Is it safe for my small dog to eat fish? I heard
salmon could be poisonous.
Avondale Estates, GA
Dogs cannot survive on an exclusive diet of fish meat. However, if your dog does not have any medical conditions that require a special diet, I don’t see any harm in giving him small amounts of cooked fish now and then.
Salmon itself is not poisonous. However, there is a syndrome in dogs called salmon poisoning. This creates some confusion. Salmon poisoning occurs when a dog consumes raw salmon or trout containing a dangerous parasite. The parasite causes the inappropriately named disease, which can be fatal.
The parasite involved in salmon poisoning is most common along the Pacific coasts of Oregon, Washington, and Canada. There have been reports of salmon poisoning in northern California as well.
Cooking salmon kills the parasite, as well as disease-causing bacteria that may be present on the meat.
For the raw food fans out there: yes, raw fish can be included in dogs’ diets. But I recommend that you take some precautions. Feed only sushi grade fish, and avoid raw salmon.