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Can Dogs Eat Smoked Salmon? No, Here’s Why!

We know salmon is good for our dogs but can dogs eat smoked salmon? Read on to find out why you shouldn’t feed your dogs smoked salmon!

A small brown dog in front of a lot of smoked salmon.

Salmon is often praised as a fine quality dog food, along with some other fish. It contains lean protein, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and significant amounts of omega-3. All these elements are huge contributors to wellness, especially if a dog is energetic, massive, or has a rich coat.

That’s why it’s perfectly legitimate for a dog owner to ask, can dogs eat smoked salmon?

The answer is no, they shouldn’t. While smoked salmon isn’t 100% toxic to dogs, it could still be life-threatening under certain circumstances. Additionally, the way it’s prepared makes it generally unhealthy for dogs.

Here’s why feeding canines smoked salmon is a bad idea, and what to do if they accidentally take a bite.

Why Is Smoked Salmon Bad for Dogs?

Two things make giving a dog smoked salmon a bad idea: first, that it’s not thoroughly cooked, so it has the potential of carrying pathogens. And second, it contains unearthly amounts of sodium that could seriously harm dogs.

Smoked salmon with a lemon wedge on a white background.

Smoked Salmon Might Carry Harmful Bacteria

Smoked salmon has a lot in common with raw salmon since it’s not subjected to heat, but rather salted and cured. Raw salmon often catches a bacteria-carrying parasite that could be fatal to dogs. And smoking it doesn’t eliminate that bacteria.

If humans or dogs are exposed to the Nanophyetus salmincola bacteria that raw fish have, humans would get sick, but dogs would get salmon poisoning. This is a life-threatening issue, so if a dog ingests raw or smoked salmon, pet owners should contact the vet right away.

Salmon poisoning could take up to 10 days to develop, and on the 14th day, the dog could pass. The signs of sickness include:

  • Lethargy
  • Refusing food
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent defecation
  • High fever
  • Dehydration
Smoked salmon on a wood board on a table.

There’s Too Much Salt in Smoked Salmon

Dogs need salt but in much smaller amounts than humans. If they get excessive amounts of it, they might feel dehydrated, and unwell, and if they have too much, that could cause sodium poisoning.

The worrying signs are:

  • Fluid accumulation and edema
  • Obvious shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • coma 
A piece of toast with smoked salmon and cream cheese on it.

What to Do if a Dog Eats Smoked Salmon

If pet owners notice that their dog has ingested raw or smoked salmon, then they should contact the vet immediately.

If the dog has been exposed to that toxic bacteria, prompt treatment could save its life. The vet usually gives the dog anti-parasitic medicine, in addition to a suitable dose of antibiotics. This should get Fluffy up and running in a few days.

A dog sniffing a salmon stuffed with herbs.

In Conclusion

You might’ve seen bears and cats fishing for salmon in lakes and eating it raw. Humans also are so fond of sampling Sushi and Sashimi with all the delicious raw salmon they contain. It’s odd then to imagine that dogs can’t tolerate it at all.

Even when salmon is cooked, it should be plain with no added sauces, herbs, or spices. Also, it should be presented to the dog free from bones and skins, as these could be hard to swallow. 

For all the above reasons, it’s always advisable to stay knowledgeable about the best foods to give to your dog, especially the ones to avoid.

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