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The Best Salmon Dog Food (Review) in 2021

Destin Benoit
Published December 1, 2020

As a healthy yet indulgent dish, we humans are certainly glad that this ray-finned fish swims in our oceans. And so are our dogs – although generalizations would have you believe that it’s our feline friends who enjoy fish the most, dogs likewise adore the refreshing, aromatic taste of salmon. Even though salmon is easy to prepare, the busy lives that working adults lead these days means there often isn’t enough time to debone salmon.

We understand how difficult it is to ensure your dog has a healthy meal in their bowls – and that’s why we’ve amassed the best salmon dog food on the market. Ranging in flavor profiles and texture, each and every bag we’ve included is distinctive and healthy in its own special way. Browse our selection below to find out what dog food will suit your pup best.

The Best Salmon Dog Food

1

Comprising proprietary probiotics that ensure the gastrointestinal tract is kept healthy, Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Steam Canine Recipe likewise boasts the perfect fatty acid blend to enhance dogs’ skin and coat. Your dog will spend the day dreaming of dinner time thanks to this food’s incredible ingredients like smoked salmon and sweet potatoes.

Taste of the Wild’s salmon dog food also caters towards dogs with food allergies; given that it’s made without eggs or egg products. Unlike other dog foods, this Pacific Stream salmon dry dog food doesn’t feature poultry or red meat of any kind; only fish-based sources of optimal protein such as ocean fish meal and salmon meal complete with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Calorie content: 3,600 kcal/kg (360 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 25.0%

Minimum crude fat: 15.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 3.0%

Maximum moisture: 10,0%

First three ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: TWDT1576
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces

2

Given their choice to opt for the classically delicious combination of real salmon and sweet potato, it’s no wonder that Canidae’s recipe is so popular. It’s even more understandable when discovering that this salmon dry dog food is also grain free!

The company refuse to include any fillers or problem additives such as corn or say and instead, feature healthier alternatives like taurine and riboflavin to give your dog’s immune system that extra kick. And with a high percentage of 32% crude protein, it’s evident that this type of food is exactly what your dog needs to thrive.

Calorie content: 3,880 kcal/kg (496 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 32.0%

Minimum crude fat: 18.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal

Specification:
  • Brand: Canidae
  • Model: 1340
  • Weight: 24 pounds

3

Purina’s combination of two premium fish-based protein sources is bound to send your dog wild with excitement. A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will work wonders for any active dog’s immune system and overall health. And do we have proof? Well, the 30% crude protein speaks for itself.

Purina are so confident that their fantastic formula will improve your dog’s health that they even encourage owners to take up a 28 day challenge; that is, if you notice a remarkable brightness to your dog’s eyes and coat as well as an increase in energy, the formula is working.

Calorie content: 3,761 kcal/kg (340 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 30.0%

Minimum crude fat: 17.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 3.0%

Maximum moisture: 12.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon, Chicken Meal, Soy Flour

Specification:
  • Brand: Purina
  • Model: 00017800158459
  • Weight: 15 pounds

4

Containing no grains, corn, or by-products whatsoever, Instinct’s dog food is awash with probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants to promote digestibility. Analysing the percentages –paying particular attention to the 72% of real animal ingredients and 28% fruits and vegetables included in this formula– it’s evident that Instinct’s dry dog food is of a premium nature.

Yet our favorite feature of Instinct’s grain free dog food with salmon is the company’s decision to freeze-dry their delicious kibble. This process promotes freshness whilst ensuring that moisture levels are kept to a minimum. No wonder dogs go nuts for Instinct’s dog food, quite rightly identified as our buying guide’s premium pick.

Calorie content: 4,450 kcal/kg (523 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 37.5%

Minimum crude fat: 20,0%

Maximum crude fiber: 3.5%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Peas

Specification:
  • Brand: Instinct
  • Model: 769949658160
  • Weight: 20 pounds

5

Just like Canidae, Merrick have decided to trust in a classic flavor combination: real salmon and sweet potato. With three dog food bag sizes to choose from, this wholesome grain-free dog food is poultry free, meaning that dogs prone to suffering from allergies can also enjoy the delectable flavors within it.

The fish protein sources in Merrick’s formula are all USDA-inspected deboned meat, and every batch of Merrick’s creation is cooked right here in the USA in Hereford, Texas. Within them, optimal levels of glucosamine and chondroitin ensure that your dog’s joints and hips are kept healthy so they will be too.

