Pet parents seem very interested in offering salmon-based dog food to their furry friends. As a vet, whenever I meet new friends or patients, there is one ready-to-ask question I get a lot, “is salmon dog food ok for my dog?

And I always answer a resounding “Yes!”. Salmon is one of the best ingredients for dog foods. If you are a pet parent with the same thoughts, today is the day for you to get all your questions about salmon dog food answered.

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Why do Dog Food Brands add Salmon?

Salmon is one of the most popular fish in the world. It’s native to the Pacific and North Atlantic oceans, as well as farmed all over the world. There is no part of the world where you don’t find salmon. There is no shortage of salmon; therefore, it is a major protein source ingredient in several dog food brands.

Pet food companies have various reasons for selecting salmon as the main source of protein. One of the significant reasons is its high nutritional profile. It contains a number of nutrients, along with omega fatty acids, that keep your dog healthy and fit.

What are the Pros & Cons of Feeding your Lil’ Buddy Salmon Dog Food?

Salmon dog food - dog eating

Salmon dog food offers a list of nutritional benefits to your lovely pets. Salmon can serve as the major protein source in any diet. The protein present in salmon is also highly digestible. It serves as the main component for the growth and development of your dog.

Let’s take a look at the many pros, as well as the few cons, of feeding your pup salmon dog food.

Salmon Dog Food Pros

There are many benefits to feeding your pup salmon. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.

Pro – Salmon Dog Food is Full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are essential components of any diet. Among all fatty acids, omega fatty acids are the most needed and most beneficial for your dog. There are two types of omega fatty acids:

  • omega-3 fatty acids &
  • omega fatty acids

Salmon contains both types of fatty acids but is richer in omega-3 fatty acids.

Salmon dog food - dog eating salmon out of bowl

Omega 3 fatty acids have a wondrous role in maintaining the health and well-being of your furry friend. One of the significant roles is maintaining the body, coat, and skin health.

In addition, these fatty acids maintain joint and ligament health. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the incidence of joint pain and inflammation.

Furthermore, fatty acids keep your furry friend’s skin radiant and hydrated.

Pro – Salmon Dog Food Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, salmon also contains a fair amount of DHA and EPA. These substances play a significant role in reducing joint pain and inflammation.

Pro – Salmon Dog Food Contains Core Vitamins

Salmon dog food dog eating carrots

Vitamins are essential to maintain the normal physiology of the body. Body metabolism and its important biochemical reactions require vitamins to play a significant role. Salmon contains essential fat-soluble vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin K – is essential in clotting blood, promoting bone health, and producing cellular energy.
  • Vitamin A – for maintaining and boosting the body’s immunity. In addition, it also plays a role in the growth and maintenance of bones.
  • Vitamin D – plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium absorption.
  • Vitamin E – is important for your furry buddy’s skin and hair coat.
  • Vitamin B – this water-soluble vitamin promotes cellular health in your pup.

In short, salmon is a good source of all these essential vitamins and is very beneficial to your dog’s health.

Salmon Dog Food Cons

Salmon may impose some health risks that are worth mentioning. Every individual dog responds differently to a specific diet. You need to keep your focus on your furry friend to see if there is any adverse reaction due to the diet.

Con – Salmon Dog Food Health Considerations

Salmon dog food - dog on crutches

Salmon is very rich in proteins, and this protein can lead to protein allergy. It happens rarely, but it is important to look for. You should work with your vet to identify and solve the issue if your dog shows protein allergy symptoms after having salmon dog food. Some symptoms of protein allergy are as follows:

  • Itchiness
  • Frequent ear infection
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Frequent yeast infection on the skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Con – Feeding your Dog Raw Salmon

You may have heard a lot about raw dog foods. The protagonist of raw dog food argues that it is more natural to their instinct and wild behaviors. But is it safe to feed raw salmon to your dog? No, it is not.

Raw salmon or any other raw food poses a health risk due to the presence of bacteria and parasites. Food poisoning is the main risk when feeding raw salmon to your dog.

Is Wet or Dry Salmon Dog Food Better?

Salmon dog food dog fishing 2

Generally speaking, most dogs prefer to eat wet dog food. Experts say if you offer both dry and wet food to your dog, they will pick wet canned food. There are benefits to feeding wet canned food to your dog. Wet food is rich in water contents and keeps your dog hydrated. It would be healthier for your dog to have wet salmon dog food. Your dog will easily consume it, even with dental issues or a painful mouth.

If your pup prefers dry food or a mixture of the two, by all means, go that route. They’ll still get all of the benefits salmon offers. Just make sure they are getting enough water throughout the day.

Should I buy Commercial Salmon Dog Food or Supplement Their Regular Food with Salmon?

It will be good to offer actual salmon-based dog food to your dog. It would spare you the effort of getting all of the ingredients and formulating the meal. That is why it is better for you to offer actual salmon-based food.

A Salmon Dog Food Recipe

Salmon dog food dog fishing 3

If you want to go ahead and go through the hassles of making your own salmon dog food, here is my vet-approved recipe to try. You can make different delicious recipes for your furry friend by checking out the “can dogs eat” section of our website. There you’ll find over 500 foods that I’ve deemed ok, or not ok, for dogs to eat.


  • 1 lb Salmon (fresh, frozen, or canned. Bones removed.)
  • Broccoli (1 head)
  • Coconut oil/olive oil/any other cooking oil (1 tbsp.)
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 squash


Cook salmon in a skillet using coconut or olive oil.

Chop carrots, broccoli, and squash and steam them till they become soft.

Boil potatoes, but don’t remove their skin. Mash them when they become tender.

Now is the time to mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until it cools. The serving size of this recipe is ½ cup per 25 lb. of weight.

Final Thoughts on Salmon Dog Food

Salmon dog food dog fishing 4

The diet you feed your furry friend should contain all the essential nutrients in a balanced amount. A diet of homemade or commercial salmon dog food meets these requirements and then some. If you want to give your pup the best diet possible, consider switching them to a salmon-based diet.

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