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

You can cook salmon skin for dogs by baking, frying or grilling it. Regardless of the method, you want to ensure they’re cooked through with a crispy and crunchy texture. These are perfectly delicious and provide a boost of Omega 3s and 6s, which are necessary for a well-balanced diet.

However, there are some things to be aware of before you start feeding it to your pooch. This is because many parasites and toxins tuck away into the skin. Therefore, you have to treat and prepare the skins in a certain way before you begin cooking it for your dog.

Quick Overview

  1. Most ideal way for finding and cooking salmon skin for dogs – select fresh, wild-caught fish for grilling, frying or baking
  2. About feeding raw salmon skins to dogs – don’t’ do it
  3. About the healthiness of feeding salmon skins to dogs – it’s very healthy but it does present some risks
  4. Reasons why vets warn against feeding salmon skins to dogs – they can make dogs sick

What’s the Most Ideal Way to Find & Cook Salmon Skin for Dogs?

When you want to give salmon skin to your dog, there are three possible ways to cook it: baking, frying or grilling. But, before getting into the methods, it’s important to make a note about sourcing and preparing the skins before as well as during cooking.

Get Wild-Caught

Always get wild-caught Atlantic or Icelandic salmon. These have the least toxicity with optimal nutrition. Anywhere else has the potential to contain parasites and toxins that will be questionable at best.

Freeze for Three Weeks

Freeze the salmon for three weeks prior to preparing any of it for your pooch. This kills parasites, neutralizes toxins and nullifies anything else that could be harmful to the dog.

Careful Preparation

When you begin to prepare the fish, rinse it well with cool, purified water. Then inspect the skins as you remove it for any parasites and bones. A good scrape on the inside with a knife should do the trick.

Avoid Adding Fat or Oil

Then, when you cook the fish, don’t use any oil or fat. The skins will generate the necessary fat during heating. Use parchment paper for baking, a nonstick skillet for frying pan or a grilling cover sheet.

Don’t Use Spices

Likewise, don’t add any spices like salt, pepper, onions, chives or garlic. These things are incredibly harmful for your dog. Have faith that your dog will love the salmon skins as is. There’s no need to dress it up in the same way as you would for people.

Baking Techniques

If you want to cook them in the oven, set the temperature to 350°F. Arrange the salmon skins in bite-sized pieces on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Put them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes (more or less depending on length and thickness) or until light and crispy.

Tips for Frying

For frying the skins, use your nonstick pan on medium heat. Preheat the pan for a few moments and throw on the skins, turning them over every two minutes until crispy. Put them onto a paper towel to drain off any excess fat.

Using the Grill

When you put them on the grill, use a sheet cover and heat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cook the salmon skins for about two minutes on each side or until crispy.

Storage

No matter which way you choose to prepare the salmon skins for your dog, ensure you let the food cool down to the touch. This is true for both feeding it to the dog and storing them for later use. You can store the skins in freezer-safe bags for up to three weeks. Allow the salmon skins to thaw before feeding them to your dog.

Should Dogs Eat Raw Salmon Skins? 

No, never give your dog raw salmon skins to eat. Raw salmon can result in your dog becoming poisoned with the parasite most commonly found in salmon, called “salmon poisoning disease.” This will cause your furry baby to have gastrointestinal issues, stomach upset or even death.

Symptoms will begin appearing within six days when a pup eats raw salmon. These include things like weakness, dehydration, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and diarrhea along with discharges from the eyes and nose.

How Good Are Salmon Skins for Dogs?

Salmon skins are acceptable but you have to cook them well before feeding it to your pooch. This will ensure all the parasites are dead and it will shrink the skin in such a way as to help release any bones that may still be on them.

Don’t peel it off the flesh and feed to your dog from salmon you grilled for people or what you bring home from a restaurant. These will not only be unhealthy, but dangerous for your dog. This is because these have salt and it will end in your dog’s demise.

Why Do Vets Warn Against Salmon Skins for Dogs?

There are many reasons why vets guard against feeding salmon skins to dogs. Aside from parasites, there are other reasons as well. For instance, dogs can choke on the scales of the skins, even when cooked well.

High in Fat, Cholesterol & Toxins

Also they’re high in fat and cholesterol. This doesn’t spell out anything good for overweight dogs or pups with heart problems. Then, there’s the issue of your dog incurring mercury poisoning. While salmon does have some of the lowest mercury, they still have it. There’s no way to measure how much your piece of fish has.

Skins Trap the Toxins

In regards to the skins, many toxins and parasites sit in concentrated amounts, even more than within the flesh of the fish. This means you’re taking chances with every piece of salmon you feed the dog. But, if you are confident about where the salmon came from, it’s okay to feed it to your dog on occasion.