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Choosing the Right Dog Food: Is Salmon Good for Dogs?

Written by FOTP Team

Last updated

dog waiting for dinner

Is salmon good for dogs? Seasoned dog owners and brand-new pet parents both know how much pooches beg for human food. Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods that may be harmful for your furry friend; you can't always feed a canine straight off your own plate.

Choosing what to feed your pup may feel overwhelming. You could scour the dog food aisles and read dozens of claims and hundreds of ingredient lists but still feel unsure about which to choose. Fortunately, among kibble and treat ingredient options, salmon is a healthy choice for canines.

Is Salmon Good for Dogs?

Did you know that salmon is the fastest growing food production system globally? It accounts for about 70% of the worldwide market. It is one of the most popular types of fish and has grown in popularity since the 1980s so it’s not surprising many people celebrate salmon as a superfood. 

Is salmon good for dogs, though? The good news is that salmon is entirely safe for canines to eat, in fact, it’s one of the healthiest sources of protein you can get. It’s not uncommon for some dogs to have difficulty digesting chicken and beef but many thrive on salmon.

Not only is salmon incredibly healthy for dogs, it’s a great training treat. Many dog trainers and behaviourists will refer to a ‘high value’ treat which means something extra special compared to their normal food or every day snacks. Whether in kibble, treat, or even real fish, salmon is viewed as a high value treat by lots of dogs because it has such a strong and distinctive scent. 

We’ve been very reliably informed by many wagging tails that our Wild Alaskan Salmon Treats are ideal. They’re pure, freeze dried salmon, sustainably sourced and an incredibly healthy treat. 

Benefits of Eating Salmon

How is salmon good for dogs? Your animal needs high-quality proteins, and salmon is rich in them. Protein protects bone health, maintains muscle mass and encourages healing after an injury.

Additionally, salmon is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. You’ve probably heard the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in humans, and they’re similar to the benefits in dogs. These compounds can reduce inflammation and decrease the risks of disease.

Dogs with a diet high in omega-3s tend to have shinier, healthier coats and if your dog has joint problems, fish may help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. While some dog owners choose to supplement their meals with fish oil, you can also go straight to the source and feed your pet salmon food.

How To Prepare Salmon for Dogs

If you prepare fresh salmon for your dog, never serve raw or undercooked fish. Salmon can contain the Neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, and salmon poisoning caused by this parasite can be fatal. Likewise, the brittle bones in raw salmon can cause damage to your pup's intestines and pose a choking hazard.

You can offer your dog boneless filets, but double-check for bones before cooking and don’t season the salmon or add any oil. Instead, bake, poach, roast, steam or grill the fish and if you choose to feed your dog fresh salmon, remember to provide an appropriate portion for his size.

How To Switch to Salmon Dog Food

Finding nutritious food for your pet involves understanding the ins and outs of a balanced diet for canines.

Choosing a Balanced Diet

Your dog's diet should include:

  • Protein 
  • Fats 
  • Vitamins 
  • Minerals
  • Carbohydrates 
  • Water

Most good quality dog food, whether wet or dry, should provide all the nutrition they need but to really understand how healthy their diet is, you need to understand the ingredients. 

Proteins and fats are two of the essential nutrients in your dog's meals. A canine's body can only make 13 of the 23 building-block amino acids so you need to provide the other 10 in the diet. Fats provide your dog with energy and keep the hair and skin healthy. Also look for linoleic acid, omega-6 and omega-3s as these are critical fats. 

Other vitamins and minerals your animal should have include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium

To ensure your dog receives adequate nutrition, put him on a feeding schedule. Dogs should eat once or twice a day, with larger animals fed at least twice to avoid overeating.

Switching to a New Food

In many cases, changing your dog's diet requires more effort than just putting new food in his bowl as most dogs suffer from gastrointestinal upset when their diet suddenly changes. Your dog may exhibit signs of a decreased appetite or suffer from vomiting and diarrhea if anything changes too quickly so when switching dog food, give your pet's system time to adjust.

Changing your animal's food may take about five to seven days. Every day, mix the old and new food, progressively upping the ratio of the new kibble. 

For example, 

  • Day one = mix about 25% of the new kibble with 75% of the old kibble 
  • Day two = add half new food and half old food
  • Day five = use 75% new kibble and 25% old kibble
  • Day seven = your dog should be able to eat a full meal of the new food.

More sensitive dogs may require a longer transitional period. If your pet becomes sick on one of the transition days, it does not mean that you shouldn't continue changing over, instead, slow down and add less new food. If your pooch continues to have an adverse reaction to a new diet, consult with a veterinarian.

Front of the Pack Can Answer Your Question: Is Salmon Good for Dogs?

Here at Front Of The Pack, we utilize salmon in lots of our popular products because this delicious fish has benefits for humans and dogs alike. Dogs require a diet high in protein and rich in healthy fats, and salmon provides both of these nutrients. 

Our food has nothing to hide. Check out our dog food options for a balanced diet rich in nutrients.