Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon?



Can dogs eat smoked salmon? No, we don’t recommend it. It has high levels of salt and the possibility of salmon poisoning, which can be life-threatening.
Salt - Store-bought smoked salmon usually contain a high amount of salt, which is not suitable for dogs. 
Salmon Poison - There is also a risk of salmon poisoning, which can be deadly. 
If the salmon has not been treated appropriately to remove salmon poisoning (thoroughly cooked or potentially frozen at an incredibly low temperature of around -36 degrees, which is not possible at home (link)) it can be fatal to dogs. 
If you are worried your dog may have salmon poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately. It is treatable but can be deadly if left untreated.


Busy? Get Your Hands Paws On The Answers Quickly…


What Types Of Salmon Can Dogs Eat?


Salmon is great to add to dog food and treats. Just ensure it boneless, plain with no added ingredients, and thoroughly cooked salmon.
Type of Salmon
Can dogs eat it?
Smoked Salmon
Generally, most varieties contain too much salt, and the small risk of parasites outweighs any potential benefits. 
Raw, Unfarmed Salmon
Although slim, there is a risk of salmon poisoning, which could be fatal. Bones can also be a choking hazard.
Raw, Farmed Salmon
The chance of raw farmed salmon having parasites is lower than that of wild salmon. However, the risk can prove fatal. Bones can also be a choking hazard.
Plain Grilled, Roasted, Steamed, Poached, and Baked Salmon
This is an excellent protein source for dogs, and it provides many benefits for the skin, coat, and immune system
Fried or Marinated Salmon
Excess oil, additional ingredients like salt, garlic, and onions can be toxic to dogs. 
Tinned or Canned Salmon
Canned salmon is far cheaper than filleted salmon with equally good benefits for our dogs. Make sure to choose varieties in water rather than brine or oil, which aren’t healthy for dogs.


Risks Of All Types Of Salmon For Dogs


Salmon Poisoning and Parasites

This is the main reason to not feed your dog any raw or undercooked salmon.
Salmon poisoning only affects the genus Canis family (including dogs). It can be fatal, but if caught in time is treatable. 
How do dogs get salmon poisoning?
  • Firstly, your dog would need to eat raw or undercooked salmon
  • Secondly, the fish would need to be contaminated with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola.
  • Thirdly, the parasite (Nanophyetus salmincola) would need to be infected by rickettsial organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca.
Signs and Symptoms: 
  • Temperature
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen lymph nodes
How do you know your dog has salmon poisoning?
If your dog’s behavior is out of character or showing any symptoms above within 5-7 days of consuming raw salmon, contact the veterinarian urgently. There they will usually take a sample from your dog’s poop and lymph node, test it, and decide on a treatment plan.
How to avoid salmon poisoning:
When giving your dog salmon, ensure it is cooked through. This will kill harmful parasites.
Freezing the salmon (at a specific temperature, for a certain length of time (link)) is also thought to kill the parasite which could cause salmon poisoning, however, this usually isn’t possible at home due to the temperatures required to do so. 


Stomach Upset 

Introducing any new food to dogs can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Especially with something as rich and fatty as salmon. 
Make sure to introduce is slowly and gradually, rather than changing your dog’s food all at one time. 
We recommend adding 1-2 tbsp to your dog’s regular food, then steadily increasing and exchanging from there.
If your dog does vomit or experience loose stools after consuming salmon, and you have ruled out any risks of parasites or poisoning, consult your vet. They will probably suggest a short fast, followed by a plain diet of chicken, rice, sweet potato, and pumpkin until the stools return to normal.


Excess Salt 

Salt is needed for normal function in dogs. However, excess salt in smoked, marinated, or flavored salmon is not suitable for dogs. Too much salt can cause dehydration, as well as other more severe reactions.



Salmon contains small bones, which could cause choking and also lodge in the intestines and stomach, causing a potential blockage. 
The risk is reduced if you are feeding canned salmon as usually the bones are removed or softened to avoid any risk of choking.
If you are going to feed your dog cooked fresh salmon, check there are no bones or buy boneless fillets to avoid any risk.


