Skip to Content

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon? Benefits, Risks and Precautions (Answered 2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon? (Benefits/Risks)A dog is a man’s best friend, and so it’s only natural to want to share with them what we eat. But when it comes to feeding our canine companions, not all foods are created equal.

So can dogs eat canned salmon? As long as certain precautions and guidelines are followed, the answer is yes!

Canned salmon can be an excellent addition to your pup’s diet as they provide protein-rich nutrition while also being low in mercury compared to other fish sources like tuna.

However, there may be risks associated with feeding canned salmon such as potential for heavy metal contamination or too much sodium intake which must be taken into account before adding this food source into their diet.

In this article you’ll learn about the benefits of giving your pup canned salmon along with tips on how much they should have per day and other safe options for providing them omega-3 fatty acids from fishy sources that will keep both you and your pet happy!

Key Takeaways

  • Canned salmon is safe for dogs when fed in moderation. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon benefit a dog’s skin, joints, brain, and immunity. Cooked canned salmon is safer than raw, as cooking eliminates harmful bacteria. Be sure to check for low-sodium canned salmon options to reduce sodium intake.

Is Canned Salmon Safe for Dogs?

Is Canned Salmon Safe for Dogs
You’ll want to rinse canned salmon to reduce excess sodium before serving it to your pup in moderation. Like all fish, salmon offers high-quality protein to support your dog’s muscles, bones, and energy levels.

Just be sure to limit portions to avoid weight gain. I’d also recommend cooking fresh salmon thoroughly to kill bacteria and gently steaming it to retain nutrients.

While canned salmon provides handy omega-3s, do rinse carefully, as heavy metals like mercury can concentrate in fish packed in oil. Check the can’s ingredients and sourcing too. With some common sense precautions, you can safely incorporate this antioxidant-rich fish into your dog’s balanced diet for skin and coat health a couple times a week.

Moderation is key with any treat.

The Benefits of Canned Salmon for Dogs

The Benefits of Canned Salmon for Dogs
Canned salmon can be a healthy treat for dogs when served in moderation. Salmon is rich in protein, providing a lean source to support your dog’s muscles, organs, and immune system.

Good Source of Protein

My friend, the silvery sirens call out to you, beckoning you to join their feast of oceanic bounty. Though their song may be tempting, heed their words with care – partake wisely of their offerings, lest you find yourself adrift in unsteady waters.

Canned salmon provides high-quality protein for dogs. When consumed in moderation, it can:

  1. Build lean muscle.
  2. Strengthen bones.
  3. Support skin and coat health.
  4. Boost energy levels.
  5. Aid in digestion.

However, be mindful of portion sizes, sodium content, and potential allergies. Discuss incorporating this omega-3 rich fish into your pup’s diet with their veterinarian.

Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Your pup’s coat will glow thanks to the omega-3s in that salmon.

Canned salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide many health benefits for your dog:

Shiny coat – Omega-3s keep their skin and fur healthy.

Healthy joints – Reduces inflammation and arthritis.

Brain development – Supports cognitive function and vision.

Immune health – Fights infections and boosts immunity.

Heart health – Lowers blood pressure and triglycerides.

Omega-3s from salmon support your dog inside and out. Just be sure to limit portions to avoid excess fat.

Promotes Joint Health

The Omega-3s in canned salmon lubricate your pup’s joints, so his once-creaky limbs glide gracefully like a ballerina. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon support joint health by reducing inflammation. Your dog may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of salmon to ease joint pain and stiffness.

But portion control is key, as too much fish can cause digestive upset. Cooked, low-sodium canned salmon provides a safe way to incorporate joint-friendly omega-3s into your dog’s diet.

Boosts Immune System

You’ll love how the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can boost your pup’s immune system.

  1. Omega-3s support immune cells and inflammation response.
  2. They optimize antibody production for fighting disease.
  3. Salmon is rich in vitamin D for immunity strength.
  4. The antioxidants also counter free radicals that suppress immunity.