Calorie content: 3,597 kcal/kg (381 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 32.0%

Minimum crude fat: 14.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.5%

Maximum moisture: 11.0%

First three ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal

Specification:
  • Brand: Merrick
  • Model: 38573
  • Weight: 22 pounds

6

Designed to accommodate the needs of dog breeds of every shape and size, Blue Buffalo’s salmon dog food is many pet household’s go-to kibble. Within every Blue Buffalo dog food, real meat is the first ingredient, and a selection of blueberries, carrots, and cranberries give it its fresh and aromatic flavor profile.

A couple of weeks is all it takes for you to start picking up on physical changes in your dog, including a naturally lustrous coat thanks to the plentiful amount of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and an improvement in their dental health as a result of calcium and phosphorous. Watch in amazement at the wonders of high-quality kibble!

Calorie content: 3,592 kcal/kg (415 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 34.0%

Minimum crude fat: 15.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 6.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas

Specification:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • Model: 840243105373
  • Weight: 24 pounds

7

AvoDerm’s Salmon and Vegetable recipe operates as the perfect salmon puppy food to transition to an adult diet. Although it’s a minor detail considering that the health of our dogs is at stake, we’re pleased to report that this grain-free dog food doesn’t give off a strong fish odor that tends to overpower pet households!

Every one of AvoDerm’s ingredients are sourced from North American suppliers, excluding duck, tapioca powder, lamb, and quinoa – none of which are included in their grain-free salmon and vegetable recipe. For many delighted dog owners, AvoDerm’s high-quality dog food is a saving grace for poorly dogs suffering from itchy, dry skin and sensitive stomachs.

Calorie content: 3,380 kcal/kg (400 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 23.0%

Minimum crude fat: 13.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.5%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon (Source of Omega 3), Herring Meal, Peas

Specification:
  • Brand: AvoDerm
  • Model: 100536227
  • Weight: 20.4 pounds

8

Containing no peas, corn, or poultry – ingredients that are known for triggering food sensitivities in dogs – Holistic Select’s adult dog food has been specially formulated to grant dogs the right amount of probiotics, antioxidants, and fiber they require to blossom. Anchovy and Sardine fish meal is this formula’s principal ingredient, meaning that your dog will obtain a great amount of protein from this nutritious food source.

Proudly manufactured in the USA, it’s always comforting when dog food features taurine – that’s when you can really differentiate between low and high-quality kibble. What’s more, although the mixture of anchovies, sardines, and salmon sounds very fishy smelling indeed, satisfied customers affirm that their dogs breath only smells as it would normally – still smelly, but not fishy!

Calorie content: 3,599 kcal/kg (425 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 25.0%

Minimum crude fat: 13.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.5%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Brown Rice. Oatmeal

Specification:
  • Brand: Holistic Select
  • Model: 22123
  • Weight: 29.98 pounds

9

Over at Wellness, their Salmon and Potato formula – exactly like their other dog food kibbles – is formulated from a select number of curated ingredients, meaning that dogs with food sensitivities can enjoy the aromatic salmon flavors too. Crafted in the USA, only top-quality ingredients will even be considered to carry out a purpose as a key ingredient.

It’s certainly difficult to achieve a perfect balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in a dog food, but Wellness nutritionists sure make it look easy. One innovative example of how they play with protein sources is by adding potatoes – a highly digestible source of B vitamins that usually doesn’t get a look in when it comes to dog food. Given the success of their cutting-edge dog food recipes, we cant wait to see what Wellness create next.

Calorie content: 3,487 kcal/kg (446 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 25.0%

Minimum crude fat: 12.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 5.0%

Maximum moisture: 11.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes

Specification:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • Model: 89308
  • Weight: 24 pounds

10

Last but certainly not least, Supreme Source’s Salmon Meal and Sweet Potato dry dog food is arguably a pièce de résistance of the company’s kibble selection. This 100% grain free dog salmon dog food is bolstered firstly by featuring salmon meal as the very first ingredient – a bold move that includes even more protein than salmon itself!

A precise balance of omega-3 fatty acids is obtained from the salmon, whereas the inclusion of chickpeas provides your dog with the exact amount of omega-6 fatty acids their body craves. Sweet potatoes additionally serve as an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, promoting gut health and ensuring your dog’s vision is sharp as can be. Frankly, you really can’t go wrong by trusting in Supreme and their healthy recipes.

Calorie content: 3,320 kcal/kg (339 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 26.0%

Minimum crude fat: 11.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 8.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Salmon Meal, Peas. Lentils

Specification:
  • Brand: Supreme Source
  • Model: 141703
  • Weight: 11.0 pounds

Best Salmon Dog Food Buying Guide & FAQ

Benefits of Salmon Dog Food

Salmon is packed full of fatty acids: The impressive health benefits of fatty acids EPA and DHA are celebrated by health nutritionists and pet owners alike. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is abundant in salmon and helps to alleviate the risk of heart disease in dogs. On a similar note, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), comprising over 90% of omega-3 fatty acids present in a human brain, bolsters a dog’s eye and skin health.

