How to Cook Salmon Heads for Dogs (Easy Steps & Complete Guide)

Raw salmon heads can be a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for dogs. The best way to prepare raw salmon heads for dogs is to boil them. Cook them thoroughly and make sure not to add garlic, onion, oil, or any kind of seasonings to the fish heads. In many cases, they can also be served raw, provided they are frozen first. 

However, there is a lot more to know about giving fish heads to your dog as a meal. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to cook salmon heads for dogs!

The Cooking Process

In order to prepare salmon heads for dogs, you’ll first need to decide if you want to cook them for your dog or feed them raw. 

If you want to cook salmon heads for your dog, it’s best done by boiling them. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Next, place your salmon heads in the water. Let them boil for about 30 minutes.

Make sure to avoid adding any spices, oils, flavorings, salts, or spices to the boiling water or to the fish heads after they’re cooked. These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal stress for your furry little friend. 

You can also serve raw salmon heads to your dog. However, you’re going to want to avoid serving raw salmon heads when they’re fresh. This can cause salmon poisoning, and should therefore be avoided. You’ll want to freeze the salmon heads before feeding them to your dog. We’ll go more into this process later on in the article. 

Can you serve raw salmon heads to your dog?

Yes! As mentioned above, feeding raw salmon heads to your dog as a meal is an option. However, you’ll want to avoid using fresh ones. Stick them in the freezer and let them be frozen for one to three weeks before you feed them to your pup. This will kill the organisms that cause salmon poisoning. 

Once they’ve been frozen for a bit, though, they’re perfectly safe to feed to your pup. SImply throw them in the bowl still frozen or let them thaw a bit before serving. Your dog will eat them either way. 

Health benefits of salmon heads for dogs

There are a number of health benefits that come with serving salmon heads to your dog. Whether cooked or raw, they are a fantastic source of protein. Protein allows your dog to develop the muscles and strength to engage in daily activities like walking, running, exercise, and play. It is an essential nutrient and the core of any dog’s diet!

Salmon is also a lean protein, meaning not only is it high in protein but low in fat as well. This will allow your dog to avoid unnecessary weight gain, keeping it healthier and happier. 

Salmon is also quite high in omega 3 fatty acids. These will help your pup develop a strong immune system and reduce inflammation, as well as helping with your pup’s heart health. This makes salmon a fantastic food for your dog, as omega-3 fatty acids are a difficult thing to find elsewhere. 

Finally, salmon provides a number of excellent vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, iron, and zinc. These will help with things like your dog’s fur health, eye health, and general physical health. 

Negative health effects of salmon heads for dogs

The major thing you need to worry about is salmon poisoning. Freezing your salmon or cooking it will do away with this threat, however. There are very few other negative health effects that come with consuming salmon heads for your dog. In fact, they are quite a healthy meal to serve to your dog on a regular basis.

Can dogs be allergic to salmon heads?

Yes. Unfortunately, salmon and salmon heads are a fairly common allergy amongst dogs. The first couple of times you give salmon head to your dogs, make sure you’re on the lookout for allergy symptoms. These include things like itchy skin, wheezing, and ear infections. These can be tell-tale signs that your dog is allergic to salmon. 

If you notice these, stop feeding any kind of fish to your dog and call your vet as soon as possible to discuss what your next steps should be.

How many salmon heads should you feed to your dog?

So how many salmon heads should you give to a hungry dog? Fish heads are very nutritionally dense and should take up about 10% of a dog’s nutritional intake daily. This means you should try to limit the dog’s fish head intake to about one per day. 

How often should you feed salmon heads to your dog?

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t serve salmon heads to your dog too often, as too much of any food isn’t great for a dog’s diet. It should be given in moderation. Try to serve it no more than three to five times weekly. Larger dogs can have it a little more often, and smaller dogs should eat it a little bit less often. 

However, every dog is different. That’s why it’s recommended that you start slow and pay close attention to how your dog reacts to the increasing presence of salmon heads in its diet. 

Do you need to debone salmon heads to feed them to dogs?

No! Dogs can handle eating the head of the salmon with the bones inside. They will figure out quickly which parts are edible and which aren’t. Feel free to throw the entire fish head into your dog’s bowl without deboning it. 

What is salmon poisoning?

Many salmon, especially those from the pacific northwest, carry an organism in them that causes salmon poisoning. This will basically make your dog quite sick, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, and weight loss. This can be very damaging to your dog, so it is essential that you take careful steps not to avoid it.