The range of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants in salmon can boost your dog’s immune defenses. Occasional wild-caught canned salmon provides immune-boosting benefits to help them stay healthy.

How Much Canned Salmon Can Dogs Eat?

How Much Canned Salmon Can Dogs Eat
When feeding your dog canned salmon, it’s important to pay close attention to portion control based on your dog’s size.

Portion Control for Dogs of Different Sizes

To astutely manage intake, judiciously review recommended servings for your pup’s weight range.

Dog Size Canned Salmon Per Week
Extra-small (2-20 lbs) 1-2 oz
Small (21-30 lbs) 2-3 oz
Medium (31-50 lbs) 3-4 oz
Large (51-90 lbs) 4-6 oz
Extra-large (>90 lbs) 6-8 oz

Keeping dietary guidelines, feeding management, and restrictions in mind will ensure proper portion control for lifelong nutritional balance.

Risks of Overfeeding Canned Salmon

Flesh withered, dehydrated kidney stones ravage your best friend as more salmon slides down his throat. Though salmon’s rich omega-3 content benefits dogs, too much introduces risks. Overfeeding any single ingredient throws off nutritional balance, potentially causing deficiencies.

Excessive oily fish also prompts pancreatitis, gastrointestinal upset, or allergic reactions in sensitive pups. Weight gain from the added fats and calories in canned varieties further strains joint health.

Instead, vary protein sources and limit salmon to the recommended serving size for your dog’s weight.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon Skin?

Can Dogs Eat Canned Salmon Skin
While considering how much canned salmon is safe for dogs, it’s also important to address salmon skin. The skin contains many of the same beneficial fatty acids and proteins as the fish itself. However, it also poses some risks. Due to the high fat content, salmon skin can cause stomach upset if fed too often.

It’s also difficult for some dogs to digest. For small dogs, the thin skin could present a choking hazard.

For these reasons, it’s often best to remove salmon skin before serving it to dogs. Instead of salmon skin, you can try other treats high in omega-3s like chia seeds, walnuts or fish oil.

Is Raw or Cooked Canned Salmon Better for Dogs?

Is Raw or Cooked Canned Salmon Better for Dogs
You’d want to avoid giving your pup raw canned salmon since cooking it thoroughly destroys any dangerous bacteria.

Cooked canned salmon is better for dogs than raw for a few reasons:

  • Cooking canned salmon kills harmful bacteria like salmonella that can make your dog sick.
  • Raw salmon contains an enzyme that can trigger salmon poisoning disease, while cooking deactivates it.
  • The small bones in canned salmon can be a choking hazard for dogs if not cooked soft.

Opt for cooked canned salmon, as opposed to raw, to maximize health benefits and minimize risks. The omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients are still present after cooking. Be sure to still monitor portion sizes of cooked canned salmon fed to dogs to prevent weight gain.

Thoroughly cooked, boneless canned salmon makes for a safer, more nutritious treat.

Risks and Precautions of Feeding Canned Salmon to Dogs

Risks and Precautions of Feeding Canned Salmon to Dogs
When feeding your dog canned salmon, always check the label for warnings about bones. Canned salmon can contain high sodium levels as well as potential heavy metal contamination. Be mindful of these risks and take proper precautions to limit your dog’s exposure by monitoring portion sizes and frequency of feeding.

Look for low-sodium options when available. Also, vary your dog’s diet and proteins to avoid over-exposure to any one food.

Checking for Bones in Canned Salmon

Before chewing that fishy goodness, check for harmful bones lurking within. Gently rake salmon chunks with your fingers, feeling for hard bits before serving Fido. Select high-quality, boneless canned salmon when available. For whole canned fish, gently mash the bones to a safe, digestible texture.

This extra care protects your pup while providing healthful omega-3s. Thoughtfully preparing meals maximizes nutrition and minimizes choking hazards.

