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Is Salmon Dog Food Good for Dogs? What You Need to Know!

dog wanting to eat salmon

Protein is the single most essential element in dog food, so how do you pick the right one? Dog food proteins can hold different benefits. For instance, chicken usually creates lean muscles, whereas fish is good for the skin and coat.

Salmon is not only healthy for dogs—it can be a really nourishing protein for sensitive pups. So, salmon is an excellent example of a commonly selected protein with several health benefits other proteins do not. Let’s learn more.

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Salmon: What Is It and Why Do Pet Food Companies Use It?

Salmon is a fish native to the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a very readily available protein source in many recipes of various brands of dog food—there is no shortage. Salmon is fresh and saltwater fish that are both abundant and nutritious for humans and pets alike.

Due to its availability and nutritional perks, many pet food companies choose to incorporate it into their ingredients list. You often see salmon as the main ingredient, but it could also be a secondary ingredient to another protein source.

Atlantic salmon held by a person
Image Credit: kehlmack, Pixabay

Skin & Coat

Because of a high omega 3 fatty acid content, salmon nourishes the coat and skin. It restores balance to the skin’s pH levels, creating a lustrous, shiny coat and well-nourished skin. It’s often used in recipes for dogs who have skin problems.

It can also create more manageable coats for long-haired dogs.

Sensitive Stomach

You might see salmon in sensitive stomach recipes. It tends to be easily digestible and agreeable, even in dogs who are easily irritated.

Limited Ingredient

If your dog is sensitive to specific ingredients in common commercial dog foods, they might need a limited ingredient diet. Unless their trigger is fish, salmon is a very trusted main ingredient for these recipes.

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Salmon Health Benefits

smoked salmon outdoors
Image Credit: Pixabay

Salmon is full of health benefits to nourish your dog’s body.

Salmon is Full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Salmon is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. These oils work in the body to lubricate joints and ligaments. They also have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. They keep the skin hydrated and radiant.

Salmon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Since salmon naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids, it has a fair amount of DHA and EPA. These same Omega threes can cause oops, reduce inflammation and reduce joint pain.

Salmon Contains Necessary Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Salmon contains vitamin K, which is a super powerful vitamin helping clot blood, promote bone health, and produce energy in the cells.

 Salmon Contains Core Vitamins

Salmon is loaded with other vitamins, too. Here are the main ones along with the benefits.

  • Vitamin A—for bone and immune health
  • Vitamin B—promotes cell health
  • Vitamin D—regulates calcium absorption
  • Vitamin E—for skin and coat health

Salmon Health Considerations

dog scratching ear
Image By: TamaraLSanchez, Shutterstock

Because salmon is a pretty prevalent protein in dog foods, it can lead to protein allergies. If you feed your dog a commercial dog food with salmon as the primary protein and notice allergy symptoms, it might be time to look for another option.

Some signs of allergies include:
  • Excessive itchiness
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Recurring yeast infections on the skin
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation/diarrhea

Work with your vet to determine the underlying cause if a food allergy is suspected. You might have to go through food trials to get to the bottom of it.

Raw Salmon: Is It Safe?

Raw dog food is starting to take the world by storm. It creates a more authentic diet to appeal to their natural roots. But is it okay to feed your dogs raw salmon?

You should never give your dog raw or undercooked salmon due to health risks. Raw salmon can carry the parasite fluke Nanophyetus salmincola. This parasite is generally harmless to dogs unless it is infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which is responsible for salmon poisoning in dogs, it could make your dog very sick.

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Salmon in Dog Food: Final Thoughts

We hope we have answered all your salmon-related questions. Now it might be easier to decide to put salmon in your dog’s daily food dish. Salmon has its perks—full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, if you have a sensitive pooch, switching to this protein might be a good move.

Only you can decide if this is right for your dog. If you have any questions about salmon, speak with your vet.

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Featured Image Credit: O_Lypa, Shutterstock

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