Salmon: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
We have all been educated on the nutritional benefit found in consuming fish. If it’s good for us, it must be okay for our canine companion. Right?
Salmon stands above other fish as being chock full of nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. The debate over giving your dog salmon continues to grow and splits down the middle of “cooked vs. raw.”
The trend of the “Raw Diet” for dogs has swept our nation leaving many dog owners questioning if this is healthy for their pets.
By throwing this theory of carnivorous feeding into the whole picture along with “cooked is better,” it leaves everyone confused!
The GOOD: Benefits of Salmon
Salmon not only provides an excellent source of protein but also has the omega-3 fatty acids that dogs need.
- Shiny and healthy coat
- Gives the immune system a boost and reduces irritants with skin and allergies
- Improves arthritic conditions such as lack of mobility, inflammation, and pain
- Provides vitamin-rich A, B-complex, D and minerals that keep a dog healthy
The BAD: Cooked vs. Raw
Dog owners have one goal in mind when it comes to their pet, and that is to love and nurture them. They are after all a member of the family.
However, varying practices of feeding our dogs a diet we feel is best for them is what sets each dog owner apart from the other.
Responsible pet parents should make an informed decision on their dog’s diet based on facts of what is and is not healthy for a dog to eat.
Unfortunately, some dog owners follow “fad” diets for their dogs.
One particular debate centers around whether or not dogs should eat food in its raw form. The Raw Diet is based on the belief that dogs need to consume what their carnivorous ancestors did.
By this premise, the idea that the “primitive” form of food (raw) is best for them was developed.
What owners fail to realize is our dogs are domesticated, and their eating habits as well as diet have evolved over thousands of years.
Their digestive system has changed along the way as well and is not tough enough to consume “raw form.”
The Raw Diet can be dangerous due to the bacteria that raw meat contains. These bacteria can cause a dog to become dangerously ill and in some severe cases, can even cause death.
Meats in raw form have been proven to contain:
- And the list goes on to many more
When food is cooked, the bacterial component is killed. However, when heat is applied in cooking food, there is a denaturalization process that takes place removing some of the nutritional content from the molecular structure being altered.
So, do we feed our dogs something that is lower in nutrient density for the benefit of knowing the bacteria is not a danger?
The UGLY: Hidden Dangers in Salmon
Salmon contains nutrient-dense benefits. However, there are parasites found in it that can make a dog severely ill and can even be fatal.
Fish in its raw form commonly contain parasites:
Usually found on scales, skin and in tissues of fish. Flukes may contain a bacteria known as rickettsial organism. If dogs consume raw salmon, there is a high potential of your dog getting
Found in muscle tissue of fish.
Found in the internal organs and cavities in fish.
Fish fully cooked:
Fish (including salmon) cooked to a temperature of 140 degrees kills the parasites and is safe to feed to your dog.
If raw fish is frozen for a minimum of seven days at a temperature of -4 degrees, it is safe to feed to your dog. Most freezers in homes do not get cold enough to kill parasites.
The best practice in feeding any fish to your dog is to thoroughly cook it, remove the bones and skin. Your furry pal will love you for putting his health first when it comes to his diet.
So...should I feed my dog salmon?
The answer is yes as long as the salmon is fresh and cooked.
To ensure you are feeding your dog a healthy diet and one that is beneficial to his overall well being, educate yourself. There are so many choices of what to give your dog, and it’s overwhelming trying to distinguish what’s good or bad.
Take the time to do some research into what your dog needs. This will empower you to make good choices for your dog’s diet.
Salmon needs to be a part of your dog’s diet regimen and by properly cooking it, you can feed it to your furry pal. He will love you for thinking of his health!