Sodium Content in Canned Salmon

You’ll want to check the sodium content on that canned salmon. While salmon can provide beneficial nutrients for dogs, the sodium levels in canned varieties may be too high.

  • Look for low-sodium or sodium-free versions
  • Rinse the salmon before serving to remove excess sodium
  • Balance it out by offering low-sodium foods
  • Limit the total amount of canned salmon to avoid excess sodium
  • Consider fresh, cooked salmon as a healthier alternative

Potential Heavy Metal Contamination

Potential dangerous levels can disrupt your pup’s development. Heavy metals like mercury accumulate in fish, so choose reputable canned salmon brands that control for contaminants. Though salmon provides healthy omega-3s, poor fish quality poses toxicity risks.

Stick to vet-recommended portions, and balance quality canned salmon with other proteins. Varying your pup’s diet reduces exposure to heavy metals while still reaping salmon’s nutritional benefits.

Other Safe Options for Feeding Salmon to Dogs

Other Safe Options for Feeding Salmon to Dogs

  • Fresh salmon: Cook thoroughly without seasoning. Remove all bones.
  • Dehydrated salmon treats: Read labels for ingredients. Use sparingly.
  • Other fish: Try sardines, tilapia or cod. Check for bones.
  • Fish oil supplements: Provides Omega-3s without excess protein. Vet approved.
  • Limit total seafood: 10% of diet maximum due to heavy metals.

Variety is key. Swap in novel proteins to avoid allergies. Talk to your vet about the right amount of salmon and seafood for your dog’s needs.

Choosing the Best Canned Salmon for Your Dog

Choosing the Best Canned Salmon for Your Dog
When choosing canned salmon for your dog, look for options with low sodium content. Avoid heavily salted, flavored, or oil-packed varieties, as high sodium can be dangerous and fats may cause gastrointestinal upset.

Instead, select simple canned salmon packed in water to provide the benefits of omega-3s without unwanted additives.

Low-sodium canned salmon?

Looking for low-sodium canned salmon allows you to control your dog’s sodium intake. Choose brands with less than 75mg of sodium per serving. Avoid heavily salted options. Rinse the salmon before serving to remove excess sodium. You may want to consider dehydrated or homemade salmon treats instead.

Cook fresh salmon without seasoning and debone it for a healthier choice. Always start with small servings to test your dog’s tolerance. Limit the overall sodium intake and swap in other proteins to provide balanced nutrition.

Monitor your dog for potential allergies. Discuss the options with your veterinarian.

Best canned salmon brands?

You’ll really grab him with Wild Planet’s albacore tuna or Bumble Bee’s skinless and boneless pink salmon. Top salmon brands like Trident Seafoods and Chicken of the Sea pack nutritious omega-3s and protein without unwanted sodium or bones.

Make sure to rinse canned fish before serving, break it into bite-size pieces, and limit intake to recommended serving sizes. Popular flavors like sockeye and pink salmon deliver taste and nutrition, though be cautious of potential allergies.

Risks of high sodium?

Check sodium content, as too much can lead to dehydration.

  1. Obesity
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Heart disease
  4. High blood pressure

When choosing canned salmon, opt for low-sodium varieties packed in water. Rinsing the fish before serving can help reduce excess sodium. Though convenient, canned fish requires balancing sodium as with any ingredient in your dog’s diet.

With care and moderation, canned salmon can provide healthy supplemental protein.


It is safe to feed your dog canned salmon in moderation, as long as it’s cooked and free of bones and seasonings. Most experts recommend providing no more than 6-8 oz of canned salmon per week for large dogs, and 1-2 oz for dogs less than 20 lbs.

Salmon’s loaded with protein, essential fatty acids, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals, making it a great addition to a balanced diet for your pup.

However, it’s important to be aware that canned salmon may contain high levels of sodium and heavy metals, so check the labels and rinse the salmon before feeding it to your dog. With the right precautions and portion control, you can safely give your pet the nutrition and health benefits of canned salmon.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.