How much does your dog want some of that salmon that you’ve just opened? Judging from those puppy dog eyes, probably quite a bit! But the question is, should you give him some of your canned salmon?
Is canned salmon safe for your dog to eat? The short answer is yes! Canned salmon is considered a safe snack, but there are a few points to be aware of.
Canned Salmon and Your Health
The healthiness of salmon has been well established, particularly its richness in omega-3 fatty acids, and as an excellent source of protein, potassium, selenium, antioxidants, and B vitamins.
Canned salmon is considered just as healthy as fresh salmon, and in some cases, it might even contain more omega-3 fatty acids than fresh fish. It is recommended to avoid salmon packed in oil as some of the omega-3 fatty acids are prone to exiting out of the fish and mingling with the packing oil. Since oil and water don’t mix, salmon packed in water are more likely to retain those essential fats.
In addition, canned salmon contains bones that, through the canning process, have become quite soft and, therefore, very safe to eat. These bones provide an extra source of calcium, and you won’t even notice them.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish, like salmon, two times a week as a part of a healthy diet for people.
So, we’ve established that canned salmon is healthy food for us humans, but what about our dogs?
Canned Salmon and Your Dog
Salmon is a very healthy food for people and dogs.
Since canned salmon is as healthy as fresh fish, these health benefits are still relevant for you and your dog. However, there are a few cautions that come with feeding your dog canned salmon.
The Downside for Dogs
The positives of canned salmon most definitely outweigh the negatives, but we still need to have a look at the challenges.
Canned salmon is available in both oil and water, but you should definitely avoid the oil-packed salmon. As already discussed, much of the healthy omega-3 fats tend to drain out of the fish when packed in oil. Also, excess fat can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea, or can eventually develop into serious health problems such as pancreatitis.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, take him to the vet immediately.
High Salt Content
Canned salmon tends to be high in salt so you should opt for brands that are low sodium. Too much salt can lead to excess sodium, which will produce extreme thirst and might eventually cause sodium ion poisoning and kidney damage.
If you observe your dog with any or all of these symptoms after eating canned salmon or any other salty food, take him to see your vet as soon as possible.
Dogs are just as susceptible to food allergies as people, and while fish allergies are rare, some dogs can develop allergies to fish when they haven’t eaten it before.
If your dog has eaten his first canned salmon, keep an eye on him. If you notice any of these symptoms after a few hours, contact your vet.
Salmon is a healthy and safe food for your dog, and it can contribute to many health benefits for your dog. Canned salmon has the same health benefits as fresh and is much more cost-effective and easier to prepare. It also has the additional bonus of soft salmon bones that are not only safe for your dog to eat but will provide him with extra calcium. Aim for salmon packed in water and is advertised as low sodium, and you’ll have a fantastic alternative to fresh salmon for your dog.
Observe your dog after giving him his first helping of salmon to ensure he doesn’t have any fish allergies. Be sure to have a discussion with your vet before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, just to ensure it’s safe to do so. As long as you follow these directions, canned salmon is absolutely safe for your dog to chow down on and enjoy.
Featured image credit: Natalia Wimberley, shutterstock