Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
If you want to ensure your dog is as healthy as possible, then it’s not enough to just give them the same dog food day in and day out. While this might sound obvious, this is actually precisely what a lot of people do: relying on just a single type of food that they’ve found in the store to provide their dog’s entire diet!
The simple fact of the matter is that no dog food, no matter how well formulated, is able to replace the balanced and varied diet that a dog would get normally. Think about this in human terms: it would be like eating one ready meal for the rest of your life. Even if that ready meal is healthy, it is bound to lead to some nutrient deficiencies down the line.
One way you can get around this is by researching dog foods that contain a more varied and mixed ingredients list. Better yet, use a few different dog foods like this and combine them.
And what you might find is that many of these dog foods contain salmon!
Which brings us to another way you can help your dog’s diet: by sharing a little of your own food with them. Specifically, by occasionally taking something nutritious from your plate – like a bit of salmon – you can help your dog gain additional nutritional benefit and enjoy a healthier and more balanced diet as a result!
And salmon is perfect for this.
That’s because salmon has a lot of important benefits for dogs. And in this post, we’re going to find out what those are and how to best help your dog enjoy salmon.
WARNINGS WHEN GIVING SALMON TO DOGS
While salmon is good for dogs for the most part, there are a few caveats to this and a few dangers you need to keep in mind.
Firstly, salmon can contain very fine bones. These bones can be problematic if they end up in your dog’s diet, as you may find that they get stuck in their throats and cause them to choke. For this reason, you should buy salmon that has no bones included, or you should aim to remove the bones manually yourself before giving the food to your dog.
At the same time, you should also try to avoid giving your dogs too much salmon. Like anything, it is possible to get too much of a good thing, and in the case of salmon that can lead to an overdose of mercury.
Mercury is not naturally found in salmon, but unfortunately the large amounts of pollution that we drop into the sea have caused it to be an issue.
So, can your dog enjoy salmon? Yes, but you should try to avoid giving it to them more than a few times a week, or you should aim to keep the portion size relatively small. You’ll find that when salmon is included in dog food, it is often in small flakes that will not be enough to present this problem.
Don’t be put off of giving your dog salmon, but do keep this problem in mind as it can be serious: mercury overdose can cause a number of side effects, including leading to mental health issues.
BENEFITS OF SALMON FOR DOGS
If you follow these two pieces of advice, then salmon has a wide variety of different benefits for dogs, which can have a huge impact on their overall health and well-being.
For one, salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acid. This is one of the most sought-after nutrients in the human diet and it is just as good for dogs!
Omega 3 is useful first because it helps to improve the cell membrane permeability of brain cells. If that sounds confusing, it basically means that your brain cells use the omega 3 to build their walls, and that in turn makes them more pliable while also allowing nutrients and chemical messengers to pass through more easily. In short, the brain becomes better at communicating with itself and thus your dog might appear sharper, more alert, and generally happier!
At the same time, this can also prevent the onset of dementia and other issues relating to cognitive decline in older age.
Omega 3 has more benefits too. One is that it helps to improve the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in the body. When the ratio is skewed more towards omega 6, it can lead to inflammation. That in turn causes a host of issues, including joint pain. The latter is something that can be a serious issue for dogs, and which can damage their mobility and their ability to exercise and play as they get older.
Another big benefit of salmon is that it is a great source of lean protein.
Dogs need lots of protein. Their diets are naturally carnivorous, meaning that they will predominantly make do with meats. What’s important is that this meat is high quality, being made predominantly from fresh and natural sources (not highly processed with bits of gristle mixed in!) and low in fat. The latter will ensure that your dog gets the protein without gaining lots of unwanted weight and calories.
When your dog eats protein, it will be broken down into amino acids. These are the constituent parts that make up protein and your dog can then recycle those elements in order to create their own tissues and chemicals. Thus, lean protein helps dogs to build muscle, to recover from injury, to improve the glossiness of their skin, and generally to become healthier and stronger.
As you can see, salmon has a great many benefits for dogs and you can make sure that they get a balanced and healthy diet simply by seeking out foods that have salmon in, or by adding a little to their dog bowl yourself. Just make sure not to overdo it and they will thrive!