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Let’s get to it.  

If you’ve bought fresh salmon, you’ll notice the skin is still on it.  And if you’re wondering if your dog can eat that skin, then this article is for you.  

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin? Here’s What A Certified Canine Nutritionists Says:

Salmon skin is healthy to feed your dogs. So don’t toss out the skin on your salmon. It’s chock full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to your dog’s diet, which means it must be fed because the body cannot synthesize it. As long as it’s not from the Pacific North West, it’s ok to feed raw. Otherwise, cook it.

It’s vital to your dog’s skin and coat. It reduces inflammation and provides numerous health benefits.  

How much to feed: 

Just one tablespoon of salmon with skin, for every 20 pounds of dog weight is all you need per meal. But if you want to get technical, it’s about 8 to 10% of your dog’s meal. Don’t feed more because it may not only cause lose stools but the excess fat can impact your dog’s ability to digest protein.  

How to feed: 

Serve it as it or separate it from the meat and dry it to make tasty salmon crispy treats!

If you’re feeling crafty, you can even roll it up before you dry it to make it a soft chew!

Got your interest piqued? Well, then keep reading. 

I’ve put together a list of why salmon with skin will level up your dog’s meals.  

Salmon Nutritional Facts

So why is salmon with skin so healthy and why do fresh feeders love to feed it?

  • High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids rich in DHA and EPA
  • Great whole food source of Vitamin D.  
  • Also contains Vitamin E
  • Contains 24% protein 

Reduces Inflammation

Is your dog itchy? Or maybe they are a yeasty beast. In these cases inflammation is the core culprit, and there is no better way to get it down than by feeding salmon.  

In addition, your dog will be: 

  • Less itchy
  • Have less rashes

How It Helps Your Dog’s Skin and Coat

Did you know your dog’s epidermis is replaced approximately every 22 days. If you feed salmon daily, you will see improvement in just under a month. 

Decreases Chronic Pain

In a study out of Helsinki they found that a joint formula with fish oil, glucosamine HCI, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM helped decrease chronic pain.  

Boosts Brain Health and Function

Trainability in puppies and dogs improves when fed food with the right amount of omega-3.

Provides Vitamin D. 

Your dog needs Vitamin D too.  

A deficiency will lead to loss of bone tissue, decreased immune function, and cancer. But too much can be detrimental, leading to hypercalcemia, bone resorption, and soft tissue calcification.  

Because over-supplementation is easily done through synthetic supplements it’s preferred that you supply vitamin D from whole food sources.   

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin Every Day?

With or without the meat, salmon skin is a healthy addition to your dog’s daily meals.   

Make Sure You Also Feed Vitamin E-rich food.  

Make sure your dog also eats food rich in vitamin E when eating salmon skin. Both omega-3 and vitamin E offer complementary functions.

Additionally, vitamin E can help prevent oxidative damage in omega-3 oil. Not only that, but it may also benefit your dog’s skin health, immune system, osteoarthritis, and more.

Vitamin E rich food includes bones with marrow because selenium acts like vitamin E.  

If your dog doesn’t eat bones with marrow, you can supplement with vitamin E oil.  

Does Salmon Skin have Thiaminase?

Salmon does not contain thiaminase and as long as it’s from the Atlantic or Alaska it can be fed raw.

The Cooked Vs. Raw Controversy

Salmon from the Pacific North West is known to have an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which embeds with Nanophyetus salmincola, a fluke present in raw fish, is what causes salmon poisoning disease.

When dogs eat infected salmon, the larval flukes release the rickettsiae organisms which then travel in the bloodstream to the liver, lungs, brain, and lymphoid tissues, causing necrosis, hemorrhage, and hyperplasia.

Infected dogs will show symptoms within six to ten days and should be brought to the vet immediately. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, depression, high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, discharge from the nose or eyes, and weight loss.

To get around this, avoid salmon from the Pacific North West altogether and instead choose salmon from the Atlantic or from Alaska.  

You can feed raw salmon from the Atlantic or Alaska safely.  

How To Cook Salmon With Skin

Salmon can be cooked low and slow on the stove. This allows you to retain the oils which can deteriorate when there is too much heat.  

How To Feed Salmon Skins Raw

Salmon can be fed raw – meat and skin included to your dog safely when it’s from the Atlantic or from Alaska.  

Simply portion of the appropriate serving size and include it in their meal.  

Buy Wild When You Can

Farmed salmon actually has more omega-3, folate, and vitamin A than wild salmon. They feed on grains and soybeans compared to wild salmon that feed on algae and phytoplankton.  

Farmed salmon has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 1:4, while wild salmon has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:10, per a November 2005 study.

Critics of farmed salmon explain that they contain more contaminants due to the close quarters they are raised in as well as a higher incidence of disease.  

When sourcing and budget allow, choose wild salmon over farmed salmon to be on the safer side. 

Skip Canned Salmon

Canned salmon has a higher amount of sodium. And it also potentially causes problems in yeasty and itchy dogs. Canned products have a higher level of histamine which aggravates the itch. 

So if you have an itchy dog, or you have a yeasty beast, skip the canned salmon entirely.  

However, if your dog isn’t suffering from yeast or allergies, canned salmon can be a fantastic backup for your pantry and dog’s meals.  

What About Salmon Skin Chews?

Some dog treat and chew manufacturers are now starting to dry salmon skin and sell them as “chews”.  

If you are comfortable with the company and sourcing, you can feed these to your dog in moderation. Be sure to limit how much of it they eat as too much can lead to soft stools.  

In Summary

Dogs can eat salmon skin daily.  

As a Certified Canine Nutritionist, I recommend this to my clients to include in their dog’s diets.  

It benefits their skin and coat and reduces inflammation. Be sure to serve it cooked when you’re not sure where it was sourced from. If it’s from the Atlantic or Alaska it’s safe to feed raw.  

Keep the portion small to be no more than ten percent of their diet.  

You will start to see their coats improve in just under a month.  


Lipid composition and contaminants in farmed and wild salmon


How Bad Is It Really to Eat Farm-Raised Salmon?


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