Certain behaviors that we consider gross and disgusting are normal for healthy canines. Even your prissy pooch may indulge in distasteful sniffing of poop and other doggie derrieres, or opportunistically sneak a whiff of your tushie. Dogs delight in discovering dead things, then gleefully rolling in them. So it shouldn’t surprise you that Buster greedily sucks down the fish hides you find unappetizing. Don’t worry -- salmon skins are smart treat choices for your buddy.
Scaled, cooked wild salmon skin and flesh are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which support your dog’s immune system. These substances also help to maintain healthy, shiny coats. But, because raw salmon can transmit parasites to dogs, offer only fully cooked fishy treats to Buster.
Retailers often label wild-caught salmon as “Pacific salmon” (Oncorhynchus). This genus consists of seven different species, which all die shortly after spawning. The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a single-species genus, typically farm-raised and capable of spawning repeatedly. Wild salmon flesh and skins have less contaminants, pollutants, calories, sodium and cholesterol than farm-raised salmon. Wild fish also harbor fewer cancer-causing PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl), heavy metal and mercury levels than their farm-raised cousins.
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- Roy’s Fish & Seafood: Recipes From the Pacific Rim
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- Dog Channel: Cook Salmon Before Feeding to Dogs
- Northeast Fisheries Science Center: What Is the Difference Between the Atlantic Salmon and the Pacific Salmon?
- The World’s Healthiest Foods: Should I Be Concerned About mercury in Fish and what Fish Are Safe to Eat?
- Dr. Gourmet: Chef Tim Says…. Salmon
- Farmed and Dangerous: Frequently Asked Questions -- What Are PCBs, and Why Are Higher Levels Found in Farmed Salmon?
- Environmental Defense Fund: EDF Seafood Selector -- Fish Choices That Are Good for You and the Oceans -- Salmon
- The Healthy Eating Guide: Farm Raised Salmon vs. Wild Caught Salmon
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Salmon Poisoning Disease
- Healthy Pets With Dr. Karen Becker: If You Feed Salmon to Your Pet (or Eat It Yourself), Please Read This
- National Geographic News: Farmed Salmon Decimating Wild Salmon Worldwide
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