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Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin- The Benefits, Risks & Rules

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

Yes, dogs can eat salmon skin. But it’s not as simple as it seems.

Let’s be honest, dogs get bored with their food easily. And if you’re like me, you want to make sure that whatever you feed your pup is nutritious and delicious. 

Salmon, including its skin, can provide your pup with an exciting new flavor to enjoy. 

Not only this, but it also gives them essential nutrients and minerals that play a vital role in healthy development for all ages. 

Read on to find out about how to safely feed your canine companion this tasty treat, as well as the health benefits!

 

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin

 

Is Fish Good For Dogs?

Fish is an easily digestible, highly concentrated source of protein. This is why you’ll find it in a number of different dog foods. 

In fact, many manufacturers will use this protein-dense ingredient because it also contains high levels of calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium. These minerals help essential bodily functions and growth.

Fish is famous for the huge quantities of omega-3 fatty acid content, mainly EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

Fatty acids such as these are pivotal for young puppies or pregnant and lactating dogs. For example, omega-3 fatty acids help support brain and eye development, and central nervous systems.

Senior pups get nutritional support too. Omega-3 fatty acids promote natural skin oil production and help manage aging joints because of its anti-inflammatory properties. 

These acids are particularly effective in regulating allergies and even IBS.

 

Can Dogs Eat Salmon?

Like salmon skin, dogs can safely eat salmon. 

Salmon (like prawns) are widely considered as a lowmercury fish. This means it contains less toxic contaminants and heavy metals compared to other fishes. 

What does this mean? Simply, your pup can safely eat salmon more frequently without the potential risk of mercury accumulating in their body.

Common heavy metals found in fish include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury

These types of heavy metals can cause severe health conditions such as blindness, cancer, liver or kidney damage, and central nervous system disorders. 

At the same time, it’s important to monitor how much salmon you’re feeding your dog to prevent any weight issues or significant gastrointestinal upset. 

And while salmon contains low amounts of saturated fat and calories, eating too much can ultimately lead to weight gain. In fact, a 4 oz serving size of salmon only contains 234 calories and 2.7g of saturated fat.

 

Is Salmon Skin Bad For Dogs?

The skin is the most nutritionally beneficial part of the fish because of the highly compacted amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fats.

So it’s perfectly safe for your dog to eat salmon skin if it’s cooked.

Before giving salmon to your furry friend, it’s best to remove the head, fin, tail, and any bones. Bones can potentially cause damage to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract as their body digests them. Likewise, they can be a potential choking hazard too.

 

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin

 

Avoid cooking this fish in any added oils, salt, or spices to prevent any potential health complications. 

Oils that include ingredients such as garlic or onions are particularly dangerous for dogs. 

Onions contain a highly toxic, and sometimes fatal substance known as propyl disulfide. This compound causes oxidative damage to a dog’s red blood cells and leads to anemia.  

And while salmon contains all of the beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids we previously discussed, it is best to avoid feeding dogs raw salmon.

Raw salmon can cause salmon poisoning in dogs.

 

Salmon Poisoning

In general, it is best to avoid feeding your pup any kind of raw fish. Mainly this is because of the harmful bacteria or parasites that they have on them.

For example, raw fish contains parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes. While these parasites are normally harmless, they can be infected by bacteria known as Nanophyetus Salmincola, which is the leading cause of salmon poisoning

Nanophyetus Salmincola normally originates on salmon, in addition to other fish that swim upstream (anadromous fish). 

These infected flukes attach themselves to the intestine and promote harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. The bacteria then attack various essential organs.

Symptoms from salmon poisoning can take up to 6-10 days to originate. However, common symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge (from either the nose or eyes)
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you suspect your dog has consumed raw salmon, it is best to consult your veterinarian for the appropriate treatment. 

They may give your dog antiparasitic worming medicine to eliminate any flatworms, and/or antibiotics to prevent any further bacterial infection. 

If your veterinarian suspects your dog is dehydrated, they may be given intravenous fluids to help rehydrate them. 

 

Alternative Fish Skin That Is Safe For Dogs

There are numerous types of fish that will provide essential nutrients and vitamins for dogs while remaining safe for them to eat too.

However, the best types of fish are either sustainably sourced or caught in the wild. Generally, this results in lower amounts of mercury or potential parasites.

Here are some safe alternatives you can consider to include in your pup’s diet, in addition to their calories and fat content. 

Ingredient Calories Fat Protein
Cod (1 fillet) 189 0.3g 41g
Catfish (1 fillet) 206 2.3g 26g
Herring (1 fillet) 290 3.7g 33g
Canned Sardines  25 1.4g 3g
Tilapia (1 fillet) 218 1.6g 44g
Tuna (4 oz) 110 0.5g 25g
Whiting (3 oz) 99 1.4g 20g
Whitefish (1 fillet) 265 12g 38g

How Much Salmon Skin Can I Feed My Dog?

Like most foods and ingredients, moderation is key to maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle for your pup.

Generally, you should limit the amount of salmon your dog eats to once a week to prevent any weight gain issues or allergies from occurring. 

Always consider your dog’s diet already and be sure to only give portion sizes that are suitable for their breed and current weight. However, in general, the rule of thumb is to only allow them to eat up to 10g of salmon per 450g of their weight.

When feeding your dog any added snacks, be sure to account for this in their daily calorie allowance. This helps to ensure they don’t gain any excess weight and helps prevent obesity. 

 

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering if it’s safe for your dog to eat salmon skin, the answer is yes. In fact, there is an abundance of dog foods that will use salmon as a primary source of protein because it’s easily digestible.

However, salmon also contains rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are important for brain and eye development as well as the central nervous system. 

Senior dogs will also benefit from this acid because it prevents inflammation in aging joints!

If you have any concerns or you’re unsure whether you can give your dog salmon skin, consult with your veterinarian first before making any changes to their diet.

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