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Is Alaskan Salmon safe to feed raw?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
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Presley- Dillon

People should- pet me more!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 2:33pm PST 
What region should I be buying Salmon from? I've heard that Salmon from the Pacific Northwest has a parasite that can make my GSP very sick...
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 4:07pm PST 
Yeah, wild Alaskan salmon should be safe, but don't trust salmon from other places. If you can't determine where it came from, don't feed it. The parasite in the salmon can kill a dog quick. Avoid any farmed salmon as well.
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Farley

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 5:00pm PST 
Yes, Pacific Northwestern Salmon is at risk for carrying said parasite. If you do get some from that region, I would deep freeze it for at least 3 weeks before feeding. I'm not sure if Alaskan salmon would be included, but I would probably freeze it for said amount of time just to be safe.

Salmon isn't a mandatory item or anything, so if you can't find a reliable, safe source for it, don't worry too much.

Edited by author Thu Jun 7, '12 5:01pm PST

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Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 6:13pm PST 
Alaskan salmon *is* a potential carrier of the rickettsia (kind of like bacteria) that cause "salmon poisoning", and I've heard varying theories on whether home freezing can actually reduce or eliminate the risk in infected fish. If you do decide to rely on home freezing make sure you're keeping your freezer cold enough (I'd use a separate thermometer inside the freezer) and that you freeze for long enough -- a couple months is what I've heard from other raw feeders. I am confident enough that commercial flash freezing can eliminate the risk, and do feed raw Alaskan salmon. Even "fresh" Alaskan salmon in most stores has been flash-frozen before it's thawed again and sold as fresh, but you need to trust your source and information. There was a dog owner who posted here on Dogster a couple years ago who is certain that her dog contracted salmon poisoning from raw salmon purchased at Whole Foods.

This is definitely one of those cases where there isn't really a need to research this, at least so far as funding agencies and corporations are concerned, so there isn't a whole lot of what I'd consider reliable information. I think the decision to feed raw salmon from the waters of the Pacific North West needs to be a personal one based on how well you understand your supply, and what risks you are willing to take. From what I understand if caught VERY early a dog infected with salmon poisoning can be saved, but if not the outlook is pretty dire.

"Atlantic" salmon is synonymous with "farmed" and farmed salmon, IMO, is pretty much tantamount to poison due to PCBs, heavy metals, antibiotics, and disease. Salmon farming has also proven to be catastrophic for the environment and certain economies, though it's generally regarded to be safe from the rickettsia that causes salmon poisoning.

If you decide salmon's not something you want to feed, there are plenty of other fishies that don't carry such risks. Cold-water fish like sardines, herring, and mackerel are nice and oily and high in Omega-3 EFA's, which is usually why people want to include salmon in their dog's diet. They're also fast-growing and harvested before heavy metals and PCBs have much of a chance to build up in their systems, compared to salmon at any rate.

Canned salmon is heated sufficiently to kill off the rickettsia that causes salmon poisoning, it's still a good source of O-3's, and I love to keep it around the house for days I forget to defrost meat for the dog's dinner and/or for small meal days following a really big meal.
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Presley- Dillon

People should- pet me more!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 6:19pm PST 
Thanks everyone for the help, I'm gna freeze it for 3 weeks just to be safe!
My Gsp weighs 55lbs, and I've read different answers on how much raw to feed him. Some say 2-3% of adult weight(85lbs) which is about 2-3 lbs, while others say 10% of current weight (55lbs) which would be about 5-6 lbs. So should I feed him 2-3 lbs of raw or should I feed him 5-6lbs of raw? I'm so confused... HELP!!!
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Gizmo

14- Years- Young!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 7:33pm PST 
Whoa, I’m no math whiz but I think those calculations are a little off.

2% of 55 pounds = 17.5 ounces or 1.1 pounds
3% of 55 pounds= 26.3 ounces or 1 pound 10 ounces

Ah sorry just realized you said he's a growing puppy, I've never fed a pup raw so don't listen to me! red face

Edited by author Thu Jun 7, '12 7:38pm PST

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Presley- Dillon

People should- pet me more!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 7, '12 8:21pm PST 
LOL... Thanks Gizmo just the same, I appreciate you taking the time to reply!!
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Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 9, '12 8:16pm PST 
The 10% of current puppy weight is more for younger pups. He's probably good with about 2-3 pounds of food now. How many times do you feed per day? At 5 months 2 times a day is still probably good, but he might start not wanting "breakfast" so much, and soon 1 time a day will probably be sufficient, though some feed 2 meals a day as late as a year. Raw food doesn't cause the blood sugar fluctuations that kibble does, so a lot of raw fed pups in my experience will "tell" you when they're ready for once a day feedings.

Changes in feeding amounts show results a bit faster than diets with grains, so you can tweak and adjust amounts as you see necessary. If he's skinny, feed a bit more. If he's showing some pudge pull back a bit. If he leaves part of a meal don't sweat it. If he's acting legitimately starving to death (not just trying to "train" you to do what he wants) up the amount a bit, better yet, make his meal more complicated. Even a few days here and there of off poops aren't too out of the ordinary as the digestive system finishes off it's transition into real adulthood. A shepherd at 5 months old is probably going be going thru a "long and skinny" phase soon, if he's not already, and no amount of food you feed him will result in that adult dog look, so don't worry about that. You're in a major time of maturing not so much as growing, so just pay attention to what his body is telling you it needs from week to week and you'll be good. As long as he's got energy and seems pretty "good to go" amounts are probably fine. Just make sure your general "prey model" or however you're formulating your diet is represented (meat, bone, and organ wise) and you're on the path to a healthy diet. big grin
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Presley- Dillon

People should- pet me more!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '12 2:35pm PST 
Thanks Meridian for your help, Presley & I appreciate it very much...
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Crash- Dynamite

Live up to your- Name!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '12 11:43pm PST 
I live in Alaska and we feed Alaskan Salmon to our dog. In fact MANY people feed salmon, both RAW and cooked.

However, I have never fed it right from the river, only after it's been frozen. Apparently, the waters are too cold for the parasite to survive but that could change with the warming of the waters.
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