Can I Feed My Dog Packaged Salmon?

Raw salmon contains a parasite that can cause a dog to become sick or die.
Salmon and caviar image by Tamara Souchko from

Dogs can become ill or die if they eat raw salmon. However, salmon oil is accepted as a nutritional supplement for dogs and many dog foods have a salmon component. Unlike raw salmon, cooked salmon can be good for dogs and a beneficial part of their diet.

Salmon Provides Excellent Nutrition for Dogs

Native Alaskans have fed dried salmon to their sled dog teams for generations.
dry salmon image by MAXFX from

The Alaskan natives have used dried salmon for dog food for generations. According to the “Hooked on Flies” fishing website, the Chum Salmon is also known as the “Dog Salmon” for that reason. Several dried fish treats, some of which contain salmon, are on the market for pet dogs today. Many commercial dog food companies have salmon among their first ingredients in their “sensitive skin and stomach” formulations.

Fish Oil Nutrients

Fish oil supplements containing salmon oil are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
fish oil capsules image by Flashon Studio from

Dog-related sites and veterinarians alike recommend fish oils for dogs with dry coats and other health issues. Some of these oils either contain salmon oil or are comprised entirely of it. recommends fish oil for canine supplementation. However, while the site does indicate that low-quality fish oil may be contaminated with mercury, it does not suggest that such oils can be contaminated with the flukes that make raw salmon deadly to dogs (See References 2).

Canned and Packaged Salmon

Canned salmon can be fed to dogs, provided the bones are soft and small.
canned fish image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Any packaged salmon should be cooked before it is fed to a dog. Mary Straus, of, writes that cans of bony pink salmon are okay to feed a dog; however, the owner should ensure that there are no hard bones that will perforate the dog’s intestine . Because smoked salmon is not necessarily cooked salmon, any smoked packaged salmon should be checked and cooked if necessary before giving any to a dog.