This food source is easy to digest: Older dogs in particular often struggle to digest hearty meat protein sources. Although older canines are sensitive towards most meat protein sources, many tolerate salmon differently – the fish contains lower fat levels and less dense muscle fiber than other meats.

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What to Look for in Dog Food with Salmon

The time-consuming task of hunting for dog food can be daunting to think about. That’s why we’ve prepared a helpful selection of questions so you don’t become overwhelmed with so much to think about:

Is the dog food you’ve got your eye on grain-free?: Although grain free dog food isn’t the recommended choice for pups who have heart problems, it’s a fantastic solution for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities. As nutritionists who are responsible for creating grain free dog food must research to avoid grains, their precision when selecting food tends to mean that a better quality of ingredients is used overall.

What are the other protein sources in this dog food excluding deboned salmon?: If all you’re searching for is a commendable salmon dog food to operate as a viable source of protein, it won’t matter whether a mix of different types of meat is used. However, if your dog is sensitive to food allergies, opting for a formula boasting only one high-quality protein source is recommended.

Ingredients to Avoid in Salmon Based Dog Food

Soy: If you turn your dog’s salmon food over to find soybean products, start shopping for a new one immediately. As well as being linked to thyroid damage, research has shown that ingesting large amounts of soybean products has lead to seizures in dogs. Finally, soy can be classified as a filler in salmon based dog food, packed full of empty carbs.

Peas: Peas are packed full of lectins; a type of protein that’s bound to sugar. Often referred to as anti-nutrients, they can engender several negative side effects for dogs such as heart inflammation. Food containing grains such as eggs, potatoes, and beans are highest in lectins, so watch out how many of these you feed your dog on a regular basis.

Best Salmon Dog Food FAQ:

Q: Is salmon healthier than beef and chicken?

A: In short, yes – salmon is technically healthier than beef and chicken for numerous reasons. Let’s analyze how this protein source trumps beef first. Although red meat beef is packed full of vitamin B12, protein, and zinc, this animal protein source should be treated as an indulgence due to its risk of promoting colorectal cancer. Fish like salmon, on the other hand, can be incorporated into a healthy diet – in fact, fish constitutes a healthy diet.

Now turning to chicken, studies have been conducted proving that eating white meat such as poultry can be just as harmful for your health as eating red meat. However, like salmon, chicken does operate as a fantastic protein source in dry dog food given its low amount of calories and saturated fat. However, fish like salmon is regarded amongst experts as the leaner form of meat.

You May Also Like: Salmon Oil For Dogs and Fish Oils For Dogs

Q: Salmon vs. salmon meal: which is better?

A: Surprisingly enough, meat meals are often more nutritious than the whole meat protein source itself. Yet it all boils down to knowing how to discern low-quality meat sources from high-quality ingredients. If you see generically named meals like the phrases “meat meal, “animal meal” or “meat and bone meal” for example, stay away – it’s incredibly likely that this is either spoiled supermarket meats or slaughterhouse waste. Contrarily, species-specific animal sources like “salmon meal” are taken from a high-quality source.

Regarding whether salmon meal or salmon is better than the other, it primarily depends upon your dog’s specific needs. As a result of the rendering process, salmon meal contains loads more protein than whole salmon. However, if it’s omega-3 fatty acids your dog’s immune system requires, stick with the whole salmon. To sum up, a salmon dry dog food containing both protein sources is your best option!

Q: How often can I feed my dog salmon?

A: If you wish to feed your dog deboned salmon on its own, we recommend feeding them this high quality protein approximately once a week. However, what’s more important to focus on is its preparation. Never consider feeding your dog raw or undercooked salmon, as this could be fatal and result in salmon poisoning due to the nasty workings of the bacterium Neorickettsia helminthoeca.

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Our Top Pick

Given the unbelievable selection of what undoubtedly is the best salmon dog food on the market, don’t worry if you’re having a hard time choosing what one beats out the others – it’s only natural! If it helps further your decision-making even a little, we’ll let you in on what salmon dog food we consider to be the best: Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Stream Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Complete with aromatic fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, and sweet potatoes, your dog will certainly profit from the large amount of antioxidants inside one bag of Taste of the Wild’s kibble. The deboned salmon in this dog food is the best of its kind as well as sustainably sourced. And happy customers also love that it’s made right here in the USA, all the while following scientifically advanced food safety protocols. Oh, and did we mention Taste of the Wild’s salmon dog food is grain free too? Get your grain-free bag today.

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