Benefits Of Grilled, Roasted, Steamed, Poached, Baked, and Canned Salmon For Dogs


Salmon is commonly used in wet and dry high-quality dog food and treats. Salmon is excellent for dogs who have allergies or do not tolerate other common sources of protein, including chicken, beef, egg, and dairy. Plain, cooked, and deboned salmon has many health benefits for dogs. These include:

High In Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Dogs require essential fatty acids in their diets, omega-3 is part of these fatty acids. Dogs need them in their diet as their body does not make them naturally. Salmon is rich in omega-3.
Benefits of omega-3 include:
  • Hydrate skin and relieve itchy, dry patches
  • Improve coat texture
  • Reduce inflammation


Rich In Antioxidants

Salmon contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, along with many health benefits, astaxanthin also provides salmon its vibrant pink color. 
The body has free radicals, which are reactive chemicals that can harm healthy cells. Antioxidants help by neutralizing free radicals. 
Benefits of astaxanthin include:
  • Promote eye health
  • Relieve joint pain
  • May reduce the risk of cancer


High Source Of Protein

Dogs require protein to survive. Protein repairs and builds muscles in dogs. Salmon contains 24g per 100g, and chicken contains 27g. This makes it an excellent source of protein to add to your dog’s dinners. Many dogs also react, are sensitive, or allergic to more conventional sources, such as chicken, beef, and eggs. 


Salmon Recipes For Dog Food and Treats


Fishy Treats, inspired by Tasty Low Carb

  • 1 can salmon, in water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
2. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and combine.
3. Add the mix to the baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, or until set. 
4. Once cool, divide into appropriate sized dog biscuits.


Salmon and Vegetable Dog Food, inspired by Top Dog Tips

  • 2 lbs salmon, baked
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small squash
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pumpkin
  • 2 ounces melted coconut oil
1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions, or check out our post on quinoa for instructions.
2. Using a blender, shred the zucchini, squash, and carrot. 
3. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.
4. Once cool, serve to your dog.


Salmon and Sweet Potato Treats, inspired by Tasty Yummies 

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  • 1 cup canned salmon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 4 eggs
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a ball. 
2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
3. After the dough is cooled, heat the over to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).
4. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick and cut into the desired treat size. 
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
6. Once cool, feed to your dog.


Alternative Fish For Dogs


A whole variety of fish is great for dogs. Along with salmon, our favorites are:
  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Flounder
  • Trout


Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Fish: 

Digestion - Whitefish, such as cod, haddock, and hake, are especially useful if your dog has had an upset stomach, it is gentle and easily digestible.
Protein - Dogs can be sensitive to common protein sources such as chicken and beef. Fish is a great alternative.
Taste - With a strong smell, dogs are drawn to fish and usually love the taste.
Health Advantages - Fish has anti-inflammatory benefits, improves eye health, aids joints, improves the skin, and coat, to name a few.


Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Fish: 

Bones - As we saw earlier, small bones in fish can cause blockages or choking. Ensure you remove all bones before feeding fish to your dog.
Raw Fish - There are many risks to uncooked fish, including parasites. Ensure all fish is thoroughly cooked before feeding to your dog.
High Mercury - Fish like tuna, mackerel, and swordfish are not recommended for dogs. They usually contain high amounts of mercury, which can lead to toxic build-up. If fed occasionally, it shouldn’t pose too much of an issue, but there are better options available.
Added Ingredients - If you are planning on feeding your fish, make sure you cook your dog an individual portion. Anything from your plate is likely cooked in oil, butter, seasonings, garlic, onions, etc. These added ingredients can be harmful to our pooches.
Overall, many varieties of fish are great for dogs, just ensure they are boneless, thoroughly cooked, and plain.




Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?
Yes, cooked eggs are great for dogs. Just make sure they’re not cooked in butter or oil, this excess fat is not recommended for dogs. Scrambling in coconut oil is a good alternative.


Does smoked salmon have parasites?
It can, although the risk is small. Most store-bought varieties would have been treated for parasites before purchase.


How do I cook fish for my dog?
Fish can be baked, poached, steamed, grilled, or roasted. Make sure it is cooked through, and cook it alone without any seasonings.
Can dogs eat canned tuna?
In small amounts, tuna is ok for dogs. However, it does contain a lot of mercury, which isn’t good for our furry friends. Try canned salmon instead. 


Can dogs be allergic to salmon?
Yes, dogs can develop allergens to just about anything.



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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.


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