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Can my dog eat salmon? (cooked or raw)

Author: Adel Saadoun, Veterinary Doctor

As the holidays approach, some foods adorn our tables more than usual.

If you have a dog, you are probably wondering whether it is possible to feed him salmon.

Is salmon dangerous for my dog?

The good news is that properly prepared salmon is not only safe for dogs, but is also recommended because it is rich in nutrients that are essential to their health.

Fish in general, and salmon in particular, is a rich source of omega-3, which is known to be beneficial for immunity and joints, in addition to being a source of protein, vitamins B6 and B12, and fibre.

The benefits of salmon are well known in dogs and it improves immunity, skin and joint health.

It is therefore a food to be integrated into his diet. However, it is essential to prepare it well.

It is strongly discouraged to feed your dog raw salmon as this fish often contains a parasite (Neorickettsia helminthoeca) that can cause Salmon Poisoning Disease (SPD). This is a fatal disease in dogs.

What are the symptoms of SPD?

Symptoms of salmon poisoning in dogs appear quite late, one week after ingestion. The symptoms are:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea;
  • Very high fever;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.

If left untreated, this disease is fatal and the mortality rate is about 90%. The treatment is generally effective and consists of an antibiotic treatment prescribed exclusively by the veterinarian.

What about smoked salmon?

Smoked salmon is also prohibited. Rich in salt, it can be harmful to your dog’s health. Symptoms of smoked salmon poisoning in dogs include:

  • Digestive disorders: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Dehydration;
  • Intense thirst,
  • Nervous disorders: convulsions, overexcitement.

So it’s not advisable to include smoked salmon in your dog’s diet. And as the holidays approach, we advise you to be extra vigilant.

What should I do if my dog has eaten smoked salmon?

If your dog ingested only a small amount of smoked salmon and only occasionally, you should not be concerned, but you should keep an eye on his behaviour and the appearance of any symptoms.

If your dog eats it regularly, it is essential that you make a change in your dog’s diet by eliminating it from his portion. We recommend that you take your pet to the vet for advice on his diet.

In a nutshell, salmon, when properly prepared, frozen and cooked, is a very interesting food and should be recommended for your dog because it is rich in omega-3, vitamins B6 and B16 as well as in proteins.

However, it is not advisable to feed your dog raw or smoked salmon.


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