Salmon is a popular fish that’s very high in key nutrients and could be excellent for dogs. There are, however, some important factors that you need to consider before providing some to your pet.
Many types of fish can be fed to dogs. Salmon, in particular, has great potential for canine health benefits due to the Omega-3 fatty acids and high quality protein. This lean fish may even be good for your best buddy’s brain.
So feeding salmon, whether you have a puppy or an older dog, can offer many healthy advantages. However, parasites or harmful bacteria are a real concern which is why giving it raw is dangerous. The stakes are high if you serve this fish in an inappropriate manner.
Can I Give My Dog Salmon? Answer: Yes, careful though
It must be well-cooked and the bones should be completely removed.
Besides brain health, salmon can help to improve your dog’s immune system and reduce joint inflammation. Such stiffness, caused by arthritis, is known to respond well to foods high in Omega Fatty Acids. You can give your dog a small amount of fish servings each week. In moderation, salmon is a good way to keep your dog healthy including maintenance of a shiny coat and good skin.
Probably the safest and most consistent way to provide this fish is with a high quality salmon formula dry dog food.
Parasites, Bacteria & Bones
Not to scare you but salmon can be full of flukes. These evil parasites can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even death in dogs. Salmon poisoning is a real concern which is why proper preparation is so critical. So be sure the fish is well cooked, killing off harmful parasites and bacteria.
If you are nervous about cooking salmon, or unsure when it’s fully cooked, choose a tinned variety instead. Buy your salmon in spring water rather than brine or oil. Another benefit to going this route is that the bones can usually be eaten. Otherwise, remove any bones for your dog’s safety!
Real Benefits for Dogs
There is strong evidence that salmon can help your dog maintain a healthy skin and coat. It may even reduce pesky skin irritations. But probably the biggest health factor is the Omega-3 fatty acids which help to fortify the canine immune system.
Elderly dogs, and those suffering from arthritis, could benefit greatly. Salmon reduces inflammation and helps with joint mobility. Developing puppies can also eat this fish mainly because it contributes to brain health; just what a puppy needs early on!
Properly Prepare Fish
Use some virgin olive oil or quality vegetable oil when cooking salmon. This combines with the natural oils of the fish which is very healthy. It cannot be stressed enough to always cook it well. Overdone is better than raw. Remove any bone. It’s probably best to also get rid of the skin because it’s really high in fat.
Other great fish choices besides salmon include sardines and tuna. They also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and are great alternatives to the kibble your dog eats daily.
Regarding Raw Salmon
Don’t panic if, by accident, your dog eats a bit of raw salmon. Though it could contain parasites, a small piece is unlikely to have adverse effects. Just be sure to monitor your pooch for vomiting or diarrhea. Keep fresh water close by and encourage your dog to drink. Severe vomiting or diarrhea, while part of the natural recovery process, can lead to dehydration.
If your dog’s sickness persists, it means the parasites may be overcoming their defenses. Consult with your vet immediately!
Conclusion on Salmon
You can offer your dog some salmon. After all, it’s very healthy. This fish is an excellent addition to their regular chow. Most canines will enjoy the change of pace and gladly devour it. The Omega-3 fatty acids, quality protein and many other nutrients can offer lots of benefits. However, you must be careful not to serve salmon raw or uncooked as the potential for poisoning is very real. Finally, don’t forget to remove any bones prior to serving.
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Doctor Stephanie Flansburg-Cruz, a practicing veterinarian, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares very much about the welfare of all animals.
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