogs and their relatives, such as wolves and foxes.

It is not known to affect humans or other animals.

How do dogs get it?

Dogs can sometimes get ill from eating raw salmon, due to potential parasites (flukes) that salmon can pick up when in the wild and the bacteria that these flukes contain (Neorickettsia Helminthoeca) going on to cause the dog issues.

Just to be clear, if you suspect that your dog is showing signs of salmon poisoning, you need to act quickly and get immediate veterinary help, as it can be deadly.

It’s not just salmon though, trout and Pacific giant salamanders can also be affected.

The higher-risk areas in the US are Oregon, Washington, Northern California and Southern Vancouver Island in Canada.

How long does it take for a dog to show signs of salmon poisoning?

Your dog will usually show signs of salmon poisoning between 5-7 days after eaten an infected fish.

It must be stressed that the risk of salmon poisoning is generally only the case for wild-caught fish, that have been eaten raw in the above geographical areas.

Store-bought salmon has a much lower risk, especially if the fish have been farmed.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t be vigilant and cook all salmon before feeding it to your dog, but just to make you aware that just because you fed your dog some raw salmon accidentally, or they scrounged some, doesn’t mean they will automatically get salmon poisoning.

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet that would have you believe otherwise and that your dog is doomed.

Your dog will likely be just fine, but as with any information you read, including ours, double-check with your vet if you have any concerns.


So, is salmon ok for dogs? It’s a resounding yes!

It is one of the most nutritious foods that you or your dog can eat. Aim to buy the best quality you can afford and keep it to once a week.

Remember to cook it, serve it plain and avoid smoked varieties if possible.

Do this and all should be well.

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Related FAQ’s

Can dogs eat salmon everyday?

It’s not recommended. As above, it’s best to keep it to once a week at maximum.

See How much salmon should I feed my dog? above for amounts.

Can salmon upset a dogs stomach?

Yes, it’s possible that salmon can upset your dog’s stomach if they are sensitive to it or eat too much.

Follow the guidelines above and try a small amount of cooked salmon first before you try them with larger portions.

Salmon should be served as plain as possible. If it’s dripping in sauce, then this could be the issue rather than the salmon.

Is canned salmon good for dogs?

Yes, tinned salmon is generally fine for your dog to eat.

Just make sure it is the type that is in water only and doesn’t contain additives, such as salt.

Want more???

We have many more great articles for you to read.

Why not try our Can My Dog Eat? section to learn more. See you there.