I went looking for a photo of a dog with a salmon, so that I could share what I've learned about feeding salmon to dogs.
I was so happy when I found a great photo by Duncan Brown of Benny nose-to-nose with a beautiful salmon.
Each time I make a trip to Mayflower Poultry in Cambridge to pick up my order of ground meat and bones for our Westie Poppy's food, I stop New Deal Fish across the street to buy some great seafood. One day I mentioned that I could add fish as the second protein in my dog's diet and the fishmonger suggested I let him know and he could save scraps of salmon for me. (He was unaware of the problem, as I was, and was grateful when I shared the research with him on my next visit.)
Don't Feed Raw Salmon!
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered my friend Liz's warning about feeding raw salmon. I did a bit of research and, as usual, she was right.
Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine devotes a page to the topic of Salmon Poisoning.
"Salmon Poisoning Disease is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs that eat certain types of raw fish. Salmon (salmonid fish) and other anadromous fish (fish that swim upstream to breed) can be infected with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola."
A list of symptoms and how your veterinarian would treat the disease is included on their page.
If you want your dog to have the benefits of salmon, which are many, make sure it is fully cooked. You can poach it in a bit of water, steam it, or sauté in olive oil. But, be sure it is cooked all the way to the center to kill any parasites and bacteria that might harm your dog.
(Here's Benny's beautiful face in another photo by Duncan Brown.)
A Bit About Mayflower's RAW Diet or BARF Orders.
I mentioned Mayflower Poultry at the start of this post. I've been feeding my Poppy with products from them for more than two years and have nothing but praise for this wonderful company and the great people who work there.
Each friday morning, Luis (that's his smiling face in the photo) grinds special orders for people who feed their dogs raw diets. You need to phone with your order in advance. I always call on Thursday of the week I plan to make food and pick up my freshly ground food after noon on Friday. Here's their BARF webpage.